P&W sues titanium supplier

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posted on Sep, 3 2014 @ 08:14 PM
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a reply to: Hoosierdaddy71

In this case the product should have been quality tested twice before reaching P&W. First the A&P Alloys who provides the metal, and then Lewis Machining which actually makes the parts. In this case, Lewis Machining tested a batch and found it did not meet spec. By the time an actual finished machined product is delivered the amount of random DPA lot testing at the assembly point is very small because of the cost. Subcontractors (in theory) test their own product vigorously. Depending on how far out of spec the final product was a random sample might not have failed the DPA.
In this case it looks (pure speculation) like A&P Alloys found a cheap batch of titanium alloy which they thought would be "close enough" that it would not be noticed and would increase their margin. Then they lied about it and stonewalled. That the metal was illegally of foreign origin is going to be an even bigger deal. Small company got greedy and thought noone would notice, except the alloy wasn't quite "close enough".
This is a huge hassle for everyone above them on the food chain. All the parts from the lot produced by Lewis Machining using that batch of alloy is going to have to be recycled. P&W will do their best to track down every finished part from that lot as well. Lots of lost money, especially if the customer decides to penalize P&W.




posted on Sep, 3 2014 @ 08:16 PM
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a reply to: _Del_

Not to mention that they have 140 engines that were delivered, some of which are already in use I'm sure, that will have to be pulled, and parts replaced because of this.



posted on Sep, 3 2014 @ 08:28 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Right. Tracking every single part by serial for the whole lot is going to be a hassle. Replacing all the parts with parts that meet spec from hither to yon is going to be a hassle. It will cost a great deal of both time and money.



posted on Sep, 3 2014 @ 08:30 PM
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a reply to: _Del_

Yeah I feel bad for the Jet Shop, and the P&W guys. This is a nightmare for both of them.
edit on 9/3/2014 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2014 @ 04:38 AM
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originally posted by: _Del_
a reply to: Zaphod58

Right. Tracking every single part by serial for the whole lot is going to be a hassle. Replacing all the parts with parts that meet spec from hither to yon is going to be a hassle. It will cost a great deal of both time and money.


It shouldnt be that hard, every part is tracked by serial number for this (and other) reasons, but I agree hassle and cost.

Should buy Rolls Royce...



posted on Sep, 4 2014 @ 08:27 AM
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a reply to: TheCrowMan

RR has the same problems as everyone else


The delays... stemmed from flaws in parts provided by subcontractors, the Defense Contract Management Agency said in an e-mailed statement.

“There have been issues such as corrosion on some of the gears and some undersized holes,” Jacqueline Noble, a spokeswoman for the defense agency, said in the statement. While London-based Rolls-Royce and its subcontractors have made progress, the need to fix fan parts that don’t meet specifications “is still a concern,” she said.
...
Rolls-Royce, Europe’s largest maker of commercial aircraft engines, provides major components for the F-35B’s propulsion system to United Technologies Corp. (UTX)’s Pratt and Whitney unit. Pentagon pressure on both companies to improve deliveries and subcontractor quality may increase in advance of planned funding increases after 2015.

www.bloomberg.com...



posted on Sep, 4 2014 @ 09:39 AM
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Dang, A&P is going to get crushed, Vally Forge and RTI are going to be persona non grata on tenders for the near future as well.

Sad to say, but I find it hard to feel sorry for P&W. When A&P won that bid most of us in the metals business were left scratching our heads. Whenever the major players like RA, UPM, a mill like ATI lose out to a small fish like this shenanigans are afoot!

This was a failure of the P/C manager. CoA's, CoC's and MTR's are sacred and a good buyer knows when something is fishy. First mistake was taking some cut rate price and/or delivery from a small fish over a established player.

From my understanding this was not your standard MIL-T-9046 Type 3 Comp C/Gr.5/6AL-4V material but a PWA application specific standard. To be honest that might be the start of the problem for A&P. The might have tried to shoehorn in an industry standard Gr.5 into PWA's chems. and mechs.



posted on Sep, 6 2014 @ 05:27 PM
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There was an interesting opinion piece on this yesterday on FlightGlobal. The problem has been going on so long that the Pentagon actually convened a task force to fight against it. There has been a 15 year long string of groundings, and lawsuits over faulty titanium. The C-17, F-15, V-22, F-22, and now F-35 have all been affected.

NASA even got involved and released a report to help managers identify faulty titanium. They said that there are two ways that the material is made that weaken it, even though superficially it appears to meet specs. The first is that they forge the plate, when it calls for a rolling process. The second is that they take the billet and just cut it down to shape. Both methods result in a piece that fails to meet strength and fatigue standards.

www.flightglobal.com...



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Thanks for posting that.
So, it sounds like the some of the parts in question were to made from a cold drawn bar as opposed to a sawn piece of hot rolled plate, and that some
of them were supposed to be made from forgings and machined out of billet, either cold drawn or hot rolled.
I would imagine that beyond subsequent processing of the raw billet, there are alloy issues as well.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 02:54 PM
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originally posted by: Imperium Americana
This was a failure of the P/C manager. CoA's, CoC's and MTR's are sacred and a good buyer knows when something is fishy. First mistake was taking some cut rate price and/or delivery from a small fish over a established player.

Aerospace seems to be in a world of best short term price at the moment, at the expense of lifetime cost and quality.





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