FAI (First Article Inspection) Do as I say not as I do

J Allen

Involved In Discussions
#1
I just discovered that my boss has flowed AS9102 FAI requiements to all of our suppliers. Many have never made FAIs in this format. Its quite a challenge as our own inspectors are in-experienced with AS9102. I asked why the flow down. It turns out that he requires it because our so called inspectors do not perform dimensional receiving inspection on the parts at all so there is no verification of vendor supplied parts other than visual and document review. We just forward the supplier reports./certs to our customers. I told the boss we are going to have a problem with this and that we need to perform receiving inspection or at least check critical dimensions.
Do we need to perform inspection or is it OK to accept the supplier FAIs?
 
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B

BadgerMan

#2
Re: FAI Do as I say not as I do

From the AS9102 standard:

4. APPLICABILITY:
This Aerospace Standard applies to assemblies sub-assemblies, and detail parts including castings and forgings. This Standard applies to organizations that are responsible for producing the design characteristics of the product. The Organization shall flow down the requirements of this Standard to Suppliers who produce Design Characteristics.
Could this be the reason for the flow down to the sub-tier suppliers?

Do we need to perform inspection or is it OK to accept the supplier FAIs?
The FAIR is only a baseline demonstrating that the product conformed once upon a time.

In my opinion you need to do both until you can demonstrate (via a record of excellent on-going conformance) that receiving inspection is no longer needed. Then you can relax the inspection and implement skip-lot, reduced frequency, reduced sample sizes, dock-to-stock......whatever you want to implement based on an assessment of the risk of a nonconforming lot being accepted.
 

J Allen

Involved In Discussions
#3
Re: FAI Do as I say not as I do

Correct. We have the requirement for FAIRs from our Customer. But I believe we flow it down to mask our lack of capability to perform dimensional inspection.
 
B

BadgerMan

#4
Re: FAI Do as I say not as I do

To be compliant with AS9102 (per your customer's requirement), you have to flow it down to your suppliers who produce design characteristics. You do not have to flow it down to those who provide "standard catalog hardware".
 

J Allen

Involved In Discussions
#5
Thank you BadgerMan. I was more concerned that we did not actually inspect the parts. You are correct that we flow down the requirement per our contractual requirements.
 
B

BadgerMan

#6
You are welcome. As I said above, I think you need to inspect the parts too (on an on-going basis) until you can prove that it is not necessary due to continued conformance.
 
J
#7
The note 1 in clause 7.4.3 of AS9100 Rev.C may also be considered.Though a note is not a equirement but it helps you to understand-here your responsibility.
Customer verification activities performed at any level of the supply chain should not be used by the organisation or the supplier as evidence of effective control of quality and does not absolve the organisation of the responsibility to provide acceptable product and comply with all requirements
 

RCW

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
1) I was directly told by my aerospace customer to flow down the FAI activity to my suppliers. Not so much as to meet any specification requirements, but to optimize my process (aka Let somebody else do it for you - a favorite mantra of my customers).

2) As Joy stated, you are still responsible for verifying the supplied material / product is correct per drawing / specification. Having FAI data provided by your supplier is a good sign the items meet the print, but you should perform some level of inspection on the items too. (I have reviewed some supplier FAIs only to find them incorrect or missing things - i.e. addressing notes on drawings.)

3) The statement "The Organization shall flow down the requirements of this Standard to Suppliers who produce Design Characteristics." is definitely confusing. My customer generated the drawings which has the dimesions or "design characteristics" on it, yet I am outsourcing the parts for fabrication. Is my customer the supplier or what about my supplier?
(Who's on first, what's on second, my supplier's on third..:bonk:)

Bottom line:
It appears you need an FAI to present to your customer.
You need to check these parts.
You really need to get your people up to speed with performing FAIs. (The process isn't that hard. Look at other FAI posts here at the Cove.)
 
B

BadgerMan

#9
The statement "The Organization shall flow down the requirements of this Standard to Suppliers who produce Design Characteristics." is definitely confusing.
In my mind, it's pretty clear. If you produce design characteristics, you need to produce a FAIR. If you flow down the production of design characteristics, you also need to flow down the requirement to produce a FAIR per AS 9102. It does not matter who (your customer or your own organization) the "design approval holder" is. The flow down requirement applies at all levels of the supply chain.

More clarification from AS9102:

4. APPLICABILITY:
This Aerospace Standard applies to assemblies sub-assemblies, and detail parts including castings and forgings. This Standard applies to organizations that are responsible for producing the design characteristics of the product. The Organization shall flow down the requirements of this Standard to Suppliers who produce Design Characteristics.

This Standard does not apply to procured Standard Catalog Hardware or Deliverable Software.
DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS: Those dimensional, visual, functional, mechanical, and material features or properties, which describe and constitute the design of the article as specified by Drawing Requirements. These characteristics can be measured, inspected, tested, or verified to determine conformance to the design requirements. Dimensional features include in-process locating features such as target-machined (or forged/cast) dimensions on forgings and castings, and, weld/braze joint preparation necessary for acceptance of finished joint. Material features or properties may include processing variables and sequences, which are specified by the drawing (e.g., heat treat temperature, fluorescent penetrant class, ultrasonic scans, sequence of welding and heat treat). These provide assurance of intended characteristics that could not be otherwise defined.
STANDARD CATALOG HARDWARE: A part or material that conforms to an established industry or national authority published specification, having all characteristics identified by text description, National/Military Standard Drawing, or catalog item.
 
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