Doing the Impossible

We received a phone call from an engineer at a computer processing development company who had found us on the internet. He needed a part built and all the other vendors he had tried had not been able to replicate the part. He sent us the specs and we sent him a prototype. He called us the next day to tell us we had done the best, but we were still off by 400%.

Undaunted, we asked the engineer if he had the print for the part. The answer was no. He had one board and the part was soldered onto it. He was willing to send us the part if we could guarantee that it would be returned unharmed. We could not do any destructive testing.

We had our engineer set up a test board and emulate the wave pattern output. The wave pattern was not your typical sine wave and was very difficult to emulate – it had to go straight up, hold there for 40 nano seconds and then go straight down.

Our engineer spent two weeks working on the project. Then one morning he called to say he had a working model. We hand wound the part and were on a flight to the client’s office that same day. When we arrived, we went straight to the development lab, plugged the part in, and it worked beautifully.

As it turned out, the part in question was mission critical for the Air Force’s fighter fleet. From that time on, we became the company’s preferred, and only, vendor.