After designing and building a new automation system, factory acceptance testing or FAT is a vital part of the review and installation process. Its purpose is to ensure that each component in the automation system functions as it should and works in tandem with the other components. It takes place outside the customer’s laboratory, often at the automation manufacturer’s facility. You can think of it as a dress rehearsal before the big performance.
While this form of testing is not required for all lab automation systems, at Biosero, we strongly recommend it for most cases. Because we consider your success, our success, we even run an internal factory acceptance test or iFAT prior to your FAT. There are several advantages to a FAT; let’s look at some of the most important ones.
- Identifying and fixing problems: Perhaps the most important reason for factory acceptance testing is identifying potential problems with the system before it leaves the factory. It is easier and more efficient to fix problems in the factory where we have access to all of our tools and the expertise of the full integrations team rather than in a customer’s lab.
- Reducing the risk of delays in the lab: At a customer site, it can take longer to fix problems that are discovered for the first time after the system has been shipped and installed. Skipping a FAT can result in expensive and time-consuming delays once the system has been installed at the customer site, which can setback research goals tied to deploying the automation platform. At Biosero, we are ready to support our customers regardless of the circumstances, but we prefer to help our customers keep their science on track.
- Quality assurance: The safety of the scientists who will use the automated system regularly is paramount. Factory testing provides customers with peace of mind that each individual component of the system works as it should and meets safety standards.
- Meeting customer requirements: Testing at the factory assures us and our customers that the system meets all of the contract specifications. Customers have a chance to see the system in action and ask our team questions about maintenance, recommended spare parts, and more. We can also use this opportunity to make changes to the scope of work or to the system prior to shipping.
Factory acceptance testing minimizes risk and enables efficient, seamless installation of laboratory automation systems on-site. At Biosero, we provide complete documentation of the testing protocols, so customers know what to expect. Our documentation covers the full range of tests we perform as well as any applicable standards and specifications for the different components included in the system. We also provide details of the equipment and instruments that we use throughout the test.
Contact us to learn more about our build and install process.