Published 10 Jul 2023
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.
In this article
- Why Use a Factory Acceptance Test Checklist?
- What’s Included in a Factory Acceptance Test Checklist?
- 4 Common FAT Issues and Effective Countermeasures
- How Do You Write a Factory Acceptance Test?
- What is SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) and how can it help me prove equipment reliability?
- Featured Factory Acceptance Test Templates
Why Use a Factory Acceptance Test Checklist?
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 and implementing the proper factory acceptance test procedure.
What’s Included in a Factory Acceptance Test Checklist?
With this factory acceptance test checklist, quality managers can verify the following and more:
- Conformance to specifications
- Welding processes qualifications.
- As-built technical drawings.
- Instruments calibration certificates.
- Standard work procedures.
- Equipment data sheets.
- Materials data sheets.
- Control system
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 nonconformity 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.
Poor Machine Quality or CraftsmanshipQuality 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.
Nonconformity to Regulatory or Sanitary SpecificationsClients 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.
Lack of Appropriate Machine Guarding and LabelsConduct 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.
Lower than Expected ThroughputQuality 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).
How Do You Write a Factory Acceptance Test?
The FAT procedure depends on the design specifications and intended function of the machine that should undergo the testing. Even when each step of the factory acceptance testing varies per equipment, project engineers can adhere to the following standard FAT procedure:
Communicate with the clientUpon the client’s arrival at the factory floor, the manufacturer or supplier should discuss the details that have yet to be addressed before the acceptance testing. Clarifying project adjustments such as change orders shows an understanding of the client’s production process and the ability to deliver on their expectations.
Review the detailed test planA test plan is a tool used to clearly illustrate the timing and sequence of tests or inspections based on the equipment’s purchase order specifications and functional requirements. When walking through the test plan with the client, specify the reference documents, or the basis for the acceptance criteria, such as construction codes and verifying documents, or the proof of test or inspection results, such as certificates.
Perform safety risk assessmentsProject managers should identify and eliminate hazards in the test area before commencing the acceptance testing. Complete the safety inspection with a mobile device and ensure that machinery nameplates are visible, emergency stop buttons are accessible, and safety switches are installed. Use a mobile-ready factory acceptance test checklist to verify if pre-tests were conducted, corrective actions were implemented, and all FAT personnel are equipped with the appropriate PPE.
Demonstrate equipment performanceConfirm the FAT protocol and proceed with the functional and regulatory tests—from the startup process to the maintenance procedure. As the quality team proves the performance of the custom-built machine, the client will ask questions to gauge how it will perform when installed in their facility. Ad hoc tests may be required when nonconformity is revealed.
Apply additional customizationWhen the punch list has been resolved and additional customization has been applied to the equipment, an official statement of acceptance should be signed by the manufacturer or supplier’s quality manager, head design engineer, and fabrication manager and the client’s representative, head operator, and maintenance coordinator.
The client will eventually perform a site acceptance test (SAT) upon proper installation at the permanent operation position. The SAT further verifies equipment performance in relation with other systems at the site.
What is SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) and how can it help me prove equipment reliability?
Use SafetyCulture, the world’s most powerful digital checklist app, to streamline your factory acceptance tests, complete the FAT protocol with proper documentation and ensure equipment reliability before delivery and installation at your clients’ site. With SafetyCulture, you can:
- Use comprehensive FAT checklists offline or online
- Capture photo evidence of nonconformity
- Assign actions for punch list items
- Gather digital signatures of FAT personnel
- Automatically generate and deliver FAT reports. Preview sample report.
- Use for free with small teams. Gain real-time data and actionable insights for premium accounts.
Featured Factory Acceptance Test Templates
This factory acceptance test report template is a comprehensive validation test for outboard equipment (external effects unit), including AC Power Test, Audio Test, Video Test, Control and Performance Test, and Network Test. Quality managers in the manufacturing facility can customize this template based on the specifications of the equipment to undergo a factory acceptance test. You can also use this factory acceptance template to perform systematic visual inspections and proper documentation of FAT protocol.
A Site Acceptance Test (SAT) is the process of validating the reliability of newly manufactured equipment with other interfaces at the site. After the factory acceptance test, equipment delivery and site installation, the client conducts a site acceptance test ideally with the quality manager from the manufacturing facility. Use this checklist as a guideline in conducting site acceptance tests and automatically generate a shareable report the moment you finish the SAT.
This machine acceptance form can be used to complete the process validation protocol by reporting the verification of the equipment/system final design against the user, functional, and/or design specifications. Use this form to easily identify key items of equipment, utilities supply, and environmental requirements. Take/attach photos of all relevant equipment drawings such as mechanical drawings, electrical schematics, process and instrument drawings, etc.
This equipment FAT checklist can be used for the commissioning of burners/boilers in an industrial or commercial power plant. Easily customize or build your own checklist using SafetyCulture (iAuditor) template editor to meet specific equipment design requirements and fulfill company needs. Each inspection item can also be set to “mandatory” to make sure that every detail about the equipment is checked.
A manufacturing quality control checklist is a tool used to help maintain standards by evaluating the quality of a product through weekly visual inspections of its size, color, weight, the materials used and packaging. Schedule a quality control check and send real-time notification to quality control teams using SafetyCulture (iAuditor). Easily identify trends in manufacturing processes with SafetyCulture (iAuditor)’s Analytics to continuously improve product quality and increase customer satisfaction.
A manufacturing facility inspection checklist is used by trained officers to ensure the health and safety compliance of manufacturers daily. Easily inspect the tools and machinery, machine guards, ladders and platforms/elevating devices, sound level/noise, and loading/unloading racks in a manufacturing facility. With SafetyCulture (iAuditor) mobile inspection app, you can easily secure fire emergency procedures, materials handling and storage, personal protective equipment and training of workers. All data is automatically saved and stored in the cloud!