May 15, 2009
LAI International Inc., a strategic supplier of precision components and subassemblies for original equipment manufacturers, was honored by Northrop Grumman as a Platinum Source Preferred Supplier for quality control and on-time delivery of precision-manufactured airframe components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
A team of LAI production and quality personnel representing LAI was among representatives of 130 U.S. suppliers recognized at Northrop Grumman's annual awards program at the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel ballroom. LAI was one of 62 firms named as Platinum Source Preferred Suppliers for 2008.
LAI has received similar recognition from Lockheed Martin and the Boeing Company.
LAI has a multi-year contract to manufacture 21 different highly engineered, precision-machined titanium and aluminum structural panels that fit on the airframe of three variants of the advanced attack aircraft F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jet—a Conventional Take-Off and Landing aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, a Carrier Variant for the U.S. Navy; and a Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps and the Royal Navy.
LAI has collaborated with its customers to engineer the panels for manufacturability, and the LAI team coordinates supply chain management of several manufacturing processes—including hot-forming, CNC machining, chemical milling, finishing and five-axis precision waterjet drilling—to supply completed components for assembly on the aircraft.
"A review of your product history for the previous 12 months reflects sustained excellence as a supplier of quality products and on-time delivery to Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems," John Saliture, Director, Supplier Quality for Northrop Grumman, said in a letter to LAI. "The Platinum Source Supplier Award is recognition for your high level of quality and delivery performance as a Northrop Grumman I.S. Supplier."
The awards recognize companies for achieving distinction in product quality, on-time delivery, customer satisfaction, and robust lean processes. The organization has reshaped itself in recent months to be better aligned with market conditions, Chuck Wands, sector vice president, business management and chief financial officer for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, said.
"A more streamlined organization will better position our sector for future growth," said Wands. "In order to achieve that, however, we must have absolutely flawless performance on our existing programs—and our suppliers have always played a critical role in helping us to accomplish that. They are our partners in the truest sense of the word, and share Northrop Grumman's commitment to value and customer satisfaction."