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First Article Inspection



First Article Inspection | 15 May, 2002

Hi mates,

need some help to resolve a thumb-twine situation.

As a high-mix, low volume prototype build house, we always conduct a first article inspection (FAI) on every model setup conversion in the SMT production Lot run. we do this FAI by mounting all components onto respective BOM designated location into a sample double-side tape "sample" board. QA will measure 100% component values (or visual check body markings are correct) against each designated location. orientation check is done too. chip components are not recycled. IC and A-times are return to IC tray or handmounted.

one customer claims its components (RES,CAP,IC...) are military specs components and too costly to "lose" for FAI purposes. they want us to remove the FAI and convert it into a inline check of the feeders against our locading list. actually this is what we have been doing (front end check) in addition to our FAI (back end check). this helps double confirm the latest BOM and drawing is used to check the use of lastest SMT program. it also confirms lack of the applied use of any ECN in hardcopy comparision.

anyone have shopfloor system(s) experience to share with us, what is the best way to conduct a inline feeder check and remove the FAI, yet at same time retain the system integrity to assure no wrong parts (values/part no.) loading?

and ensure wrong REV. control of the SMT program can be filter out? actually what we are looking for is what preventation practices do others use? and if that prevention fails, what detection of wrong REV can be implement?

appreciate all the avaliable help, here. Thanks.

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First Article Inspection | 16 May, 2002

FAI appears to become fashionable in the Bay area. FAI on double side sticky tape is the first one I hear about. How does the customer test the functionality of the board, when the board is not soldered?. Components are not wasted for FAI. Wrong part was discussed before on this site. It is a human process with its related errors. Your customer is about to sign off on an unreliable process. Sorry, I forgot, the customer is always right.

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First Article Inspection | 16 May, 2002

No need to make rocket science out it. Buy an AOI mchine. If that's too expensive, scrap a board to use as a sample. Can't do that, use a digital camera and snap a couple pix of a good board and make some kick ass work instructions to use. Can't buy/use a camera, use CAD. No drawing capabilities, apply your paste/ adhesive and inspect before the oven.

We do both a feeder check with our placement software, and an AOI inspection on every 5th board. The AOI catches most of our problems. Sometime feeders can be bar coded wrong at incoming. Sometimes the wrong value is on the properly marked reel (I've seen it happen). So I would suggest something to check a finished product versus some type of feeder check any day.

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First Article Inspection | 19 May, 2002

Hi mates,

we only do a double side tape sample for 1st pcs output, buyoff the location vs P/N, and orientation. we can recycle use of "A-items" eg. IC... once all this is affirmed, we mass run the rest of the Lot size, via full SMT line configuration processes.

Am now asking if anyone is currently using a better FAI system than what we do now? especially one that doesn't need to "lose" components?

just because something(eg. our mode of FAI) doesn't exist for you, doesn't mean it dun exist for others(eg. like us). no one could (or would have) believed the world was round long ago; despite the "ramblings" of a scientist who lived long ago, and that this scientist was even prosecuted for radical heresay by the then religious world...

as an after thought, go read the book: "Who Moved My Cheese", hope you can learn from its pages.

Thanks for the insight from your perspective point of FAI control. appreciate your objective input portions as part of our own knowledge upgrading.

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Alex K.


First Article Inspection | 22 May, 2002


Just to say, I've never even heard about placing parts on double-sided tape for inspection... We always build one board placing parts on paste/glue and inspect it befor reflow. With suppliers specs of 6hours at least, I don't see any problems with that.

As for "Golden" sample board, it's just an aid for your inspectors wich has to be ferified for latest revision befor the run.

To track revisions of mount programs I've stored all the program files on the network and integrated BOM rev into file name and Engineering Dep. has to verify that the program is a match to the latest BOM and PCB revision prior to the kitting of the parts. And this is the only file wich is accesable to anyone. After job is finished get rid of the program. Unless you have only one PNP machine, than you can use it as the storage for your files.

Work Instructions with preaty pictures in them are great, but often they don't get updated (at least in our place) untill it's too late.. :((

I hope this might help..

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