Re: How to draft a good First Article Inspection Procedure (when AS9100 is overkill)
AS9100 likely is not overkill. It is pretty basic and would provide a good basis to start. AS9100 is the aerospace quality management system standard, and the portion that speaks to first article is clause 18.104.22.168
"The organization shall use a representative item from the first production run of a new part or assembly to verify that the production processes and tooling are capable of producing parts and assemblies that meet requirements. This process shall be repeated when changes occur that invalidate the original results (e.g., engineering changes, manufacturing process changes, tooling changes)."
If you are not being driven to perform first article by a customer, and are not bound by AS9100, you get to determine how to apply the concept. For example, you might only do it when the customer requires, not on every project. You might do a variation of it know as "first piece" where you check the first piece after set-up to confirm the equipment is accomplishing what it should.
AS9102 is a short but specific standard on first article that is much more detailed and even includes the forms to use and provides more specifics. It would not hurt to obtain a copy and see if there is any guidance within it that may be helpful in setting up your own program.