Defense Logistics Agency

Foundry Selection Criteria

When a request for bid arises from the DLA for spare parts or assemblies that require castings, it can be problematic for the winning bidder to quickly establish the relationship necessary to purchase castings that will be known to comply with the needs of the Bidder to meet the requirements of the contract with the DLA. The purpose of this document is to help a prospective casting buyer to communicate with a foundry in terms that will help clarify for the foundry, what it is you need to buy.

If a foundry with tooling has been located,

It may have been many years since the casting supplier has made this part. In this day and age, manufacturing facilities are constantly evolving to better meet the needs of their active customer base and remain profitable. It is not unusual for a process or production line to be significantly modified, or even eliminated, in some cases, very quickly. Therefore, it is most important that the winning bidder verify that the producer of record is still engaged in the business of regularly producing parts that are similar to the part you are about to purchase from them. The drawings and documentation will indicate the major components of the casting requirements; they are:

This should be the basis to begin the discussion with the caster that has the tooling in place.

A discussion should be had with the representative of the foundry during the bidding process to jointly resolve the expectations of the Buyer and Seller. These should include the points:

Once a bid has been successful and an order needs to be placed with the metal caster, open the lines of communication by referring to the solicitation for pricing that began some days or weeks ago. Make the foundry aware that you have been awarded the contract from the DLA and now wish to proceed by placing an order. Make certain you have provided all the documentation needs of the vendor and that the vendor has provided adequate responses to your business relationship documentation. Assuming this has been completed successfully, place a purchase order and then agree upon the following specific items:

Except for administrative activities, nothing should be performed on this aspect of the project until one of the above conditions has been met. At that point, it is the responsibility of the Buyer or his authorized subcontractor to:

Once all discrepancies have been resolved to the satisfaction of both the Buyer and the Seller, the production quantities and scheduled releases can be made to the casting supplier.

Guidelines to Procuring New Tooling

Despite locating the tooling, there are occasions when the foundry may be prohibited from producing castings for customers other than the one that actually bought the tooling. It may also be that the tooling that has been located is no longer at the correct revision level and that by bringing the tooling up to the correct revision, the changes can be so broad that a new pattern is required. The third scenario that would require a new pattern would be the vendor selected by the DLA has chosen to utilize the services of a casting supplier that does not have tooling and never did. In all of these instances, a proof of production casting submission must be required by the DLA supplier to insure that the castings that are going to be purchased to satisfy the contractual obligations with the DLA meet every requirement as defined on the control documents. It is important to note that every precaution needs to be taken to prevent the tooling procurement process to make production castings without first making certain that the casting submission is fully compliant with every specification that is contained in the control documents. The DLA contracting supplier must administer the efforts of the casting supplier to insure that non-compliant castings are not delivered to the vendor charged with producing the next higher level of assembly.

In order for the tooling procedure to begin on a solid base, a meeting between the foundry, the DLA contractor and (if applicable) the company involved with the next higher operation, typically machining, should meet to review the following items:

Once this meeting has taken place and all interested participants in this project have agreed upon the approach, the DLA contractor or his representative, can release the caster to produce the tooling needed to make the casting according to all drawings and specifications. Included as part of this release should be copies of all drawing and specifications in either paper or electronic formats. If a CAD database is available, most tooling makers would like to have this in order to clarify any ambiguities that exist on the drawing. As part of this re;ease, the schedule for the performance of the foundry should be updated as the project proceeds. The foundry and DLA contractor or responsible subcontractor, should have regular dialogue at interval that make sense. When 25% of the tooling lead time has elapsed, the foundry should be able to confirm whether or not the project is on schedule. The same should occur at the 50% and 75% intervals to make the machining vendor aware of the expected delivery of the First Article casting and all the documentation that goes with this critical deliverable item. The casting supplier must also know that until and unless the First Article Casting submission has be accepted in its entirety, no castings shall be produced except at the peril of the foundry.