LMT Belin, with its place of business in Lavancia, Fance, product range includes solid carbide tools for the machining of high-performance plastics and light metals, specialized tools for the aerospace industry and reamers.

How does a maker of tools for producing spectacle frames become a highly specialized supplier for the automotive and aerospace industries? LMT BELIN has shown precisely how it’s done. Today the company is firmly established as one of the world’s leading producers of tools for highperformance plastics and composite materials.

From spectacle frames to high-performance plastics

Although machining normally only plays a minor role in the production of spectacles, there are exceptions: manufacturers of highquality eyewear still rely on the mechanical finishing of individual components. Very few tool manufacturers have the requisite know-how in this field. LMT Belin is one of them. Based in Lavancia in the Jura region of France, the specialists began machining eyewear “at birth”: when Yvon Belin set up his tool factory in 1962, one of his first customers was an eyewear manufacturer who was looking for a new tool to process frames. Yvon Belin ground the first tool himself. Soon afterwards demand increased and his company made a name for itself in the French eyewear industry. Unfortunately, however, the growth potential in this market is limited.

When French car makers were looking for local tool suppliers in the early 1970s, Belin seized the opportunity and broadened the product range. A further breakthrough came in 1979 when the company became one of the first toolmakers in France able to offer tools with cutting materials made of polycrystalline diamond (PCD). These tools increased the efficiency of aluminium machining, a material that is increasingly being used in the car industry today.

During the 1980s the tool developers applied their experience of aluminium machining to composite materials. Because composites are as abrasive as aluminium alloys with high silicon content, these materials make similar demands on tools. By 1990 LMT BELIN'S tools for composites had made the company the market leader in France. Since the turn of the millennium LMT BELIN has also been successfully selling tools to customers in the aerospace industry. Its specialization on the high-precision machining of sensitive materials has also led to successes in other areas of application. For example, LMT BELIN is also market leader in France when it comes to tools for display plastics.

In 2001 LMT BELIN became part of LMT TOOLS, but it largely retained its autonomy. It was only in 2011, after BELIN and LMT TOOLS had been marketing their products separately for over ten years, that the companies’ activities were combined: LMT Belin and the sales company LMT France merged to become LMT BELIN France.

The company then began contributing its expertise to the Composite Excellence initiative, which it runs jointly with LMT ONSRUD. In 2012, on the company’s 50th anniversary, the extensive modernization of the production facilities in Lavancia was completed.

Aerospace – Market of the Future

The aerospace industry is a key sector for the future development of LMT BELIN. LMT TOOLS’ extensive expertise enables it to offer its French customers a wide range of tool solutions for machining CFRP, aluminium and titanium. Additionally, the company is concentrating on developing tools for the processing of high-performance plastics, which are sold worldwide by LMT TOOLS.