Factory Acceptance Testing for Oil & Gas Clients
Serving the Oil & Gas industry is a privilege and responsibility that we at NextGen take very seriously. We’re proud to provide integrated, physical security solutions for utilities, including security management and access control; perimeter and physical security; incident reporting and response planning; recovery plans; and training. Another key service that we perform for our Oil & Gas clients is Factory Acceptance Testing, often referred to simply as FAT. This testing ensures that equipment/systems being purchased meet the agreed upon design specifications. Ideally this happens before arriving at the customer’s plant.
A Factory Acceptance Test encompasses a series of functionality checks done on industrial equipment by a manufacturer or independent third party before shipping to the end-user. Because the test is typically done with an independent inspector present, NextGen serves as that independent inspector, hosting Factory Acceptance Tests in our Houston Lab. Experts from the specific client’s team conduct the test on our premises.
The team typically includes all of their experts related to the equipment’s processes, including engineering, production, and quality control personnel. We recommend the customers Security Team, Operations Team or Security System Engineers with firsthand knowledge of these systems participate in this testing as they will be responsible for these systems when Nextgen is complete with installation. That’s because a FAT team should be made up of people with firsthand operation experience, as they can give valuable and practical feedback about the equipment.
The process of starting up industrial equipment for the very first time can be incredibly challenging, which is just one of many reasons why Factory Acceptance Testing is done. FATs also give clients assurance that they’re purchasing high quality equipment, as it allows for the pre-inspection of the components at a separate facility to ensure they’re built to the specifications needed before any equipment is actually shipped to the buyer. It provides the peace of mind that their equipment will operate safely and optimally when put into operation at their own facility.
So, what exactly does a Factory Acceptance Test involve? There are several factors – the equipment must be assembled, prepared, and connected for testing. Documents must also be gathered, spanning drawings, ASME certificates, and test procedures.
The testing process itself depends on the complexity of the equipment being tested. If the equipment is complex, the testing process can also be multi-faceted. Generally, the most common tests performed include: Document verification; Visual verification; Individual component operation verification and Security System operation verification. Security System Operation Verification is the portion of the testing that tests overall equipment functionality meaning testing every physical component of an Access Control System, Video Management System or Intrusion Detection System that can physically be tested. Testing procedures can include testing Card Readers, Door Contacts, Electrified Locks, specific operational functions of devices, camera functionality and even testing of a Fiber Intrusion Detection System. During these tests it is determined that the FAT has proven overall functionality of the Security Systems and if any irregularities are found those would be noted in a punch list for correction prior to the equipment being shipped to the customer site and if all tests are passed, the equipment can be dispatched to the buyers facility.
NextGen has deep experience in performing Factory Acceptance Tests. We are committed to delivering to our Oil & Gas clients the reassurance that their equipment is working properly prior to its deployment at their field locations.