Catch Them if You Can: Obsolete Specifications
23. July 2013
The time to catch an obsolete specification is during contract review, before there are commitments to material and/or sunk costs of material, production and inspection.
There were more than 19,116 cancelled or superseded specifications, commercial item descriptions and standards when I first prepared my list of Obsolete Federal Specifications for cold finished steel in 2004.
These specifications, standards and descriptions often specify mandatory product attributes. Sometimes the replacement standard or specification contains different product requirements.
If you placed your order to the obsolete specification, and the material is in fact delivered to the applicable requirements of the superseding specification, the failure to achieve certain attributes or properties may require a “do over” with new material ordered and a second production campaign, or a painful engineering change/waiver from your customer.
It is essential that someone on your team be the standard and specification expert, so you can avoid the waste, stress and expense of a needless “do over.”
Here is my list of obsolete specs that I continue to encounter in the steel bar business:
QQ-S-624 Steel Bar Alloy Hot Rolled and Cold Finished General Purpose
QQ-S-630A Steel Bar Carbon Hot Rolled Merchant Quality
QQ-S-631A Steel Bar Carbon Hot Rolled Special Quality
QQ-S-633 Steel Bars Carbon Cold Finish and Hot Rolled General Purpose
QQ-S-634 Steel Bars Carbon Cold Finish Standard Quality
QQ-S-637 Steel Bar Carbon Cold Finish Standard Quality
QQ-S-764 Steel Bar Corrosion Resisting Free Machining
See details for obsolescence dates and replacement specifications for these in the chart below.
ASTM A 331-95 was cancelled on June 1, 2004. Its requirements were rolled into ASTM A 108. ASTM A331 had been the replacement for QQ-S-624.
To read my original Production Machining magazine article on Obsolete Federal Specifications click here.
PMPA members have access to their own standard and specification experts through the PMPA Listserve and staff. A request for an assist always results in a prompt response from the appropriate supplier expert or an answer from PMPA staff. Where do you go for an assist when unusual specifications appear in a quote package?
Original PMPA Speaking of Precision blog post.