AS9102: Why & How
AS9102 has been selected as the USG's preferred inspection criteria which means a whole new layer of complexity to accepting product for the US government.
ISO has proven to be insufficient with many defects being discovered after deliveries and the AS9102 system is misunderstood and incorrectly implemented by many contractors.
First Article Inspection is defined as a verification of two key elements:Conformance to all engineering requirements Proven documentation trail of all materials
Demonstration of Stable, Repeatable Processes
Demonstration of stable, repeatable processes is not proven at this point but is expected to be in place.
The 6 Sigma processes provide verification and improvement through the DMAIC mythology to the processes when defects are found during the FAI documentation acceptance and / or in-process inspections.
Many organizations in the AS&D industry require a First Article Inspection (FAI) Report. The FAI report certifies that each "First Piece" (or batch in some cases) unit was produced and inspected according to the customers' specifications, and includes all physical, material, and chemical test data relative to the part & materials specifications. Fully documented, packaged and delivered for acceptance to the customer.
First Article Inspection is a unique standard (AS9102 Rev A)
and thus not part of the AS9100 Rev C QMS. However, Section 18.104.22.168 (Production Process Verification) of the standard does require testing of a production part, which is basically the same as FAI.
This SAE Aerospace Standard (AS) establishes documentation requirements for the First Article Inspection (FAI). The purpose of the First Article Inspection is to provide objective evidence that all engineering design and specification requirements are properly understood, accounted for, verified, and documented. The purpose of this standard is to provide a consistent documentation requirement for aerospace components First Article Inspection. It is intended that the documentation generated will be a quality record of the supplier and customer for review of accountability and planning, for performing periodic surveillance and audits to verify conformance, for evaluating root cause and corrective action for any non-conformances, and for problem investigations.
Performing a First Article Inspection
Compare the first piece with the drawings and specifications (usually a detail drawing, or blueprint, each part of an assembly or sub-assembly) against what was actually produced.
Each specification dimension is measured on the "first" part, compared against the print, and a list constructed details of which dimensions were met and which weren't. For a simple part, this list is quite small. But for a complex part the list of dimensions can be extremely long and the inspection quite involved. By definition, any dimension that appears on the print must be measured on the part and listed in the report.