The National Forging Tooling Database was developed as part of the PRO-FAST project by the University of Toledo and its partners IHS and Plexus Systems, as a fast and easy way to locate forging tools. Since the development of the Tooling Database, the NFTD has helped locate tooling for more than a dozen forged parts resulting in significant time savings and avoided $250,000 of new tooling costs
On October 11, 2004, Becky Bigger at Prop Shaft Supply, Inc. requested forging tooling information for a universal joint companion flange used on the M109 Self Propelled Howitzer (155mm). The forged flange part number is 7962742 and is procured by DLA as NSN 2520-00-796-3997. The next day, Russell Beard, FORGE-IT Team Leader at ATI, checked the NFTD and found that IMT Forge should have the dies to make this part. He called the company to verify that the tooling was available and by October 20, IMT Forge had an order for the forged part from Prop Shaft Supply.
From the industry perspective, the NFTD was critical in booking the order at the forge shop. From the DOD perspective, the repair parts can be produced quicker and cheaper, reducing weapon system down time and saving DoD dollars. It is not uncommon for the Administrative Lead Time (ALT – time from requesting a part until a contract is signed to deliver a part) to be more than six months for forged parts. Once the contract is signed, Production Lead Time (PLT – time from contract award to delivery) can be equally long. Finding the tooling fast reduces ALT substantially because the part provider can be identified quickly, and it greatly reduces PLT because the forging company does not have to wait two or three months to make tooling. In addition to the time saved, the DoD does not have to pay for duplicate tooling, which in this case saved an estimated $15,000.
J.P. Beierle at Prop Shaft Supply Inc., the company that needed the forging said, “This database in invaluable to companies like ours, that do work for the US military.” Mel Moore from IMT Forge stated that, “In order for prospects to make not only the right choice but also the proper financial choice, the NFTD is certainly a benefit to IMT.”
Forging companies interested in loading their tooling into the NFTD should contact Mark Vonderembse with the University of Toledo at 419-530-4319 or [email protected]. To have access to the NFTD so you can locate tools that you need, contact Mark Strandquest at 303-397-2551 or [email protected].