First Article Inspection (FAI) Explained
What is a First Article Inspection Report (FAIR)?
A FAIR is a AS9102 requirement under clause 220.127.116.11 which discusses the need to establish, implement and document the verification of the of the production process. When a new or revised part is produced for the first time the part needs to be verified that it meets all of the design and specification requirements.
The FAIR itself consists of 3 Forms:
The FAIR consists of 3 forms:
Form 1: Part Number Accountability and identifies the part that is being inspected, any associated sub-assemblies or detail parts.
Form 2: Product Accountability Raw Material, Specifications and Special Processes is used to identify any material, special processes or functional testing are required by design.
Form 3: Characteristic Accountability, Verification and Compatibility Evaluation Accountability is used to verify and record all the design characteristics on the drawing.
What is the Purpose?
The purpose of a FAIR is to produce documents to provide an auditable trail for performing periodic surveillance and audits to verify conformance, identify any flaws in the manufacturing process, help conduct root cause analysis and introduce corrective actions should the need arise.
When should a FAIR be completed?
A FAIR is conducted once the drawing stage of product design is completed and the first batch of parts are produced. Additionally, a FAIR should be completed if there are any changes to the design or the Manufacturing Process. Material or source change, computer program update affecting product form or function, after 2 years has lapsed since first production.
Who Conducts the FAIR?
Normally the FAIR is completed by the Supplier and the Purchaser. However, depending upon the capabilities, the type of product being produced and the regulatory specifications an approved 2nd supplier can be used to conduct the FAIR. The 2nd supplier usually takes the form of an accredited dimensional metrology laboratory who use a variety of calibrated tools such as a CMM or VMM.
How to conduct a FAIR
Once the design phase is complete and the first batch of parts have been produced a sample is taken (it could be the first off, the machine or a random part selected from the first batch produced). Form 1 is then completed recording the relevant details such as:
- Part Number
- Part Name
- Serial Number
- Revision Level
- Manufacturing Process Reference Number
Then Form 2 is completed which records the details of the Raw Material, Specifications or Special Processes the part needs to go through to comply with the customer requirements:
- Material or Process Name
- Specification Number
- Code (Part specific)
- Special Process Supplier Code
- Customer Approval Verification
Form 3 deals with the specific characteristics of the part and the measurements taken to ensure conformity. These details include:
- Character Number (Taken from drawing)
- Reference Location
- Character Designator
- Designed Tooling
- Non-Conformance Number