The following information has been prepared in order to assist  forging producers in streamlining the RFQ process. The goal is  to help forgers get the information they need from their clients, so  they are able to quickly and efficiently provide an accurate proposal.  For a copy of this information and a downloadable RFQ Checklist please contact FIA Director of Marketing & Events, Angela Gibian at [email protected] or call 216-781-6260. 

How can you ensure that the quotes you receive from your  forging supplier meet your expectations and needs? Many  times, a quotation fails to meet a customer’s needs because a clear  understanding of what is required was not conveyed in the initial  Request for Quote (RFQ). An RFQ that accurately details what is  expected of the forging supplier will ultimately save you time and, in  some cases, money. 

As a buyer of forgings, it is important to know what information is  needed in your RFQ package so that the forging supplier can provide  you with the most accurate quotation. Complete RFQ packages  eliminate the need for additional follow up questions and will help  suppliers return quotations to you faster. It will also ensure a fair  comparison is made between potential suppliers because everyone is  working with the same supply criteria. 

What information should be supplied? 

The RFQ header should contain all the basic information, including:

  1. Company Name
  2. Contact Names & Contact Information 
  3. Bill-To & Ship-To Addresses 
  4. Whether a quote is Budgetary or Active 
  5. Should the Supplier to be on a Certain AVL (Approved  Vendor List)? 
  6. Due Date for the formal quotation 

Along with the basics, there is additional information that would  help your supplier put together their best offer. Let us go over some  of the additional information below: 

Material Requirements & Specifications 

As a guideline, if a specification is referenced on a drawing, please  make sure to include the most up-to-date version of that specification  with your RFQ (unless you are certain that your supplier has one on  file). 

  • What type of material grade(s) are the forgings to be  produced with? 
  • Is there heat treatment required? If so, please provide any  heat treat specifications. This can come across as a heat treat process or hardness range. If there is a hardness range requirement, it is important to provide this information to  the supplier so that they can provide you with the proper  processes to get to your desired hardness range.
  • Are there any destructive or non-destructive testing  required? If so, please include any specifications, or detailed  instructions, that need to be taken into consideration. This  information can inform your supplier about important  information like heat lot requirements, batching, sonic  requirements, special hardness testing, etc. 
  • Are there any required material specifications or industry  standards that the forging supplier must have or meet?  (Ex: IATF16949, ITAR, AS9100, etc.) 
  • Are there initial PPAP samples required? If so, what level of  PPAP? How many parts are required, and what leadtime  are they required in? 
  • Are there any special supply chain requirements that  should be considered? Some projects require NADCAP  certifications, these can cause more costly post-forging  processing that are more in-depth than just standard ISO  certifications. 

Volume and Program Expectations 

  • Is this a brand-new project? If the answer is no, are there  any concerns or past issues that need to be addressed? If  there are, how was it manufactured in the past? This  information can help the supplier come up with a  resolution that has not been tried before, including talking  to their own suppliers about an opportunity to make a  change to the die materials used. 
  • What is the estimated annual usage? Is this a short-term  or long-term program? Does the program ramp up over  time to larger volumes? This information may change the  type of tooling being considered and could save additional  tooling expenses as volumes increase. 
  • What is the expected order quantity and how often would  deliveries be required? Your forging supplier may be able  to offer more optimum lot sizes if they understand this  information. 
  • What is the life of the program? (This may, or may not,  apply to your program.) 
  • What is the start date of production? When are forged  parts required to be delivered? 

Market & End-Use Information 

  • What is the market and industry that this part is for? This  type of data helps companies to track markets, which  can be important for data tracking on industries that  are cyclical. This is also information that helps industry  associations, like the Forging Industry Association, to  track markets and industries for better forecasting help for  their member companies. 
  • What is the end-use application? This helps the forging  supplier assess any risks that need to be considered, as  well as any requirements that may have to be considered  regarding materials, etc. 

Part Information 

  • Is there a certain part number or identification number  that should be used for this quotation? 
  • Do you have any finished part machine drawings? When  these are provided, your forging supplier may be able to  suggest alternate (and potentially less costly) forging  design options if they understand what the finished part  looks like. 
  • Do you have a solid model available? If so, ask your forging  supplier what file format they can use (Ex: IGES, STEP,  etc.) Providing a solid model file will help your forging  supplier quote with accuracy and will therefore reduce the  time it takes to provide you with a quotation. 

Shipment & Packaging Information 

  • Are there any special specifications that are associated with  additional operations that may be required? Ex: Painting,  plating, rust-coating, special packaging requirements, etc.  If so, please include a copy of this information up front  with the RFQ. 
  • Define how costs (where applicable) are to be invoiced.  This helps your supplier build their quotes and invoices to  meet your needs. Ex: Will mechanical testing, scrap and  alloy surcharges, or packaging need to be separated out?  Or should they all be rolled into the selling price of each  part? 

Remember to use your forging supplier as a partner and professional  consultant. We are here to help you! 

Any information you can supply to your forging supplier will  be advantageous to speeding up the quoting process. The more  thorough the RFQ, the less follow-up is required. Your forging  supplier, whether an open-die, closed-die/impression forger, or  ringroller, is your partner. That partnership relies heavily upon  making sure that transparency is maintained throughout the  quoting and ordering processes. Please reach out to your forging  supplier for any additional questions that you may have. Their  experience and expertise can be very helpful in putting your best  foot forward on your own quote to your customer. 


If you are looking for a new supplier, or have any questions regarding  the forging process, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Forging  Industry Association for any additional information. We have included here (next page) a Prequalification RFQ Checklist  for you to keep and refer to as a tool when putting together your next  RFQ. Some of these items may not pertain to your quote, but it’s a  great tool to use to ensure that you’re considering most items that  may affect your quote up front.

Danielle Smith 

Director of Marketing Administration & 

Inside Sales 

Finkl Steel 

Email: [email protected] 

Special thank you to Paul Spitz, Unit  

Drop Forge and Lori Brown, Clifford Jacobs for their input and contributions to  

this article.