What is a Factory Acceptance Test?
A Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) is used to verify that newly produced equipment works according to its construction code and purchase order specifications. It is performed by quality managers, design engineers, operators, and maintenance personnel in the manufacturing facility before delivery and installation at the clients’ site.
Using a factory acceptance test checklist can reduce costly project delays by ensuring the completion of FAT protocol, such as standard work procedures, certificates of compliance and welding processes qualifications. This article features:
- Effective countermeasures to 4 common FAT issues
- iAuditor digital checklist app to streamline factory acceptance tests
- Free factory acceptance test checklists you can download, customize and use
Click here to download Top 5 Factory Acceptance Test Checklists
4 Common FAT Issues and Effective Countermeasures
Overlooked equipment discrepancies can lead to installation problems onsite which can wreak havoc on a project schedule. Prior to shipment, quality managers should resolve nonconformities at the factory so that the clients’ new processing lines are up and ready to go on time. Here are 4 common issues discovered from factory acceptance tests and what countermeasures quality teams can apply to ensure equipment reliability.
Issue #1: Poor Machine Quality or Craftsmanship
Quality managers should regularly coordinate with design engineers and fabrication managers to ascertain that the as-built technical drawings (electrical, mechanical, pneumatic and process schemes) are followed. Before the factory acceptance test, prepare the instruments calibration certificates and refer to the equipment and materials data sheets to deliver high quality machines with performance that clients can trust.
Issue #2: Nonconformity to Regulatory or Sanitary Specifications
Clients often specify a level of standard in manufacturing the equipment they ordered. Bioprocessing equipment, boilers and pressure vessels can receive American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) certifications through conformity assessments. For electric and electronic products, systems and services, manufacturers generally adhere to International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. Quality managers can also consider collaborating with industrial hygienists or health and safety officers to comply with design specifications.
Issue #3: Lack of Appropriate Machine Guarding and Labels
Conduct pre and post operation checks of machine guards before and during FAT with clients. It is the responsibility of the quality manager to provide installation, maintenance and users’ manuals, recommended spare parts lists, and easy-to-use training materials for operators and maintenance personnel. The Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) labels and procedures should also be clearly stipulated to comply with Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) standards.
Issue #4: Lower than Expected Throughput
Quality managers should present a step-by-step FAT procedure, including all records of the agreed FAT protocol, to the client for review and approval. On the actual factory acceptance test, the desired functionality of the equipment should be proven through a series of validation tests based on a consensus acceptance criteria and punch list (compilation of nonconformities for modification).
When quality managers resolve the punch list and clients accept the working condition of the equipment at the factory, they should eventually perform a site acceptance test (SAT). Upon proper installation at the permanent operation position, the SAT verifies equipment performance in relation with other systems at the site.
iAuditor Digital Checklist App
Use iAuditor, the world’s most powerful digital checklist app, to streamline factory acceptance tests, ensure equipment reliability and prevent costly project delays. With iAuditor, you can:
- ✔ Use FAT checklists offline or online
- ✔ Capture photo evidence
- ✔ Assign actions for nonconformities
- ✔ Gather digital signatures
- ✔ Automatically share FAT reports
- ✔ Gain actionable insights
To help you get started, here are 5 of the best factory acceptance test checklists you can download and customize for free.