A True Story of the Damaging Effects of Failed Power

Male headshotIt was a hot day on board the USS Enterprise during the Vietnam conflict when naval petty officer Rick Ryan (currently Abbott Technologies’ Director of Operations) witnessed a power failure that grounded an aircraft—a situation that could easily have been avoided.

Ryan recalls, “We were conducting tests on repairs that were made on the flight line. The power supply for the test unit failed, so the aircraft had to be towed to the hangar deck where the device could be plugged into a hard-wired socket for power. Had the power supply operated correctly on the flight line, we could have used the aircraft in the very next sortie mission, but because of the power supply failure, the aircraft had to be grounded and moved to the hangar deck below. It was an avoidable failure if only the power supply had operated correctly.”

Fortunately for Ryan and everyone on board the USS Enterprise, the power failure didn’t cost lives or jeopardize a mission irreparably. Ryan continued with his combat zone assignment to incorporate design changes into the squadron’s F4-J fighter aircraft. Later, he went on to become an engineer at Lockheed Martin where one of his primary roles was publishing instructions for incorporating design changes into military aircraft in the field.

Ryan explains, “You have to conduct a validation of every modification kit issued to the military. There is no room for errors. Once the mod kit is sent to the fleet, any problems could end up grounding the very aircraft our military depends on for our operational readiness. This is a matter of uncompromised quality.”

The need for quality and reliability is something Ryan experienced firsthand that day in the Pacific, and it’s the same approach that Abbott Technologies takes to building power supplies—uncompromised quality and reliability above all else. US Navy Ship

“Abbott has a reputation for building a very robust line of power supply products that can operate in the most stringent environments,” he says. “To ensure our products meet these high standards, we test and then we test again. By the time a product leaves Abbott, it has been fully tested and validated so our clients can rest-assured that it will perform to their expectations.”