Review the key areas that make up the SAP quality management first article process, and learn how to set up critical configuration and master data to make this process function smoothly. Problems occur when companies miss first article inspection because there are loose or no integrated processes in place to ensure the process is triggered at receiving. This lapse puts the company at risk because the product can go into production before it has been thoroughly reviewed.
Most companies require first article inspections when buying either a new material or a material from a different vendor to ensure the vendor has correctly followed all the engineering, design, and quality specification requirements when making the product. First article inspections also ensure the proper documentation was sent and instructions for first article submittal were followed. SAP quality management (QM) first article inspection is fully integrated into the inventory receiving process so that at the time of receiving, there are checks to automatically determine if there should be a normal inspection or a first article inspection. This integration is the key strength of SAP QM first article inspection functionality.
The first article inspection is an area in which many companies do a poor job because the inspections are missed when their related triggers are loose or manual. However, SAP quality management (QM) first article inspection can help avoid those problems, as the functionality has a tight link with triggering, and there is no way to bypass it when the triggers are turned on.
The main components that make up the first article process include the following:
- Configuration. Through configuration, you create the supply relationship status profile that has a trigger select the 0101 first article inspection type instead of the 01 normal goods receipt inspection type when there needs to be a first article inspection. Also, you must decide if the first article inspection type will point to the same inspection plan as the normal plan or a separate inspection plan. If a separate inspection plan occurs, then the usage setting needs to be different than the normal inspection type. Usage is the flag that links an inspection type assigned to a material to the correct inspection plan, which defines the tests that need to be performed.