Looking for a First Article Inspection Service?
Manufacturing units are usually set up far from the buyer’s unit. In such scenarios, ensuring the quality of the manufactured products becomes a task for a buyer. Imagine your bulk order an automotive part from China to India, and once the production is completed 100% and the delivery is made, you find a large chunk of the products defective. The measurement specifications are not met, or the product quality is not per standards. This situation can lead to heavy loads on the buyer’s pockets and deadlines are hindered.
To avoid such incidents, many suppliers ask for During Production Inspection services which help in mitigating risks of quality and safety to the products. But, in certain industries and with a specific type of production processes, First Article Inspection is preferred.
This is where VERGER Group can help you. Our FAI services are on-point, customer-centric, and done by professional inspectors.
For all the information, please send us a request right away!
What is the First Article?
The first article is the first item manufactured by the same production line and using the same production processes as mass production. It also refers to a random sample/ samples selected to form the initial production phase by the supplier to inspect various parameters.
It needs to be noted that a first article is not the same as an approval sample. An approval sample is a golden sample manufactured prior to mass production usually by the R&D team, while a first article is a sample/samples selected from the initially manufactured chunk.
What is First Article Inspection?
Once the factory runs the production line for the first time, a random sample from the first lot is selected and checked against all the engineering and production specifications to ensure the quality of the item. This initial examination of an item from the initial production run is called First Article Inspection.
A First Article Inspection is a business process taken up by some industries to determine whether the manufacturing process and production line set up for the mass production of an item will consistently deliver items conforming to specifications.
VERGER Group does a comprehensive review of the engineering drawings and technical specifications – from raw materials to special processing all the way to the functional testing of sample parts/parts.
First Article Inspection Procedure and Report by VERGER
FAI is done on the items from the first production run. If any defects are found in the batch and the inspected items do not conform 100% with the specifications listed in the purchase order (main reference point during inspection), corrective measures need to be taken.
Let us look at the process that unfolds during the First Article Inspection by VERGER-
- The buyer selects a supplier/factory for its products.
- The pre-production environment is set up (raw materials, engineering documentation, etc are evaluated)
- The first production run is done.
- Random samples are selected from the first batch for FAI.
- First Article Inspection Report is generated.
- If the FAI report suggests the items conform 100% with the specifications- the mass manufacturing is continued
- In case issues are reported and the items are not 100% in compliance with the standards, the nonconforming material is reviewed, and corrective actions are prepared.
- The process again starts from Pre-Production after careful review of the report and necessary changes are made in the production line/processes/ product designs.
- The first production run takes place.
What is a First Article Inspection report?
An FAI report is typically prepared on industry standards or customer-specific formats. While the report is similar in intent, it might vary in layouts or formats.
A general First Article Inspection Report by VERGER Group typically contains the following forms-
- Part number accountability (Form 1)- This contains the part of the article inspected first and associated sub-assemblies or detail parts.
- Product accountability (Form 2)- Is used for all raw materials, processes, product design specifications, and functional tests.
- Characteristic accountability (Form 3)- is used to summarise the original design characteristics such as dimensions, tolerance, drawing notes, etc., and the actual measurement results of the first article inspection parts in reference to the specified design characteristics on the drawing.
- Balloon Drawing- Also known as Bubble drawing, it is an important part of the FAI report to support Form 3 and to verify every design characteristic requirement.
When and Why a First Article Inspection by VERGER can help?
Once all the design specifications and production processes are finalized, a First Article Inspection is done on the first production run. An FAI has two categories – Full FAI and Partial FAI. The category is chosen by looking at the problem at hand.
There are various reasons why a full FAI needs to be done-
- A new part of the product is introduced.
- The manufacturer’s plant shifts to a new location or a new supplier are contacted.
- If the production restarts after a significant gap
- Any design changes are introduced.
Delta FAI or Partial FAI is performed when there are design changes that can affect the fit, shape, form, or function of the part, or if the manufacturer changes the production process (tooling, materials, etc.).
First Article Inspection is usually performed by specific industries where measurements and dimensions precision and accuracy are paramount. Industries like- aerospace, defense, automotive, electrical and electronics, and medical device manufacturing, all require FAI services. It plays an important role in industries manufacturing high-precision parts.
How can VERGER help you?
VERGER Group is an officially NABCB-assessed, ISO-17020-accredited Inspection Body serving clients globally. We have a team of highly professional and qualified inspectors who perform an on-site inspection with great precision and accuracy.
For all the information about our inspection services, please send us a request.
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