In order for a foundry to respond as quickly as possible to your request for quotation, you should prepare your RFQ completely to insure all the details that impact the foundry are provided up-front. The accuracy of a foundry's quotation (both cost and lead time) are very dependent upon their complete understanding of both your internal manufacturing needs as well as the specific casting requirements called out on the government's drawings, quality assurance provisions and any engineering change orders. It is critical that you review the full technical data package to insure that the revision level of drawings matches the requirements called out in the solicitation. Issues associated with the use of existing casting tooling (including, but not limited to, patterns, core boxes, required check fixtures, etc.) can lead to an inability of the foundry to properly perform the job on a timely basis and without the need to recreate required specialty tooling.
Do not leave the chance for misinterpretation of a drawing or quality requirements. It is better to make use of foundry industry check lists in which you can summarize, unambiguously, key casting issues such as surface finish, tolerances, need for straightening at the foundry, need for process documentation, etc. Please refer to the section on additional resources for links to web sites where these tools supplied by industry organizations are available for your use.
Things to Remember
- Insure all drawings and specifications that you have are the most current versions that are called out in the solicitation
- Many foundries do not have access to military specifications. If they have been replaced by commercial specifications, insure those are called out in your RFQ to the foundry.
- Insure that key requirements are communicated clearly to the foundry (first article testing, documentation, NDE, certifications).