NFFS ICON program delivers cost savings to the U.S. military

Posted By: Erin Russell Government Affairs, NFFS,

ICON program logoThe Non-Ferrous Founders' Society's Integrated Casting Order Network (ICON) program is a web-based procurement platform which assists the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) with obtaining spare and replacement metal castings in support of our nation’s military.

ICON provides visibility on foundry sales opportunities with the DLA and delivers them directly to foundries with the material and process capabilities to manufacture the required components. This drives competition within the marketplace and ultimately this competition leads to reduced component costs to the customer, in this case the DLA and the US Department of Defense.

For example, the “Nose Gear Bumper Snubber Assembly” (NIIN 01-045-0372, pictured right) is an aircraft and airframe structural component. Prior to inclusion within the ICON portal, the assembly cost was $165.90 per piece. After inclusion within the ICON portal, additional sources bid on the assembly and as a result the last two contracts were awarded at just $73.31/each, resulting in a savings of $92.59 (55.8%) per piece. This has provided a cumulative cost savings to the DLA of almost $1.5 million dollars since 2018.

component drawingIn another case, DLA was in need of the a “Partition, Drum Assembly, Ammunition” (NSN 1005-00-2695243, pictured left), a part that provides support to the Model F15 aircraft. This item has been designated as a “Critical Munitions Listed Item” and a “Sensitive Commerce Control Listed Item.” However, the government did not have the tooling or castings available across their supply chain.

When researching the procurement history for this part in ICON and other sources, it was discovered that previous attempts were made to manufacture this component by machining it out of bar stock. However, the part’s geomety, dimensions, and tolerances are exceptionally difficult to achieve using bar stock, especially at the scale of several thousand units.

ICON user Valor Group used the industry capabilities module in ICON to locate Aurora Metals Division, an approved supplier for General Dynamics, who had the capabilities needed to manufacture the part. This allowed Valor Group to provide a quote to the government for this mission critical component, and they subsequently received the DLA contract award. DLA was able to procure this part at a 9% lower cost than in previous procurements, for an overall cost savings of more than $25,000. Future order costs will also be reduced as the tool is owned by Valor Group and available in ICON for future orders. (View printable Success Story.)

To learn more about the business opportunities available to foundries with the DLA, visit To register as an ICON user or log in to the portal, go to