SOURCES SOUGHT FOR THE ARMY AUTHORIZED PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR LIST
This is a special notice in accordance with the Qualification Requirements, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR 9.2), Subpart 9.2 Qualifications Requirements, intended for manufacturers of protective eyewear to support updating the Qualified Product List (QPL) for protective eyewear, also known as the Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL). The APEL provides eye protection for military combat and training in a manner that offers variety and choice of products to best suit mission needs. This announcement will constitute the only notification of the QPL update.
Any future acquisitions based on the QPL that result from this notice will be in accordance with the FAR and other pertinent Government regulations and requirements at the time of release. Offerors or manufacturers shall submit questions related to this notice, in writing, to Mr. Timothy Horne at email@example.com and Mr. David Querim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of this notice is to solicit the information necessary to qualify products for the APEL. There is no funding associated with this action. Based on compliance with the requirements set forth herein, the Government will determine whether each proposed product meets the needs of the APEL and notify each offeror accordingly. Due to the extensive testing involved to qualify a product, the Government estimates it will take approximately ten (10) months to complete the qualification process and inform offerors of the status of their submissions. All offerors shall be required to provide test data from a Government approved, independent third party test laboratory. The two (2) Government approved third party test laboratories for APEL testing are COLTS Laboratories (COLTS) and ICS Laboratories (ICS). In accordance with MIL-PRF-32432A, Military Combat Eye Protection (MCEP) System Performance Specification, the Government intends to use data and feedback from military users to determine acceptability of products for military use in the field. Successful products will be added to the APEL and be eligible for future procurement until such time that the APEL is no longer used by the Government or the product(s) is removed from the APEL. Initial listing applies only to products that use the same processes, materials, and facilities as those used to produce the sample submissions in response to this notice and offerors shall submit any future changes to product design, processes, materials, or facilities to the Government for approval through an Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) that includes the supporting test data from a COLTS or ICS test laboratory. All ECPs shall include the projected date of implementation. Having a product listed on the APEL does not guarantee Government acceptance of the product in any future purchase (Reference “Provisions Governing Qualification: Qualified Products List and Qualified Manufacturers Lists” available at http://www.assistdocs.com).
The Government may extend periodic requests to industry (on https://beta.sam.gov/ or by other suitable means) for new candidate submissions and evaluate accordingly. The Government may periodically request minor performance specification changes, such as adjustments to product color, to reflect changes in fielded military camouflage colors and patterns or to remain current with military needs and advancements in technology. The Government will advertise changes to industry, along with a designated period for compliance, by suitable means, to ensure simultaneous notification to all potential offerors. Though offerors are not under any obligation to modify their products to maintain compliance with specification changes, the Government may remove products from the list if they no longer meet the Government’s needs or specification requirements.
Offerors are encouraged to submit their best value product solutions to the Government. APEL submissions and subsequent listings are being restricted to no more than four (4) items of any combination of spectacle and goggle (to include hybrid goggle), plus one (1) cold weather goggle, and one (1) Rapid Light Adaptive Eyewear [RLAE](spectacle or goggle) per offeror. The Government does not consider different shades or sizes of the same product as separate product solutions; the Government counts the same product available in multiple shades or sizes as one (1) product. A product kit configuration proposed with all components necessary to qualify the product under more than one (1) class of eyewear (as both Class 1 and Class 1UT, as defined in draft MIL-PRF 32432A, for example) will also be counted as one product if supporting test data is provided for each class with which the product complies.
Upon acceptance of the product for listing on the APEL, offerors shall supply a configuration management package for the products proposed and accepted for APEL listing (to include drawings with critical item dimensions, material used to produce each component, lens coatings used, and source of manufacturing) within thirty (30) days of notification by the Government. All information considered proprietary shall be marked “These data are considered by the supplier to be submitted in confidence and furnished for the purpose of facilitating qualification testing. These data are not to be disclosed outside the Government nor to be duplicated, used, or disclosed in whole or in part, for any purpose other than to evaluate the product submitted for qualification testing.” This restriction does not limit the Government’s right to use information contained in the data if it is obtained from another source. Upon written notice by the Government, the “APEL” logo shall be applied, in accordance with specification requirements, to any product intended for the US Military once that particular product is added to the APEL. Only APEL products using the same processes, materials, and facilities as those certified may bear the APEL logo. Offerors with products listed on the APEL shall abide by the requirements of this notice and the “Provisions Governing Qualification: Qualified Products List and Qualified Manufacturers Lists.”
Offerors shall have legal ownership of the eyewear design(s) proposed.
All products submitted in response to this notice shall meet the requirements of MIL-PRF-32432A unless otherwise noted herein, for one (1) or more classes of eyewear. Submissions shall be commercial products or in final development.
Non-Prescription compatible eyewear submissions shall comply with Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 MIL-PRF-32432A performance specification requirements. Universal Prescription Lens Carrier (UPLC) compatible submissions shall be capable of being configured both with and without the UPLC and shall contain all necessary components (with the exception of the UPLC product, NSN 6540-01-600-6532) to do so within the proposed kit. Prescription compatible products shall comply with Style U, MIL-PRF-32432A performance specification requirements, when assembled in the prescription configuration, and shall comply with Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 performance specification requirements when assembled in the non-prescription configuration. Adapters and mounting points for mounting the UPLC in prescription compatible configurations shall allow the UPLC to sit correctly, in front of the wearer’s eyes, for vision correction. All submissions shall have easily interchangeable (without the aid of tools) clear and sunglass lenses. Size(s) shall accommodate 5th through 95th percentile female and 5th through 95th percentile male. Size(s) also shall ensure that the product maintains quality optics in all sizes. Initial submissions, of products, are not required to meet the color or marking requirements of MIL-PRF-32432A. The following MIL-PRF-32432A colors are preferred, however, if available: black for spectacles, and Tan 499 for goggles.
The Government desires flame-resistant protective sleeves for all goggles. For the purposes of this notice, flame-resistant sleeves shall be demonstrated, but are not required to be included on each product sample submitted. NOTE: The Government will determine the implementation of a flame-resistant sleeve after the execution of this notice based on product performance, price, and any impact the flame-resistant sleeves may have on the base item.
All products submitted shall be compliant with the Buy American Act (BAA), Trade Agreement Act (TAA), and Berry Amendment.
All offerors shall have and maintain a robust Quality Management System (QMS) and shall submit to audits of the QMS employed at their facility and subcontractor facilities.
All offerors shall review and comply with “Provisions Governing Qualification: Qualified Products List and Qualified Manufacturers Lists.” When a product is included on the APEL, this includes, but is not limited to, complete recertification (qualification every two years on a Government specified schedule for all manufacturers) and periodic submission of new test data (every six (6) months on most recent production) for retention on the APEL to ensure continued quality assurance. Recertification is also required if there are any changes to the design, process, or material used for the product. The Government requires supporting test data for recertification and the offeror shall provide data from an independent laboratory; data shall include, but is not limited to, separate test reports for each lens mold and lens manufacturer qualified to produce the product for US military use. For the purposes of two (2) year recertification and six (6) month retention testing, the test report date shall be no older than ninety (90) days prior to the date of submission to the Government (e.g. if submission is June 30, test report shall be no older than March 30). Additionally, the offeror shall conduct the tests on the most recent production of each approved product to ensure they are reporting the most current quality assurance data. All reports provided to the Government shall include clear identification and a complete description of the product, the date clock and stamp information on the frame, and lens, the mold and cavity markings, all results, any observations for each sample tested, and the manufacturing location of the lenses, frames, and prescription lens carriers (as applicable). The offeror shall sign the reports and shall include the name of the laboratory that conducted the testing, the test dates, and the test report number. The offeror shall clearly document and provide the Government with a detailed list identifying all materials used to make the lenses, frames, coatings, prescription lens carriers, and the prescription lenses tested (as applicable).
If a product submission is not compliant with the shade or marking requirements of MIL-PRF-32432A upon initial submission, upon acceptance to the APEL, the offeror shall demonstrate production of the product in a compliant shade and with appropriate markings within six (6) months of their notification of acceptance. The offeror shall also be willing to provide part numbers, descriptions, and prices to support replacement parts for any approved items upon notification of approval.
Offerors shall be responsive to Government needs and shall be able to supply product of good and consistent quality, with focus on deliveries of five thousand (5,000) or more, in a timely manner.
Physical product samples are required of each offeror for each product proposed. The Government has included a list of all product samples quantities in this document and the offeror shall provide these quantities at no cost to the Government.
The offeror shall submit physical samples as outlined in this notice with the written proposal. The written proposal shall not exceed twenty (20) pages. All reports shall be dated, clearly identify what products were tested, and include all observations. The supporting reports and test data, signed BAA, TAA, and Berry Amendment forms, and letter(s) to the Product Manager, PM SPE do not count toward the twenty (20) pages. Offeror may choose to combine information in a single letter to the Product Manager, PM SPE as one (1) overall letter addressing each requirement. APEL submissions and subsequent listings are being restricted to no more than four (4) items of any combination of spectacle and goggle (to include hybrid goggle), one (1) cold weather goggle, and one (1) Rapid Light Adaptive Eyewear (spectacle or goggle) per offeror. The Government does not consider different shades or sizes of the same product as separate product solutions; the Government counts the same product available in multiple shades or sizes as one (1) product. A product kit configuration proposed with all components necessary to qualify the product under more than one (1) class of eyewear (as both Class 1 and Class 1UT, as defined in draft MIL-PRF 32432A, for example) will also be counted as one (1) product if supporting test data is provided for each class with which the product complies.
Each submission shall include a summary of the offeror’s facilities and capabilities along with a summary of the offeror’s products being submitted for qualification in response to this notice. Each submission shall include what the offeror proposes as the best combination of product features to meet the Government’s needs for a given basic design while balancing cost (i.e., what the offeror considers their ‘best value’ solution to the requirements). To maximize variety and optimize choice for our service men and women, product submissions from each offeror shall be diverse in nature (with the exception of sizing within the same product) and not simply variations of the same base product. The following shall be included as part of the summary:
The total number, class, and style of each design proposed.
The MCEP class and style for which each product is proposed; designs proposed to qualify as more than one (1) class or style of eyewear shall contain all components to be compliant with each class and style for which it is proposed in order to be considered as a single product submission.
The material make up and sources of supply for each product, to include:
Materials used to produce each component.
Name and location of source(s) used to mold the lens.
Name and location of source(s) used to cut the lens (if applicable).
Name and location of source(s) used to produce the frame.
Name and location of source(s) used to produce each textile component that is part of the kit.
Name and location of source(s) used for product assembly.
Percent of end item cost associated with each source.
Color(s) proposed for each component (with the exception of lenses).
Offerors shall include the number of sizes associated with each product, a part number, product description for each size, recommended size allotment (if applicable), sizing and fitting instructions (if applicable), monthly sustainable production rate, and maximum production rate. For single sized products, an explanation of how the product accommodates the target audience (5th to 95th percentile female and 5th to 95th percentile male) to include preservation of quality optics when fitted across the population.
The product description along with its safety data sheet (SDS) for material(s) used for each component.
The offeror shall support each product with test documentation for each class and style of eyewear proposed. For sized items, test documentation shall be included for each size. The supporting test data for the most predominant size proposed shall be from an approved third party Independent Laboratory. The Government approved third party test laboratories for APEL testing are COLTS Laboratories, Oldsmar, FL; ICS Laboratories, Brunswick, OH; and Army Test Center (ATC), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Source for test data for any additional sizes shall be either from the offeror’s in-house quality assurance laboratory or from an independent laboratory. Test data shall be for samples produced using the same manufacturers, processes, and materials as used to produce the products submitted in response to this notice. Test data shall include the following:
MIL-PRF-32432A military ballistic fragmentation test data; MIL-PRF-32432A test data for optical distortion, luminous transmittance, neutrality, chromaticity, UV absorption, abrasion, environmental exposure, and chemical resistance; test data for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ANSI Z87.1 2015, American National Standard Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices.
For goggles, the offeror shall also provide textile flammability (vertical flame) test results for the goggle strap. NOTE: If the offeror uses the same coating on multiple products (e.g., sized products), then the offeror need only conduct the abrasion and chemical resistance test results on one of those products. Proposals shall clearly specify which products the abrasion and chemical resistance test data pertain to in this case. Separate product submissions require abrasion and chemical resistance test results, regardless if the same coating is used.
For each product submission, the offeror shall also:
Provide an image of the size and location of where the designation “APEL” would be placed on the item should the product be added to the APEL (this may be supplemented with a prototype sample, if available).
If applicable, provide a letter of request for test cost assistance to the Product Manager, PM SPE if submitting as a qualified small business firm, per FAR 9.204(a)(2), Responsibilities for establishment of a qualification requirement.
For offerors proposing goggle designs, the offeror shall propose a flame-resistant goggle sleeve solution for each design. Information provided shall include:
The material from which the proposed sleeve(s) are made, including percentage of materials used; Material safety data sheets for any flame-resistant finishes used (if applicable); and Internal or external laboratory test data demonstrating performance of each proposed sleeve material using the Standard Flame Resistance of Textiles (Vertical Test).
The proposal shall also include any potential impacts the proposed flame-resistant sleeve may introduce to the goggle configuration (chemical interactions or otherwise) if adopted.
Each proposal shall provide a detailed written description of how each submission complies with:
The Buy American Act (BAA);
The Trade Agreement Act (TAA); and
Berry Amendment at the time of submission.
Each proposal shall include a signed copy of:
The “Buy American Act (BAA) and Trade Agreement Act (TAA) Compliance”; and the “Berry Amendment Compliance”. The Government is providing these certificate templates as an attachment to this notice. The offeror shall ensure that a company representative with binding authority signs all certifications.
QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Each proposal shall provide a summary of the Quality Management System (QMS) employed at the offeror’s facility and primary subcontractor facilities, along with an agreement to submit to an audit of the QMS employed at their facility and primary subcontractor facilities. If an offeror’s manufacturer has recently been subjected (within a year’s time) to a quality audit for combat eye protection, then the previous audit’s data may be leveraged for the purposes of this effort. Should an audit be required, the audit will include a survey of inspection systems, quality assurance programs, test facilities, processes, materials, production facilities, test capability, incoming inspection, training and product traceability, and verify that the manufacturer has an effective self-audit program. The Government will conduct the audit to ensure compliance to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 9001, Quality Management, and ISO 17025, General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories, as applicable. The offeror shall successfully pass an audit prior to the Government’s addition of their item on the APEL.
LETTER TO THE PRODUCT MANAGER
Each proposal shall also include a letter to the Product Manager, PM SPE stating:
The offeror has reviewed “Provisions Governing Qualification: Qualified Products List and Qualified Manufacturers Lists” (SD-6, Feb 2009) and the requirements herein and is willing to comply should any of the offeror’s submissions be selected for APEL listing. This includes, but is not limited to, periodic testing of the qualified product, providing part numbers, prices, and descriptions of any replacement parts required to support any of the offeror’s submissions and demonstrating shade compliance.
Each submission shall include Past Performance information documenting performance with similar items. Emphasis shall be on recent, relevant, experience within the past five (5) years, and shall include references. References provided shall include:
Points of contact;
Relevant contract numbers: and
A brief description of the product provided.
The offeror shall include the price for each complete MCEP kit proposed, listed with product name and part number, under separate cover; for goggle products, the base price shall be with a non-flame-resistant goggle sleeve. The additional cost that a flame-resistant goggle sleeve would introduce to the product shall be included alongside the base price of the goggles.
Each submission shall provide the following physical product samples, in stages. The offeror proposing multiple sizes shall provide samples using the most predominant size, unless otherwise noted herein. A total of ten (10) clear assemblies, fifty-three (53) complete kits (for single-sized products) or seventy-three (73) complete kits (for multi-sized items, with the quantity of each size being in accordance with the size allotment), fifteen (15) goggle sleeves (if applicable) and five (5) goggle straps (if applicable) shall be packaged and delivered for each product submission as follows:
PACKAGE A This package shall contain the following:
Three (3) complete kits for each configuration proposed. If offering multiple sizes for any given configuration, then three (3) kits of the most predominant size shall be provided along with one (1) representative sample of each additional size.
Each complete kit shall include:
Eyewear (with clear or sunglass lens installed);
Spare lens (grey or clear lens not already installed in frame; with nosepiece, if applicable)
Anti-fog reapplication; and
A retaining strap
Goggle sleeve (as applicable)
Proposed flame-resistant goggle sleeve (as applicable)
Style U eyewear kits shall also include any adaptors necessary to interface with the Universal Prescription Lens Carrier (UPLC) system depicted in Drawing 5-0005-0001, Universal Prescription Lens Carrier (previously offered to interested manufacturers under Solicitation Number W91CRB-12-R-0043).
Each kit shall be clearly labeled with the product name and part number.
The package shall be labeled as “Package A: Visual Evaluation” and include the offeror’s name, product name(s) and part number(s), and notice number. If the offeror is making multiple submissions, each submission shall be bagged and, or, boxed separately and clearly labeled. If multiple boxes are required for packaging purposes, the offeror shall label each box with the box number and total number of boxes (i.e., box 1 of 6).
Package A is due at the time of proposal submission and the offeror shall ship Package A to:
US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (CCDC SC)
Attn: FCDD-SCP-WP (R. Middleton)
Building 4 Room 206
General Green Ave
Natick, MA, 01760-5019
PACKAGE B The package shall be labeled as “Package B: User Evaluation Test Samples” and include the offeror’s name, product name, part number, and notice number. This package shall contain either, forty (40) complete kits (for single sized products) or fifty (50) complete kits (for sized products), for user evaluation. If the offeror is providing sized products, the offeror shall split the quantity of kits provided between the numbers of sizes available and based upon the size allotment recommended by the offeror. For sized products, the package shall also include a size allotment, size or fitting instructions, and the number of each size provided according to the allotment. Eyewear shall be clearly labeled by size or as “one size fits all,” as appropriate.
If making multiple submissions, the offeror shall package each submission separately and clearly label each box with the box number and total number of boxes (i.e., box 2 of 6).
Package B shall be sealed and held by the offeror during the initial evaluation stage. Pending the initial evaluation and the cost and, or, schedule considerations, the offeror will be notified by the Government to ship Package B to a location to be determined by the Government. The location shall receive the package within ten (10) days of notification. The shipping location will be within the continental United States.
The Government will list products on the APEL that will be most advantageous to the Government. The Government shall use the following factors to evaluate offers:
Technical Compliance (to include quality assurance); and Past Performance
For the purposes of this notice, Technical Compliance and Past Performance are of equal importance. Offerors deemed as high risk based on past performance history and, or, products deemed technically unacceptable will not be included on the APEL.
Offerors are advised that subsequent notices for products, once listed on the APEL, may introduce other evaluation factors (such as, but not limited to, price and schedule), and may emphasize factors differently.
ORDER OF INSPECTION
At the time of this notice, the Government anticipates the order of inspection and evaluation to be as follows.
Each kit shall be visually inspected, physically manipulated, and otherwise inspected for:
• System Configuration;
• Carrying case;
• Instruction manual;
• General system retention;
• Component changes (to include interchangeable lenses);
• Uniformity of dimensions;
• Potential skin irritants;
• Pantoscopic tilt; and
• Any obvious visual impact on faceform angle of the UPLC (for UPLC compatible products only).
Items will also be examined to determine if:
• All components are present;
• Items are in compliance with the basic configuration requirements;
• Any obvious design features that would interfere with currently fielded military equipment; and
The Government reserves the right to conduct some testing in parallel, or to stagger testing if needed, to optimize schedule. The Government may halt testing for a given product at any point in the test sequence if testing personnel observe a test failure for that product. The Government reserves the right to subject products to independent testing to verify performance in accordance with the specification.
Offerors shall submit proposals, electronically, to email@example.com no later than 10:00 a.m. EST on dates outlined below.
Cold Weather Goggles: 30 November 2020
All Other Items: 31 January 2021
Offerors shall ship initial physical samples, (Package A), to:
US Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (CCDC SC)
Attn: FCDD-SCP-WP (R. Middleton)
Building 4 Room 206
General Green Ave
Natick, MA, 01760-5019
IMPORTANT NOTE: Offerors shall label all boxes with the notice number and “To Be Opened by Addressees Only” and shall submit electronic documentation of the shipment to Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment (PM SPE) Attn: Mr. Timothy Horne at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr. David Querim at email@example.com.