28 Mar 2022

What’s the Difference and Why do I Need Them?

Both FAI and PPAP are inspections designed to verify the product meets all requirements and design specifications. FAI and PPAP ensure the supplier’s manufacturing process is efficient and effective. These processes are especially common in the automotive, medical and aviation/aerospace industries.

casting inspection


A First Article Inspection (FAI) is performed on an initial sample, proving that the manufacturing process produces an acceptable part that meets all specifications. It is a total inspection of one part, comparing it to the drawing or model requirements. Customers can request a full or partial FAI.

The First Article Inspection Report (FAIR) compares product dimensions, weight, density, and/or surface finish to design specifications. FAI documents certify that each sample was made and inspected according to the customer’s specifications.

When is a FAI Performed?

A FAI is performed after the completion of one sample or production run. Customers often request a FAI for new tools, or when there are changes in design, suppliers, materials, process, or tools. A FAI may be required when a part hasn’t been produced in 2 or more years.

part inspection


Production Part Approval Process, or PPAP for short, is an authentication method where suppliers ensure the reliability, consistency, and correct manufacturability of parts. It improves the communication process by laying out clear guidelines and expectations between the supplier and customer.

PPAP is beneficial because it allows you to identify and correct issues early, preventing an abundance of nonconforming parts or supply chain disruption. It ensures universally understood quality and design expectations are met.

However, PPAP is a labor-intensive process with 5 different levels.

When is a PPAP Performed?

PPAP is an automotive industry standard, but is also sometimes requested by customers in other industries. It is often required when developing a new part or tool, or if there are any engineering, supplier, process, or material changes. A PPAP can be required when a part hasn’t been produced in more than 12 months.

What’s Included in a PPAP?

PPAP comes in 5 different levels. There are up to 19 elements required in a PPAP determined by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG). They include…

  • Design Records
  • Authorized Engineering Change Documents
  • Engineering Approval
  • Process Flow Diagram
  • Control Plan
  • Measurement Systems Analysis Studies (MSA)
  • Dimensional Results
  • Records of Material/Performance Tests
  • Initial Sample Inspection Report
  • Initial Process Studies
  • Qualified Laboratory Documentation
  • Appearance Approval Report
  • Sample Production Parts
  • Master Sample
  • Checking Aids
  • Customer Specific Requirements
  • Part Submission Warrant (PSW)

It never hurts to check

Request a quote and a Batesville team member will be in touch to discuss your metalcasting goals and how our metalcasting experts can help make your next project a success.