Challenging the boundaries of the possible


By definition, all progress is made by pushing back the limits of what is possible.

To innovate and discover, you need to push boundaries and explore the unknown, conquering conditions never before controlled. For this to be successful, you need to rely on flawless equipment and technology.

The LEMO Group has become a leader in interconnection solutions for the most demanding applications operating in harsh environments. It is a relatively small niche within the global connector market estimated at a total of 60 billion USD. However, it is a profitable one and excellent in terms of image.

Being positioned in the high-performance market is also very motivating for the staff. After all, the solutions which they develop and work on, support the continual exploration and therefore human understanding of environmental extremes. From the depths of space to the depths of the ocean. From polar regions to burning deserts. From immobile and sterilised operating theatres to roaring, chaotic motorsport circuits. The Swiss brand is a reference when it comes to ensuring reliable connections, even in the harshest conditions.

Yet, when the company was launched in 1946, conquering harsh environments wasn’t among its goals. Its founder Léon Mouttet designed his first products for the Swiss post and telecommunications, a more benign world than that of harsh outdoor environments. However, from the outset, Léon Mouttet’s relentless pursuit for perfection naturally propelled the business towards the world of harsh environments.

It was the quest for the ultimate in quality that brought about the conquest of extreme conditions.

Quality and reliability have been the driving force of innovation, the backbone of LEMO’s success story.

Very early on, important investments were not only made in research, but also in integrating manufacturing know-how. With patience and resolution, the Group has gradually verticalised its competence. It has acquired equipment, production plants and even some companies (including the US factory Northwire in 2014). Today, the LEMO Group has internalised the entire value chain. From Research & Development to the production of complete solutions, through manufacturing parts, surface plating or even cable design and assembly. This structure has enabled the group to reduce its dependence on external suppliers. And most of all, the perfect control of its quality through the whole process from idea to delivery of the final interconnect solution.

Being positioned as a leader in innovation and high performance can be constraining.

It is a position from which one can easily and quickly plummet. Luckily, the quest for excellence has been rigorously pursued by the directors (Marcello Pesci, then Alexandre Pesci, son-in-law and grandson of Léon Mouttet) as well as their staff.

We have never considered it sufficient to simply meet the requirements ”, says Noman Hashemi, VP Technology & Engineering. “ We have always set the bar very high and strived to exceed our customers’ expectations ”. 

The same self-discipline applies in testing. For decades, the LEMO Group has possessed very well-equipped laboratories (at LEMO for materials and connectors, at LEMO FOUR for fibre optics and at NORTHWIRE for cables). 80% of electrical, mechanical and environmental tests are carried out in-house. In this field as well, LEMO maintains very high standards. “ Unlike others, we have a very conservative approach to results ”, says Roger Vonlanthen, test laboratory manager at the Group’s HQ. “ The performance limits specified in our catalogues are always considerably lower than the results we obtain in our laboratory.Noman Hashemi confirms with a smile : “ Between marketing and technical, LEMO is clearly on the technical side ! We always keep a good safety margin.” 

This margin is a guarantee for the customers, who know how large it is. “ Our customers use it regularly ! ” explains Noman Hashemi.At times, they even push our solutions above the limits that we have set. ” Sometimes, to the great surprise and pride of their designers. This was the case of the watertight 03 Series, the smallest screw-coupling connectors of the Group. LEMO guarantees it up to a depth of 300m, a customer has used it without any reliability problems at 4000m !

In fact, when the bar is raised very high, the standard product is often enough for conquering extreme environments. It is for example the standard solutions of the S series that equip the fantastic extra-terrestrial ISS laboratory. A space station is the ultimate example of an extreme environment.

Demanding applications have progressively become a strategic objective. Whenever the standard is not enough, the Group’s engineers set to work. “ Customers want to further enlarge the temperature range ? Push the limits of our solutions ? Add a functionality ? ” asks Noman Hashemi. “ The answer we give them is always the same : we will manage ! ” This constant appetite for innovation and excellence is rewarded by the pride felt at having succeeded where others have failed.

The M Series, created together with and for Formula One is an emblematic example of a custom development. Compact, powerful and robust, it has become the uncontested standard for extreme environments.

Rebellion close
Solutions designed for harsh environments

Component design, materials and surface treatment are combined to ensure unparalleled reliability even in the worst conditions. Here is an overview of some performances that have made LEMO a reference for harsh applications.

107 Gy - Radiations
N Series connectors have been developed in cooperation with the nuclear industry. Using specifically approved material and designed to be handled by robots, they function steadfastly in highly radioactive environments.

-55°C/+200°C - Temperature variations
Day after day, for years on end, aircraft take off into ice-cold skies and land on burning hot tarmacs. Day after day and for years on end, industries expose their equipment to large fluctuations in operating or storage temperatures. Not the slightest problem for B or F Series connectors.

>200 cycles - Resistance to sterilisation
In a medical environment, sterilisation is as vital for patients as it is aggressive for the equipment. LEMO can provide high durability solutions for any sterilisation method chosen by the customer, such as the P series, with a robust design made of extremely resistant materials.

70 kV DC - High voltage
Ensuring reliability and safety in high voltage environments requires several adaptations. The design as well as the materials, with high dielectric properties, of dedicated connectors (such as the Y series selected by the CERN) makes sure to keep apart components with different electric potential (contacts and earthing).

>60 bars - Hydrostatic pressure
Underwater, in the sea or the ocean, connectors are subject to great pressure variations which also depend on their size. W or V series are perfectly reliable up to 300m depth. High-performance 03 connectors are designed for up to 600m. They are ready to explore the North Sea.

>1000h - Resistance to salt spray
Salt is a powerful corrosion agent, especially on the long run. Specially selected materials combined with special surface treatment, such as chromium, black chromium and NiCorAlTM plating, makes LEMO’s solutions perfectly adapted to fit large vessels or the equipment of troops stationed by the sea. The choice of materials and surface treatment of our connectors ensure resistance to all types of hostile and corrosive environment.

>5000 cycles - Guaranteed durability
After a high number of operating cycles, the connector’s contact mating force diminishes through normal wear, which can lead to signal discontinuity issues in certain harsh environments. So, LEMO guarantees not only 5000 mating cycles (more than 13,5 years if you count 1 cycle per day !), but also states that contacts will retain 75% of their original retention force.

30G - Vibrations
How can you secure reliable and uninterrupted connections withstanding the shock and vibrations that military equipment, a Formula One engine or a fighter jet are subject to ? By designing particularly compact and robust solutions fitted with LEMO’s standard high reliability crimp contacts, such as M Series connectors.