First Article Inspection

MPL is proud to offer our customers affordable yet thorough first article assembly inspections as a leading turnkey PCB assembly company. Through first article inspection, our team is able to address any remaining questions regarding the fabrication, assembly, and testing of the entire order before it goes into production. 

What is First Article Inspection?

First article inspection is a complete, independent, and documented physical and functional inspection process. The purpose of a first article inspection is to provide objective evidence that all design and specification requirements are exhaustively verified and recorded.

Our Process:

At MPL, our first article inspection service is a thorough, easy-to-understand process. Our team of highly trained inspection experts uses both manual and automated inspection techniques to ensure proper component type and orientation. In addition, the automatic optical inspection and manual testing verifies each solder joint. In some instances, X-ray inspection is also required to check solder joints of leadless materials, which MPL is happy to provide whenever necessary. Once verification and inspection is completed, MPL sends a comprehensive report on the results to the customer, including component and PCB Certificates of Conformance.

MPL’s first article inspection service is a great advantage to our customers. This service primarily deals with prototyping orders as it relates to design review to ensure your product is assembled exactly the way it was intended to be, and thus, ready for full-scale production should you require.

Why Use First Article Inspection?

At MPL, we believe it is crucial to use thorough quality inspection techniques - completed first article assemblies are the key to verifying PCB concept validation. Our inspection team is methodical in their approach - using Automatic Optical Inspection, or AOI, for verifying component details such as orientation and placement in conjunction with well trained human eyes. Each of our visual inspection team members boast over 20 years of inspection experience and can answer any assembly questions that a customer may have during the FAI process.

When to Use First Article Inspection?

While first article inspection is a vital step in manufacturing PCBs, first article inspection does not apply in every situation. Typically, first article inspection is completed during the prototype stage and/or after a “significant” alteration to the PCB design or “up-rev” has occurred.

If you are unsure whether your PCB order should include first article inspection, simply contact our team at MPL. We are happy to answer any questions you may still have regarding first article inspection.

Quality In First Article Inspection and Beyond

We are often told by our customers that their reason for selecting MPL has to do with our notable process control system and the exceptional quality of our circuit board assembly services. As a result, our customers have said that MPL is the kind of low-maintenance supplier they prefer to do business with. These features are what differentiates MPL from other circuit board assembly service providers. Additionally, our excellent On-Time Delivery (OTD) and Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) rates, we have averaged a 0.01% RMA percentage and 98.7% OTD rate over the last three years provides us with data that backs up our claim to manufacturing excellence and reliable service. Discover the industry-leading service that numerous customers already benefit from and contact MPL today for all of your printed circuit board needs!