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In September 1946, two young entrepreneurs partnered to create Optoplast Manufacturing Company Limited. In the 40 years that followed, Walter Conway and Herbert Thorn enjoyed great success as they developed technology such as the PIMO machine, an innovation that would shape the way spectacles were manufactured worldwide.

Over the years Optoplast has been at the forefront of innovation and design, from the invention of the PIMO machine in 1951 which brought a new level of precision to the optical industry, to today using the latest CAD technology and 3D prototyping to push every design boundary. Handed down through three generations, the company remains a family run business to this day, priding itself on inspirational designs, attention to every detail and commitment to the highest quality.

Optoplast was founded in Millmead, Guildford in Surrey. With an initial staff of six surrounded by rolling hills and cobbled streets, this small team of workers were soon to make a name for themselves within the optical industry.


Optoplast worked closely with the National Health Scheme to launch the first range of optical frames for the NHS.


The patented PIMO machine was launched and put into production, inserting metal reinforcements into acetate spectacle sides with absolute precision. This innovation changed the way spectacles were manufactured worldwide. With 80 staff at work, Optoplast were able to produce two temples a second, exporting more than five million a year to 11 countries.


Optoplast opened offices in Hong Kong (Rainbow Bright) and Germany (Victoria Etuis).
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