First Article Inspection Service (FAI)

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What’s First Article Inspection (FAI)

The First Article Inspection (FAI) is an official authentication method for a manufacturing process in production, it attests that all engineering, design and specification requirements are rightly understood, accounted for, verified, and recorded.

The FAI inspection takes place at factory floor right after the manufacturer starts producing the first mass production samples. A complete, independent, and documented physical and functional inspection process is conducted.

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What’s First Article Inspection (FAI) included?

Normally the First Article Inspection (FAI) will be conducted based on:

  1. 2D Drawings or 3D files from Design documentation
  2. Material and process specifications
  3. Technical Notes
  4. Additional checklist as required by designer or customer.

At the end, The first article inspection report will be includes:

  1. Part drawing checking Report
  2. Verified measurements of characteristics
  3. Regular Test report remarkings.

So a specialized quality inspector will check the status, raw materials, and components used in the production.

During a First Article Inspection, we scrutinize the first production samples according to your approved samples or specifications, cooperation of the factory, double check the understanding of your demands by the factory, production schedule and production processes control and in-house quality control checks.

When to conduct the First Article Inspection (FAI)?

The FAI inspection is typically called for a purchase order contract between buyer and supplier, it’s defined¬† as a production process verification, so all specifications and measurements should be verified during inspection.

Once the design released, production processes have been determined, an FAI can be performed on the First Production Run(Trial Run), and the FAI inspection should be repeated whenever any design changed, new tooling or Engineering Change Request affects the form.

So according to SAE standard, here are the times that FAI inspection is required.

  • First Production run of a new part or a assemble product.
  • Engineering Design Change which affects to function or material change
  • Materials changes
  • New sources from new supplier
  • 2 years since the part was produced.
  • New Tools
  • Manufacturing process or location changed.

So when the FAI inspection finished, factory could arrange first mass production run and proceed PPAP Process to verify everything are ready for mass production.

Here is one question:

First Article Inspection on Parts or Assembly?

Actually the FAI inspection shoule be conducted on both parts and assembly, after the part FAI almost finished, and no parts will affect the fuction of the assembly, or any fiting, testing, then the Assembly FAI could be completed in next.

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Highlights of First Article Inspection Service

  • Detect production discrepancies early in order to avoid unnecessary costs and delays.
  • Implement the necessary corrective actions as soon as possible.
  • Avoid misunderstandings, usage of wrong materials, wrong colors, etc.