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Acopian is tower of power supplies for a half-century

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A nuclear power plant with a 30-year-old part that no longer worked called Acopian Technical Co. in Easton, and within days, it had a replacement part that may have otherwise been obsolete.

“They thought for sure that they would not be able to find a place that would be able to help them, but we made their power supply and shipped it to them so they had it in three days,” said Alex Karapetian, director of sales and marketing at Acopian, adding that other power supply manufacturers likely would not have been able to replace that old part.

Karapetian credits advances in technology for allowing Acopian to provide customers with customized orders that fit their needs. The company’s goal is to get the customer a product within three days and offer a five-year warranty.

Run by an Armenian-American family, Acopian has been in the Lehigh Valley for more than 50 years. Karapetian’s uncle, the late Sarkis Acopian, founded the business in 1956 with the policy to remain American-made and never outsource, and today his family goes by the same philosophy.

Acopian supplies power components for a variety of markets such as computing, research labs, medical, telecommunications, military, automotive, aerospace, amusement and entertainment. Some of the company’s most noteworthy accomplishments include helping to power the New Year’s Eve ball at Times Square each year and producing a part used in the lighting at the Oscar and Grammy award shows.

“Some well-known companies use our power supply. … Boeing, JPL Research Labs, Disney, GE, to name a few,” Karapetian said. “What we make is an electronic AC-DC and DC-DC power component.”

Sarkis Acopian, a man before his time, invented the Acopian Solar Radio. The solar concept was perhaps too revolutionary for that time period. So he focused on manufacturing power supplies, a product he knew from experience that was in short supply.

“One day [while working as an electrical contractor], Sarkis was asked to locate an emergency power supply, and, when he could not find one, he built one and finished the job,” and the idea for a business started to take form, Karapetian said.

Acopian now has a workforce of 140 at two locations: its corporate office in Easton and a manufacturing facility in Melbourne, Fla.

Brothers Greg and Jeff Acopian, sons of Sarkis Acopian, run the Easton location. Two other members of the family, Ezra Acopian, purchasing and facilities manager, and Jeff Calhoun, production supervisor, work in Florida.

It’s Karapetian’s job to extend the company’s online reach by maintaining the Acopian website, blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“It is comforting to work with family, knowing you can always rely on them and trust that everyone is looking out for the best interest of the business and each other,” he said. “There is a feeling of not wanting to let your family down that drives me to work harder. I am proud to be a part of something that my family has worked so hard to create and grow here in America.”

Recently, the company received a Three Star Supplier Excellence Award in recognition of its performance as a supplier for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Raytheon, which has thousands of suppliers, honors a select number at its annual awards ceremony, according to Karapetian.

“There are lots of companies that strive to be the best,” he said. “We always try to make a reliable product, and you won’t contact us and get an automated system. You get an actual person on the phone. We do everything to ensure that our customers come back to us.”

Purchasing manager Chad Peterson of Erdman Automation in Minnesota has been Acopian’s customer for more than five years. He said Acopian has pulled his company out of a bind several times by getting Erdman’s machines running properly again.

“Acopian has provided a good product that has helped us be competitive because of the competitive prices and their technology,” Peterson said. “I like Acopian because they reply right away and follow through on orders and emergencies.”

Acopian’s founder was known as a charitable man, personally and professionally, and the company continues to make an impact in the community.

Sarkis and wife Bobbye Acopian supported the Acopian Engineering Center at Lafayette College, Acopian Center for Ornithology at Muhlenberg College, the Acopian West Campus at the Children’s Home of Easton, the Acopian Ballroom at the State Theatre in Easton and the Acopian Center for Conservation and Learning at Hawk Mountain.

The Acopians also made one of the largest donations to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., information that was kept secret until after he died in 2007.

“Sarkis Acopian was many things – a mechanical engineer, inventor, patriot and philanthropist,” Karapetian said.

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