What Is a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) Procedure, and Where Can I Get an Example?

The factory acceptance test procedure is an engineering test that is performed to determine that a system or product meets the requirements or specifications of a contract before it is moved to its destination site. The FAT may include performance, physical or chemical tests that are designed to verify that the equipment functions properly before it’s shipped out.

The FAT is a major milestone in any production project that must be witnessed by the project manager or owner of the system being tested. Before the FAT, the tester typically prepares a FAT procedure that is reviewed and approved by the owner of the equipment. In addition to testing the equipment, the tester also looks for numerous items such as completed FAT protocol, standard working and maintenance procedures, user and maintenance manuals, training materials, a list of recommended spare parts, certificates of compliance and instrument calibration, material certificates and data sheets, welding processes qualifications, all documentation regarding quality control and quality assurance, and any relevant technical drawings of electrical, pneumatic, mechanical and process schemes and systems.

Templates and samples of FATs are available online from industry websites and organizations that cater to engineering and related fields. Companies that perform FATs may be able to provide detailed examples of what to expect.