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Author Topic:   USA ö Military Specifications Questions
Arturo Rosales
Lurker (<10 Posts)

Posts: 9
From:Dallas, Texas
Registered: Sep 98

posted 12 October 1998 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Arturo Rosales   Click Here to Email Arturo Rosales     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello you all·

I donāt know how many of you are suppliers (Material/Products) to the USA Department of Defense (Military Contracts) but I have one question, if somebody can bring some light into this subject it will be appreciated.
(I have always work in commercial contracts, this is my first time working as supplier for the Military)

We have military specifications like MIL-R-6855 (AMS-R-6855) and MIL-R-6130C, just to mention this two, that required on section 3.1 First Article to be perform per section 4.3 First Article Test. The first article test needs to be performed per table VII.

 It is my understanding that First Article Report need to be perform on the beginning of the production run, to confirm that we are under control conditions.
 We have all of our suppliers (rubber manufacturers) that are selling us, raw material per Military Specifications and Iām asking them to provide a certificate of compliance with test reports per the military specification and Iām finding out that they will perform the test only if requested. I donāt understand how can they sell material per a MIL spec. If they donāt perform the test as required.

My problem is that Iām finding out, that these manufacturers are selling some thing that is not, and if I ask them to provide test reports (evidence that the material passes all requirements) they will charge extra.
I did send a sample to an outside lab to confirm that material was ok AND IT FAILED·.

I donāt know if it is because Iām new to the industry or this is the way they do business, but I donāt like it.

Our sales department is telling me that they donāt know from other competitors and customers that requires test reports, they have been asking around and most of the people have not even read the Mil-Spec!!!!!.
For what I understand when you sell a product to the government you are responsible for your supplier.

Please let me know your comments on the subject. I donāt want to drive my company out of business. Iām starting to required that all material that is received that is MIL-SPEC test reports need to be attached, this is making our cost go high, and we will not be able to compete with other suppliers.

All comments will be appreciated.
Arturo Rosales

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barb butrym
Forum Contributor

Posts: 637
From:South Central Massachusetts

posted 13 October 1998 08:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't have experience with the standards you mention, but mega experience with others.

You need to get a relationship with your DoD/customer team for interpretation. Could mean that first article test is re: the tooling, or 1st production run...can vary with your industry and process....or may be a process control function that does or does not need to be flowed down. If you don't know, then you need to ask someone who counts...not just other users.

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Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4119
From:West Chester, OH, USA

posted 13 October 1998 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've done a lot in military manufacturing in the past but it has been a few years.

First article is pre-production acceptance. It's typically dimensionals and functional test. Talk to your DCAS rep about what s/he needs - but First Article requirements should be defined in your contract.

The bottom line on your question of what to do about material reports from suppliers:

You will have to work with them for now but in the future you will have to address this issue early. Typically if you have a contract to purchase material or subassemblies and *after the fact* you request material certifications, it probably will be an extra fee. I would suggest youy seriously look at your quality planning system and how your purchasing department fits in. Sounds like they're buying stuff with no checks.

However, the problem is deeper than that. If you had some material tested and it is not what it is supposed to be you either have a neglegent supplier or a fraudulent supplier. And while I have no idea what you are making, that to me is VERY serious. What have you already made and shipped with material from the problem supplier? Have you contacted the supplier and informed them of the problem? What was the result of the contact? Military or not - in my eyes this is a serious problem.

Yes - if you supply the government you are responsible for your suppliers, but I expect that in the commercial world as well.

I used to consult with companies having problems with the DoD and / or one of the US armed services. One company called me in because the contract print called for a specific rubber which was no longer manufactured. I won't go thru pages of details, but suffice it to say the print and contract had to be changed. It was a real pain.

Give me a call if you want to discuss this in more detail.

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