A digital checklist makes it easier to detect deviations during initial sample inspection, thus avoiding costly production delays. Learn how you can avoid the common downfalls while conducting an FAI inspection. Meet all product specifications on time, every time by using our free form that you access online or save as a pdf.
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A First Article Inspection (FAI) checklist, is used for the examination of a product part before it’s mass-produced. In the sampling process for acceptances of production parts and products, the first article inspection is an elementary quantity. This involves checking whether a product from the first production run meets design requirements.
However, quality managers also perform initial sampling when there is a 2-year production backlog or when there are significant changes to the product, including design, manufacturing source/process, manufacturing location, tooling/materials, or computer program that affect fit, form, or function. Typically, a checklist is used for the initial sample inspection.
In the resulting FAI report, responsibilities for product characteristics are documented. Such checklist used in testing can reduce costly production delays by ensuring that manufacturing processes produce a result that meets design requirements.
To effectively test a first article sample, the conditions must be the same as those for mass production. Initial samples are important for obtaining approval for the product’s production, delivery, and as a series part. For this purpose, the initial sample must originate from a test production run:
Furthermore, the initial sample inspection should ensure the following items correspond to the final series status indicated by the client:
There are various scenarios under which contractors must conduct an initial sample inspection to meet their obligations to the customer. They all relate to factors that have an impact on the product (part):
Techinically, first article inspection forms aren’t a requirement of product production. Instead, they are a tool for engineers and manufacturers to use while they inspect their prototype for missing or defective variables. For example, if the product dimensions didn’t meet the design specifications. Every time a variable changes, such as moving locations, switching materials, or when manufacturing methods have been changed, this process needs to be repeated to ensure that the product or product component is still ready for mass production.
Since the first article procedure is a critical part of every manufacturing and engineering process, it can be helpful to know some of the commonly made mistakes so you can avoid them and their costly consequences. As promised, here is the list of three mistakes to avoid:
A first article inspection in the aerospace industry is based on the 9102Rev B, a document that ensures the manufactured component complies with legal regulations. Although helpful to use, the 9102 inspections are not required for certification. However, it can aid in meeting customer expectations and limit the risk of product recalls after the initial testing phase. In addition, investing the time and money in a diligent, thoroughly researched FAI plan can go a long way in preventing colossally expensive and disastrous mistakes.
FAI inspections are especially important in industries where product failure can compromise the safety of employees and civilians in the vicinity of a potential malfunction. The importance of conducting an FAI in the aerospace industry was no more evident than in 1986 when the space shuttle Challenger exploded only 73 seconds into its flight due to faulty O-ring seals.
The space shuttle Challenger tragedy is a prime example of how a first article inspection plan can prevent 3.2 billion-dollar catastrophes as well as the unnecessary and regrettable loss of life.
There are so many reasons why a first article inspection becomes necessary, even after the initial inspection. All the better if a checklist can be used to document the evaluations more clearly. In addition, the following are examples of what FAI inspectors will have to pay attention to and examine:
With the help of a checklist, no check will be forgotten! In addition,
With Lumiform's mobile app and desktop software, quality auditors can streamline their FAI documentation and reporting. This improves product quality and avoids costly production delays
With Lumiform, problems are reported in an instant and corrective actions are quickly assigned to responsible colleagues. Easy communication with all team members and third-party vendors enables internal processes to be improved and emerging defects to be resolved up to four times faster. In addition, with the powerful inspection app, quality inspectors can: