Marchant Schmidt History

marchant schmidt history

Marchant Schmidt is a third-generation manufacturing company headquartered in Fond du Lac, WI USA. The company was founded in 1963 by Harold Marchant and Lyle C. Schmidt. The original goal of the company was to assist local farmers and area businesses in the fabrication, welding, and repair of machinery.

For more than 30 years, Marchant Schmidt worked from its Ninth Street location growing the business and supporting customer needs. While furthering their education, Lyle Jr. and Rick began working for their father in the factory. In 1978, Mr. Marchant retired, and Lyle Sr. purchased his business share. The untimely death of Lyle Sr. in 1979 brought new challenges to the company. Nyleen Schmidt, Lyle Sr.’s wife, was cast into the position of running the family business and today maintains the position as CEO/President.

In the early 1980s, Marchant Schmidt expanded its customer base to include local vegetable canneries and cheese factories. Since then the company has operated under two divisions: the Valve & Machining Division (VMS) and the Stainless Steel Fabrication Division. This enabled the company to diversify its operation and customer base.

The VMS division, headed by Lyle M. Schmidt, continues to advance in its core business of repairing, rebuilding, and manufacturing of replacement parts for FMC and Stork continuous cookers. The VMS division is also an authorized distributor for quality products related to their core business. This has enabled them to branch into other segments of the food industry.

The Stainless Steel Fabrication division is led by Richard F. Schmidt and has become a leading manufacturer of hygienic food converting equipment. During the 1990s, the Stainless Steel Fabrication Division developed a product line of cheese converting equipment that included cheese shredding lines and cheese cutting systems. Today there are more than 500 complete production lines installed worldwide.

In the fall of 1995, Marchant Schmidt moved to a new larger manufacturing site. An additional facility was opened in 2000 to house the Controls & Integration team. In 2009 the facility doubled in size to accommodate business growth.

In 2007 Marchant Schmidt was awarded the State of Wisconsin Governor’s Export Achievement Award for top results in international sales. At that time, international sales accounted for 27% of their total sales and was growing rapidly. With the increase of international exports, Marchant Schmidt opened a European Branch office in 2008 in the United Kingdom. In 2012 Marchant Schmidt launched Marchant Schmidt Europe. This new facility located near Birmingham, U.K., is a full service manufacturing site with sales, engineering, spare parts and service. 

Marchant Schmidt formed a New Product Development group in 2018. More than a machine R&D group, their mission is to create innovative solutions to food industry challenges. Using a root cause approach, they are developing pioneering responses to common industry problems.

We attribute our continued growth and success to our philosophy of lifetime partnerships with customers and suppliers.