B-150351, FEB. 18, 1963

B-150351: Feb 18, 1963

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TO THE LODGE AND SHIPLEY COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 23. YOU QUESTION THE PROPRIETY OF THE AWARD ON THE GROUND THAT THE OFFER OF THE LOW BIDDER WAS NOT RESPONSIVE SINCE THE MODEL IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH DEVIATED MATERIALLY FROM THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS. IN RESPONSE THERETO LEBLOND SUBMITTED A BID WITH A COVERING LETTER WHICH STATED IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "THE MACHINES WE ARE OFFERING YOU. WE HAVE USED THIS CONSTRUCTION ON HEAVIER AND LARGER MACHINES AND HAVE NOW TAKEN THE DECISION TO USE IT ON THE SMALLER LATHES. THE BID OF LEBLOND WAS REFERRED TO THE CHIEF. SQUARE LOCK WAYS ARE USED IN CONSTRUCTION OF MANY MACHINE TOOLS. THEY ARE NEARLY ALWAYS EMPLOYED ON LARGE MACHINES WHERE THE OVERHANG AND BEARING LOADS ARE OF LARGE MAGNITUDE.

B-150351, FEB. 18, 1963

TO THE LODGE AND SHIPLEY COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 23, 1962, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE R. K. LEBLOND MACHINE TOOL COMPANY, UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 09-603-62-695, ISSUED BY WARNER ROBINS AIR MATERIEL AREA, FOR A QUANTITY OF HEAVY DUTY TOOLROOM LATHES. YOU QUESTION THE PROPRIETY OF THE AWARD ON THE GROUND THAT THE OFFER OF THE LOW BIDDER WAS NOT RESPONSIVE SINCE THE MODEL IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH DEVIATED MATERIALLY FROM THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION SOUGHT BIDS ON 36 LATHES DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ,IAW PURCHASE DESCRIPTION IPE-3416-137, DTD 23 OCT. 61, * * *" WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS ITEMIZED THEREIN. IN RESPONSE THERETO LEBLOND SUBMITTED A BID WITH A COVERING LETTER WHICH STATED IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THE MACHINES WE ARE OFFERING YOU, MEET OR EXCEED ALL OF YOUR SPECIFICATIONS. ONE DETAIL OF DIFFERENCE, WHICH REFLECTS IMPROVED DESIGN, HOWEVER, SHOULD BE CALLED TO YOUR ATTENTION AS OLLOWS:

"PARA. 3.4.5.3 OF PURCHASE DESCRIPTION IPE 3416-137 STATES THAT CROSS SLIDE SHALL BE FITTED TO THE CARRIAGE BY DOVETAIL CONSTRUCTION. WE NOW USE WHAT WE TERM "SQUARE LOCK" CONSTRUCTION ILLUSTRATED BY THE PRINT ATTACHED HERETO. WE HAVE USED THIS CONSTRUCTION ON HEAVIER AND LARGER MACHINES AND HAVE NOW TAKEN THE DECISION TO USE IT ON THE SMALLER LATHES, SINCE IT HAS PROVEN FAR SUPERIOR IN RIGIDITY AND ALIGNMENT, REQUIRING GIB ADJUSTMENT ONLY AT VERY LONG INTERVALS.'

IN VIEW OF THE EXCEPTION NOTED, THE BID OF LEBLOND WAS REFERRED TO THE CHIEF, ENGINEERING BRANCH DIRECTORATE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT, FOR EVALUATION. THE STUDY CONDUCTED BY THAT ACTIVITY RESULTED IN THE FOLLOWING FINDINGS:

"A. SQUARE LOCK WAYS ARE USED IN CONSTRUCTION OF MANY MACHINE TOOLS. THEY ARE NEARLY ALWAYS EMPLOYED ON LARGE MACHINES WHERE THE OVERHANG AND BEARING LOADS ARE OF LARGE MAGNITUDE. A FEW MACHINES WHICH HAVE SQUARE LOCK WAYS ARE AS FOLLOWS: HORIZONTAL BORING MILLS, JIG MILLS, VERTICAL TURRET LATHES, RAM AND SADDLE TYPE TURRET LATHES, MILLING MACHINES, AND SOME TYPES OF ENGINE LATHES. DOVETAIL WAYS ARE ALSO USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF VARIOUS MACHINE TOOLS. DOVETAIL CONSTRUCTION IS USED BY ALL LATHE MANUFACTURERS. THEY HAVE BEEN SATISFACTORY AND UNTIL RECENTLY THEY HAVE BEEN UNANIMOUSLY USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FRONT CROSS SLIDE WAYS OF LATHES.

"B. FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SQUARE LOCK VS DOVETAIL WAYS:

(1) ADVANTAGES OF SQUARE LOCK WAYS:

(A) SQUARE LOCK WAYS ARE RIGID AND WILL CARRY HEAVY LOADS.

(B) SQUARE LOCK WAYS HAVE NO TENDENCY TO BIND UNDER LOAD.

(C) SQUARE LOCK WAYS WILL MAINTAIN ACCURACY UNDER HEAVY LOADS.

(2) DISADVANTAGES OF SQUARE LOCK WAYS:

(A) SQUARE LOCK CONSTRUCTION NECESSITATES GIBBING THE CROSS SLIDE ON THREE SURFACES.

(B) MORE TIME IS REQUIRED TO ADJUST THREE GIBS.

(C) REPLACEMENT OF THE GIBS OF THE SQUARE LOCK WAYS IS MORE EXPENSIVE.

(3) ADVANTAGES OF DOVETAIL WAYS:

(A) DOVETAIL WAYS HAVE BEEN USED IN THE PAST FOR THIS PURPOSE AND ARE SATISFACTORY.

(B) DOVETAIL CONSTRUCTION REQUIRES GIBBING ONLY ONE SURFACE.

(C) REPLACEMENT OF THE GIB ON THE DOVETAIL WAYS IS LESS EXPENSIVE.

(4) DISADVANTAGES OF DOVETAIL WAYS:

(A) THE GIB ON A DOVETAIL WAY REQUIRES FREQUENT ADJUSTMENT.

(B) UNDER EXTRA HEAVY LOADS, DOVETAIL WAYS HAVE A TENDENCY TO SEPARATE OR DEFORM UNDER LOAD DUE TO WEDGING ACTION. THIS MAY CAUSE POOR FIT OF THE MATING SURFACES AND INACCURACIES IN THE WORK PRODUCED.

"C. IN CONCLUSION, IT IS THE OPINION THAT THE PRINCIPAL OF SQUARE LOCK CONSTRUCTION IS EQUAL TO DOVETAIL CONSTRUCTION IN ANY APPLICATION AND SUPERIOR TO DOVETAIL CONSTRUCTION IN SOME APPLICATIONS. THE PERFORMANCE AND SUITABILITY OF EITHER TYPE CONSTRUCTION, HOWEVER, IS DEPENDENT UPON SUCH FACTS AS SIZE, PROPORTIONS, MATERIAL, HARDNESS, ETC. THE SQUARE WAYS ARE RIGID DUE TO THEIR GEOMETRY AND CAN EASILY BE STRENGTHENED. AS FOR THE USE OF SQUARE LOCK WAYS ON THE CROSS SLIDE OF ENGINE LATHES, IT IS THE OPINION THAT THIS TYPE CONSTRUCTION IS EQUAL TO OR SUPERIOR TO DOVETAIL CONSTRUCTION.'

THE CHIEF, ENGINEERING BRANCH DIRECTORATE, THEREFORE CONCLUDED THAT "THE MACHINE PROPOSED BY THE R. K. LEBLOND MACHINE TOOL COMPANY USING SQUARE LOCK CONSTRUCTION ON THE CROSS SLIDE WAYS RATHER THAN DOVETAIL CONSTRUCTION, EQUALS OR EXCEEDS THE REQUIREMENTS OF PURCHASE DESCRIPTION IPE-3416-137.'

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT WOULD NOT APPEAR THAT THE DEVIATION FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS, WHICH WAS PROPOSED BY LEBLOND'S BID, WAS OF A NATURE WHICH WOULD AFFECT THE QUALITY OF THE MACHINES TO BE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT SUCH DEVIATION WOULD DECREASE THE COST TO MANUFACTURE THE MACHINES, THE DEVIATION COULD PROPERLY BE CONSIDERED AS A MINOR IRREGULARITY WHICH WAS SUBJECT TO WAIVER BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 8/B) OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS.

WHILE IT IS OUR OPINION THAT THE INVITATION IN THIS PROCUREMENT PROPERLY SHOULD HAVE ADVISED ALL BIDDERS THAT EITHER DOVETAIL OR SQUARE LOCK TYPES OF CROSS SLIDE WAYS WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE, WE NOTE THAT UNDER DATE OF NOVEMBER 7, 1962, THE CHIEF, PROCUREMENT OPERATIONS DIVISION, ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION SHOULD PROMPTLY BE TAKEN TO AMEND SPECIFICATION MIL-L-23257 TO SO PROVIDE IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE DETERMINATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN GOOD FAITH, WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY VALID BASIS UPON WHICH THIS OFFICE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN QUESTIONING THE VALIDITY OF THE CONTRACT AWARDED TO THE R. K. LEBLOND MACHINE TOOL COMPANY. YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.