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ArmInfo’s Interview with Director of Integrator Ltd., Candidate of Technical Sciences Sergo Melikyan
The unique company Integrator Ltd. has been operating in Yerevan since May 2008. It develops and manufactures high-tech laboratory equipment for hands-on study of a whole range of educational subjects, including Strength of Materials, Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Electric Motors and Machines, etc. The company also develops SCADA systems, which are industrial control and electric equipment diagnostic tools.
Mr. Melikyan, what idea was the creation of your company based on?
In 2007 a branch of the National Instruments (USA) opened in Armenia. On its initiative the students of technical universities of Armenia started studying the modern engineering technologies in the sphere of automation on the basis of up-to-date devices. At the same time, the established engineers were retrained. Thus, with the entry of National Instruments in Armenia, the recovery of engineering started in Armenia. As a result, in addition to our enterprise, 10 more companies have been set up in the country, which conduct research and engineering activities throughout the world (Russia, Arab countries, India, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.).
In 2008 Integrator Ltd. designed a training stand for the practical classes on the Strength of Materials. Later on, by developing the existing stands and creating new ones, we designed 12 stands for various subjects (Strength of Materials, Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Electric Motors and Machines, etc). Initially, our customs were the universities of Moscow, and in 2011 we entered the markets of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, Belarus.
Did Integrator Ltd. participate in the exhibitions organized in Armenia or abroad? What benefits did the participation give you?
In 2009-2011 the company participated in the annual DigiТec exhibitions in Yerevan. We signed up orders from the Yerevan State University and the State Engineering University of Armenia for production of training stands for Strength of Materials, Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Electric Motors and Machines, and received other proposals from the educational establishments. In May 2012 we attended an exhibition abroad for the first time. It was an exhibition of training stands in Beirut (Lebanon). Our specialists also visited several higher educational establishments in Moscow to discuss the possible orders for production of training equipment.
What measures do you think should be taken to set up the laboratory equipment of Integrator Ltd. at the Armenian higher and vocational technical institutions?
I can say that the Armenian higher and vocational technical institutions have very few laboratory facilities, especially, up-to-date ones, to hold practical classes. I think first and foremost the higher educational establishments and the Ministry of Education should be concerned over it. As for Integrator Ltd., we are ready to fulfill any order for laboratory equipment at the level of the latest scientific and technological achievements.
Will the equipment of Integrator used in the National Engineering Laboratory, which will be set up on the base of the Engineering University by late 2012?
Certainly, it will, especially as the themes of our stands are referred to the University’s curricula.
In case of growth in demand for the equipment f Integrator Ltd., has the company got a potential for expansion?
Certainly, it has. At first, we had big difficulties in selecting engineering personnel, but now we can already choose specialists among the graduates of our universities. For instance, a specialist, who has received a Master’s degree this year, is currently working in the company. I think this is the result of the training courses for engineers held by the Yerevan branch of National Instruments.
Does the company acquire components in Armenia or abroad?
The company cooperates with tool companies of Armenia, and everything regarding the mechanics and the appearance of the stands is manufactured in the country. The electronic printed circuit boards and all the electronic components and devices are made abroad.
I am very much concerned over the fact that only specialists of the pension age have remained at the companies of machine building and the allied sectors, and nobody is coming to replace them. I think it is necessary to revive the technical colleges and vocational schools and to raise their level.
Can these spheres recover in a new way?
The recovery takes place due to the enthusiasts’ efforts. It is necessary to organize a market of orders in Armenia. As regards the taxation and customs policy, I think simplification and reduction of the period of the customs procedures when importing small lots of goods for research purposes, as well as simplification of taking the income tax, may promote development of the abovementioned sectors in Armenia. I think that the machine building and the allied sectors have been restored both thanks to and contrary to the state policy, because imperfect customs and tax legislation which does not take into consideration the specifics of the technological business.
Thanks for the interview!