Initial Sample

Initial sampling / Initial Sample Inspection

Glossary article

Initial Sample

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:

  • Materials
  • Tools
  • Manufacturing and testing equipment
  • Process properties (e.g. cycle times, temperature, speed)
  • Staff
  • Surroundings

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.

PPAP Excel-Template

Free of charge | English | Complete

    Note: The fields marked with (*) are mandatory.

    With the EMPB software Ideagen Quality Control Professional (formerly InspectionXpert), initial sample inspection reports are quickly created.
    FAIRs according to VDA, PPAP, AS9102 or use your own templates.

    Start a free trial

    With Ideagen Quality Control Professional (formerly InspectionXpert), you can create professional initial sample inspection reports in no time at all.

    Software distribution for over 25 years

    KeyToData has been distributing highly specialised software for companies in the manufacturing industry since 1995.

    Support without waiting on hold

    We do not leave you alone during the implementation of new software. Even during ongoing software operation, we are always available to answer your questions.

    A selection of our software solutions




    Multi CAD-Viewer


    CAD/CAM Software


    Licence management

    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.

    Scroll to Top