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.

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