Before final installation of packaging equipment takes place in a facility, a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) can help avoid frustrations that may arise from inefficient and improper packaging processes. The FAT gives packaging facility managers the chance to make sure their newly purchased packaging machinery is compatible with their products, and can indicate the need for different equipment or modifications.
There are several steps taken for a successful FAT.
1. Develop a Complete Test Plan
The purpose of the FAT is to weed out any potential failures and mechanical issues that may present a severe problem after installation. Customers purchasing new packaging machinery should provide packaging and product specifications when requesting quotes for equipment, which helps packaging machine suppliers determine which equipment is right for their application. Responsibilities, deliverables, and accountabilities should be transparent. Customers should also specify how many packages they plan to produce and at what speed.
2. Use the Same Packaging Materials in the FAT as the Actual Line
During the FAT, equipment should undergo testing using the same packaging materials that will pass through the final production line. Otherwise you may experience a compromise in validity. However, you can also use other noncompliant materials in addition to the final materials to test the machinery’s flexibility of operation. This will also help you understand which operational settings are right for your equipment.
3. Request Input from Operators
Production line operators who have handled equipment for years are qualified to help make decisions about equipment quality. Operators familiar with a certain brand or model of equipment can likely identify issues with equipment prior to installation in the facility, which is why it’s important to include them early in the equipment selection process. If operators are uncomfortable with a certain type of equipment or don’t believe it will perform adequately, it may signify that different equipment is required. When operators are merely unfamiliar with a certain machine, they may benefit from additional operator training to help familiarize them with it.
4. Create a Failure Checklist
If any issues are found throughout testing, customers can take inventory of them to accurately assess equipment performance. Running and dry running equipment can help you identify electronic failures, leakage, worn parts, and other mechanical problems that require fixes before installation. This also allows you to avoid costly repairs that may be necessary after implementation in your facility.
Benefits of Getting Equipment at High Performance Packaging
These steps are some of the keys to a successful Factory Acceptance Test. While High Performance Packaging tests each piece of used packaging equipment to ensure there aren’t any potential weaknesses in performance, we can help you figure out which machines and specifications will work best for your application based on test runs and provided product specs. We work to make implementation of our packaging equipment easy for each of our customers, with a wide range of used packaging machinery available for food and nonfood production lines.