Mass production of products within the aerospace and defense industries requires an initial inspection known as the First Article Inspection (FAI) and a report on the results. G.E. Mathis is committed to providing the highest quality inspections and reports that comply with the AS9102 standards to ensure that products meet the correct specifications during manufacturing.

What is First Article Inspection?

At the beginning of a production run, all business quality systems provide a report of the inspection of one to five products straight off the manufacturing line. Regardless of whether the system is certified to ISO 9001, TS16949, or AS9102 standards, quality inspection for compliance with the documentation or customer requirements must be completed before the production run continues. Included in the review are the measurements of the layout to ensure conformity.

Other testing may include material tests and reports, appearance approvals, and more. Once all documents are received, the First Article Inspection Report (FAIR) provides the customer with a review of the product and sets the expectation for the outcome of the full production run. Customers indicate how many parts, between one and five, require inspection in the FAI before approval to continue the run.

First Article Inspection Reports (FAIR)

A First Article Inspection Report (FAIR) can be requested during a mass production run to ensure consistent product quality. However, the FAIR process typically begins by validating the manufacturing processes and the associated equipment, including when:

  • Introducing New Parts
  • Revising Existing Parts
  • New Locations for Manufacturing
  • New Supplier of Parts
  • Resuming manufacturing after two years

Each FAIR has three forms that must meet the expectations outlined in the documentation. The forms include the part number accountability, product accountability, and characteristic accountability inspection forms. Two forms of inspection are carried out to ensure quality control and product reliability. The first form is dedicated to identifying the part that requires review, along with any sub-assemblies that may affect the quality of the final product. This form helps to ensure that quality issues are identified and resolved at the earliest stages of production.

The second form, product accountability, is a more comprehensive inspection process that covers all related materials, methods, and functional tests demanded by the product design. This form is crucial in ensuring that all product components function correctly and meet the required specifications. By conducting this inspection, any potential defects or issues that may arise during the product’s use can be identified and addressed, resulting in a more reliable and long-lasting product.

Finally, the characteristic accountability inspection ensures that the characteristics, dimensions, tolerances, and aesthetics align with the customer’s specifications. This form includes a detailed drawing or model pinpointing the necessary features identifiable by ballooned or bubbled numbers. A key provides details on the numbered aspects of the picture. The tools used to produce the product are included in the inspection for quality at this time.

Choosing G.E. Mathis Company for Your FAIR

Parts manufacturing is becoming more complex as the parts themselves evolve. Ensuring that each piece manufactured complies with all specified restrictions and requirements is essential to ensure products are successful after assembly. Completing a FAIR inspection during the manufacturing process ensures compliance with regulations and provides clients with product details.

Quality, integrity, and craftsmanship are at the forefront of our values at G.E. Mathis Company. Our dedication to our customers’ success is unwavering, and we strive to uphold these principles in everything we do. In addition to being an ISO 9001:2015-certified manufacturer, G.E. Mathis Company can provide the following services:

  • FAIR (First Article Inspection Report)
  • PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) – All Levels
  • Capability Studies (Statistical Process Control)
  • CMRT (Conflict Minerals Reporting Template)

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about G.E. Mathis Company and how we can apply our metal fabrication capabilities to your next project. Request a quote for your project or FAI assignment and get the expert help your facility deserves.


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