A Guide to Understanding Your First Article Inspection Report

There’s a reason why the global aerospace and defense market is worth a staggering $807.7 billion. The aircraft, weapon systems, missiles, ships, and spacecraft that this industry produces require thousands of complex, intricately designed parts which can get expensive.

Because of the costly nature of the products (and the potential for disaster if one thing is out of place), there are strict specifications for manufacturing companies to follow.

To enforce these specifications companies will require a first article inspection report. So what is a first article inspection? And why is a report necessary?

In this guide, we’ll answer these questions so you can get a better sense of how aerospace products are made.

What Is a First Article Inspection?

Before we learn about the report we first need to understand what a first article inspection is. When products for the aerospace and defense industry are about to be mass-produced they need to be tested to make sure they conform to the often strict requirements.

Unfortunately, these products often consist of hundreds or even thousands of parts. So to make things easier, inspectors will look at one out of five items for each product. The items are chosen randomly.

Each item chosen goes through rigorous testing. Inspectors will look at the measurements, materials, design, equipment, and dimensions. Each of these areas needs to meet the exact requirements set forth by the customer.

If they don’t, then they fail. It’s generally assumed that if a fifth of the parts are perfect, then the rest will be too.

If the product passes quality inspection, then it will receive a first-article inspection report. These inspection results act as proof that the product conforms to the strict requirements exactly.

What Are the Different Parts of a First Article Inspection Report?

The inspection report components consist of three forms. The first form identifies the specific part number that’s being inspected.

The second form looks into every aspect of the design requirements for quality products.

This includes functional tests but also checks to make sure that all the materials and specifications are correct. Lastly, the third form verifies all of the design characteristics of a product.

How to Get a First Article Inspection for Your Product

As you can probably guess, you will need a specialist to perform these types of inspections. The good news is that there are quality inspection services out there that can help you.

Just make sure you look for one that’s flexible in terms of where they perform the inspection.

If the product is too large to ship, they shouldn’t have any problem coming down to your facilities to inspect. However, they should also have an in-house option.

Appreciate Learning Product Manufacturing? Keep Exploring

We hope this guide helped you learn more about a first article inspection report. This form of quality inspection might seem like a hassle.

However, given the expensive and dangerous nature of the products it can provide everyone involved with a little peace of mind when it comes to implementing aerospace and defense products and equipment.

Want more niche content like this? Keep scrolling through our site to discover plenty of similar content you’re sure to love.

Related Posts