Early this Summer (2017) our supplier of Hafnium Oxide experienced a major equipment failure which has resulted in a production shut down that will last for an extended time. ATI Specialty Alloys and Components has been a reliable high-quality supplier for us for 30 years and we regret the difficulty this situation has created for you and your customers. ATI has not been able to offer a reliable forecast for restarting production at this time, but TOTC recommends that we all should be prepared for delays into early 2018.
Hafnium Oxide is a strategic material due to its nuclear applications and most sales require special licensing requirements. This has limited any alternate vendor options and we previously have found no alternate suppliers that could deliver product meeting cost and quality requirements. We are confident that ATI will restore production as soon as possible because of the importance of the product to many other industries besides our high temperature thermocouple segment. In the meantime, we are exploring a European source, however it not likely to succeed in time to help this crisis.
We still have considerable stock that is available. Many of our trade sizes are already depleted, but we have various amounts of non-standard sizes that may work for the short term.
We apologize for the inconvenience. Our best risk management practices were not adequate for such an event, but we hope that our robust inventory will carry through your needs until regular production is restored. We will update this notification as we receive news. Reference letter from ATI follows: