First article inspection is an important component of successful manufacturing. The first article in production must be inspected, or measured, to determine whether it meets the engineering specifications. If it does not, corrective steps must be taken. These steps take time and money, which is why first article inspection must be quick and accurate.
10 Common Mistakes with First Article InspectionAlthough it is a standard practice in the manufacturing industry, there are still plenty of mistakes that can be made with first article inspection. Some of the most common errors include:
- Not including the drawing title block requirements such as general edge breaks, concentricity requirements, and others.
- Not reviewing the marking character-by-character to the marking requirements for syntax errors.
- Not including specifications listed in the drawing notes that will have a dimensional or interpretive impact on the drawing features.
- Not accounting for features that apply to multiple places on the part.
- Failure to properly address drawing notes and flag notes -- ensuring that items with a specific location via a flag note are, in fact, in the correct position is important.
- Overlooking cavity number, dash number, or serial number part identification requirements.
- Failure to correctly place raised markings, especially relative to tooling points or surfaces.
- Cleaning up or benching surfaces with tooling points or datums which alter the native surfaces produced by the tooling and can have a pronounced effect on the inspection results.
- Failure to include surface finish and coating requirements, especially when they apply only to specific locations or zones.
- Failure to properly measure small arc segments with relatively tight tolerances, especially those with large radii.
If you have ever encountered any of these common mistakes, or if you're not sure what each of them means, consider working with a dimensional inspection lab with expertise in first article inspection. Getting production right the first time does not always happen in manufacturing, but getting first article inspection right the first time is not only possible, but also essential.
Q-PLUS Labs has the expertise and the equipment to inspect your first articles accurately and quickly so you can continue production or take the necessary steps to correct errors. We provide reports that are easy to interpret and offer custom solutions to any measurement application. Contact us today for a free assessment.
What problems do you encounter with first article inspections?