Certified Parts -- Certified Quality
What are Certified Parts?
Certified Parts are Lockheed Martin-designed and certified C-130 B-H and pre-block 60 F-16 spare parts that are available in the commercial marketplace. These parts are produced under license by manufacturing companies in both the US and abroad. Lockheed Martin-designed parts typically include general structural components as well as flight control surfaces, landing gear, and various other components and assemblies. The simplest way to determine whether a part was designed by Lockheed Martin is to consult the Illustrated Parts Breakdown manual. Lockheed Martin-designed C-130 B-H parts have a CAGE code of 98897. Lockheed Martin-designed pre-block 60 F-16 parts have a CAGE code of 81755.
How does a part qualify to receive the Certified Parts hologram?
Parts are inspected at the licensee’s facility to verify that each part is made using:
- Appropriate and current Lockheed Martin technical data
- Correct materials as prescribed by Lockheed Martin engineering
- Required special processes as prescribed by Lockheed Martin engineering
- Approved special process facilities as prescribed by the Lockheed Martin Special Processes Group
It is important to note that many times a part may look like it was made correctly but is in fact a very poor product. The simplest example involves material. Many parts should be made from very specific forgings to ensure they have the proper strength and durability to ensure flight safety. Once a part is machined, assembled, and painted there is no way to visually verify if the forging was made of the correct metal. Certified Parts negate this problem. Because source inspectors are in each facility they see not only the end product, but also the raw material certifications and labor that go into production of the part. These inspectors make sure that all of the raw materials are correct before program certification of a part can occur.
How can a C-130 or F-16 operator or private company determine if a part is a Certified Part?
Each Certified Part is identified by a distinctive holographic decal (label). This label is applied to the part (or part packaging if the part is very small) only when an authorized source inspector has verified and certified the part. Each hologram has a serial number that Lockheed Martin maintains in a master database. This serial number allows Lockheed Martin to recall part information instantly, including but not limited to: part number, data manufactured, batch number, quality records, and other technical information.
Why is it important to request and purchase Certified Parts?
Unauthorized manufacturers produce aircraft parts, mark them with a Lockheed Martin part number and CAGE code, and sell them commercially to international customers. Although these parts may come with a Certificate of Conformance, they should be considered as potentially counterfeit, non-conforming and substandard in quality. There is no way to determine or guarantee that data used in the production of these parts was current or correct, that the correct materials were used, or that the parts went through the proper special processes at approved facilities.
Lockheed Martin recommends that C-130 and F-16 operators request Certified Parts in writing on their RFQs and instruct their inspectors to look for the hologram with each part received.
Where can Certified Parts be purchased?
C-130 and F-16 operators can request Certified Parts from Lockheed Martin as well as logistics companies that they may already use. Lockheed Martin has ensured that Certified Parts are available in an open supply chain. This means that the manufacturers that produce Certified Parts sell to both Lockheed Martin and other logistics companies. This ensures that many sources are available to stock and provide these parts to operators all over the world.