PANAGYURISHTE (Bulgaria), December 12, By Boyko Nikolov (Bm), Photo: Bm
I speak with dipl.eng. Miroslav Vasev several hours before the magazine goes into the print house. His busy everyday life forced us to cancel the interview every day in last twenty days. I personally knew it would be difficult, and therefore prepared an additional material to fill these pages. Interestingly, I just started to prepare it, when he called me and he said, “Ok, I am available now, I have a few minutes to share with you.” Miroslav Vasev is the Head of the Designer Department in Opticoelectron. Each product passes through their work desks, each drawing, nut or item as well. They are the engineers in the company who design, develop and complete the end product.
My challenge in the last twenty days was to get to your office and take that interview. What about your challenge this year? Which project was the biggest challenge for you?
You know we’re working on too many projects. There is no other way, if the market requires it. Now that I think about it, the biggest challenge for the whole team was to develop a fire control system designed for artillery but also for intelligence use. At one point, we had to configure hundreds of elements as well as to provide serious engineering potential to make it fully applicable and effective product. In Opticoelectron a moment can be a week, a month or a year.
Very well, I’m intrigued at first. How did you get to the idea and development of this product? I know you will not tell me the produst`s name, but at least show me the way.
Well, actually they are sources, not ways. The first source is the state of the market at the moment and obviously the need for such a product. The second is our long-term client who thinks the time has come for this product. However, the fact is that this system is currently difficult to develop and manufacture. However, as you know in Opticoelectron, this has always been a challenge, not an excuse.
I know many customers are “tricky,” but how do you deal with such customers? Do you have your own method of working to satisfy their demands and want something to change in other ways in your communication with them?
It is very important to be calm and reasonable in communication. You know our sphere of work is tense and we work with people from all over the world. These are different clients with different characters, requirements and knowledge. Stress is not only in work, but also in communication. That’s why I prefer to just pause in 10 seconds first. So I calm down, concentrate and I can lead the conversation in the right direction. If I hurry with the answer this will not be good either for me or for the client.
You mean that following this way of communication you eliminate a possible nervous situation?
Exactly. There are always nervous situations, so I try to avoid them. When communicating with clients, I want to know their assignment right from the start.
Are there clients who know everything?
Unfortunately, there are always such clients in every sphere. But here, the role of the 10 seconds silence is very important, because during that time you can solve future conflicts. The most important is swallowing your ego and concentrating on the topic. It is then extremely easy for both parties to communicate. If you put your thoughts in your mind in time, you arrange the whole project for a long time.
Opticoelectron is The Innovative Company for 2017. What did the company patent to deserve this award?
We patent all the products we develop in the company. However, the fact is that it takes a long time before everything happens. During last year, we patented three of our developments in the field of Infrared optics, a complex system configuration of optics and electronics, and two-years-old aviator`s night vision goggles. I`m sure that you know them very well – OENAG.
I ask myself how do you know about new technologies? Do you have time, do you have your own channels to do that?
Unfortunately, I do not have much time to watch all the technologies, but military exhibitions are a really effective way to get to know the world’s innovation in this industry. So we at Opticoelectron can keep our watches up-to-date with today’s requirements and standards, and given that we are a strong professional team, we can easily get to the essence of a product, reveal its functionality and structure that automatically provoke us to use our knowledge to improve it. On the other hand, the well-known Internet channel is also doing great work, but as I say – only when there is spare time.
So, you`re agree with the phrase that genius solutions are a simple construction?
Yes, completely. The truth is in this sentence.
I know you’re an athlete. You love volleyball, and you play football almost every week. Does sport in any way affect your work?
You know I played volleyball on a semi-professional level. Sports helps you unload the pressure in your everyday life. It removes stress, makes you feel somehow recharged. If the humans are like computers, sport let us shut down all systems, hard drives, free up memory, and restarts us. If I could play more than once a week, I would do it with great pleasure. There is nothing better for health than physical exercise.
You’ve been working for years on this market. I appreciate the opinion of people like you. In this connection – where is the Bulgarian military industry between the old glory and the new markets?
Well, in the middle. That keeps it alive. But I want to say that the role of the government is very important. If it does not, this industry would very hardly exist at all. The military industry is one of the engines of the Bulgarian economy.
Tell me more specific things. I’ll help you – Optoelectron how does it work?
You personally know that in some of our business areas we are very competitive on international markets, but we are not in others. For example, nanotechnology – here we are lagging behind, not just us as a company, but the country as a whole. This requires purchasing sensors, high-level electronics, motherboards with many elements. Why not to do it in Bulgaria? Why not to develop our own technology production?
If the big international companies and military governments are a shark, the Bulgarian business is reciprocal as a small fish around the shark that feeds on the remnants of shark`s lunch. Am I right? Your company`s CEO told me that many years ago, and it`s been stuck in my mind.
Yes, this comparison is very good. The government must play much more important role in defending Bulgarian interests and production in the military, and not only. A company that has the protection and support of the country will be able to operate more smoothly in the markets, increase its profits and reinvest it in development. Should I continue? All this will guarantee the image of Bulgaria to Western investors, increase the standard of life of the people working in this sphere, and will get back quality specialists in Bulgaria.
I know the next fact, but because of our readers I will ask you – do you have a shortage of qualified staff?
Unfortunately, it is not only us and not only in our sphere. I have talked to colleagues and friends from different areas of the Bulgarian economy – everywhere. This returns me to the previous answer – things will look radically different if the Bulgarian Government and business are allied, and everyone is striving to protect each other interests.
What are your short-term goals in your professional life?
They are only two: to be healthy and fit in order to finish all the projects we are currently working on.
In this busy daily routine, do you find the right way to balance personal and work life? Is there balance at all?
I try to set the following limit – in my personal time I can afford to talk to colleagues, clients or partners, but I avoid taking work for home. The balance is difficult to achieve, although we try not to talk and comment work at home.
About € 4 Million Is Invested by Opticoelectron in 2017
PANAGYURISHTE, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), June 29, 2018, Author: Boyko Nikolov, Picture: Hristo Elkin
Interesting indices and positive attitudes in the investment policy showed the general annual report of the companies in the structure of Opticoelectron Group JSCo during the last year. About € 4 million has been invested during the 12 months of the past 2017 in technological equipment, real estate and training of the personnel, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
“We invested about € 2 million in the purchase of new machines and facilities, as well as for building of a separate manufacturing unit for infrared equipment – workshop “Crystals”. About € 1.9 million was invested in real estate and about € 180,000 – in training of the personnel mainly on foreign language education and improvement of the professional qualification of our colleagues,” commented Eng. Ivan Garchev, CEO of the Company.
The annual report also clarified that, in 2017, funds have also been invested in building of a new production area for assembly and integration of mobile, stationary, and semi-stationary systems and posts for surveillance and security. The total recapitulation shows that, from that unit in the manufacturing cycle of the Company, it has been integrated 28 systems for the needs of both the Bulgarian Border Police and customers from Scandinavia.
An analysis of BulgarianMilitary.com shows that during the last three years Opticoelectron and the companies within its structure do not spare funds for investments. On average, it is invested between € 1.5 million and € 2 million per year. Already in 2015 it was decided a new investment period to be started in the history of Opticoelectron. This happened through the purchase of a new vacuum system for placing of thin optical layers at the amount of several million euros. Thus the results were not late and already during the same year Opticoelectron took the prestigious 9th place in the Gepard ranking for Bulgaria’s most dynamically developing companies.“From 2015 till now we have reported growth in the sales of our products worldwide. Every day we prove to ourselves that our choice to invest in personnel and new contemporary production powers is the right strategy. That is why we are proud of one more fact – big part of the invested funds are reinvested profit during the recent years and in past one as well,“ concluded Eng. Garchev.
Recently BulgarianMilitary.com also informed that in the last three years Opticoelectron has doubled its sales. Wisely spent funds on new installation for placing of coatings on aluminium parts, new installation for special coatings of the optical components or the new CNC machines of latest generation are an important part of the success of the Company.
We recall for you that in 2017 Opticoelectron was awarded “Innovative Company of 2017” by the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Nieuwpoort Hosted a Demonstration of SafeShore Developed in Partnership with OPTIX, Bulgaria
PANAGYURISHTE, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com), June 21, 2018, Author: Bm Team, Photo credit: Optix Co.
The SafeShore detection system, developed with the participation of the Bulgarian company OPTIX JSC, was shown on 25th May 2018 in the first demo event at the North Sea shoreline in Nieuwpoort (Belgium), announced to BulgarianMilitary.com from Optix co.
The event was attended by end-users, EC members and representatives of the local and national press and television.
First the objectives and current achievements of the SafeShore Project were presented to the attendees, after which there was a demonstration of the system on the beach.
The system may detect and track various types of vessels, individual people, swimming or paddling towards the shore, low altitude airborne objects in the shape of drones, etc. However, as of the moment, the SafeShore cannot distinguish a drone from a flying bird, for example, that is why it will not be operational immediately.
The SafeShore Project is funded by the European Commission and is being implemented by a consortium of well-balanced combination of partners. One of the key partners is the Bulgarian company OPTIX JSC, which has produced some of the components integrated in the SafeShore system and we, from BulgarianMilitary.com, are very proud of that fact.
The SafeShore features the following basic advantages: low cost per square meter, low weight components, low energy consumption, no need of special cooling system, and solar-based battery charging.
One of the main objectives of the Project is detection of Small Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), which are too small to be detected by regular costal radars due to their low RCS (Radar Cross Section). They may depart from yachts, for example, and be used by smugglers and terrorists. The situation is the same with the low altitude guided parachutes, which are also hard for detection by standard radars. Such parachutes may be dropped from airplanes, which are not visible from the shore, and be used for deploying equipment, explosives, etc. For that purpose 3D LIDAR, which creates a virtual dome shield over the protected area shield with a radius of about 250-300m, is integrated in the system. The SafeShore will be fixed on mobile platforms. For ensuring of a continuous detection shield along the shoreline, there will be overlapping between the areas, protected by each platform of about 50 m.
The SafeShore system will operate in addition to the standard radar systems, by covering the existing gaps in the defence due to technological issues as mentioned above.
Opticoelectron Reported More Than Successful Eurosatory 2018 Exhibition
PARIS (France), June 15 2018, Author: Boyko Nikolov, Photo: Stoyan Hristov
On the last day of the exhibition we met the representatives of Opticoelectron, who presented the company at Eurosatory this year.
“We may confirm that this year the French exhibition turns out to be the most successful for us. We are present at each Eurosatory and there is always interest in our products, but in the last 5 days we have reported the biggest success for Opticoelectron in the recent years,” commented Eng. Ivan Garchev, CEO of the Bulgarian company, “We have had working meetings with lots of state delegations and representatives of the private business from the whole world. There is interest from countries form Asia, Africa, and Europe. The best and the indicative factor for the success of Opticoelectron here is that we have received a request for manufacturing of products from the field of artillery, night vision and infrared optics within the short-wave spectrum.”
This year Opticoelectron presented one of its most popular products during the recent months – night vision goggles Nirecon. Moreover, thermal vision and night vision devices, as well as some products from the sphere of artillery have made a serious impression to current and possible customers.
“The thing that makes me happy is that during the recent years we have managed to invest several million euros in new technologies and production. The last example is the specialized workshop for infrared equipment. By improving the quality we guarantee permanent presence on this market. And the evidence for the words is that our current partners continue to work with Opticoelectron,” are the first words of Eng. Boyan Garchev, International Markets Director, “It is even more indicative the fact that the SWIR products, developed in the company, are not any more at the level “novelty”, but at the level “orders”. Even before Eurosatory we had actual orders for the production of dozens of pieces of the middle class, and in recent days we have received here some more.”
Opticoelectron has been represented at the Eurosatory exhibition by Eng. Ivan Garchev – CEO, Eng. Boyan Garchev – International Markets Director, Eng. Tsvetana Donova – Commercial Director, Eng. Stoyan Hristov, PhD – Designer, and Mrs. Natalia Nedyalkova – Trade Expert of the company.
The stand of Opticoelectron was one of the most visited stands among the Bulgarian companies.
“May be the success here should not surprise us. If an analysis is made of the Bulgarian exhibition, which was held only two weeks ago in Plovdiv, we will see that the interest of the Bulgarian and French Ministries of Defence is not accidental. We have been working in the recent years a lot for improving the quality of our products. But we are also working for their successful promoting worldwide. If we start from the sale of the first mobile systems for the needs of Bulgaria six years ago, from their improvement and sale in some countries from the Middle East and Scandinavia, and pass through the developments and sales in the recent years in the field of night vision, we will notice that it is not accidental that this year we start with several contracts for the production of military optics for the next 2-3 years. The domino effect is the most specific definition of this situation and in our case it is successful,” wound up Eng. Ivan Garchev.
It shall be also reminded that some more international exhibitions like Indo Defense and AUSA are upcoming for Opticoelectron this year.
Opticoelectron Will Show its Best Products at Eurosatory in Paris
PARIS (France), June 11, 2018, Author: Boyko Nikolov, Photo: dipl. eng. Tsvetana Donova
Only weeks after the end of the International Defence Equipment Exhibition “HEMUS 2018” in Bulgaria, Opticoelectron Group JSCo goes to Eurosatory in Paris with its best products, which it has designed and produced in the recent months.
These are the smallest night vision goggles Nirecon that weigh just 350 gr, SWIR lenses from the SWIRECON series, as well as the first prototype manufactured years ago.
“It is logical for us to show the best we have made in the recent months. Nirecon and Swirecon are only a small part of our product range. We have new products in the field of thermal vision optics, laser designator, day and night sights. We come to Paris already with several options for mobile systems for surveillance of large areas, and it will be the first time when we will present our ideas for stationary and semi-stationary surveillance posts,” commented Eng. Ivan Garchev, CEO of the Company.
Opticoelectron Group JSCo will exhibit its products at a stand in Hall 6 – C597 from 11th to 15th June.
“Besides continuing to develop and sell our products in the whole world, last year we have also made serious investments in the field of optical production for improving even more the quality of the offered by us optics. Just for reference, during the past 12 months, we have built, equipped and started a completely new infrared optics workshop. Our investments in the sphere of technological production in the past years are equal to millions of euros,” wound up Eng. Garchev.
It shall be reminded that only about two weeks ago the Ministry of Defence of France, the Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria and the president Radev personally were very impressed by the technological capabilities of Opticoelectron at the Hemus Exhibition in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
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