Following AS9102 for FAI Requirements - Does EVERY Component Need Its Own FAI?



Regarding Lockheed joining in: yeah, I'm anticipating that all of the air framers and major subcontractors will be requiring it within the next year or two. Some will have a solid flow-down, others will simply mumble about it's being an industry standards, but regardless of the contractual call-out it will likely evolve into being everyone's expectation.

To clarify: we were already doing a verification of all of the dimensional characteristics on details and subassemblies, we just weren't attaching all of the raw material and special process certifications to those inspection reports (they were filed separately elsewhere). Plus, the FAI results were recorded on our company forms which do not include ALL of the AS9102 mandated information items.

Nor were we attaching all of the detail FAIs to the top assy level FAI, in part because of the incredible bulk and duplication this makes. For example, if a specific detail is used in several different assemblies one would need to include copies of it in each of the assembly FAIs, plus all of the raw mat'l certs, special process certs, etc. Plus, some of our assemblies have BOMs with hunreds of detail parts...we only get a few hundred to a few thousand bucks for most of our parts...very little margin to cover such nonproductive activity. What a PITA. Guess we'll have to invest in some more filing cabinets, and hire folks to wade through this mire. (I think it could have been designed more efficiently in case my sarcasm is too subtle.)
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Thanks for the insight and I understood the sarcasm clearly. There are not many places where customers or suppliers speak honestly on this matter.

I don't know everyone's unique situation but our company creates parts which we assemble and 100% test before shipping. We depend on many suppliers to produce many parts like simple glands while we produce the complex parts. Depending on the complexity and many other criteria of the parts we have always evaluated the need for doing FAI's. Typically our models have between 300 & 400 parts (non ms/nas/etc). Every part is checked during a prove out of the process but only 40%-50% of the parts get the recorded data.

As I can best understand FAI the intent is 1) the part can actually be produced. I.E. the designer wasn't messed up when they made the model or print. 2) Manufacturing didn't forget any features, at this point they don't care if the Cpk is .5 just so long as that 1 part is good. 3) The features are measurable so the machinist on the floor can make a valid decision.

I don't disagree that FAIs have its benefits when applied correctly. But if I have a gland that I know machinists have verified all the sizes to be in specification, it goes to assembly, the gland has 3 grooves for o-rings, there are 3 o-rings to insert and the gland my mind all is well that the FAI intent was accomplished.

I don't know how your FAI's are referenced but our company's FAI's are only referenced when "situations" occur or for the warm feeling that a box can be checked off. Nine out of ten times we have the FAI for those "situations" and the customer will still ask to check another part instead of asking the right question "what is the process producing". We look for process shifts, cycling, excessive variation as seen in degrading Cp & Cpk values and so on.

Lockheed has an interest in asking the right question. They've created a "variation reduction" program which is more than most customers even consider. They are also giving way to letting us document the FAI's in our own method (on prints, CMM print outs & discrepancy forms...if needed) which will saves lots of useless hours rewriting data.

I would like to know if a company like GE is really 100% AS9102 compliant on their engines and if ALL their sub tier suppliers follow the requirement. Because that is the type of system where the AS9102 will be lost or won. When the engines and complex flight systems become too costly and they lose their edge on the competitors or when the plane is so expensive they can't produce it (see B2 & F22 for some "too costly" examples) people will then reconsider but it will be too late.


It should be noted that the US Navy supply system has been requiring First Article Inspection of suppliers for some years although they have not advanced as far as AS9102. Aslo, suppliers parts/assemblies are often sent to an independent third party for verification in a program called "First Article Testing". (The Naval Air Depot system is often paid to perform"First Article Testing" for the govt.)

Currently, two out of the three Naval Air Depots are currently certified to AS9100-2001. While we have always performed "First Article Inspection" on items we manufacture for ourselves or for the supply system, the new guidelines of AS9102 are forcing a "re-engineering" of our approach.

Bob Cowing



Does anyone have an advanced copy or know when the rev B will be released?

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Hi Jnier,

In the last AAQG meeting in Montreal, they announced that the draft of the latest revision had been completed. The Revision is being ballotted right now. I believe that it will be a Rev. A, since the original document was "no change".

From what I gathered, based on user's feedback, the Rev. A of AS9102 will be less prescriptive and make some of the original mandatory requirements as "optional" that would only be enforced if contractually stipulated.


Hello Sidney and all,

Could you tell me what is considered a Major and Minor characteristic on a drawing?
Thanks, Paula



Yes, every Part Number must have an FAI. So you are required to perform an FAI of the details, Sub Assemblies and Final Assembly. Now what we changed in revision A was that you are only required to perform an FAI on engineering chnages on the part level affected.

The only thing an FAI does is verify that your planning and tooling will produce a part to engineering long term. Therefore, an inspection of 100% of components characteristics should be a part of your quality plan already.

Remember you are only required to perform an FAI until approved and then only after an engineering change are you required to perform an FAI on those component features which were affected by the engineering chnages.

You may see an increase in manpower during a program start up or a redesign but you are not required to re-perform your FAIs to AS9102 on existing approved FAIs.

I hope this helps

dj said:
How have any of you responded to your customer's request for following AS9102 for FAI requirements? I'm specifically interested in manufacturers of assembled product with vast quantities of internal parts. AS9102 states that every component within the ASSY needs to have the full fledged FAI. This would required HUGE resources and I can't imaging that everyone out there is accepting this requirement. Please, Please, what are your comments?


Major vs Minor

These are what I have always used. They are from the FAA.

Major - A characteristic other than "Critical" that, if defective, could result in failure of, or would materially reduce the usability of, the article, and could result in unsafe conditions for individuals using or maintaining an end product.

Minor - A characteristic that, if defective, is not likely to materially reduce the usability of the unit or product for its intended purpose, or will have little bearing on the effective use or safety of the end product.

Hope this helps.


QUOTE=Raptorwild]Hello Sidney and all,

Could you tell me what is considered a Major and Minor characteristic on a drawing?
Thanks, Paula[/QUOTE]


The new AS9102A does not appear to specifically require a full Top Down First Article. Page 7, section 5.5 gives a definition of the requirements for the Forms. R is mandatory, CR Conditionally Required; when applicable ie. Customer requirement, and O optional. Therefore if the customer does not require a top down or the manufacturer does not want a full FAI then it is not required. Does anyone want to either comment or have a different Official interpretation?
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