How to Create a First Article Inspection Report in 5 Steps

By Mari Luke | March 7, 2019
5 Steps to First Article Inspections : Pre-Planning, create inspection report, manufacture part, collect data, and create reaport.

A First Article Inspection Report is the document that certifies that each sample was produced and inspected according to the customer's specifications. First Article Inspection is the process of planning, manufacturing, and verifying a production process.

AS9102 is a standard updated by the SAE to emphasize the value of the FAI process, and a common reporting format for manufacturers in aerospace and defense industries. AS9102 itself is not a formal requirement – it is a guidance document, not something requiring certification. 

Step 1: Pre-planning FAI

Before beginning, gather documentation needed for your First Article Inspection: 

  • Engineering drawings
  • Digital product definition data sets
  • Bill of materials/raw materials list
  • Specifications
  • Manufacturing planning/routing/traveler/work order
  • Source/supplier information

Step 2: Create inspection plan

  • Balloon part drawing: identify the requirement to be inspected with a balloon number.
  • Fill out the AS9102 Form 1 (Part Number Accountability) and Form 2 (Product Accountability) with information from the Bill of Materials and Specifications List. 
    • Document reference location of the balloon
    • Requirements including units of measure, variable requirements with tolerances
    • Classifications (Critical, Major, Key)

Step 3: Manufacture the part

  • Build the product and ensure you are documenting/recording processing and inspection results for the requirements during the manufacturing process.
  • Note: First articles are not necessarily the first part produced, but from the first production run. Learn more about when a first article is required. 
  • Inspect the part according to the inspection plan.
  • Keep track of calibrated, certified inspection tools so that they are traceable back to the person certified to use the tool to perform the inspections/manufacture accurately.

Step 5: Create report

  • Enter measurement result data into Form 3
    • Measured result(s)
    • Designed/Qualified Tooling
    • Non-conformance information, if any
    • Certificate of Conformance (C of C)
    • Functional Test Report

Get your free template and guide to creating your own First Article Inspection Report. 

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