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Commercial process: RFI to PO


In cast is very important to know what is being purchased to go to the subcontracting provider most appropriate to our needs.

So in cast aluminum, there are several technologies to consider, injection, gravity casting, low pressure and casting by lost wax. In purchasing departments, should be discriminated different providers of their databases about these four technologies, as their target markets and sectors are different:

– Injection, mainly long series of pieces with narrow walls and not very complex forms but where the dimension accuracy is important. The mechanical characteristics of the relevant parts should not be stopped these products.

– Lost Wax, spare short series, but the Chinese are not afraid of the average number of small size, with minimum thickness and complex shapes.

– Low pressure usually for automotive, tires, calipers, brake discs, etc. Very long series of not very large and very homogeneous parts with high mechanical characteristics.

– Gravity, since prototypes to medium-high range without reaching 200,000 pieces annually. Range of weights from 30 grs to 4000 kgs. High mechanical properties.

Therefore once the supplier within these groups is cataloged, you’d need some more information about the company, RFI = Request for information, for which is usually develops a format with different basic data from different suppliers: staff, turnover, dominating technologies, media production, best series, delivery times, certifications, etc.

Once you have some information from suppliers, we must launch a RFQ = Request For Quotation. Order for this RFQ is managed as well as possible, should be given to the selected suppliers information on various aspects of the project:

– Plans, preferably 2D and 3D drawings of parts or manufacturing.

– Specifications to be met by the piece, alloy, mechanical characteristics, controls series.

– Estimated quantity of parts to be produced per year and lot of optimal delivery for the customer and / or supplier.

– Terms and SOP = Start of Project, and if there will be launch phase or ramp-up in which the series does not come as promised, but if you have to keep the prices offered for longer series.

– If there are models that are to be reused, it is necessary to give information about these, size, design, number of cavities in the mold condition. Here, too, a good picture is always worth a 1000 words.

– Must be checked what trials or tests shall be made on the parts approval FAI = First Article Inspection, and manufacturing batches, since this also depends on the suitability of the chosen company.

With all this and once the supplier receives the offer to supply, comes the comparison. Here, we have to assess aspects such as:

– Quality control means processes, existence of a quality system approved, possibility of compliance and certification requirements

– Technical capacity to undertake projects

– If you ask the company is within its normal scope of work.

– Company size, capacity available in the same , customers between 5 and 10% of turnover is the main thing,

– Readiness to spend a visit or quality audit visit.

– Price

And recently it has mostly into account other factors such as

– Price

– The price, and last but not the most important although lately it seems that yes,

– Price

With all this, we hope to have given you some idea of processes and steps that facilitate the trading process between client companies and foundry suppliers.

And if there is not enough to run these processes rigorously structure, provided it can be done as before, pick up the phone and ask for referrals to a colleague on their suppliers. Sometimes it works and you end up spending the PO = Purchase Order, to the appropriate company.

Jorge Peral