If you're new to the world of first article inspection (FAI), you might be wondering what the process involves. What do you need to know to get your parts inspected and certified?

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about FAI, from what it is and why it's important to how to go about getting your parts inspected.

What Is a First Article Inspection (FAI)?

First article inspection is a quality assurance process typically used in the manufacturing and processing industries.

It involves inspecting a sample of parts or products to verify their compliance with the engineering drawings or specifications. This inspection can be carried out at various stages of production, depending on the product and the manufacturing process.

What Happens During an FAI Audit?

The first article inspection aims to ensure that the manufactured parts or products meet the required quality standards. This inspection helps identify any potential manufacturing process problems so that they can be corrected before the mass production stage.

The inspection is usually conducted by an independent third party, such as a certified quality engineer (CQE). The CQE will review the engineering drawings or specifications to make sure that they are correct and complete. They will then inspect the sample parts or products using various measuring tools to check that the parts or products meet the required specifications.

The process itself involves taking detailed measurements of the product, as well as performing functional testing to check for any defects. For example, if the part being inspected is an engine piston, the inspector will check that it meets the required dimensions and tolerances. They will also test the piston to check that it can function correctly.

Once the FAI is complete, a report is generated outlining any areas that need improvement. This report serves as a valuable tool for ensuring that the final product meets all quality standards.

What to Do if Your Parts Fail the FAI Audit

If your parts or products fail the first article inspection, you need to take corrective action to improve the quality of your manufacturing process. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may need to scrap the affected parts and start from scratch. This might involve making changes to the part's design, changing the materials used, or altering the manufacturing process itself.

To ensure quality in the future, you should keep track of any changes made so you can ensure that the final product meets all quality standards. You can also work with your team to identify the problem's root cause and plan to prevent it from happening again.

Taking quick and decisive action ensures that your organization passes future audits with flying colors. Contact a first article inspection service to learn more.