Initial sampling / Initial Sample Inspection
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Definition: Initial samples are products that are manufactured for the first time under realistic series conditions. From the first production batch manufactured under series conditions, a number of initial samples agreed with the customer in advance are released for sampling.
What is sampling?
Sampling includes the intensive testing of components or already finished products according to a defined catalogue of criteria. A sampling consisting of initial samples is called initial sampling or initial sample inspection. In English, one speaks of the First Article Inspection, FAI for short.
Initial sampling and follow-up sampling
In sampling, a distinction is made between initial sampling and follow-up sampling. Follow-up sampling takes place, for example, if production has been interrupted for a longer period of time or there have been changes to the production process.
Characteristics of an Initial Sample
The characteristics of a representative production run for initial sampling are:
- final production site
- Time interval of one hour or shift
- Predefined quantity of the principal
- Initial sample is produced completely under series conditions
This means that the following aspects must correspond to the final series status:
- Manufacturing and testing equipment
- Process properties (e.g. cycle times, temperature, speed)
Changes in production
If the production process or the product changes, a new sampling or acceptance by the customer must take place. Subsequent production and product release is based on the initial sample under constant conditions.
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FAQ: Initial sample
○ What is an initial sample?
Products that are manufactured for the first time under realistic series conditions are called initial samples. All the properties of the part to be produced are checked on the basis of the initial samples so that subsequent optimisation can be carried out if necessary and production errors can be avoided during series production.
When is the initial sampling?
The start of series production is initiated by the initial sampling. The initial sampling offers the possibility to completely check the manufactured parts before the official start of production and thus prevent errors in series production.
Before the start of production, the initial sample inspection report (EMPB) can be used to define what is to be observed during the production of the goods. Target and actual values of a part or product are defined in the EMPB and transmitted to the supplier.
After production, the actual values are checked against the values stored in the EMPB.
○ What does an initial sample inspection report (EMPB) contain?
The initial sample test report documents in detail the test results on the "initial sample", such as dimensions, materials and important properties. Target and actual values of a part or product are documented in the initial sample inspection report.
If deviations from these values occur during serial production, they are documented in detail in the initial sample inspection report. This means that errors can be rectified quickly.
○ Who prepares an initial sample inspection report?
As a rule, initial sample inspection reports are prepared by suppliers or manufacturers.