Close this search box.

What is the First article inspection (FAI) and how to prepare for it?

What is the First article inspection (FAI) and how to prepare for it?

first article inspection in manufacturing  

A first article inspection (FAI) is an inspection process that verifies that a product meets all the engineering and design requirements specified in the blueprint. During a first article inspection, a trained inspector will go over the product with a fine-tooth comb and compare it with the blueprint to ensure that all specifications such as dimensions, tolerances, and materials are met.


After the first article inspection is complete, a first article inspector will provide a report detailing their findings. This report will be used to determine if the product is defect-free and 100% compliant.


In this article, we will take a closer look at the first article inspection process, why it is important for buyers and how to prepare for one.

How to ensure FAI quality control in your manufacturing process


First article inspection (FAI) is an important step in the manufacturing process, ensuring that products are made to the correct specifications and meet customer requirements. FAI involves inspecting a sample of the first product manufactured in a batch to ensure that it meets all quality standards. If any defects are found, the entire batch may be rejected and may need to be reworked or scrapped. This can be costly and can impact production schedules, so it is important to implement a rigorous FAI process to minimize the risk of rejects.



There are several factors to consider when designing an FAI process, including the type of product being manufactured, the manufacturing process, and the customer requirements. Some common quality criteria that may be inspected include dimensions, tolerances, surface finish, material properties, and functionality.



In order to ensure accurate results, it is important to have a well-trained and experienced FAI team. The team should be familiar with the product specifications and the manufacturing process so they can accurately identify any defects. The FAI process should also be well-documented so that all stakeholders (including production staff, quality control personnel, and customers) are aware of the expectations and procedures. This will help ensure that any defects are identified and addressed quickly and effectively. Quality control is critical in manufacturing, and first article inspection is a key part of ensuring that products meet all quality standards. By implementing a rigorous FAI process, you can minimize the risk of rejects and ensure that your products meet or exceed customer expectations.

What is FAI material testing and why does it matter?

FAI Materials testing is a process of determining the properties of raw material and how it behaves under different conditions. The purpose of this testing is to ensure that the material can be used for the desired application. There are many different types of materials, and each has its own set of properties that must be tested. The most common type of material testing is mechanical testing.



This involves applying a force to the material and measuring the resulting deformation. This can tell you things like the strength and stiffness of the material. Other tests may be performed to determine other properties, such as resistance to corrosion or heat.



All materials must meet certain specifications before they can be used in an application. The type of material, as well as the environment in which it will be used, will dictate what those specifications are.

The first article of inspection procedures

material testing

The First Article Inspection Process (FAI) is the first step in validating a new manufacturing process or supplier. In addition to carefully examining the initial product for measurements, dimensions, and assembly correctness as per the blueprint, an inspector also makes sure all the manufacturing process is in order. If there are any issues found, they will need to be addressed before the supplier can proceed with the mass production of the product. This can help to avoid costly recalls, reworks, or any delays in getting the product to market.


There are many different ways to conduct an FAI Inspection, but the most important thing is to be thorough and cover all aspects of the manufacturing process. This includes looking at the raw materials, the equipment used, the assembly process, and the final product. Here are some tips on how to conduct an effective FAI:


Define the scope of the inspection:

The first step is to clearly define what will be included in the inspection. This should include a list of all materials, components, and processes that will be covered.


Create a checklist:

Creating a checklist of everything that needs to be inspected will help ensure that nothing is missed. This can be created by the quality assurance team or the supplier.


Inspect the raw materials:

The inspection should start with the raw materials used in the manufacturing process. This includes looking at the quality of the materials, as well as making sure that they meet all specifications.


Inspect the equipment:

The next step is to inspect all of the equipment that will be used in the manufacturing process. This includes both the machinery and any tools that will be used.


Inspect the assembly process:

The assembly process should be closely inspected to ensure that all parts are put together correctly. This includes both manual and automated processes.


Inspect the final product:

Once the product is assembled, it should be thoroughly inspected to make sure that it meets all specifications. This includes checking for any defects or problems.


Documenting results and making recommendations based on findings:

It’s important to document the results of the inspection so that the findings can be reviewed. This documentation should include both positive and negative results. Based on the findings of the inspection, recommendations should be made to improve the manufacturing process. This can include changes to the materials, equipment, or assembly process.

How to find a reputable first article inspection services provider?

first article inspection service

When you need to find a first article inspection services provider, you should look for a company that has a lot of experience in the industry. You should also make sure that the company is certified and has a good reputation. Here are 8 important factors you need to consider when choosing a reputable first article inspection service provider.


1. Look for a company with relevant experience:

The first thing you need to consider when choosing a first article inspection service provider is the amount of experience that the company has. You should look for a company that has been in business for a long time and has a lot of experience with the type of product you need to have inspected


2. Make sure the inspection service provider is certified:

When you are looking for a first article inspection service provider, you should make sure that the company is certified. This will ensure that the company has the proper qualifications to perform the inspection.


3. Check the company’s reputation:

It is also important to check the reputation of the first article inspection service provider. You can do this by searching online for reviews of the company. This is something companies can’t easily fake. It will give you a clear idea of whether or not the company is as good as they claim to be.


4. Make sure their service is affordable:

You also need to make sure that you can afford the first article inspection service provider. You should get quotes from several different companies so that you can compare prices. Also, specifically ask, if there are any hidden fees.


5.Ask for referrals:

If you can’t rely on online reviews alone, make sure to ask someone for a referral who has used a first article inspection service provider before. This can help you find a reputable company.


6. Read the fine print:

Before you hire a first article inspection service provider, you should read all of the fine print. This will ensure that you understand all of the terms and conditions of the agreement.


7. Get everything in writing:

You should get everything in writing when you hire a first article inspection service provider. This will ensure that there is no misunderstanding about the agreement.


There are many benefits to choosing an experienced first article inspection service provider like Tetra Inspection. Our team has years of experience in performing First article inspections across Asia, Europe, and Africa. With our fast and reliable service, we can ensure that your first article will be inspected accurately and the inspection report will be available to you in 24 hours or less. 


Contact us today to learn more about our first article inspection services!