The Three Main Purposes Of First Article Lab Inspection In Manufacturing
A first article inspection is when an authorized individual removes parts from the first production run of a new product, looks at those parts, and ensures they match your specifications. There are three different primary purposes of using a first article inspection during the manufacturing process.
Purpose #1: Verify
The first purpose of using a first article inspection lab is to verify that the part that is being manufactured meets your specifications. They will take the product and examine the product carefully to ensure that the measures are not almost like what you submitted, but exactly like what you submitted to the machine shape. When you have something manufactured, and machines are used to create the product, very specific electronic data is used to determine the product's size, shape, and dimensions. The inspector will look at the information from the manufacturer and compare that with the information from you as the customer, ensure that any additional information was accounted for, and verify that the product is being made to your specifications.
Purpose #2: Documentation
The second reason for a first article inspector report is to create documentation for the customer and the manufacturer. The inspection report will verify for the manufacturer that they are doing things right, and it will create a paper trail for the manufacturer that they can rely on to show that they are doing things right. If the product doesn't pass the report, then the manufacturer will know that immediately and will be able to take action to fix it.
For you as the customer, it will also provide you with a paper trail that shows that you were checking in on the quality of the product. It will show that you were holding the manufacturer responsible.
Purpose #3: Confirmation
Finally, the first article inspection report will confirm that the manufacturer's part matches the initial specifications that you as a customer shared with the manufacturer. This will confirm that the design being used is correct. It will help ensure that everyone is on the same page.
A first article inspection lab report is all about verifying and confirming that the product they manufacture meets the customer's specifications using a third-party or outside source. It also helps to create a formal documentation trail that establishes that everyone is on the same page. Using a first article inspection lab helps formalize and verify that everything is being made correctly so that all parties are happy with the final product.