Factory Acceptance Testing – What Is FAT, and How Does It Work?

New equipment can be incredibly complex with countless opportunities for error. Fortunately, Original Equipment Manufacturers know better than to hope for the best – they plan for the best.

By testing the equipment or components before they are received by the customer, DXP can increase the odds that new installations will perform as expected. Planning, documenting, and testing the equipment before delivery ensures that the product can consistently meet the customer’s expectations.

DXP makes this possible with Factory Acceptance Testing.

What Is Factory Acceptance Testing?

Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) helps verify that newly manufactured and packaged equipment meets its intended purpose. The FAT validates the operation of the equipment and makes sure the customers’ purchase order specifications and all other requirements have been met.

Purpose of a Factory Acceptance Test

The factory Acceptance test is not only beneficial for end-users and buyers but those manufacturing and packaging the product. The FAT helps assure both parties that the new equipment complies with all contractual specifications. Moreover, it helps address any functional issues before the equipment arrives at the client’s installation site.

Rectifying manufacturing issues while the system is still with the manufacturer helps control aspects of the project, such as timeline and budget. The FAT is a cost-effective solution and is preferable to addressing issues post-deployment.

Is a Factory Acceptance Test Different from a Site Acceptance Test?

A Factory Acceptance Test is a test that runs on the equipment or components before it is delivered to its intended destination. While FATs can use simulations to demonstrate how the equipment will function in its future operating environment, it may be difficult to mimic the actual operating conditions.

A Site Acceptance Test (SAT) is can be conducted after the FAT has taken place and the system has been delivered and installed. This is the only way to truly determine whether a piece of new equipment will function as needed.

factory acceptance test protocol

Factory Acceptance Test Protocol

Here are three FAT protocols that can be used to guide a successful test.

1. FAT Planning

The first step in a Factory Acceptance Test protocol is planning. The initial scope of the FAT to be supplied by the manufacturer / OEM is done during the bid phase of the customer’s order. The plan is written encompassing all applicable customer specifications, standards, and drawings. The scope of the FAT helps establish the acceptability and credibility of the equipment being supplied. This scope is communicated with the customer upfront so that all expectations and requirements can be met.

2. Engineering and Materials Documentation

Prior to the FAT testing, a complete set of reference documents will be assembled. These documents will include, but not be limited to:

  1. Customer scope and specifications
  2. Drawings (GA, P&ID, etc.)
  3. Data Sheets
  4. ITP (Inspection Test Plan)
  5. Applicable Codes / References
  6. Checklists and Procedures specific to the FAT
  7. Calibrations and Certifications as required by contract

Along with the documents listed above, other manufacturing documents are reviewed by the manufacturer / OEM to verify that the equipment supplied meets the design drawings and the customer’s requirements prior to the FAT.  Any instrumentation used to record data during the test will be verified to be within the calibration date as required by manufacturer or customer specifications, prior to the test.

3. Testing

During the Factory Acceptance Test, the following should be accomplished:

  1. Following and referencing the ITP and FAT Procedure listed above.
  2. Raw data will be taken, recorded, and submitted to the customer.
  3. GA, P&ID, and electrical drawings will be reviewed with the customer or their representative.
  4. Any NDE, Coating, Transportation, or Storage Procedures will be reviewed.
  5. Job-specific requirements as referenced in the customer specifications.

DXP Is a Trusted Industrial Supplier of Quality Process Equipment

If you are a manufacturer looking for industrial equipment supplies, let our globally trusted experts assist you. DXP is one of the world’s leading global MRO industrial supply companies.

Contact DXP to see how our team can meet your needs.