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First Article Inspection (FAI) is a verification process developed for product manufacturing to control measurements, dimensions, documentation, and process variations for pre-production parts. 

In other words, it’s a comparison and verification of production results and product design done before the mass production of the product. 

How FAI Can Be Beneficial For Product Manufacturing?

There are some ways by which product manufacturing people or organization can get benefits. Let’s understand about those ways: 

1. Save Entire Product Production time and Expenses with FAI

Ideally, an FAI should be performed before the start of the mass production of a product. 

FAI not only can detect many pre-production issues in the product but also can save the entire production from disaster because of quality issues.  That means FAI avoids any issue and improve quality in less time. 

The sample testest in FAI must be produced on the same tool, by the same people, and with the same material as mass production. 

It can be referred to as the safety filter to identify and prevent product defects and other issues like measurements, or process defects. 

2. Detects Wide Range of Issues

With FAI, many severe production issues can be detected. Here is a list of some of them – 

  • Wrong material used for production.
  • Low-quality material or component used. 
  • A wrong tool or equipment is used for the process. 
  • Product is not set correctly on the processing equipment. 
  • Unable to decide whether a part can be acceptable or not

3. Helps limit product defects in finished goods

 

One of the best benefits of the first article inspection is that you can guarantee that if issues detected in the first articles are not addressed, then they are going to bother later in the production. 

The reason is pretty simple; the first articles are made from the same production process that is going to used for the mass production. 

Therefore, it can limit product defects in the finished goods. It identifies – 

  1. The use of substandard and unapproved materials
  2. Production process or equipment adjustments for mass productions
  3. The quality comparison of the specimen created by R&D staff and production staff

4. FAI is Useful in Many Important Sectors

FAI is not used in all the industries, especially low-cost consumer products but it gets used in specific significant sectors like – 

  • Medical devices, 
  • Military defense,
  • Electrical and electronics (E&E), 
  • Automotive, 
  • Aerospace, and
  • Where dimensions are a crucial element of the production. For example – manufacturing precision machined parts.

5. FAI Can Be Conducted in Multiple Situations

An FAI is conducted in the below circumstances – 

  1. The first production run of a product
  2. When the design changes
  3. When the production materials or source changes. 
  4. 2+ years since the last production run. 
  5. Process changes. 
  6. Change in the tools or equipment. 
  7. The location of the production has been changed.

6. Simple Process With No Additional Cost

An FAI process is easy to conduct and it doesn’t increase the budget of the production. 

An FAI process must – 

  1. Compare all the characteristics and dimensions of the approved prototypes and drawings with the actual production unit. 
  2. Verify that the production output is meeting all the requirements. 
  3. Check tools and equipment used are correctly calibrated. 
  4. Check product safety. 
  5. Verify the construction and product functioning. 

Visit Website to know the complete process to conduct an FAI. 

7. An FAI Helps You Achieve Quality & Specification Goals

Now that we know what the first Article impression is let’s understand why a product manufacturer must do this verification 

  1. To guarantee the appropriateness and quality of the end-product.  
  2. To confirm that all the specification requirements and engineering designs are correct, documented, and verified. 
  3. To verify that production is consistent and reliable. 
  4. To create a proper communication channel between a supplier and a buyer. 
  5. Test the correctness of drawings and ensure that all the modifications made to part designs are correct and can be considered. 
  6. Authenticate all the tools used to fabricate a part at specific specifications.
  7. Assure that product manufacturing process is competent and can satisfy the requirements of production.

Wrapping Up

By now, you should have understood how significant is the first article inspection for production manufacturing. 

An FAI is not required for all importers. However, you should conduct an FAI if you import expensive materials that are difficult to rework or specific kinds of products.  

A government official performs an FAI if the product gets used in the government bodies like the military, etc. 

Otherwise, it will be performed by the manufacturer or an independent third-party testing facility if civilians are going to use these products. Visit website for more information. 

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