How Manufacturers Should Handle First Article Inspections Carried Out By Labs

31 August 2021
 Categories: , Blog


If you manufacture parts for clients, you want to make sure you come through on requests that were given in the beginning. That's what first article inspections let you verify, which can be conducted thoroughly in specialized labs. These tips can help you handle this inspection process like a pro.

Respond Correctly to Test Failures

You may not always have parts that initially pass first article inspections. If you do fail these tests, it's important that you respond quickly and correctly in order to resume manufacturing operations once again.

Fortunately, first article inspections performed by labs will have all the information you need to see why a couple of parts from a batch didn't pass and thus didn't meet the client's preferences. It could be the parts that are too large or maybe there were defects. Once you find out for sure, you can adjust designs and manufacturing to pass these inspections the next time.

Have Inspections Performed at the Right Times

In order to truly benefit from first article inspections conducted by labs, you want to know when they're appropriate to carry out. That will ensure you don't waste any resources or halt manufacturing for no reason. These inspections are appropriate for first production runs and when you need to make major changes.

It could be an adjustment with materials, dimensions, and manufacturing equipment. As long as you have first article inspections executed when these situations come up, you can set your part manufacturing operations up for success and satisfy a lot more clients over the years.

Consult With an FAI Expert

If this is your first time dealing with first article inspections because you just opened up a manufacturing site, then you likely need guidance the first couple of times. You can speak to an FAI expert and get help so you have fewer obstacles to overcome.

This consultant can show you which labs to send your parts to, which is important for ensuring the right metrics and factors are assessed using proven analysis techniques and equipment. A consultant can also go over testing results so that you don't overlook important things with your parts.

Before you go through with producing a lot of parts in a manufacturing environment, you want to test a couple of parts out first and that's what first article inspections are for. If you follow the correct testing protocols and procedures, then you can ensure manufacturing is properly set up to give clients exactly what they want. 

Keep these tips in mind when looking for first article inspection lab services.