FAT is short for Factory Acceptance Test, and is a test done at the supplier to ensure agreed requirements for a machine or system are met. The test is usually done with the presence of representatives from the costumer.
Benefit of FAT
The main benefit of running a FAT is the significantly improved likelihood that a machine or system is installed and running without issues within the required timeframe.
Also if an issue is found with a machine, it is often much easier and cost effective to correct at the supplier.
A proper Factory Acceptance Test can be the difference between a successful start-up, or a long period of struggles before a process is running smoothly.
Below are some of the steps to take into account for a Factory Acceptance Test to be successful.
- Test plan: A detailed test plan is one of the keys to a successful FAT. The test plan should be developed up front, and shared with the supplier as part of the request for the quote. It should include what and how much should be tested, and what should happen to the material produced afterwards. The final material should be used during the test, but it is often beneficial to test with nonconforming material as well to see how the machine handle it.
- Personnel: Use people who is going to operate the machine for the test as well, as they will be more qualified than an engineer to detects issues affecting running it online.
- Potential Failures: Get the relevant stakeholders together and brainstorm potential failures you might have with the machine. Use this as a checklist when doing an FAT.
- Safety: Safety is an important part of the FAT. Check that all emergency stop switches are functional and located in appropriate places. Check if dangerous areas blocked properly during machine runs, and if there are any sharp edges or burrs.
- Take Your Time: Don’t try to rush through the FAT, take your time to get it done properly. Also don’t worry about small expenses associated with the test, as it will cost many times more in lost productivity if an issue isn’t detected.
Confusion about FAT
Sometimes people are confused about what FAT is, and mix it up with SAT.
FAT is an acceptance test done at the supplier before a machine or system is delivered. The acceptance test done at the costumer under real conditions after delivery is called SAT, this is short for Site Acceptance Test.
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