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GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 19. PSI MAXIMUM 135 INCHES YOUR COMPANY DID NOT BID ON THE PROPOSED PROCUREMENT AND IT WAS CONTENDED THAT THE SPECIFIED RPM OF 600 IS RESTRICTIVE TO THE GENERAL MOTORS DIESEL- DRIVEN GENERATOR SETS OF 200 KILOWATT CAPACITY. THE EQUIPMENT WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE FURNISHED WAS DESCRIBED AS HAVING AN ENGINE WHICH WOULD OPERATE AT 1600 RPM AND A GENERATOR WHICH WOULD OPERATE AT 1800 RPM. IT WAS STATED THAT "OUR PISTON SPEED. IT WAS INDICATED THAT THE PRICE OF THIS UNIT WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF OF THAT OF THE 600 RPM UNIT. IT WAS ALLEGED THAT YOUR 200 KW GENERATOR SETS HAVE BEEN SUPPLIED TO THE OFFICE OF CIVILIAN DEFENSE.

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B-128694, SEP. 26, 1956

TO DETROIT DIESEL ENGINE DIVISION, GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 19, 1956, PROTESTING THE SPECIFICATIONS OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. NBY-6457, ISSUED ON JUNE 15, 1956, BY THE RESIDENT OFFICER IN CHARGE OF CONSTRUCTION, BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS CONTRACTS, CORAL CABLES, FLORIDA, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF 19 DIESEL ENGINE-DRIVEN GENERATOR SETS HAVING A CAPACITY OF 200 KILOWATTS.

THE DETAILED REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, AS MODIFIED BY ADDENDUM NO. 1, PROVIDED THAT THE ENGINES SHOULD BE THE FULL DIESEL DESIGN, TWO OR FOUR CYCLE SOLID INJECTION TYPE; AND THAT THE ROTATIVE AND BRAKE MEAN EFFECTIVE PRESSURE CHARACTERISTICS FOR THE RESPECTIVE UNITS SHOULD BE AS FOLLOWS:

"ENGINE, RPM, MAXIMUM 600

PISTON SPEED, FPM, MAXIMUM 1300

BRAKE MEAN EFFECTIVE PRESSURE:

TWO CYCLE, PSI, MAXIMUM 85

FOUR CYCLE, NATURALLY ASPIRATED, PSI, MAXIMUM 85

FOUR CYCLE, PRESSURE CHARGED, WITHOUT INTERCOOLER,

PSI, MAXIMUM 120

FOUR CYCLE, PRESSURE CHARGED, WITH INTERCOOLER,

PSI MAXIMUM 135 INCHES

YOUR COMPANY DID NOT BID ON THE PROPOSED PROCUREMENT AND IT WAS CONTENDED THAT THE SPECIFIED RPM OF 600 IS RESTRICTIVE TO THE GENERAL MOTORS DIESEL- DRIVEN GENERATOR SETS OF 200 KILOWATT CAPACITY. THE EQUIPMENT WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE FURNISHED WAS DESCRIBED AS HAVING AN ENGINE WHICH WOULD OPERATE AT 1600 RPM AND A GENERATOR WHICH WOULD OPERATE AT 1800 RPM. HOWEVER, IT WAS STATED THAT "OUR PISTON SPEED, EVEN FOR THE HIGHER RPM, WOULD ONLY BE 1330 FEET PER MINUTE," AND THAT ,OUR B.M.E.P. WOULD ONLY BE 77 FOR OUR TWO -CYCLE ENGINE.' IT WAS INDICATED THAT THE PRICE OF THIS UNIT WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF OF THAT OF THE 600 RPM UNIT.

IT WAS ALLEGED THAT YOUR 200 KW GENERATOR SETS HAVE BEEN SUPPLIED TO THE OFFICE OF CIVILIAN DEFENSE, THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, AND THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD; THAT A RECENT CHECK OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE UNITS DELIVERED TO THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS DISCLOSED THAT THEY WERE OPERATING CONTINUOUSLY, DELIVERING THE RATED 200 KW; THAT THE BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS, AS FAR BACK AS 1950, REQUESTED YOUR COMPANY TO UNDERTAKE A DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM OF OPERATING GENERATOR SETS AT 1800 RPM; THAT THE MARINE CORPS IS NOW USING 1800 RPM IN ALL OF ITS DIESEL-DRIVEN GENERATOR SETS; THAT THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS HAS ELIMINATED THE RPM REQUIREMENT FROM ITS SPECIFICATIONS FOR MILITARY PROCUREMENT; AND THAT MANY EXHAUSTIVE TESTS HAVE BEEN RUN AND HAVE PROVEN THE RELIABILITY OF OPERATING THE SETS AT HIGHER SPEEDS OF RPM BECAUSE NEITHER THE PISTON SPEEDS NOR THE BRAKE MEAN EFFECTIVE PRESSURES ARE INCREASED APPRECIABLY.

IT HAS BEEN REPORTED BY THE BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, THAT THE LIMITATION OF 600 MAXIMUM ENGINE RPM IS IN NO WAY UNUSUAL AND IS IN ACCORD WITH STANDARDS ESTABLISHED IN BUREAU TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS. THE TYPES OF UNITS AS DESCRIBED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS OF INVITATION NO. NBY-6457 ARE STATED AS HAVING BEEN INTENDED FOR FIRM POWER ON AIR FORCE MISSILE TEST CENTER OFFSHORE FACILITIES WHERE THERE WILL BE NO ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF POWER. THE REPORT SETS FORTH THAT THE STANDARDS ESTABLISHED BY THE AIR FORCE FOR THESE FACILITIES FIX THIS LIMITATION ON ENGINE RPM AND THAT, WITH ONE EXCEPTION, THE EQUIPMENT ALREADY INSTALLED CONFORMS TO THOSE STANDARDS. THE OPINION IS EXPRESSED THAT THE LIMITATION DOES NOT APPEAR TO RESTRICT COMPETITION BECAUSE, OF THE SIX BIDDERS COMPETING FOR THIS PROCUREMENT, ONLY ONE OFFERED AN ENGINE OPERATING AT MORE THAN 600 RPM.

THE BUREAU'S REPORT FURTHER SETS FORTH THAT A DETERMINATION OF THE SUITABILITY OF ENGINES OPERATING AT 600 RPM VERSUS THE SUITABILITY OF ENGINES OPERATING UNDER 600 RPM REQUIRES THE WEIGHING OF MANY FACTORS, INCLUDING THE COMPLEXITIES OF THE EQUIPMENT, THE CAPABILITY OF THE OPERATING PERSONNEL, THE USER'S EXPERIENCE RECORD WITH HIGH SPEED DIESEL GENERATOR UNITS, THE MISSION OF THE STATION REQUIRING THE POWER AND THE AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNATE POWER SOURCES. IT IS STATED THAT, FOR CONTINUOUS USE AT THIS ISOLATED MISSILE TESTING RANGE, THE AIR FORCE AND THE BUREAU DO NOT CONSIDER THAT SPECIFICATIONS PERMITTING THE USE OF HIGH SPEED DIESELS WOULD BE IN THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST SO FAR AS ASSURANCE OF RELIABLE OPERATIONS AND MINIMIZATION OF REPAIRS ARE CONCERNED.

THE BUREAU NOTED THAT THE UNIT, MODEL 12203, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 19, 1956, IS A TWIN ENGINE UNIT OPERATING A GENERATOR THROUGH GEARS, AND THAT SUCH MODEL IS DESCRIBED IN GENERAL MOTORS CATALOG 5-SA- 17/REPRINT 5-55/-4M AS "STANDBY GENERATOR SETS" FOR "STANDBY AND AUXILIARY APPLICATIONS.' SUCH EQUIPMENT WAS NOT CONSIDERED BY THE BUREAU TO BE COMPARABLE TO A LOW SPEED DIRECT-DRIVE SET DESIGNED FOR CONTINUOUS OPERATION TO PROVIDE FIRM POWER.

YOUR LETTER AND THE REPORT OF THE BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS SUGGESTS THAT THERE EXISTS A SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE OF OPINION AMONG GOVERNMENT TECHNICAL EXPERTS AS TO THE RELATIVE MERITS OF GENERATOR SETS WHICH OPERATE AT A MAXIMUM OF 600 RPM AND THOSE WHICH OPERATE AT HIGHER SPEEDS, PARTICULARLY SO FAR AS THERE MAY BE INVOLVED THEIR CONTEMPLATED USE AT ISOLATED INSTALLATIONS WHERE NO ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF POWER ARE AVAILABLE. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE QUESTION AS TO WHAT TYPES OF EQUIPMENT WILL MEET THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT IS A MATTER PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATION AND DETERMINATION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ON THE PRESENT RECORD WE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN TAKING EXCEPTION TO THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT WHICH WAS MADE TO THE WHITE MOTORS COMPANY PURSUANT TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. NBY-6457.

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