Facilitate a factory acceptance test for your company and your customers by using digital checklists for each factory acceptance protocol. Learn the steps and procedures of a FAT and avoid the common mistakes by reading about how to take the appropriate counteractions.
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A factory acceptance test is used to verify that newly manufactured equipment functions in accordance with the order specifications and design rules. A factory acceptance test can be used in plant construction and mechanical engineering as well as in the software sector or information technology.
This procedure, also known as factory acceptance test, is performed in the production plant by quality managers, designers, operating, and maintenance personnel prior to delivery and installation at the customer's site.
If a checklist is used for factory acceptance, costly project delays can be avoided. This is done by ensuring the completion of the FAT protocol, such as standard operating procedures, welding process qualifications and certificates of conformity, and the implementation of the correct test procedure for the Factory Acceptance Test.
During a factory acceptance, the delivery is checked for completeness and the contractually stipulated provisions. After the test, the information is documented in a protocol: the factory acceptance test template.
After the first check, the goods are subjected to a functional test. This involves a conventional functional test and a simulation test.
All components are checked for completeness and quality stipulated in the contractually agreed upon documents. This includes manuals, instructions, and assembly plans.
After the functionality test, the packaging is examined for any defects or damages. Only when the first points have been successfully completed for the customer, the plant or system is released for delivery.
Overlooked deviations in the equipment can lead to installation problems on-site, which can upset the project schedule. Prior to delivery, quality managers should resolve the non-conformity at the factory to ensure that the customer's new processing lines are ready for operation on time. Here are 4 common problems discovered during factory acceptance testing and what countermeasures quality teams can take to ensure equipment reliability.
There should be regular coordination between quality managers, designers, and production managers to ensure that the technical drawings (electrical, mechanical, pneumatic, and process diagrams) are followed to their specifications. Before factory acceptance, calibration certificates should be prepared for the instruments. In addition, managers should consult datasheets on the instruments and materials in order to deliver high-quality products with performance customers can rely on.
Customers often specify production standards for their ordered devices. Boilers, pressure vessels, and bioprocess plants can obtain international certifications through conformity assessments, which make them even more trustworthy. For electrical and electronic products, systems, and services, most manufacturers follow the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. To ensure that design specifications are met, quality managers may also consider working with industrial hygienists or health and safety officers.
Before and after coordination with customers, FAT checks should be carried out on the machine safety devices. Quality managers are responsible for overseeing operators and maintenance personnel with installation, maintenance, user manuals, recommended spare parts lists, and easy-to-use training material. Lock-Out Tag-Out (LOTO) markings and procedures should also be clearly defined to meet health and safety standards.
Quality managers should provide customers with all records of the agreed factory acceptance test and a step-by-step protocol for review and approval. During the actual test, the machine’s functionality should be verified by a series of validation tests based on a consensus acceptance criterion and a list of defects (compilation of non-conformities for modification).
With a digital solution, your company can reliability complete factory acceptance tests. You can easily carry out recurring inspections via tablet or smartphone. Using the desktop software, you can create checklists for your daily factory acceptance tests and then evaluate the collected data.
FAT records are easier to complete with orderly documentation, ensuring equipment reliability from pre-delivery through to customer installation. With Lumiform, companies benefit from: