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LEMO is both the name of an electronic and fibre optic connector manufacturer, based in Écublens, Switzerland, and the name commonly used to refer to push-pull connectors made by that company. LEMO connectors are used in medical, industrial, audio/visual, telecommunications, military, scientific research and measurement applications. The company, founded in 1946, started as a manufacturer of contacts in noble and rare metals. The company took its name from the company founder, engineer Léon Mouttet.
LEMO has set several connector standards.
The LEMO 00, a miniature push-pull 50 Ω coaxial connector, is used as front panel connectors in the Nuclear Instrumentation Module (NIM) and Computer Automated Measurement and Control (CAMAC) modular electronics standards used in instrumentation for nuclear and particle physics, where it is used as a replacement for BNC connectors in high density designs (because the LEMO connector is much smaller in size than a BNC).
While LEMO connectors were generally developed as proprietary designs, the legal status of many of the older designs is not clear. For example, the LEMO website itself shows a standardisation date of 1970 for the LEMO 00 model. The "chocolate plate" design of the connector's shell grip is, however, trademarked.
In July 2014, LEMO acquired Northwire Inc., a US specialty cable manufacturer of wire and multi-conductor cable and retractiles for the medical, aerospace and defense, energy, and industrial markets. The acquisition of Northwire allows LEMO to provide a complete cable-connector solution.
In 1994, LEMO entered into Chinese market through a distributor. In 2004 LEMO set up a subsidiary company in Shanghai and 220 m2 area has been rented. In 2008 LEMO moved to a 2200 m2 plant, 2015 again – staying in Pudong, Shanghai – to a 5600 m2 plant, where 700 m2 is used as office, 1100 m2 as warehouse and 1900 m2 for cable assembling. By end of 2017, LEMO China has employed 130 people. Besides Shanghai, LEMO China has offices in more than 14 cities, such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Changsha, Chengdu, Wuhan, Taiyuan, Haerbin, Changchun, Shenyang, Xi'an, Nanjing and Zhengzhou.
In Écublens, one of 3 offices in Switzerland, R&D is performed in a test laboratory with a climatic chamber. Organic insulators and sealants must stand extreme cold and/or hot temperatures as well as meet environmental standards. LEMO maintains drawings of all products back to 1970, retains several old machines to reproduce them and holds a huge stock of parts. Line drawings were at first prepared on tracing paper, but four generations of drawing software later, the old drawings can now be exchanged numerically. The headquarters in Switzerland remains the center for special requests. Arctic Trucks and Brüel & Kjær use LEMO-connectors.
The AKG AV100 Aviation Headset uses a 6-pin LEMO connector. Until 2013, when AKG moved from number 21–25, and LEMO Elektronik GesmbH situated on no. 49/E6-3, the two companies were somewhat neighbors in Lemböckgasse, Vienna.
- LEMO 3K.93C Catalogue
- USPTO registered trademark number 2703464, see LEMO FAQ: Are LEMO connector design trademark registered?
- Strategische Neuausrichtung bei AKG: Produktionsverlagerung von Massenfertigung nach Asien bringt Personalabbau mit sich apa.at, OTS0279, 29 September 2009, retrieved 30 September 2016 – German.