First Article Inspection (FAI)

A First Article Inspection (FAI) clarifies whether the manufacturing process of a given shipment of products meets your desired specifications. As an importer, the first article inspection is important for assessing product quality. This allows you to make changes in the production process if necessary.

What is a First Article Inspection?

A First Article Inspection is the inspection of the first article. It is performed before production begins or during the first production run. At that time, a maximum of 10% of the total order had been produced. and the color, dimensions, and finish of the product.

Does the inspector detect defects or other problems? Then you are still in time to make changes. So after every change in the original design of a product or change in the production process, another FAI is required.  

The purpose of an FAI

The purpose of a First Article Inspection is to verify that suppliers can meet the desired quality standards before the production line starts running at full speed. 

In this way, they can continue to take your requirements into account and, where necessary – and in a timely manner – make changes in the production process. This offers you, as an importer more certainty about the quality of each order. 

When to conduct an initial item inspection?

A First Article Inspection is indispensable in the production of new products. At the start of a new production process, our quality inspector checks the manufacturer’s ability to continuously deliver quality products. 

Other factors that play an important role during the inspection are:

  • Modification of original product design
  • Change of material and raw material
  • Modification of contracts with suppliers
  • Changing international laws and regulations
  • Change of plant personnel and location

Advantages of an FAI

A first-article inspection offers advantages for both importers and suppliers. As an importer, you get the assurance that the correct product is produced, and the supplier gets the chance to discover and solve possible problems in time. This limits delays in transport. 

So a first-article Article Inspection significantly reduces the risk of incorrect and/or defective products. This saves you headaches when doing business with foreign suppliers. 

Discover our other specializations

Quality Control performs other inspections in countries such as China, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, and Turkey in addition to FAIs. Read more about our various specializations here: