What is in this article?:
- Tooling database catalogs defense-related patterns;
- Casting supplier database of foundries manufacturing defense parts
- Solicitation review process for government procurements for cast components
Metalcasters understand that their products are important to the success of businesses and the quality of life of consumers, but one industry where castings’ contribution is especially critical is defense manufacturing.
Castings are vital to our national defense and integral to systems production and spare parts support for virtually all of the 2,250 weapon systems in service today for U.S. soldiers. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) — the U.S. Department of Defense's largest combat support agency — purchases more than 84% of the military’s spare parts. It supplies almost every consumable item America's military services need to operate. DLA manages 5.2 million different items, issues over 9,000 contracts per day, and had FY12 sales in excess of $44 billion. This translates to significant business opportunities for foundries, via direct business with DLA or to a tier 1 supplier.
There are very few foundries that supply the government directly because a casting is typically just the foundation of a finished part that is being procured. Most foundries manufacturing castings for defense applications do so as sub-tier suppliers, and secure the business through an existing customer or the occasional request for quote from a prospective customer.
More ambitious foundries may seek out government business opportunities on their own through various government websites and commercial bid matching services, often with limited success.