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What Is First Article Inspection & How To Do It?

When manufacturing things or working in the quality control field, you are constantly responsible for making sure that the goods that are produced meet the necessary requirements. There are various different processes that they can conduct with the aim of ensuring the perfect quality, and one of those is called first article inspection, or FAI short. As you can see here, this process is of crucial importance in various different industries, and you need to know how to conduct it perfectly.

Before we get to the part of conducting the first article inspection, though, we need to make one thing clear first. In short, not everyone will know right away what this is, and that is especially correct for people who are just joining certain manufacturing industries and processes. Just because you have no idea about this process right now, however, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to learn everything you need to know and thus go through the process successfully.

Of course, in order to go through the process successfully, you’ll need to get properly acquainted with this process and learn about the steps that need to be taken during the inspection. That is why you first need to do some reading and possibly even talk to some experts about this, and then proceed towards creating the first article inspection report that is required of you. The good thing is that I will help you in the learning process by explaining what FAI really is and how you can do it. So, let’s start learning.

What Is First Article Inspection (FAI)?

First article inspection is basically a design verification process. A person that is authorized to do so, which is usually a supplier or perhaps a third-party inspector that has the specialized equipment to do this, will take a part from the first production run with the aim of checking whether it conforms to the client’s requirements. Although it is called the first article inspection, these authorized persons can actually take several parts in order to complete this procedure.

Sure, they could also just take one if they feel that it is enough, but the point is that they will create those first article inspection reports in order to help manufacturers check whether they are meeting the requirements set forward in the order specifications. The purchasing order is basically the reference point during the checkup, which is completely logical. In addition to not having to take just one item, these professionals also don’t have to take the first item, even though the name of the process suggests that. They can just choose random items and take them for inspection.

The manufacturing process will be paused until the checkup is conducted. If the checked parts pass the FAI, manufacturing can resume. On the other hand, if the parts fail the FAI, manufacturing will remain paused until the authorized parties find the cause of the failure and fix things. This type of inspection is important in various different industries that need certain parts to be manufactured with utmost precision. Among others, it is important in the medical, aerospace, and defense industries.

How To Do It?

You now most likely have a clear picture of what FAI is, meaning that we can proceed toward answering the second important question for you. In short, you want and need to know how this inspection is precisely conducted so that you know which steps to take and how to do it all the right way. Learning about this before starting the procedure is certainly the responsible thing to do.

There are a couple of significant steps that you’ll need to take in order to create the first article inspection report perfectly. For starters, you’ll have to create the checkup plan, as well as actually manufacture the parts that need to be inspected. The good thing here is that you can get help from professionals regarding the rest of the process.

Read about the benefits of FAI: https://www.electronicdesign.com/industrial-automation/article/21172354/rush-pcb-what-are-the-benefits-of-first-article-inspection

As I have mentioned, you can get help from experts during the rest of the process. To be more precise, you can hire a third-party inspector to check those parts for you and give you the data you need in order to actually create the report, as well as to tell you if there are any changes that you need to make, in case the specific part fails the FAI. Once you collect the data from these pros, you’ll have an easier time creating the report.

What you need to be careful about here is actually choosing the right company to partner up with in the process. You need responsible, experienced, qualified, and reputable professionals. Thus, take your time to search for the right expert, as that’s how you’ll get help in creating the report.

 

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