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AEROSPACE SUPPLY CHAIN 101

Author Archives: RCF Technologies

  1. AEROSPACE SUPPLY CHAIN 101

    AEROSPACE SUPPLY CHAIN 101

    The aerospace supply chain is quite complex. This should come as no surprise given that there are between 2 and 6 million parts that must be assembled in order to successfully build various types of aircraft. With so many components and materials involved, each supplier must fulfill its role in order to achieve the final product. The thousands of suppliers which manufacture these 6 million parts and contribute to this complicated process are divided into 3 tiers. Each tier plays a significant role in the supply chain and contributes to the successful manufacturing of a finished product, i.e., an aircraft.

    Aircraft are produced by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). The OEMs, companies like Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon, not only supply their products to airline companies like Delta and Southwest Airlines, and private jet companies like Gulfstream and Cessna, they may also supply aircraft in support of the Military.

    With millions of parts being made by thousands of different companies, a strict set of requirements is essential to ensure that safety standards are met, and uniformity is guaranteed. In this way, there can be certainty that all the individual pieces will work together to create a complete unit. Not only must the component parts be made to meet all the specs, but they must also flow through the supply chain in a reliable way so that each of the seals and the fittings, the hardware and the finishes, the gaskets and the ducting, get to where they need to be when they need to be there.

    Furthermore, each of the suppliers in the supply chain, no matter which tier, must also be certified and registered in order to participate in the supply chain.

    The Three Tiers

    Tier 1

    Tier 1 companies often work hand in hand with OEMs during the designing period. They also typically manufacture the major components or systems utilizing parts or subassemblies from the Tier 2 supply chain. These components produced by the Tier 1 manufacturers are the last systems that are delivered to the OEMs.

    The Tier 1 companies that supply directly to the aerospace industry, are the most essential in the supply chain. They manufacture a wide array of vital finished products such as engines, wings, fuselage, control systems, landing gear, braking systems, electronic warfare systems, and interior cabin products.

    These organizations are the key drivers of the supply chain. They are responsible for ensuring the entire operation is being effectively and efficiently managed and that all the required government guidelines are being followed. Tier 1 companies form the backbone of the supply chain mechanism and are effectively responsible for ensuring that the entire operation is being carried out properly.

    Tier 2

    Tier 2 companies are responsible for manufacturing the parts and sub-assemblies used by Tier 1 companies. They are of equal importance to the Tier 1 companies, as they too play a critical role in support of the supply chain. Tier 2 companies are often smaller in size and magnitude as compared to their Tier 1 counterparts but are quite sophisticated in their capabilities and operations. These manufacturers acquire parts from Tier 3 suppliers and forward their end products to Tier 1, making them an essential link in the chain.

    Tier 2 suppliers usually shoulder much of the responsibility regarding adherence to safety, compliance, and standards. They are also vital in ensuring the rate of flow of materials and production. These companies provide critical components such as Airfoils, tires, missile nose cones, airframe structures, transmissions, and flight controls.

     

    Tier 3

    These manufacturers are often larger than Tier 2 supplies. They are responsible for producing and shipping parts and components directly to Tier 2 companies to be used in various components and subsystems. Tier 3 companies play an important role in the supply chain and they too impact the successful completion of an aircraft.

    A Tier 3 company may be a smaller machine shop that produces thousands of parts that ultimately serve a critical purpose. They may also be a manufacturer that produces mission-critical components and software, not just nuts and bolts.

    Tier 3 manufacturers supply products and components such as instrumentation fittings and tubing, hydraulic fittings and hose, and high strength fasteners and pins.

    All these examples of major assemblies, sub-assemblies and components represent the enormous and complex processes that are involved in building aircraft.

    Suppliers as Strategic Partners

    For manufacturing success, OEMs must work to build strategic partnerships with multiple sources and suppliers across all tiers of the aerospace supply chain. They must consider each tier and select the suppliers that excel. With so many manufacturers involved in such a complex system, each supplier in each tier must do their part in order to ensure a functioning and effective aerospace supply chain.

     

     

  2. What Can Be Expected When Buying Customized And Handmade Products?

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    What Can Be Expected When Buying Customized and Handmade Products?

    BY PAULIE ROSE

    Side by side photos of hands of RCF Technologies worker working on orange circular part, next to hands of artisan working on orange circular clay pot

    Customization vs. Handmade

    The concept of customization has been adopted by many businesses over the last few decades. It was incorporated to promote exclusivity. Customized products were a status symbol, a vehicle to make consumers with massive budgets feel special.

    Handmade products, on the other hand, have been available forever! And when we think of buying handmade products, we rarely think of large corporations like those who have embraced customization.

    When we imagine “handmade products” we envision:

    • One-of-a-kind items
    • Personalized products
    • Home-made goods
    • Unique finds not available anywhere else
    • Intricate designs
    • Pieces of art
    • Beautiful objects

    Manufacturing businesses, making industrial components like high-temperature seals, ducting, gaskets, and connectors/couplings are not usually the types of makers you would associate with handmade treasures.

    But there is a place where these two worlds overlap most extraordinarily: RCF Technologies.

    Side by side photo. hands in blue gloves working on component RCF Technologies part and artisans hand working on pottery piece

    5 Benefits of Customized Handmade Products

    Whether you are an individual looking for a beautifully hand-crafted artistic creation like a personalized, hand-carved, wooden chess set or an engineer looking for a custom-built, high-temperature solution to a design challenge where no off-the-shelf product exists, you really want the same things!

    1. Excellent quality
    2. Custom built to your needs
    3. Personalized attention
    4. A human contact who is accessible and available
    5. A partner who is equally invested in a beautifully produced outcome

    Side by side photos of hands of RCF Technologies worker taking orange Rishon part out of square mold and artisan hands working on a painting in square frame

    When you buy directly from the person who creates your handmade item, you know you are going to get exactly what you want.

    YOU KNOW at any point in the process, you can pick up the phone and connect directly with the person making your piece!

    YOU KNOW when you speak directly to the maker, any questions you have will be answered, because the maker knows their product inside out and will be able to give you the best advice.

    YOU KNOW that you will get to partner directly with the maker at every step of the design. You will be able to discuss the particulars and benefit from the professional expertise and experience of the maker so that the final product is a piece of art that will be exactly as you want it both in form and function.

    YOU KNOW that your product was made with personalized care, attention, and love. While you are going to receive an item that meets print perfectly, each is also personally checked and inspected by individuals who care about the quality of what they make.

    YOU KNOW you are dealing directly with the boss, not a call center employee whose bosses’ boss surely doesn’t know your name or care about your individual needs.

    YOU KNOW you are not another number, buying another widget.

    YOU KNOW you are a valued individual who will be treated with respect.

    YOU KNOW you will be the proud recipient of a product that was designed and developed just for you. A product that meets your specific needs.

    Side by side photos of RCF Technologies worker working on a spool of Rishon material and a woman artisan working on a loom

    Why Customized Handmade Products Are Better

    There is no doubt that a product made by hand will be better in all sense of design and workmanship.

    At RCF Technologies, each of our clients receives handcrafted solutions which are uniquely personalized, designed, and manufactured with attention and care at a competitive price.

    EACH of our clients can tap into our teams’ more than 137 years of combined industry experience.

    EACH of our clients is guaranteed expert design collaboration resulting in customized solutions that will not only meet their needs but will have been built to help them achieve their desired optimal performance.

    EACH of our clients knows that we are trusted partners, with documented success and have been serving industry leaders like Sikorsky, GE, Bell, Honeywell, Boeing, and others for more than 45 years.

    If you would like to discuss your customized handmade solution, please contact us at RCF Technologies today!

    ✅ Connect on LinkedIn
    ✅ Email me at prose@rcftechnologies.com
    ✅ Visit our website at www.rcftechnologies.com
    ✅ Call 912.537.1115

     

  3. High Temp, Fireproof, Flexible Material: Rishon® vs. Rubber

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    Rubber

    Rubber is an essential material used in several industries.

    Rubber has played an important role throughout the development of human civilization and continues to be of great importance today.  The use of rubber is so significant that the global market size of rubber stood at USD 40.77 Billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 51.21 Billion by 2027.  Rishon components have replaced rubber components in the aerospace industry (as well as others), in a variety of applications and for several important reasons.

    What is Rishon?

    Rishon is a material which was created by RCF Technologies in 1975. It is a combination of a proprietary silicone and fiberglass (in most cases) although other substrates can be used. The elastomer is coated onto the fabric and forced through the weave of the fabric under heat and pressure forming a homogeneous material.

    Rishon material can be:
    • Flexible or rigid
    • Has an operating temperature range of -170°F to +850°F
    • Is fireproof (Rishon is an FAA approved Fire Barrier in thicknesses as low as .037”)
    • Is chemically compatible with most fluids (including Skydrol)
    • Is an excellent vulcanizing material
    • Absorbs sound and vibration
    • Insulates against heat and flame
    • Is electrically nonconductive, but can be made electrically conductive with almost no added weight

     

    Rishon is used primarily in the aerospace industry, though has also been used in the automotive, Industrial, Marine and Medical sectors as well. Rishon material is used by RCF Technologies to design and manufacture components such as:

    These products are principally used for applications requiring high temperatures or fireproofing and offer longer life and lighter weight than most components made utilizing other materials.

     

    Rubber Temperature Table

    Elastomer
    Low F
    High F
    Rishon® -170° 850°
    Natural Rubber  -67° 180°
    Neoprene -50° 275°
    Silicone -70° 570°
    Nitrile -30° 250°
    EPDM -60° 300°
    SBR -50° 225°
    Butyl -75° 250°
    Fluorosilicone -100° 350°

    Natural Rubber

    Rubber is a material that was originally made from natural sources such as the rubber tree and other plants (including dandelions which produce the latex that natural rubber is made from).

    Natural rubber has:
    • Good durability
    • A temperature range of -67°F to +180°F
    • Is elastic
    • Is flexible
    • Is a good electrical insulator
    • Is resistant to many corrosive substances
    • Has resistance to degrading, abrasions, and surface friction

    Natural rubber is used in many consumer and industrial items, including tires, gloves, some types of foam rubber, flooring and roofing, balls, and insulation.

     

    Neoprene

    Neoprene is a synthetic rubber made up of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine polymers and was invented in 1930. It is used in applications that face harsh conditions and a lot of wear, such as automotive and industrial applications.

    Neoprene has:
    • A temperature range of -50°F to +275°F
    • Is resistant to oil and solvents
    • Is chemically inert
    • Has high tensile strength
    • Is flexible
    • Is weather and flame resistant

    Neoprene can however absorb water over time and does not work well as an electrical insulator.

     

    Silicone Rubber

    Silicone rubber is:
    • Generally stable
    • Non-reactive to most chemicals
    • Has a temperature range of -70°F to 570°F
    • Is resistant to ultraviolet rays, ozone, and fire.

    Silicone rubber is manufactured in many different colors and is very malleable, available as both solid and liquid products.

     

    Nitrile Rubber

    Nitrile rubber has:
    • A temperature range of -30°F to +250°F
    • Is resistant to oil and water
    • Is quite durable

     

    EPDM Rubber

    EPDM rubber is a synthetic rubber compound and has:
    • A temperature range of -60°F to +300°F
    • Insulates
    • Reduces noise

    EPDM rubber however, is not resistant against petroleum-based oils, mineral oils, and some other lubricants.

     

    SBR Rubber

    SBR rubber has:
    • A temperature range of -50°F to +225°F
    • Is hard and durable
    • Is resistant to some fluids

     

    Butyl Rubber

    Butyl rubber, also known as isobutylene isoprene, has:
    • A temperature range of -75°F to +250°F
    • Has low moisture and gas permeability
    • Has good shock absorption

     

    Fluorosilicone Rubber

    Fluorosilicone rubber, also known as FVMQ, has:
    • A temperature range of -100°F to +350°F
    • Is resistant to transmission fluids, engine oils, fire, synthetic lubricants, and ozone

    Both natural and artificial rubbers are used in a variety of applications and across most industries. Each rubber varies regarding elasticity, electrical insulating properties, resistance to impact, water, cold, and abrasion, temperature range and more.

    For more information about Rishon Material, and RCF Technologies products, please contact us today!

  4. Thirty-one Georgia Companies Receive 2020 GLOBE Awards, Four Recognized as Exporters of the Year

    ATLANTA, December 3, 2020 —The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced its International Trade division’s 2020 GLOBE Award recipients. This state-led awards program highlights Georgia companies that entered new international markets in the previous year. During calendar year 2019, GLOBE winners from 17 counties across Georgia collectively entered 75 new international markets.

    “Success in global markets takes commitment and hard work. Our Georgia made products and services are making a mark around the world,” said Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp. “We’re proud to celebrate these companies for their contributions to a thriving Georgia economy through exports.”

    The 2020 GLOBE Award winners represent nearly every corner of the state, and are predominately small businesses. This year, 84% of the recipients employ fewer than 100 people, with 52% of the winning companies employing fewer than 20 people. In addition, nearly half of the winners this year entered one of the 12 markets where GDEcD has international representation.

    “We are excited to celebrate our 31 GLOBE Award winners. The strong international framework our trade team and our Georgia exporters have established over the past several years has kept Georgia on a solid trajectory, despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “From aerospace manufacturing to agriculture, nearly every sector of our economy is represented among our awardees, proving how exporting and the state’s strong international partnerships help strengthen Georgia’s economic vitality.”

    Four outstanding companies were also recognized as 2020 Exporters of the Year. These four small, mid-size and large exporters of the year are highlighted here. A digital image of the crystal GLOBE Award that will be presented to recipients is also available here.

    The 2020 Exporters of the Year are:

    Exporter of the Year, small company: Poriferous, LLC, Newnan
    Exporter of the Year, mid-size company: Sunnyland Farms, Inc., Albany
    Exporter of the Year, mid-size company: Vital4, Marietta
    Exporter of the Year, large company: Zcorum, Alpharetta
    *** Additional details about each of the winners follow below. ***

    In addition, Parts and Repair Technical Services, Inc., in Stockbridge, was recognized for excellence as a new exporter. P.A.R.T.S. Inc. represents more than 140 U.S. aircraft parts manufacturers, specializing in urgent, non-stock listed, hard-to-find, or obsolete parts, and has emerged as a trusted and well-known partner to countries across the world.

    A complete list of the 2020 GLOBE Award winners:

    AGRI International LLC, Atlanta
    American 3B Scientific, LP, Tucker
    Crider Foods, Stillmore
    DataSeers, Alpharetta
    Easy Bar Inc., Kennesaw
    Fischer Connectors, Inc., Alpharetta
    Hydro Dynamics, Inc., Rome
    Inno Concepts Inc. dba CocoaTown, Alpharetta
    Jetaire Group, Fayetteville
    LivFul, Inc., Alpharetta
    Matrix Surgical USA, Atlanta
    Okabashi Brands Inc., Buford
    One-World, Inc., Tucker
    Osborne Wood Products, Inc., Toccoa
    Parts and Repair Technical Services Incorporated, Stockbridge
    Patientory, Inc., Atlanta
    Petrolern LLC, Brookhaven
    Plurium Technology, LLC, Peachtree Corners
    Poriferous, LLC, Newnan
    Rackettown Mustangs, Lyons
    RCF Technologies, Vidalia
    Richland Distilling Company, Richland
    Rotorcorp LLC, Atlanta
    Sunnyland Farms, Inc., Albany
    The Seydel Companies, Pendergrass
    THERMOCOAX, Alpharetta
    Trans Globe, Woodstock
    UNITED SOFT PLASTICS, Lawrenceville
    Valtorc International, Kennesaw
    Vital4, Marietta
    Zcorum, Alpharetta

    “Our entire International Trade team looks forward to celebrating our GLOBE Award winners every year,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Deputy Commissioner for International Trade Mary Waters. “I’m very proud not only of our winners’ exceptional international achievements, but also of the guidance and tailored information our trade team has been able to equip them with every step of the way.”

    The GLOBE Awards program began in 2014 as a way to recognize local businesses contributing to Georgia’s economic growth through global trade. Since its inception, the GLOBE Awards have recognized nearly 200 Georgia businesses from 48 counties across the state who entered new international markets.

    For additional information about the state’s International Trade team, visit www.georgia.org/international/trade.

    Exporter of the Year, small company: Poriferous, LLC
    Based in Newnan, Poriferous specializes in porous polyethylene surgical implants used in rhinoplasties and facial aesthetics. Additional information can be found online at www.poriferous.com.

    Exporter of the Year, mid-size company: Sunnyland Farms, Inc.
    Based in Albany, Sunnyland specializes in delivering gourmet nuts, candies and confections directly to consumers. The company also sells wholesale pecans directly to businesses. Additional information can be found online at www.sunnylandfarms.com.

    Exporter of the Year, mid-size company: Vital4
    Based in Marietta, female-owned Vital4 provides data to corporations to prevent bribery, corruption, terrorism, money laundering and other security risks. The company has found a great need for their services in other countries. Vital4 won the 2018 Metro Atlanta Export Challenge and came in second place at the Metro Atlanta Pitch Challenge in 2019. Additional information about Vital4 can be found online at https://vital4.net/.

    Exporter of the Year, large company: Zcorum
    Based in Alpharetta, ZCorum provides software tools and management services such as engineering and customer support to cable, telephone, fiber and wireless companies globally. Additional information can be found online at www.zcorum.com.

    About GDEcD
    The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Visit www.georgia.org for more information.

    Contact
    Marie Hodge Gordon
    Director of Communications
    404-962-4075
    MGordon@Georgia.org

    Alison Wentley
    Communications Specialist
    404-962-4086
    AWentley@Georgia.org

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  6. Choosing Seals and Gaskets

    Selecting the right partner is the first step in obtaining proper seals and gaskets for each application, ensuring better performance and longer life.

  7. Sky’s the Limit

    In 1993, when she was still living in Los Angeles, Dianne Zimnavoda was contacted by the state of Georgia. “They had formed a consortium of power companies, universities, state government agencies, and they were looking specifically to recruit aerospace companies. Somehow we made their short list,” says Zimnavoda, president of RCF Technologies, the company her engineer father founded in Los Angeles in 1975. They make specialty seals, hoses and couplings for aircraft out of an extremely heat resistant and proprietary material called Rishon®.