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OCR for page 33
7 Workshop Session 6: Implementation Issues Supplier and Manufacturer Perspectives Session 6 featured two speakers on issues of concern to suppliers and manufacturers. MATERIAL SUPPLIER PERSPECTIVE Milton Milner, of Alcoa, presented a summary of issues important to suppliers. Military-unique materials (armor, for example) belong in military specifications. The cancellation notices attached to military specifications are confusing, leading to delays and increases! cost. Converted word-for-word specifications are confusing buyers and suppliers. Redundant specifications for the same material are inefficient and should be collapsed. For example, the following documents are equivalent: QQ-A-200, AMS-QQ-A-200, ASTM B22 1, AMS 4026, and Company-unique specifications. In the end, the transition to fewer commercial and industrial specifications will be good for suppliers. MIL-HDBK-5 must be retained as a national data archive because it is crucial for the ability of suppliers and manufacturers to develop and maintain NGSs that are suitable for military needs. Suppliers like Alcoa bear the brunt of the confusion related to the cancellation of MilSpecs but are in favor of the long-term transition to fewer standards across industry. MANUFACTURER PERSPECTIVE Randy Kanaby, of Rolls-Royce Allison, spoke of the key issues affecting the relationship of manufacturers, their supply chain, and their customers. Military specifications (hundreds or more) are referenced throughout most manufacturers' documentation systems, and even as references inside company-unique specifications. Issues of concern that arise because of their cancellation include the following: 33

OCR for page 33
34 Impact of Acquisition Reform on DoD Materials and Processes Specifications and Standards Cost, Compliance, Configuration control, Technical equivalence, and Environmental impact. Costly work lies ahead to ensure proper transitions in-house, at subtler contractors, and by NGSBs. It will take a generation of designs to sort out. The disadvantage is that no value is added, as programs do not see an immediate benefit. Mr. Kanaby stated that the problems are manageable, but significant, and at a cost. Acquisition reform has presented an opportunity for international harmonization of specifications, but there appears to be little interest and no action. Manufacturers see MiTSpecs referenced throughout their internal and external documentation for product design and manufacturing. PANEL DISCUSSION As did the speakers at the earlier sessions, the speakers at Session 5 assembled for a general question-and-answer session with the audience at the end of the formal presentations. The major issues covered at the panel discussion were as follows: Canceling military specifications has caused significant confusion and cost to industry. Plans are in place to cope with these issues related to legacy (existing) designs. Suitable NGSBs exist to serve industry and military needs. New materials and process specifications can be created through NGSBs for most needs, and company specifications can be used for nonstandard needs.