Forgotten science: Product Inspection and FAT

The sign says: “Do not weave sheet metal with bare hands!”, but people are amazing! Competent enough to send probes into deep space and to eradicate diseases, but to follow instructions? We hate it – with passion!



Electrical engineering is a well-established discipline. Smart people from around the world got together and wrote standards for manufacturing and factory acceptance testing that work! They protect both clients and manufacturers, ensuring that everyone gets exactly what they need and what they paid for. But, due to the phenomenon mentioned above, we still need inspectors to make sure that all the requirements are implemented.

A few years ago, a whole line of new products failed every conceivable test, baffling developers and manufactures alike with its consistent inconsistency. Not two failures were similar and yet, on paper, all was supposed to work.

After rechecking the calculations and calibrations, processes and procedures, the engineering team was ready to give up. Eventually, they decided to call an expert in inspections during manufacturing.

These guys know both sides – operating conditions and testing requirements, local and international standards, manufacturing and testing processes and retain a bunch of information no one cares to write down. By the nature of their job, they sort of develop a sixth sense on where to look for the cause of the most improbable problems.

The inspector took a serious stroll down the manufacturing facilities, listening carefully to the sorrowful saga on failures and what was done to prevent them. He would occasionally ask a question, check a log book or calibration certificate, but, again, all seemed to be in order.

At noon, the inspector asked to eat in the factory’s cantina, which was proudly offering a number of specialities of the local cuisine. The inspector smiled and enjoyed his food, engaging in light conversation.

After lunch, the inspector asked for some faulty units and a bucket of sawdust. He lightly dusted the units and the elusive culprit popped into view! Each unit was covered by thumbprints in various places, finally explaining the cause of failures and their inconsistency.

One of the specialties of the local cuisine was the famous “börek”, which is a baked phyllo pastry filled with cheese and notoriously oily. Simply washing the hands does not remove the oil, so the workers must wear gloves while handling the product.

To date, with all those standards, rules and procedures, there are still few who sneak in an oily treat or forget to wear gloves. We can identify their marks and help you protect your interest.


Contact us if you need experienced consultants for any advice. Keep those fingers clean!


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