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#WeareAFT

Our Teams

Team
Belgium

Team
Germany

Mission and Vision

AFT International has two divisions: AFT Belgium and AFT Germany. We have driven teams of experts working at both locations. We have a clear mission: to unburden our customers and be a permanent partner within the orthopaedic and podiatry industry. This is why we continuously invest in new technologies and ourselves.

Our vision is clear. We strive to provide reliable and innovative products. This is the only way AFT International will be able to provide its partners with the best solutions to improve mobility and comfort.

Our values

People

With about 125 employees, we have a multi-disciplinary team standing by to support you every day. With years of experience, the people working at AFT International have built up an enormous amount of know-how and can unburden our customers in the best possible way. It is important to us that every employee is given the opportunity to develop their talents so we can always respond to the latest trends and developments within our sector.

Flexible

With our own production, we are more than just a distributor or average wholesaler. Our flexibility sets us apart from other providers in the sector. With an extensive 15,000 m² machine park, we produce many custom-made items such as milling blocks, semi-finished products, elements and of course, machines for our customers, every day.

Trustworthy

AFT International guarantees reliable machines and materials. We consciously choose to exclusively use high-quality European raw materials, which we process further internally. In addition, we have more than 35,000 items in stock for our large and small customers. Thanks to our own production facilities, we are not dependent on external manufacturers.

Innovative

AFT International continuously develops and tests products and new materials in order to always deliver the best solutions to our customers. To this end, AFT International persistently invests in the latest machine technology in order to produce custom-made solutions for our clients faster and more efficiently.

Authentic

We are the fifth generation of a respected family business. AFT Belgium and AFT Germany offers more than 245 years of combined experience. Thanks to the unique concept of machines and materials, we have grown into a total supplier and becoming an established value in orthopaedics, podiatry and shoe repair industry.

Our history

AFT International is more than an international company: it is the merge of two historic family businesses. In 2001, the German company Mebus and the Belgian company Speelmans joined forces. Together they represent 245 years of quality craftsmanship and know-how. Our team has grown to about 125 committed employees, while our production area covers more than 15,000 m², spread over two locations in two countries.

Our company video

4.5/5

"At AFT International we strive for customer satisfaction and quality.
Today, and tomorrow."

The history of Mebus

1912

In 1912, Wilhelm Mebus Senior started manufacturing tools for craft shoemakers in Schwelm, Germany. He worked with simple sanding machines; thankfully they were already powered by motors. Wilhelm was able to expand his production, even before the Second World War.

1954

After his death in 1954, his son Wilhelm Mebus Junior took over the business. Thanks to the globalisation, he was better able to export his products and the business grew strongly.

1973

In 1973, two competing companies, Rafflenbeul and Frobana, closed their doors. Mebus seized his chance and took over their stock of spare parts. This stock is still being used to help customers to this day.

1989

Peter Mebus, now the third generation, expanded the company’s range enormously. In addition to producing machines and presses for shoe repairs, the company specialised in workshop equipment for orthopaedic companies. Later on, the development of central extraction systems also received increasing attention.

1995

In 1995, Mebus took over distribution for the Hess company in Magstadt. Since then, Hess has discontinued the production of sanding machines. Our service team is still available for all Hess customers. After the merger with Speelmans in 2001, AFT International GmbH grew into the second largest worldwide supplier for the production and installation of orthopaedic workshops.

The history of Speelman

1887

The Speelmans company was founded in Hasselt, Belgium in 1887, specialising in the tanning of upper leather for mining shoes. Because the tannery and leather production grew, and therefore caused an environmental nuisance in the city of Hasselt, Dirk Speelmans senior closed the production facility and switched to the leather trade and distribution for the shoe industry. 

1920 – 1960

The second Speelmans generation decided to move to Antwerp to centralise their location and be more accessible to customers. Belgium was a hugely important shoe producer between 1920 and 1960. However, production moved to Southern Europe and North Africa due to the high wage costs.

1980

The third generation – Walter Speelmans – decided to take other paths: the distribution of shoemaking articles. During the 1960s shoemaking heyday, a move to a larger location in Antwerp was necessary. Speelmans broke through into the international shoe repair market in the 1980s with its own brand names such as EXTRA. At the same time, the fourth generation joined the company in Dirk and Christophe Speelmans. They increasingly focused on making semi-finished orthotics. Because Speelmans also processed and distributed all the materials for the orthopaedic shoes, an important first step was taken in the orthopaedics market.

1998

In 1998, the company moved to a much larger building in Oelegem to accommodate their international expansion into the shoemaking and orthopaedic industry. 3 years later, that growth was given an extra boost by the merger with Mebus Maschinenbau. This is how AFT International, the company that can offer all the machines and materials for the orthopaedic industry, was created. This unique synergy, led by Christophe Speelmans and Peter Mebus, means AFT International is now active in no less than 40 countries worldwide.

2015

Under Cedric Speelmans, the fifth generation in the company since 2015, growth is continuing and the current building in Oelegem is being expanded by an additional 3,500 m². The main focus is now on orthopaedics and podiatry, while shoe repair now represents a considerably smaller part.

The history of Mebus

1912

In 1912, Wilhelm Mebus Senior started manufacturing tools for craft shoemakers in Schwelm, Germany. He worked with simple sanding machines; thankfully they were already powered by motors. Wilhelm was able to expand his production, even before the Second World War.

1954

After his death in 1954, his son Wilhelm Mebus Junior took over the business. Thanks to the globalisation, he was better able to export his products and the business grew strongly.

1973

In 1973, two competing companies, Rafflenbeul and Frobana, closed their doors. Mebus seized his chance and took over their stock of spare parts. This stock is still being used to help customers to this day.

1989

Peter Mebus, now the third generation, expanded the company’s range enormously. In addition to producing machines and presses for shoe repairs, the company specialised in workshop equipment for orthopaedic companies. Later on, the development of central extraction systems also received increasing attention.

1995

In 1995, Mebus took over distribution for the Hess company in Magstadt. Since then, Hess has discontinued the production of sanding machines. Our service team is still available for all Hess customers. After the merger with Speelmans in 2001, AFT International GmbH grew into the second largest worldwide supplier for the production and installation of orthopaedic workshops.

The history of Speelman

1887

The Speelmans company was founded in Hasselt, Belgium in 1887, specialising in the tanning of upper leather for mining shoes. Because the tannery and leather production grew, and therefore caused an environmental nuisance in the city of Hasselt, Dirk Speelmans senior closed the production facility and switched to the leather trade and distribution for the shoe industry. 

1920 – 1960

The second Speelmans generation decided to move to Antwerp to centralise their location and be more accessible to customers. Belgium was a hugely important shoe producer between 1920 and 1960. However, production moved to Southern Europe and North Africa due to the high wage costs.

1980

The third generation – Walter Speelmans – decided to take other paths: the distribution of shoemaking articles. During the 1960s shoemaking heyday, a move to a larger location in Antwerp was necessary. Speelmans broke through into the international shoe repair market in the 1980s with its own brand names such as EXTRA. At the same time, the fourth generation joined the company in Dirk and Christophe Speelmans. They increasingly focused on making semi-finished orthotics. Because Speelmans also processed and distributed all the materials for the orthopaedic shoes, an important first step was taken in the orthopaedics market.

1998

In 1998, the company moved to a much larger building in Oelegem to accommodate their international expansion into the shoemaking and orthopaedic industry. 3 years later, that growth was given an extra boost by the merger with Mebus Maschinenbau. This is how AFT International, the company that can offer all the machines and materials for the orthopaedic industry, was created. This unique synergy, led by Christophe Speelmans and Peter Mebus, means AFT International is now active in no less than 40 countries worldwide.

2015

Under Cedric Speelmans, the fifth generation in the company since 2015, growth is continuing and the current building in Oelegem is being expanded by an additional 3,500 m². The main focus is now on orthopaedics and podiatry, while shoe repair now represents a considerably smaller part.