Aspects of a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)

FATs consist of putting equipment designed and manufactured by PSL through a series of tests before it is sent out to a client’s designated site. It is usual for clients to present when the testing is taking place.

There are several aspects to a Factory Acceptance Test but the most common ones are:

  • Documentation Review
  • Physical Checks
  • Operational Checks
  • Safety Checks
  • Automation Checks
  • Performance Checks
Aftercare Services - Equipment Installation

Documentation Review

Book a meeting room, keep a clear table and bring out the project’s equipment documentation for review and cross checking. Although this documentation is often made available upfront during the project, a review in real life with project teams from both side helps fast track any questions and avoid misunderstandings. Typical documentation review may include: GA (General Arrangement Drawings), PID ( Piping and Instrumentation Diagram), Manufacturing Databooks for Vessels/Fabrications containing material traceability information, etc.

Physical Checks

Top level review of the equipment to make sure it checks the boxes. This can include overall dimensions (factory footprint and real-estate is valuable, one needs to make sure the agreed dimensions don’t go overboard !), critical dimensions (vessel roundness, clearances from moving parts to walls/surfaces, etc.), surfaces finish or Material of Constructions (Positive Material Test for special Alloy materials for example).

Operational Checks

Making sure that the equipment can perform the basic operations it is intended for. This depends on the equipment’s properties but for PSL product range typical test may include: Pressure hold test (PHT), Vacuum Leak Test (VLT), Agitator functionalities check (covering min/max of speed range, raise/lowering), etc.

Safety Checks

An equipment which performs as intended is good, an equipment which does so whilst keeping your operators safe is better ! FAT tests would always consider a check of the safety features by creating conditions where devices should trigger. A couple of examples may be: Emergency Stop test and Reset procedures, removing interlock conditions to trigger switch into safe-state of equipment, glove-off conditions, etc…

Automation Checks

A number of PSL’s more advantage process equipment contain advance automation capabilities with recipes and data capturing. The FAT would check these functionality as “dry” runs (no product physically running through equipment).

Performance Checks

Beyond the basic operations of the equipment, we also want to check that it can reach the expected performance; this would be equipment dependant but could be cover by tests such as: temperature uniformity tests (Vacuum Tray Dryer shelves), Containment Performance Test (for ANFD Discharge Isolators),