For more than 75 years, Triad has been an electronics innovator and leader.
The Triad Transformer Company was founded in 1943 in Venice, California, by the trio of O.D. “Oz” Perry, Thomas P. Walker and Lewis W. Howard. Perry served as President, Walker as Vice President of Manufacturing, and Howard was Director of Engineering. Howard, a graduate of UC Berkeley and a cofounder of the Wescon Trade Show, was recognized as a life member of IEEE for his many contributions to the industry.
In the 1950s, Triad first helped Leo Fender and surf guitarist Dick Dale turn up the volume on amplifiers, which led to the birth of Rock & Roll. Triad partnered with Fender guitar to create the world’s first 100W output transformers, an audio revolution for amplifiers at the time.
The company was then purchased by Litton Industries, and in the 1960s, Triad helped transform the television industry by creating deflection yolks that enabled advances in color TV technology. Triad parts were in all Zenith, Magnavox, Sears, and JC Penney televisions when color TVs began to enter the marketplace.
But the innovations at Triad didn’t stop there. Some of the earliest transformers for microwave ovens were developed by Triad in the late 1960s. The 1960s were also the era of the “Race to Space,” and Triad was influential in helping get NASA to the moon. Triad’s SP series of audio products was developed for low power audio and telemetry in unmanned space flights, and then utilized in the Apollo mission.
Under Litton’s stewardship, Triad was merged with Utah Transformer creating Triad-Utrad. Then in the 1970s, the company was purchased by MagneTek. Both Litton and MagneTek were large companies with extensive resources to ensure the consolidation was smooth, well-documented, and thorough, so nothing was lost in the process. Long before ISO was established, these two companies had extensive process control and continuous improvement programs to ensure the consistent quality and reliability of Triad’s products. Triad benefits to this day from the care and investment that Litton and MagneTek took in managing the company.
In the 1980-90s, the Triad brand played a leading role in the rise of industrial automation and controls, electronic ballasts for lighting systems, and innovative medical devices.
In 2003, Triad was acquired by Axis Corporation of Taiwan, a publicly traded company in Taiwan with more than US$50 million in sales. For the previous 15 years, Axis had been MagneTek’s Asia-based manufacturing partner, producing 95% of Triad’s standard products as well as many of Triad’s custom items. This partnership prepared Triad well for the transition, and over the next several years Triad successfully reintroduced many of Triad’s discontinued standard products while seamlessly maintaining the highest levels of quality for custom products, some based on Triad legacy designs that had not been manufactured for years.
In 2019, Triad acquired Electronetics, gaining expertise and equipment which enabled Triad to begin small volume U.S. manufacturing of custom and specialty products, to supplement its extensive overseas production in the Philippines and China.
Today, you’ll find Triad has emerged again as a pioneering leader in the power supply and magnetics field. Triad has returned to its roots in Southern California with a 40,000 square foot modern engineering and service center located in Perris, California. With new and creative designs in the medical, lighting, and alternative energy markets, Triad’s experience as a leader in the industry has been backed by the knowledge of long-term employees who carry on the tradition of excellence. The early legacy of Triad still endures, as a reputation for quality and innovation continues more than 75 years after its origins.