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First Article Inspection (FAI)

a production validation process for verifying that a new or modified production process produces conforming parts that meet the manufacturing specification detailed in technical or engineering drawings. Typically, a supplier performs the FAI and the purchaser reviews the report. The FAI process usually consists of fully testing and inspecting either the first part produced by the new process or a sample from the first batch of parts. First article inspection is typically a purchase order requirement of the purchaser for the supplier to complete. If the manufacturer doesn't have the in-house capability or if the purchaser requests, the first article inspection may be conducted by an approved subcontract supplier such as a dimensional inspection/metrology laboratory.

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