Plant Design Awards—Outstanding Strip Location: Zengeler Cleaners


The exterior of Zengeler Cleaners’ new store, just around the corner from the company’s previous Dundee Road store. (Photos: Zengeler Cleaners)


A drycleaning machine color-matched to Zengeler’s logo.


From the lobby, one can see the conveyor system that fully automates Zengeler’s cleaning workflow.

Bruce Beggs |

Amenities ‘have proven extremely popular with customers,’ company says

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Just last fall, Zengeler Cleaners began serving customers at its new state-of-the art, environmentally friendly facility at 792 Skokie Blvd. here in Northbrook, a suburb of Chicago. The new facility is just around the corner from the company’s previous Dundee Road store.

“We moved from a 30,000-square-foot central plant to a 2,610-square-foot package plant producing about 10,000 pieces a week,” writes owner and company President Tom Zengeler in his plant nomination. “We also moved part of our central plant operation to three other processing plants.”

The store features many “leading-edge amenities that have proven extremely popular with customers,” the company says, but perhaps the most impressive amenity is the Metalprogetti conveyor system. It fully automates the cleaning workflow from receiving the order, processing the garments, then sorting, bagging and tagging for pick-up.

The benefit for customers: the ability to pick up orders at their convenience using the store’s 24-hour self-serve kiosk. Equally important, the business adds, is this process provides an extremely efficient cleaning process, assuring that the environment is protected.

“Zengeler Cleaners is extremely proud of both the appearance and functionality of the new store,” Zengeler said in a press release distributed at the time of its opening. “Our architect collaborated with the Village of Northbrook to assure this beautiful new facility was consistent with our neighbors and with the community as a whole. To achieve that while providing a modern, energy-efficient operation is a tribute to everyone on the team.”

Washburn Machinery served as distributor and created the plant layout. Lynde Anderson was architect, and Courtenay Bailey provided interior design.

Aside from Metalprogetti, equipment for the Zengeler Cleaners store comes from Union (with Exxon-Mobil DF-2000™ hydrocarbon), Sankosha, Forenta, UniMac and Fulton, among others.

Besides the Northbrook store, the company has seven other stores and eight home pickup and delivery routes in Chicagoland.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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