The power generation industry relies on being able to provide uninterrupted service with equipment and components which are able to perform in a demanding environment.
It’s therefore imperative for power plants to have confidence in the quality of their equipment and the assembly process which is used on the lead-up to installation.
Even though there may be scrupulous procedures in place to conform to design specifications, it’s still necessary to carry out testing and final checks. These are known as a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)
and it’s an integral part of the process.
What is Factory Acceptance Testing?
As the name implies, the Factory Acceptance Test is a way of checking equipment while it’s still at the factory. Commonly referred to as a FAT, the evaluation is carried out during and after assembly to check that it meets the build specifications and is performing as expected. This includes checking each of the controls and components, as well as the overall functionality.
All of the checks which are carried out must be able to simulate the performance of the equipment and its functions while in a live power plant environment. Any non-conformities noted can then be corrected prior to final shipment.
Why is FAT Essential?
Installation of power plant equipment is an expensive and rigorous process, so it’s important to be confident that there is full functionality before it’s shipped.
A FAT enables the full range of operations to be tested; this should include mishandling and user error, to check for the required response. This ensures that the equipment will be safe to use, and that it performs as expected in a number of simulated scenarios.
As well as seeking to identify significant failures and non-conformities, a FAT should also be vigilant for superficial flaws and safety issues too. This could include sharp edges, burrs, pinch points and poorly guarded areas.
A FAT should never be rushed and should be designed as bespoke for every piece of equipment. Checking for electronic failures, leaks and unexpected functions are all part of what makes the FAT so vital.
Challenges of FAT
Although it’s not a compliance requirement, a robust FAT is required by most companies before accepting installation. The process is not insignificant, and it can be time-consuming. It can be particularly difficult gathering all the necessary personnel in one location, especially during times when travel is restricted.
FAT the Samurai Way
The Service Box by Bohemia Market
provides a remote solution, enabling full FAT to be carried out without a physical presence required. Representatives from different countries can be present virtually, without having to travel to the factory for testing.
What’s different about the FAT available via the Service Box is that there’s a real-life power plant configuration set up for testing. This means it’s possible to check precisely how a device works, with the ability to replicate a control system down the finest detail. The results therefore aren’t a generic test, but a precise reproduction of full operational function.
We know a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out our diagram
that explains how the vFAT works with the service box. Impressed?
To find out more about the Service Box and how can we help you with a virtual FAT get in touch with us