Contact Forging and Casting Assistance

ICE Customer Comment card

Forging and Casting

DLA's Forgings and Castings Program is managed by the Aviation Forging & Casting Assistance Team ( AFCAT), a collaboration with the American Metalcasting Consortium (AMC ) and the Forging Defense Manufacturing Consortium (FDMC ).

AFCAT provides wide ranging services to DLA Aviation, DLA vendors and our Service customers.

Forging and Casting Services include:

  • Locating tooling
  • Providing assistance to Aviation Specialists
  • Identifying foundry & forging sources
  • Interpreting Contract Drawings – Specifications
  • Requests for ESA clarification of a technical nature
  • Assisting foundries and forges
  • Reducing procurement lead time on out-of-productions items
  • Offering Technical Information Transfer Seminars in Richmond
  • Holding Engineering Seminars at Service Engineer Venues

For contractor training sponsored by Headquarters DLA may please contact AMC or FDMC directly.

Assistance Request

You may send us a Casting or Forging assistance request by clicking on our new VE Assistance Request form button below.

► First time users must first register through AMPS (PDF) 

Locating Tooling

The subject matter experts that are team members of the Aviation Forging and Casting Assistance Team know the DLA procurement system and also have the technical knowledge to assist foundries and forge shops so they can meet procurement requirements. One of the most common requests AFCAT receives is to help identify tooling.

Tooling includes forging dies, casting patterns and molds, and machining and inspection fixtures. When tooling is not available, interested vendors must plan to have it manufactured during contract performance. This will increase cost and may result in extended lead time.

Once contractors have reviewed the technical data package and identified the part number of casting or forging, you should conduct a search for tooling:


Contractors with a subscription to Haystack® Gold should use the National Forging Tooling Database that is part of their subscription. View the Case History for the T-38 Fuel Tank Lug below to see how valuable access to tooling data can be.

 Case History for the T-38 Fuel Tank Lug

NSN 1560-00-117-5199

  • This stock number was one of DLA's oldest backorders 
  • Tech data specifies forging is required 

F-5 AircraftBlueprint schematics for the T-38 Fuel Tank Lug

  • April 2002, contract award to "Supplier A" who planned to provide a machined part from bar stock. However, the supplier’s First Article did not pass First Article Test.
  • Even after the contract delivery date was extended "Supplier A" still could not produce compliant parts so the contract was cancelled July 2004;
  • As part of an AFCAT assistance request FDMC located a capable supplier in their National Forging Tooling Database;
  • November 2004, DLA Aviation issued contract to "Supplier B" the capable supplier; and,
  • 30 days after contract award, "Supplier B" delivers acceptable parts.

Time Savings: 100 to 150 days

The following time line indicates that only 9 days elapsed between finding the tool and placing an order. October 11, 2004 – Request from Becky Bigger at Prop Shaft Supply, Inc for a forge part with NSN 2520-00-796-3997 (part number 7962742) October 12, 2004 – Russell Beard, FORGE-IT Team Leader, checked the NFTD and found the forging company (IMT Forge - a Forging Industry Association Member Company) with the tooling and called the company to verify that the tooling was on-hand. October 20, 2004 - Received verification from IMT Forge that an order for the part had been received. Cost Savings: $15,000 to duplicate the tooling.

Forge Shop Customer

“This database in invaluable to companies like myself, that do work for the US military. This last forging I ordered is a 70 piece order. There is no way, we could afford the time and expense of creating new tooling, especially when there is existing tooling somewhere out there. We do the bulk of our contracts for the military, in small run, short lead-time replacement parts, for older equipment. We manufacture drive-shafts and components. If we cannot find tooling for some of these jobs, we are forced to rough machine bar stock, heat treat, and then comeback and finish machine. Sometimes 2 or 3 rough machining ops are required depending on the type of part. This process leads to increased expense, and lead-times for our military, sometimes the expense is 10 X the cost, due to excess material, and machining operations. Sometimes, the required material is not available, except in billet form, and the part cannot be made from bar stock. This requires a deviation from the Military, and you can imagine how difficult and sometimes impossible that is. Please continue your work on this project. It benefits, not only govt. contractors like myself, but also the military, and the forging houses, that are storing this old tooling instead of running jobs with it, while big run jobs are outsourced overseas. I see this project as a benefit for all involved."


Depending on the type of casting required, contractors bidding on a DLA or DoD solicitations may wish to look for tooling through the Integrated Casting Order Network (ICON) website. Upon arriving at the ICON homepage, click on the Defense Tooling Locator tab on the top horizontal navigation bar.

In addition, AFCAT encourages foundries interested in castings to register for access to ICON , which combines a casting tooling database with other data sources to simplify the procurement process.