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Federal Committee Seeks Information on Domestic Forging Capabilities

From NIST Tech Beat: March 9, 2012

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Contact: Mark Bello

Does the United States have sufficient industrial capabilities to produce adequate supplies of forged-quality metal parts to meet the needs of the Defense Department and other federal agencies?

That is what the Metal Fabrication Study Group, part of the interagency Defense Production Act Committee (DPAC), wants to know. The study group has issued a request for information at FEDBIZOPS.gov (www.governmentbids.com).

Responses are due no later than 3 p.m. Eastern Time, April 9, 2012.

Forged-quality parts are essential components of aircraft wheels and landing gear, vehicle armor, energy generation equipment, railroad cars, rocket engines, and other manufactured products.

The study group, led by Howard Harary, deputy director for manufacturing in the Engineering Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, conducted an initial survey of domestic forging capabilities. It found that current capabilities stem from investments made several decades ago, yet the need for forged-quality parts has not diminished. As a consequence, supplies of some critical forged-quality parts have been inadequate to meet important government needs.

In its request, the study group seeks industry insights into ways to address current limitations on supplies of forged-quality parts, as well as to understand the opportunities to address those limitations. Key areas of interest include process capabilities and limitations, supply-chain-related issues, and alternative manufacturing methods and barriers to their implementation.

Under the Defense Production Act of 1950, the DPAC advises the president on strategies to ensure adequate domestic production of critical components, critical technology items, and industrial resources essential for national security.

Read more about the DPAC at http://www.dpacommittee.com/. The study group’s request for information is at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=bebaebd0f1bc3190b2cd97553dc87dfa&tab=core&_cview=0.