Original Date: 07/08/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : First Article Inspection
In Tolerance extended the capability of its powerful and fully automated Coordinate Measuring Machine by programming it to send inspection data to an Excel spreadsheet, where other pertinent data can be easily added to create the First Article Inspection reports required by the buyer.
A First Article Inspection Report is a requirement placed on the supplier by the customer. The report documents and certifies that each first article unit delivered to the buyer was produced and inspected in accordance with the buyer’s specifications. The report includes all physical, material, and chemical test data associated with the part. These reports are provided to the buyer and kept on file by the supplier for a minimum of seven years or as required by the buyer.
Generating First Article Inspection reports is a necessary requirement and must be generated by the supplier’s qualified personnel. The reports are time consuming and costly to generate. To reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of this requirement, In Tolerance takes advantage of its powerful Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). A large portion of the report contains the measurement data taken with the CMM. When the CMM is finished measuring a part, instead of sending the data to the printer, In Tolerance’s computer programmer changed the software directing the CMM to send the data to an Excel spreadsheet. From this spreadsheet, In Tolerance can edit the data to add other inspection data (e.g., threads or other characteristics) the CMM cannot measure. The information can be e-mailed or printed and sent to the customer with the parts. An electronic copy of the inspection record is kept for a minimum of seven years and can be easily accessed at any time.
First Article Inspection reports for parts inspected on the CMM are now generated more efficiently, and the records can be easily accessed allowing quick response to customer inquiries or internal reviews. Customers now receive the reports in a timely manner, either at the time of initial delivery or in some cases, prior to delivery of the first article unit.
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