A Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) is required to ensure that the customer’s requirements are met before a plant or machine is delivered. During the FAT, faults and problems can be identified and rectified before handover to the customer takes place. The benefits of always implementing Factory Acceptance Testing far outweigh any negatives. Hardware FATs refer to the physical testing of machinery, equipment and manufactured goods. This has long been the standard type of FAT, and the type which requires vendor, manufacturer and client representatives to be physically present to witness the testing and sign off on documentation. In addition, there are great contractual uses for Factory Acceptance Testing.
This includes preparing the equipment to be tested, setting up any necessary auxiliary equipment or tools, and ensuring that the testing environment mimics the conditions under which the equipment will ultimately operate. The planning presents a set op of the appropriate tests to be carried out and who is responsible for developing the test cases. Appropriate levels of competence and independence of assessors are required. The realization of tests shall be described as well as the personnel responsible to carry out the test.
This article will delve deeper into what a FAT is and how to go about conducting one successfully. Focus on the personnel who will ultimately be responsible for running the machines, those who “own the line.” Sending engineers isn’t sufficient; the operators will see what makes the most sense on the line. The people who will run the equipment daily are uniquely qualified to make observations beyond the specifications and recognize issues or flaws prior to delivery. Additionally, the ownership aspect is invaluable, as the best technology going into a plant is not going to work if the operators are not comfortable with it, or have no faith in it.
Test Equipment and Environment Setup
It will depend on the requirements set out in the Owners Project Requirements [OPR] and Commissioning Plan/Specification. Both pipelines and piping systems play a pivotal role in the transportation of fluids, gases, and other materials across various industries. SATs demonstrate that nothing has changed during transport and installation from the FAT. All instrumentation used for test validation must be calibrated prior to and following test activities. By understanding the importance of FAT, the different types of FAT, and the benefits of vFAT, you can help to ensure that your next FAT is a success. While newer file systems like NTFS and exFAT offer enhanced features and capabilities, the importance of FAT lies in its simplicity, compatibility, and long-standing support across different devices and operating systems.
- For example, when you have a thorough FAT documentation, that can be used as a template for the Installation Qualification portion of the validated process or installation.
- However, the requirement of FAT shall be specified in the scope document.
- Before the FAT begins, the manufacturer should present the FAT procedure to the client for review and approval.
- During the FAT, both the production volume and equipment performance are assessed by performing a series of tests, including process schemes and simulations.
- Following the completion of the tests, all results must be meticulously documented and reported.
Having a detailed test plan will help ensure that you don’t short-change the FAT. Performing a brief, shallow FAT will inevitably show up as a problem in the third shift, nine months down the road. In addition to the above, there are also some specific types of FATs that are used in certain industries. For example, the aerospace industry uses a type of FAT called a Functional Configuration Audit (FCA). An FCA is a comprehensive review of the design, manufacturing, and testing of an aircraft or spacecraft. The FCA is used to ensure that the equipment meets all of the requirements of the applicable regulations.
How to get an Effective Result from Factory Acceptance Testing?
Since the software documents have been kept up to date, these same documents can be used to verify the operations of the software. Factory Acceptance Test protocol typically includes test objectives, test scope, test methods and procedures, acceptance criteria, test equipment and tools, and test schedules and timelines. Lastly, at the end of the FAT, the client will usually sign off on the Test, and this serves as the Customer Acceptance. They feature intuitive, drag-and-drop interfaces, allowing users to design, customize, and execute complex test procedures without extensive coding skills. This simplification can significantly reduce the time and effort required to conduct a FAT, speeding up the overall testing process. FAT isn’t just a test—it guarantees that each piece of equipment will fulfill its intended role within your operational framework, ensuring the seamless continuity of your production processes.
Factory Acceptance Tests (FATs) are performed at the site of manufacture of a piece of equipment before it is shipped to the customer. In the latter example, the system is then taken apart, moved to the customer’s site, and put back together again. Obviously, there is scope to be flexible, but the ultimate aim as noted is to be efficient and ensure that the project understands the correct information to be included. Not all Plant and Equipment on a project will need to be factory tested.
It is used to ensure that the plant or machine has been properly installed and is operational. Software FATs exist in order for engineers and developers to be able to demonstrate the software’s functionality to the other parties present, before the system is placed into service. They need to show that the software has been coded to meet the required specifications of the project. Lastly, low-code platforms can help companies stay in compliance with industry regulations.
Documentation such as drawings, ASME certificates, and test procedures must be gathered. And finally, testing must be conducted in the factory that follows specific test procedures. Before the FAT begins, the manufacturer should present the FAT procedure to the client for review and approval. The procedure should include testing of as much functionality as is practical in the factory and, where possible, should show pass/fail criteria or desired results for each item tested. Once the procedure is approved, the manufacturer should test the equipment before the FAT begins. Keep in mind that some clients like to visit the factory during FAT, so this “pre-test” will confirm that the sterilizer is set up with the correct options, ensure a smoother FAT process and minimize down-time during the FAT.
It is, therefore, required to test the equipment to find out if the equipment is working as needed without errors. This test is known as the factory acceptance test which is popular by its acronym “FAT”. In this article, we will explore more about FAT, its definition, purpose, steps, examples, checklist, and differences with the site acceptance tests (SAT). Undertaking FAT ensures that the equipment purchased meets the required standards and operates as expected.
The purpose is to ensure that the machine or system meets the requirements that were ordered by the customer. A Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), is usually conducted at the manufacturer’s facility and may include functional testing and performance testing. The Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) is usually followed by the Site Acceptance Test (SAT), where acceptance takes place directly at the customer’s site. Communication challenges can significantly hinder the efficiency and success of the FAT process. Miscommunications between the manufacturer and the purchasing company may lead to misunderstandings about the test procedures, the equipment’s specifications, or the acceptance criteria.
FAT provides the opportunity to ensure that the manufactured equipment adheres to the highest quality and compliance standards. It encompasses a detailed review of the equipment’s design, materials, and functionality to ascertain compliance with industry regulations and standards. This step significantly reduces the risk of quality-related issues emerging during operation.
LotusWorks provides professional engineering and technical services, assisting clients throughout the factory acceptance testing process. Their expertise in FAT testing ensures that the equipment is thoroughly evaluated and meets the desired functionality and performance requirements. During the FAT, both the production volume and equipment performance are assessed by performing a series of tests, including process schemes and simulations. These tests help evaluate if the equipment meets the client’s requirements and if any modifications are necessary. The FAT also involves the creation of a factory acceptance test checklist, which is a comprehensive list of items to be inspected and verified during the testing process.
While both the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) and Site Acceptance Test (SAT) are integral parts of quality assurance in equipment procurement, they serve different purposes and are carried out in distinct environments. Understanding these differences is crucial for effective equipment testing https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ and quality management. The FAT includes appropriate general testing procedures for verification of the correct operation of the safety instrumented system. Since the testing activities are general methods the FAT is applicable to programmable or non-programmable safety instrumented systems.
A breakdown or failure of these machines can lead to significant financial losses, production delays, and compromised safety. This is where Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) enters the picture as a crucial step in the manufacturing process. To ensure that any major/critical equipment on a project meets its intended operational requirements, a factory test will typically be conducted before delivery to the site. The test will evaluate the equipment’s operation against its approved manufactured and operational data, which can normally be found within its technical/material submission or the equipment datasheets. Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) is a test performed for newly manufactured and packaged equipment by the vendor prior to shipping to ensure the equipment meets its intended purpose. This optional test is performed once the design and fabrication of the equipment are complete following approved test plans as agreed with the client.