What is Factory Acceptance Testing, and How is FAT Done
Here’s the thing with new systems, especially give the level of complexity you’ll find with CPI equipment – it’s not uncommon for there to be minor glitches the first time they are powered up. The benefit of conducting an FAT is that the manufacturer can take care of typical first-run issues, sometimes even prior to the customer arriving. It’s important to note here that there are varying levels of an FAT. In the latter example, the system is then taken apart, moved to the customer’s site, and put back together again. Test conducted by the manufacturer to verify that the manufacture of a specific assembly meets all intended functional and operational requirements.
- Performance verification confirms the equipment’s operational efficiency and ensures it can withstand the rigors of a production environment.
- By leveraging low-code platforms, organizations can simplify and streamline their FAT processes, ensuring efficiency, accuracy, and optimal utilization of resources.
- A Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) is required to ensure that the customer’s requirements are met before a plant or machine is delivered.
- That being said, savvy customers will continue to demand FATs and training in a supplier’s facility before the machine ships.
- When a piece of new equipment is manufactured, it has the potential for countless errors.
With its simplicity, efficiency, and automation capabilities, a low-code platform can be a powerful tool in streamlining your Factory Acceptance Tests. By leveraging these platforms, organizations can optimize their FAT process, ensuring higher quality, reduced risks, and better resource utilization. Low-code platforms are revolutionizing various business processes, and Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) is no exception.
Why is Factory Acceptance Testing Required?
Another important point is that it saves time and costs, since the equipment is checked at the supplier’s facilities and if something does not work or goes wrong, it is easier to solve it than if it were at the customer’s site. FAT plays an instrumental role in quality assurance, ensuring that the equipment being introduced into a production cycle meets all required specifications, standards, and contractual agreements. The importance of conducting a thorough FAT cannot be overstated, as it serves as your first line of defense against operational inefficiencies.
FAT aids in ensuring that the equipment complies with all relevant industry regulations and standards. Conducting comprehensive tests helps demonstrate that the equipment adheres to safety norms and environmental guidelines, thereby reducing the likelihood of regulatory violations. The results of these tests give clients confidence in how the system will perform in production. There may also be legal or contractual requirements for acceptance of the system. To do this, you simply need to know the type of input signal that will be connected to your PLC analog input.
Common Factory Acceptance Test issues
The FAT process involves a series of methodical and well-planned steps considering every aspect of the equipment’s operation. To test each output we just need to give the PLC an input signal and see if the digital outputs change as expected based on the PLC program. When performing a FAT for a control cabinet that includes a PLC, like the example we have here, one of the most important things to test is the PLC inputs and outputs. As the first step, you need to connect the power to your control cabinet and turn it on. This is where the power comes into the control panel for all of the devices. A factory acceptance test (FAT) of the valves is normally done after assembling and before painting, mainly to make sure that the leakage rate(s) from the body and the seats of the valve are within the accepted limits.
PQE Group offers a wide range of technical qualification services to ensure that your manufacturing processes are efficient, reliable, and meet regulatory authority standards. Our cutting-edge, integrated approach ensures that all tools used in your manufacturing processes have a significant impact on product quality. Lastly, low-code platforms can help companies stay in compliance with industry regulations. They can be programmed with the necessary regulatory standards, and the tests can be designed to ensure all these standards are met. In case of any non-compliance, the platform can automatically flag the issue, making it easier for the organization to address it promptly. They feature intuitive, drag-and-drop interfaces, allowing users to design, customize, and execute complex test procedures without extensive coding skills.
Introducing the Concepts of FAT and SAT
As mentioned, you can easily order all the PLC inputs and outputs we discussed in the article from the RealPars marketplace. Most of the signal simulators can also be used to perform measurement functions similar to a digital multimeter. A digital output could be connected directly to an output device like a buzzer or a relay that could operate an actuator like a motor.
Values are plotted on the same coordinates as for the rotor response analysis. The plot of shaft vibration and phase angle of unbalance vs shaft speed is known as a BODE PLOT. The estimated costs for a key subsea equipment SIT are listed in Table 6-2. The cost for FAT testing is normally included in the equipment procurement cost. The cost of an EFAT, when needed, is normally negotiated between the vendor and the operator.
Accurate and comprehensive documentation is crucial for tracking the test results, identifying non-conformances, and recording the equipment’s performance. Any errors or omissions in the documentation can lead to confusion, misinterpretations, and potential retesting. Employing rigorous documentation practices is thus essential to the effectiveness and success of the FAT. Misaligned expectations can often arise due to inadequate planning or a lack of clarity in defining the scope of the test. It is imperative that the purchasing company and the manufacturer have a shared understanding of the test’s objectives, the equipment’s specifications, and the acceptance criteria. Any misalignment in these areas can create confusion and delays, potentially compromising the effectiveness of the FAT.
So, again, before you want to disconnect the power you need to make sure that you have disconnected the power from the outside of the panel. With a Factory Acceptance Test, you make sure that everything works properly before you deliver a control cabinet to a customer. During FAT (Factory Acceptance Test), the rotor response of every turbo-compressor rotor is measured during acceleration to maximum speed and deceleration to minimum speed.
However, the requirement of FAT shall be specified in the scope document. Once the factory acceptance test is included in the project scope, there is no extra cost for the test. Verify lines hold vacuum when fully assembled, record pressure at start and stop. This test is also conducted for 60 minutes to ensure the system meets the acceptance criteria.
Effective communication strategies should be implemented throughout the FAT process to ensure all parties are coordinated and understand their roles and responsibilities. The testing process here is pretty similar to what we did for the digital output card. The PLC digital inputs are connected to the upside of the terminals highlighted in our control panel example below. The other side of the terminals will be connected to the switches and sensors once we take the cabinet to the site. Depending on your application, you may have different input and output cards for your PLC.
The factory Acceptance testing or FAT guarantees that the equipment is complying with all the requirements and are ready to be commissioned without any problem. This test is performed at the factory https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ and is beneficial for both the end users and the manufacturer. Any functional issues are identified before the equipment leaves the factory premise and can easily be rectified by the manufacturer.
Performance verification confirms the equipment’s operational efficiency and ensures it can withstand the rigors of a production environment. After you’re done with testing the digital inputs, you can move on to testing the digital outputs. The digital output card that we have sends a 24-volt signal to various devices connected to individual output terminals. Some contracts require a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) conducted at the contractor’s facility; such a test consists of the contractor, or the system programmer in particular, demonstrating that the program logic works correctly. With the PCLDs and PPC points lists in hand, the various processes of the design are simulated and the operations are verified.
If the equipment does not perform as expected or a problem arises, the vendor and customer must discuss how to resolve the situation. If the equipment does perform as expected and no problems follow, the customer can have peace of mind that the system does its job effectively and safely. Both Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) involve extensive testing of systems or system components to determine or verify compliance with the preapproved specifications.