Dober Chemical Corp

Dober Chemical Corp

Specialty chemical manufacturer. Scale and corrosion inhibitor technology for diesel engine coolants and cooling towers. Water treatment biopolymers. Critical cleaning detergents for pharmaceutical, personal care, and biopharmaceutical. Labor and operations management software. Since 1957 Dober has provided innovative product solutions across diverse industries and is globally recognized for leadership in chemistries, software and emerging technologies. We believe in developing environmentally sound solutions to real world water treatment challenges. Headquartered in Woodridge, Illinois, Dober has manufacturing plants in both Illinois and Pennsylvania and customers in more than 30 countries. Learn more about Dober`s product and service offerings at HaloKlear and Greenfloc are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Dober Chemical Corp

Company details

11230 Katherine`s Crossing, Suite 100 , Woodridge , IL 60517 USA

Locations Served

Business Type:
Industry Type:
Chemical Water Treatment
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

John F. Dobrez Sr.

On May 17, 1957 a young, entrepreneur rented a building on the south side of Chicago on Archer Avenue just blocks away from Midway Airport and started a specialty chemical manufacturing company.  With an order from Colliss Company in Clinton, Iowa for a 55-gallon drum of liquid paint remover, John F. Dobrez Sr. and Dober Chemical were officially in business. Dober Chemical, now known simply as Dober, relocated manufacturing to Midlothian, IL on November 1, 1960. Dober’s product line was expanded to include industrial paint strippers, metal phosphates and industrial cleaners that were sold to some of the world’s largest industrial companies such as General Motors, Westinghouse, International Harvester, General Electric and Caterpillar. The Midlothian manufacturing facility served as company headquarters until 2007, and continues to operate as a production facility.

Dober experienced rapid sales growth in the core product areas in the 1970s fueled by the introduction of more environmentally friendly cleaners and paint removal products to large industrial clients.  The second generation of the Dobrez family also began to enter the business in the late 1970s, transforming Dober Chemical into a family business. Dober expanded into several new markets in the 1980s. The Cooling Systems Division (CSD) was launched in the early 1980’s with the development of products that prevent scale and corrosion in diesel engines. The 1980s also marked Dober’s arrival as a global company, when Dober began to provide a major diesel engine manufacturer with coolant additives in Australia, India and China. Today, Dober has customers in more than 30 countries, with significant presence via blending facilities or offices in Europe, China and Singapore.

Midlothian, IL headquarters, 1960-2007

Dober entered the wastewater treatment market in the early 1980s by providing synthetic and environmentally friendly chemicals and technical service to the food processing and industrial laundry industries. This business segment evolved into what is known today as GreenFloc® Technologies.

The Pharmaceutical Division opened in 1986, debuting as an equipment supplier of portable clean-in-place units branded as Chematic CIP’s  In 1995, Dober sold its Chematic CIP equipment technology and renewed its’ focus on providing chemicals for critical cleaning applications.
Dober entered the commercial laundry detergent market in the 1990s In 1994 Dober opened a second manufacturing facility in Glenwood, Illinois, to accommodate the growing needs of the business. At the same time, Dober began to develop software for commercial laundry customers that helped these facilities operate more efficiently. For over a decade, these software offerings were part of the value-added package our laundry customers would receive when they purchased chemicals from Dober.
Initially acquired to better serve our east coast commercial laundry customers, a world-class manufacturing facility was constructed in Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 2004. This site now produces liquids for Dober Chemical’s Cooling Systems Division and GreenFloc® Division.

Original Dober logo

The Dober Innovation and Technology Center was inaugurated in 2007. This state-of-the-art building became more than just the new corporate headquarters—it showcases the expertise that Dober has accumulated over the past half-century. It is a place where Dober chemists can work together in world class laboratories, encouraging innovation. As John F. Dobrez Sr. used to say, 'The lab is the heartbeat of the company—make sure it has a good beat.'
In 2007, the software that had been such a vital piece of the Dober commercial laundry success was 'spun-off' into its own division, Spindle Technologies. For the first time, Dober sold and marketed software. Also in 2007, Dober invested heavily in the breakthrough Smart Release Technology, which provides controlled-release of scale and corrosion inhibitors and biocides used in cooling equipment where water is involved, such as cooling towers, air washers (swamp coolers), and critical closed loop systems. Spindle Technologies and Smart Release are game changing technologies, marking an expansion of Dober’s place in the market from a supplier of industrial chemicals, to a supplier of both chemicals, and of innovative solutions across all divisions.

Dober logo, 1980s

On September 9, 2010 Dober sold its laundry chemical business to Ecolab. Dober and Ecolab work together as partners in many areas, but Ecolab is now the exclusive distributor of Spindle Technologies Utility Module and Chemwatch software.
In 2010 Dober also welcomed the first of the third Dobrez generation to the business. Although very few family businesses endure through generations, Dober is laying the foundation for leadership for the fourth generation and beyond.
Dober has experienced continued growth and success since 1957.  Dober's success is due to a strong commitment to Mutual Trust and Respect for all fellow team members, and working with suppliers and customers in a partnership atmosphere. With a focus on providing value-added solutions, Dober is positioned for continued growth for many years to come.

Dober is committed to customer service, innovation and providing exceptional resources for applied research and development. This combination is unmatched by any other competitor. These strengths also make us a valuable partner for customers with unique challenges in a wide range of industries.

We create excellent product solutions that work effectively in the toughest applications while always putting customers first. It's a passion that's upheld by all employees within all divisions of our organization. So when we see consistently high ratings and favorable comments on client satisfaction surveys—for both our products and services— we couldn't be more pleased.

Of course, treating our own employees well also leads to a happier, more motivated, service-centric organization. We've created a friendly, caring environment where people stay and make a career with our family.

Our depth of knowledge and emphasis on continual improvement also set us apart. Our more than 20 chemists, PhDs and engineers work to develop solutions that are at the forefront of today's emerging technologies.

A family business, we're here for the long term. Proud of our heritage and the success we've achieved, we look forward to continued ground-breaking innovation and product development in the markets we serve, further expansion into global markets, and to future generations of leadership from within.

Long ago, we focused our expertise on solving our customers’ day-to-day challenges, not “performing research for research’s sake.” We help you do whatever it is you do—better. Just tell us your goal, and we’ll get you there.

How can we apply something differently or improve a process using new or existing technologies? How can we help our customers increase profitability or reliability? These are the questions Dober asks, to deliver today’s most advanced solutions.

Few companies in our industry are as invested in applied research and development as we are. We currently hold 21 U.S. patents, eight foreign patents and several more pending throughout the world.

It’s unlikely that there’s another company that’s as committed to finding customer solutions through chemistry and technology as Dober. Our multi-million dollar Innovation & Technology Center, located in the Chicagoland area, is the hub of our research activity. At this facility, which comprises five labs, a state-of-the-art Performance Testing Room and a Clean-In-Place skid, we simulate real-world conditions. This ensures that our solutions perform exactly as you need them to.

Instrumentation and process simulation equipment includes temporary units such as once-through feeder systems, permanently situated equipment such as cooling tower simulations and ASTM experimental equipment. We are prepared to meet a wide range of challenges with:

  • Two High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) Systems
  • A Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer
  • An Ion Chromatography (IC) System & Ion Mobility Spectrometer
  • A Clean-In-Place (CIP) Skid
  • A Turbulent Flow Clean-Out-Of-Place (COP) Bath
  • A Pilot Scale Coating Pan
  • Ten Cooling Water System Scale & Corrosion Simulation Rigs
  • Two Pool & Spa Simulation Rigs
  • An Evaporative Cooling Tower
  • Engine Coolant Filter Test Rig
  • 2 Parr Reactors
  • ASTM 2809 Water Pump Test stand
  • ASTM D1384 Glassware Corrosion test
  • ASTM D4340 Hot Surface Aluminum Corrosion test stands

In our Critical Cleaning Lab, we develop effective cleaning agents and processes for the pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic, Cosmetic/Personal Care and nutraceutical industries. This laboratory is where we have made significant advances in the removal of time-release coatings granulation, tablet coatings and products that contain physical and chemical sun blocks.

Our Controlled-Release Technology Lab is where we improve our breakthrough Smart Release products. This simple, safe and reliable technology provides solid controlled-release protection from scaling and fouling, corrosion, bacterial and algae growth for cooling towers and other applications.

The Cooling System Division (CSD) Lab is where we perform research and development for scale and corrosion prevention for the transportation industry. Here, we also develop and test other engine and coolant additives, and dye tracers for heavy equipment.

Water treatment chemistries that remove soils from wastewater from a variety of industrial applications are developed and tested in our Wastewater Lab.

Corrosion, scale, and fouling inhibition, and chemical delivery and material compatibility studies for open, closed and once-through cooling systems are run in our state-of-the-art Performance Testing Room. Tanks, known as “rigs,” circulate water and Smart Release chemistries or coolant fluids to simulate the long-term operation of an engine or cooling tower. Coupons are also inserted into rigs to verify corrosion protection and scale deposition prevention.

Establishing product specifications and test methods, and ensuring the ongoing quality of raw materials is expertly handled by our Quality Control Team.

Dober frequently invites customers to tour our Innovation & Technology Center to see our state-of-the-art R&D and simulation technologies in action. Contact us today to learn how our technology can make your process or system more efficient and functional.