My first article inspection services

First article inspection (FAI) has long been a part of the supplier quality assurance toolkit. FAI is a particular form of source inspection, performed on one of the first production run parts. FAI is a complete, independent, and documented physical and functional inspection process to verify that prescribed production methods have produced an acceptable item as specified by engineering drawings, planning, purchase order, engineering specifications, and other applicable design documents.

FAI has taken on a new dimension in the aerospace industry with the introduction of the AS9102 standard, one of the family headed by AS9100 Quality Management Systems – Aerospace – Requirements.

AS9102 Aerospace First Article Inspection Requirement and FAIR

The purpose of FAI is to provide objective evidence that all engineering design and specification requirements are properly understood, accounted for, verified, and documented by the supplier. The AS9102 standard sets out a consistent documentation requirement for FAI on aerospace components, and is applicable to assemblies, sub-assemblies and detail parts (including castings and forgings). It does not apply to standard catalogue hardware or to deliverable software. Under AS9102, inspection findings must be recorded in a prescribed format in a First Article Inspection Report (FAIR). The inspection may be performed by the supplier and the FAIR submitted to the customer, or it may be performed or overseen by a customer representative.

What I will do for you

I will perform or oversee first article inspection in accordance with any specific instructions you provide, but typically I will review the following for completeness:

  • manufacturing process documents, route travellers, quality plans, work instructions, etc.;
  • referenced documents, inspection and test data, acceptance test procedures, material certifications, etc.;
  • any nonconformance documentation raised during production;

and I will verify that:

  • sources of special process are approved;
  • requirements for key characteristics have been met;
  • gauges and tooling are qualified and traceable as necessary;
  • each and every design characteristic is accounted for, uniquely identified, and that inspection results are traceable.

I will prepare a report for you using your own forms or report format if available; otherwise I will provide a report to you in my own style and covering the agreed inspection subjects. Where AS9102 is stipulated, the report shall comply with the AS9102 requirements for a FAIR.