Inspection and verification of dimensional characteristics can be a major challenge when mechanical parts are outsourced. Part of the challenge lies in the use of GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing), which is a complex symbolic language for specifying allowable variation in part geometry. Issues are often arise at the FAI (First Article Inspection) stage, when the geometric characteristics must be verified on the vendor’s parts. There may be problems with how the parts are being inspected, as well as problems with how the GD&T was specified on the drawing. This can lead to disagreements between vendor representatives and customer engineers, causing costly delays and leaving quality professionals caught in the middle.
The presentation will outline a streamlined approach to dimensional FAI’s, that uses 3D metrology technology and standards-based GD&T analysis software. This approach overcomes dependence on the vendor’s GD&T knowledge, and allows errors in the specification to be detected and corrected. The result is fast-tracked validation of both the vendor’s parts and the customer’s specification.