Once a production process is established, it is necessary to verify it has been setup correctly. A first article inspection report enables manufacturers to establish confidence in their production process and provides them with the information required to fix any issues identified.
FAI is usually carried out by fully inspecting the first part (or batch) against the manufacturing specifications and drawing requirements. In the case of mass production, a sample of parts from the first batch may be inspected instead. The FAI report usually covers every detail of the part to assure the purchaser the that production process has been setup correctly. For additional confidence, a Gauge R&R study can be used to establish the confidence level of the inspection report.
Why would I consider a FAI Report?
First Article Inspections gives you and your buyer confidence in your production process. It can also give you the information you need to rectify or improve the process if any issues are found. You may want a FAIR to mitigate the risk and verify your component meets the customer’s specification or it may be a formal requirement in a purchase order. For example, in the aerospace industry you may carry out a FAI out to AS9102 in order to satisfy the AS9100 Rev D production process verification requirement.
FAI isn’t just for new processes either. When modifying an existing production process, a FAIR can be used in conjunction with a Last Article Inspection (LAI) to verify that the modified process has the required changes implemented correctly, whilst ensuring the unmodified features remain unaffected. Correlation activities such as this ensure smooth transitions and mitigate risk in all manufacturing environments.
What is a Form 3?
A First Article Report is typically split into three forms. Form 3 details the specific characteristics to be inspected, the relevant tolerances, and the results from the inspection. If you require help with your Form 3, we can help balloon your drawing, generate your Form 3 and even populate it on your behalf.
Last Article Inspection Reports (LAIR)
Similar to a FAI report, when a production process is being modified or perhaps moved to a new facility, a last article report can be carried out to establish a datum point to compare the new process against. Once moved or modified, a FAI report can be carried out on the new process and used as evidence with the LAI report to give confidence in the success of the project.