If you manufacture products on any level for clients, you need to verify you're meeting their specifications perfectly. First article inspections are intended to assess these specifications in an accurate manner. As long as you approach this inspection process in the following ways, you can get meaningful results and then move forward with part manufacturing confidently.
Focus on the Right Tolerances
Whenever you manufacture parts for clients, there will be specific tolerances you need to comply with. They can involve things like part dimensions, shapes, and hardness ratings. What you need to do early on when setting up a first article inspection is determine what tolerances are appropriate to look at throughout this assessment.
These tolerances will vary from part to part, so just take your time figuring out how your FAI (first article inspection) needs to be focused before it's ultimately carried out. Then you'll gain meaningful results that either pass or fail according to the tolerance specifications you're trying to stay in line with.
Make Adjustments if Parts Don't Fall in the Right Tolerance Framework
If you have first article inspections that fail according to a specific tolerance framework that you're looking to stay within for clients, then you'll need to make the appropriate adjustments. Then you can have more confidence in manufacturing going forward, whether you're making automotive parts or parts for the industrial sector.
As long as you know how to interpret results from an FAI, you shouldn't struggle to know what adjustments are necessary for the parts you're developing. You'll have a clear path and you'll just need to stay on it until part designs are proven to be successful.
Conduct an FAI After Making Changes
Even after you make the necessary changes to parts that fail a first article inspection, it's important to follow up with another inspection. Then you can make sure your changes have the right impact they need for manufacturing to happen according to client specifications.
You just need to perform the same procedures and work with the same inspectors so that you have consistency and thus have accurate FAI results that confirm whether changes were meaningful.
First article inspections are very important for manufacturers producing parts for clients because they help verify specific tolerances are correct. If you set these inspections up correctly and carry them out at the right intervals throughout manufacturing, it will be a lot easier to please clients you end up making parts for.
Contact a professional to learn more about first article inspections.