Guide to DFARS and its Effect on
Producing High Precision Machined Components

Guide to DFARS and its Effect on Producing High Precision Machined Components

The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS) is a series of regulations imposed by the Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure that external contractors and component suppliers maintain standardized procurement and production processes. As this directly affects machining specialists that produce components for DoD contracts, any company that hopes to retain their government contracts and avoid compliance penalties must adhere to the guidelines established. 


Among the qualifying, DFARS guidelines that have redefined the fundamentals of several CNC procurement processes are DFARS clause 252.225-7014, Preference for Domestic Specialty Metals. Issued by the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Logistics, for any U.S.-based company to use specialty metals, those metals must be melted within the United States or a qualifying country


Designed to proactively avoid final-end product inconsistencies (like unsafe alloy modifications), this acquisition clause ensures that all components manufactured for the DoD and other federal agencies meet rigorous standards of material integrity. 


What Does This Mean for CNC Machining Specialists?


Since many component producers rely on federal contracts, maintaining DFARS compliance is a top priority. Along with meeting the DFARS standards for direct government contracts, retaining this qualification demonstrates to other potential CNC clients that a shop is capable of meeting strict standards of product consistency backed by verifiable data. 


But, since maintaining these standards requires that all specialty metal sourcing must be from a qualifying country, any company that currently receives these materials from an unqualified country may need to readjust their supplier or modifier partnerships. This can be a costly and limiting endeavor, especially if that company utilizes multiple unqualified partners to modify or melt their metals. 


Maintaining DFARS compliance applies to specialty metals including: 


  • “Steel with a maximum alloy content exceeding one or more of the following limits. Manganese, 1.65%, Silicon, 0.60%, or Copper, 0.60%, or containing more than 0.25% of any of the following elements. Aluminum, Chromium, Cobalt, Columbium, Molybdenum, Nickel, Titanium, Tungsten, or Vanadium”
  • “Metal alloys consisting of Nickel, Iron-Nickel, and Cobalt base alloys containing a total of other alloying metals except for Iron above ten percent, or Titanium and titanium alloys or zirconium and zirconium base alloys” –Acquisition.Gov

Depending on the type of products a shop produces and if they rely on government contract work, DFARS may have no implications (if they already comply), entail minor adjustments, or require a complete infrastructure redesign. A shop does not need to comply unless they plan on receiving government contract work, but any precision grinding and machining company hoping to stand out in the field will benefit from attaining as many reputable qualifications as possible.


By demonstrating the ability to develop complex components to a higher standard of precision, you can feel confident that that shop is capable of producing anything you could ever need. We are one of those multi-credentialed machine shops and are well-prepared to meet and exceed your precise component needs ahead of schedule.