Call For Innovation (CFI) A1217-01 Innovative Suppliers of Additive-Manufactured Metal Parts for Aerospace Applications

Call for Innovation 

Northrop Grumman Corporation seeks qualified and innovative suppliers for high-quality Additive-Manufactured metal parts for Aerospace applications. As a leading supplier of complex mechanical systems in support of the Aerospace and Defense industries, Northrop Grumman designs and delivers to its customer’s complex metal parts that may benefit from design and production using the Additive-Manufacturing process.

The metal additive manufacturing industry is still relatively young and the quality of parts produced varies greatly. Standards for this industry are still in development and the process to produce high-quality parts cannot currently be specified using standards. Therefore, for Northrop Grumman to deliver high quality parts it is necessary to request competitive bids only from known suppliers of high quality parts. Northrop Grumman is looking to qualify metal Additive-Manufacturing suppliers for “partnerships” to allow for competitive pricing. A strong advantage of the Additive-Manufacturing process is the short lead time to obtain complex parts. This advantage would be lost if a bid is won by a producer of poor quality parts or if the winner of a bid to produce a part must first go through a lengthy approval process before they can deliver that part to Northrop Grumman.

This project will survey the industry and find potential suppliers who can meet quality requirements for various Additive-Manufactured processes and materials. Those suppliers willing to try to become Northrop Grumman approved preferred suppliers would then fill out required paperwork, be subject to on-site inspections/ tours, and produce an example part. On-site inspections would carried out by a team of Northrop Grumman personnel to include our Quality specialists to approve suppliers; the review could include other manufacturing processes such as machining, but with unique aspects aimed at Additive Manufacturing. Successful suppliers will be given preferred status for the designated technology. In addition, the successful suppliers will be pre-approved for any future bids and projects.

The Additive-Manufacturing processes for which Northrop Grumman seeks approved vendors are: laser powder-bed fusion, electron beam powder-bed fusion, and direct energy deposition (with subcategories that include processes using lasers, electron beams and plasma arcs). Each process has advantages for specific part materials and geometries, so approved vendors are needed for each process.

Northrop Grumman seeks innovative suppliers with agile manufacturing and test capabilities and the willingness to support a range of procurement types, including low volume quick-turn new product development. As such they must have not only manufacturing capability, but also have in-house engineering competence for Additive Manufacturing, adequate quality controls on produced parts, inspection and test capabilities, and inventory control. Familiarity with the Defense and Aerospace Industries is a plus.

Supplier must be willing to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with Northrop Grumman. Any selected suppliers must be familiar and able achieve compliancy with U.S International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012.  Additional information concerning details of the above regulations can be found at the following links:

ITAR: https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/regulations_laws/itar.html

EAR: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/regulations/export-administration-regulations-ear

DFAR 252.204-7012: https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfars/html/current/252204.htm

Response Instructions
The initial submission should not contain proprietary information. Click Here to certify that your submission does not contain proprietary information and submit your information. Northrop Grumman will review your information and reply to you if further information and/or discussions are needed.

Response Deadline
All responses must be uploaded by 4pm ET on December 21, 2017.

For Assistance
Contact Northrop Grumman via email or 703-556-2768.