Power Electronics

Power Electronics CEO's: Acopian Power Supplie's Greg Acopian

Acopian Technical Co. was founded by Sarkis Acopian, who came to the United States to obtain a college education and decided to stay to pursue the American dream. After an interruption in his education to serve in the U.S. Army, he graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., in 1951, and decided to settle in Easton. Initially, he worked for Weller Electric Corp., designing a power sander and a soldering gun that became two of the company's most popular products. He then began the pursuit of his dream of going into business for himself, launching Acopian Technical Co.

His first product was the first-ever solar radio, which was acclaimed as a milestone of 1957 technology. The Acopian Solar Radio was promoted as “Revolutionary — No Batteries or Outside Electrical Plug-ins — Uses Light for its Source of Energy.” However, the market for solar radios wasn't large enough to serve as the company's springboard to growth, so Mr. Acopian also did electronics subcontracting as he searched for an appropriate market niche with growth potential.

At one point, he urgently needed some power supplies for a subcontract and couldn't obtain them quickly enough, so he made them himself. He then realized that many other engineers were experiencing the same problem. He had an outstanding aptitude for organization and efficiency, and personally set up every aspect of a versatile production line that enabled the assembly of many different models of power supplies very quickly with minimum labor. When he advertised that “power supplies shipped within three days,” orders flooded in.

As the power-supply line grew, larger and more complicated power supplies were introduced, but the same philosophy was followed for these larger supplies — “up to two pieces of these would ship within nine days after receipt of order.” Acopian still prides itself in this remarkable ability. To this day, none of Acopian's competitors can consistently match the company's shipping promise dates.

In addition to the speed of assembly, the manner in which the production lines were set up had several other advantages. Acopian's competitors stocked popular models, but if the models ordered were out of stock, the customer might have to wait weeks until the competitors' stock was replenished. Worse yet, if the order was for an infrequently ordered model that wasn't even scheduled for a production run, the wait could be months.

But with Acopian's approach of building per order, even one very infrequently ordered model could be manufactured and shipped just as quickly as the most popular models. And there were never problems with obsolescent stock or its age (power supplies contain electrolytic capacitors that tend to degrade with time, particularly in storage), so there was no need for a large warehouse and no financial burden for funds tied up in finished goods inventory.

Mr. Acopian retired in 1991 and was succeeded by his sons Greg and Jeff, who have turned the advantages of their father's manufacturing acumen in a new direction. Acopian is now manufacturing and shipping “special” (modified for a specific application) power supplies in about the same amount of time as standard models. In addition, Acopian's proprietary modular metalwork and an array of circuit boards for special functions permit the design, manufacture and shipment of complete multiple-output power-supply systems that include the customer's wish list of features — such as metering, LED indicators, failure alarm contacts, audible alarms, binding posts and special connectors — within nine days. The company also ships redundant output power systems for critical applications within the same time frame.

In celebrating its 52nd anniversary, Acopian continues to develop new lines of power supplies for the constantly changing needs of industry. But one thing that will never change is the company's commitment to serving its valued customers with quality products made entirely in the United States, its three-day shipping guarantee and its unsurpassed customer service.

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