What is a factory acceptance test?
A factory acceptance test checklist 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.
This article deals with the following topics:
Why is factory acceptance test checklist used?
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.
What are the steps in a factory acceptance test?
1. Checking the Delivery
During a factory acceptance test checklist, 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.
3. Check of the documentation
All components are checked for completeness and quality stipulated in the contractually agreed upon documents. This includes manuals, instructions, and assembly plans.
4. Dispatch Preparation
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.
What are the 4 common factory acceptance test problems?
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.
1. Poor machine quality or craftsmanship
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.
2. Non-compliance with legal or sanitary requirements
Customers often specify production standards for their ordered devices. Boilers, pressure vessels, and bioprocess plants can obtain international certifications through conformity assessments, which makes 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.
3. Lack of suitable machine shielding and labeling
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.
4. Lower throughput than expected
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).
How does an App help to prove the reliability of the equipment?
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:
- The checklist builder helps you to convert any individual paper list into a digital checklist without effort.
- Using the super intuitive mobile app, you and your teammates can conduct checks in the field seamlessly.
- All results, images, and comments are automatically bundled in a digital report.
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