What are the Keys to Success to a Sanitary Skid Design/Build Project? A Productive Factory Acceptance Testing

October 31, 2013
FAT in Holland's Shop

FAT in Holland’s Shop

This is the fourth in a series of articles we are posting on Thursdays that will outline the keys to a successful Engineered Sanitary Skid and Modular Systems project.  We will draw on our past experiences and lessons learned from numerous successful projects in the biopharmaceutical industry.  Our topic today deals with what makes for factory acceptance tests.

Closure to a high purity process system project traditionally ends with a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT).  This is an important client function that almost always dictates the final grade on a significant project.  A successful FAT is a rewarding end to any challenging project.

What makes for a successful FAT?  Here are some of the basic principles we use to consistently execute an excellent FAT for a sanitary skid project:

  1. Keep your FAT date.  We understand the coordination required to schedule a FAT.
  2. Ensure that the facility where the FAT is to take place has the proper infrastructure. For sanitary skids.  This usually entails having utilities available such as clean steam, a high purity water source, plant steam and a variety of electrical hook ups.  Also important requirements are client internet access and adequate meeting rooms for the client FAT team.
  3. Have adequate trained personnel available to support the FAT.  They should be familiar with the available utilities as well as the piece of equipment being tested.
  4. Be prepared.  A good FAT begins before it starts.  We will have completed our pre-FAT checks on the system prior to customer arrival.  The more time the customer has to work on their FAT and not ours, the sooner they can finish.
  5. Assign a dedicated technician to run the FAT activities.  This person’s first priority is to assist the client in executing the FAT.
  6. Eliminate punch list items on-the-go.  Don’t wait for a list at the end before working off punch list items.
  7. Be flexible.  Be prepared to change course during the FAT if problems arise.  Be prepared to come in early or stay late to help the client finish.
  8. Make the best use of the time available.  Have hook ups ready to go before starting.  Plan for the next round of tests and what might be needed to execute.  Bring in lunch.  Anything to make best use of the client time during FAT.

Holland Applied Technologies has been building sanitary skids and modules for over 25 years.  If you would like to know more about our sanitary skid design/build capabilities, contact us.  We would be happy further discuss our capabilities and how we can best meet your needs.