Factory Acceptance Tests Bolster Reliability
Though we have touched on the importance of Factory Acceptance Tests (or FAT's) in the past, at Liquid Packaging Solutions we feel that we cannot stress enough the benefits of taking part in the pre-installation review of the machinery. As a general rule, FAT's are performed after the machinery is built but prior to shipping, installing and/or training at the customer facility, though there are exceptions to this rule as well.
Factory Acceptance Tests are meant to take place at Liquid Packaging Solutions, where the manufactured machinery will test run the packager's product, using the packager's bottles, caps and other components just as if a normal production run were taking place. The ability to run production as it will take place in the customer's plant once the machinery is delivered offers a number of different benefits.
First and foremost, such a test helps to ensure that the machinery runs as expected by the packager. The FAT lets packagers get a first look at exactly how the machines will function. In addition, it allows a first glance at set up, changeover and operation, more or less a free first training session. Those who partake in the FAT will do so hands on, getting an initial feel for the involvement necessary to run the equipment on a day-to-day basis.
Second, if there are issues or simply components of the machinery that the packager does not like, adjustments and changes can be made right at the LPS plant. The ability to quickly and easily make these adjustments and changes during or just after the FAT again ensures that the equipment will run reliably at the customer plant once delivered. Making such changes after the delivery could possibly entail not only extensive travel to and from the plant, but delays in the delivery of the necessary components and added downtime to the machinery itself.
Of course the key to unlocking all of the benefits of an FAT is being able to run the packagers own products and containers during the test. Though other bottles and liquids may be substituted in situations where samples are simply impossible to acquire for the FAT, different liquids and containers may work differently with each piece of equipment. Though FAT's do not happen with every project, LPS strongly encourages our packagers to take advantage of the testing to ensure a smooth transition to their own production floor.
Packaging Specialists from LPS are always available to discuss projects and answer questions regarding any of the machinery manufactured at the La Porte, Indiana plant. Feel free to reach out to LPS representatives Toll Free at 1-888-393-3693.