The experts in innovative food processing machinery

IEN Magazine: Made In America


Based in Columbus, Wis., Lyco Manufacturing makes some of the best commercial food processing machinery in the world. The equipment has peeled every potato that became a potato chip or french fry, every onion that has been sliced or diced, nearly every vegetable that’s canned or frozen, and had a hand in processing most of the chicken that reaches your table. Oh, and they do about 132 million beans per year.

The company was founded by Dave Zittel in 1979, but it wasn’t always an easy road. He started out with a company that made stainless vacuum pumps for the dairy industry, but about six months after he bought the company, the product failed and life was tough for Zittel and his family.

In 1983, he sold the dairy pump line and stumbled upon an opportunity to build a new potato peeler. An engineer by trade, Zittel designed it, manufactured it, and was back in business.

For the past 36 years, he’s built more than 350 potato peelers, but that wasn’t the biggest seller. Two years after the peeler, Zittel designed a new blancher cooker for the canning industry, and has gone on to sell more than 750 of them around the world.

IEN Magazine, Feb 2020