Am I allowed to ship parts without FAI approval from the customer?

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watto1708

Am I allowed to ship parts without FAI approval from the customer?
We have inspected and signed off all parts, uploaded the FAI to the customer portal and are awaiting FAI sign off. In the meantime we are under pressure to ship parts.
 

dsanabria

Quite Involved in Discussions
Re: FAI Approval

Am I allowed to ship parts without FAI approval from the customer?
We have inspected and signed off all parts, uploaded the FAI to the customer portal and are awaiting FAI sign off. In the meantime we are under pressure to ship parts.

Have you talked to the purchasing / procurement department? they usually get things moving from the inside from your company and your customer's company.

Most customer will not accept production with the approval from the customer - have you talked to your customer? apparently, they don't need the parts as bad as they are claiming.

In addition, see if you could get your customer quality department for clarification.

NOTE: Future dealings with customer should include FAIR as part of the risk assessment - this way you know what to expect.

Q - Has the customer asserted FAIR per AS9102 or FAI?
 
Q

qpled

Re: FAI Approval

We have been in the same situation and feel your pain. We do not ship without the signed FAI docs accompanying the item, even if the item is past the due date. I would suggest giving the contact info of whoever needs to sign off on the FAI to the person who is pressuring you to ship - I assume they are both at the same company.
 
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PaulJSmith

Re: FAI Approval

My first impression is, no, don't ship it. It has not been approved.

There are two places you should check before making any decision, though:
1) Your contract with your customer, and
2) Your own FAI procedure

Even if you get an OK to ship from the customer's SQE, you'll still need to get that in writing. If they're going to take the time to do that, they may as well review and sign off the FAI. As noted above, if they need it bad enough, a moderate amount of pressure should get it done.

Show your customer that you want to do it the right way, and they'll always respect you for that ... regardless of what some shipping and receiving people may say.
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
Re: FAI Approval

We are AS9100C and all of our Aerospace customers require FAIR to AS9102 requirements. In a couple of cases, the PO specifically says to ship the FAIR with the first batch of parts so we end up doing this with all customers (even non-Aerospace).

Sometimes 3-4 months go by and I will receive an e-mail asking me to change/fix/update a FAIR that I did (typo typically). I have probably done about 150 FAIR's over the last 3 years and I think I have got about 6 returned signed (I would say about 50% are non-Aerospace).

I would get with the specific customer and ask if the parts can ship without a signed FAIR and move on from there.
 
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Jimw1954

I have done probably 1000 FAI's since 2005. I would estimate that 95% of those received no response from the customer. Out of about 50-75 customers involved, I can count on one hand the number who actually seem to review these. Interestingly, Boeing is one who never responds. I usually include the FAI with the shipment of parts. I have maybe one or two customers who require submission of FAI before they will approve shipment of parts. Although Boeing and most subs I deal with insist this is a uniform process, I have not found that to be true. Each company has their own requirements for how the FAI is completed and how it is approved. In most cases, approval is non-existent.

Just my experience.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Am I allowed to ship parts without FAI approval from the customer?
We have inspected and signed off all parts, uploaded the FAI to the customer portal and are awaiting FAI sign off. In the meantime we are under pressure to ship parts.

I have done probably 1000 FAI's since 2005. I would estimate that 95% of those received no response from the customer. Out of about 50-75 customers involved, I can count on one hand the number who actually seem to review these. Interestingly, Boeing is one who never responds. I usually include the FAI with the shipment of parts. I have maybe one or two customers who require submission of FAI before they will approve shipment of parts. Although Boeing and most subs I deal with insist this is a uniform process, I have not found that to be true. Each company has their own requirements for how the FAI is completed and how it is approved. In most cases, approval is non-existent.

Just my experience.
Cynic that I can often be, I commiserate with Jim that organizations which often have the most stringent requirements and specific details of what they expect in a First Article Inspection Report are often the most lackadaisical in timely review and response with approval.

To our Original Poster: ALL depends on "WHO" is pressuring you to ship.

If it is in-house, then you simply need some top manager to override you - let him/her take the heat and subsequent fallout if the First Article (or any of the shipment pieces) fail to pass muster at the customer.

You don't say if the customer is putting pressure to ship. If so, simply WRITE (email is OK) to the individual, explaining the delay is due to delayed approval at customer end and asking for written waiver to ship without approval, explaining that customer will bear all shipping charges if the shipment is subsequently rejected.

"Back in the day" when I owned and operated a precision contract machining company, we made "small" things for customers (nothing bigger than a human fist) and would ship BOTH First Article and our Inspection Report with space for customer to replicate the inspection with similar instruments as noted in the report. Oddly, after we incorporated that clause in our contracts, many of our customers welcomed the change and were very prompt in responding. (Part of the contract was approval of the exact inspection procedure and agreement both customer and supplier would use similar instruments and techniques.)

We were adamant, though, we would NOT ship without approval or written waiver. Often, we would not proceed with manufacture until the approval or waiver on any product which might have "subjective" attributes (color/finish/etc.) versus "objective" characteristics (dimension/hardness/chemical analysis.)

Every supplier must determine its "will not cross" lines. Ours were more like chasms that needed a bridge instead of a line that could easily be stepped over. We found it a commercial advantage in that customers valued the integrity.
 
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