First Article Inspection (FAI) is an inspection performed on a part prior to beginning full production. Vip will create several pre-production pieces of a customer’s part and perform an in-depth evaluation to verify that all engineering, design and specification requirements are correctly understood, accounted for, verified and recorded. The inspection will also confirm that, as a supplier, our material, tooling, processes, documentation, and personnel can reliably and consistently produce a part that meet the customer’s requirement throughout the production process. Once it is determined that the part is ready for customer approval, the FAI, along with the physical part, will be shipped to the customer for approval. Once approved, Vip will move into the production phase and fulfill the order.
Please note that lead time for production begins after a first article is approved by the customer. For more information on lead times, please click here.
First article inspection reports are extremely detailed, but are a very important part of the process. Some of the key components considered in an inspection are dimensional and cavity measurements, specification requirements, and design characteristics. Due to the fact that a FAI is primarily concerned with proving repeatability, it is not necessary to perform this inspection beyond the first production run unless something significant has changed dimensionally, such as new or modified tooling. Vip provides a FAI with each new order that requires one, however due to the labor intensive nature of this process, if a FAI is required on a re-order, there will be a minimum $350 charge applied to the order. The cost will be quoted at time of re-order and will depend on the complexity of the part.