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Prototype Inspection

KAD’s Efficient Inspection Process for Prototype Models

When you partner with KAD for your machined prototype model, you can feel confident that it will meet the highest quality standards. We perform frequent in-process inspections to ensure you receive a functional, well-designed part that meets all critical requirements.

Performing in-process inspections for a prototype model helps us make quality parts as quickly as possible while minimizing waste. Once we complete a singular unit, it’s ready to go because we’ve been inspecting it each step of the way. 

How Does KAD’s In-Process Prototype Inspection Work?

If you’re accustomed to production manufacturing, you’ve probably come to expect a lengthy prototype inspection process for quality assurance. The manufacturer conducts a comprehensive first article inspection and requests full authorization of the final part before moving into production.

Although KAD is happy to offer that approach to our clients, it’s not how we typically conduct our workflow. Instead, we prefer in-process inspections for prototype models.

We begin by examining the part to determine where in the workflow in-process inspections are necessary. The more complex the part, the more verification we’ll include. 

For example: 

  • If the part is a simple flat plate with no more detail than a contour, we would verify that the thickness, length, and width are within tolerance. 
  • If the part has tight tolerances, we would inspect each critical dimension to make sure it’s within tolerance.
  • If the part requires secondary operations, we perform an inspection during the first and second operations.

Generally speaking, if we have an order for quantity 5 and we’re delivering all units simultaneously, we’ll perform in-process inspection for the first part only to accelerate lead times. 

What About Finishing?

Parts that require finishing operations are a bit more complicated because some of these operations can actually alter tolerances—and not in ways you’d always expect. For instance, sand blasting removes material, while media blasting causes it to expand

It’s extremely helpful if clients specify upfront whether the tolerances they indicated in their 3D model or 2D drawing are pre- or post-finishing. That way, during in-process inspection, we know if the dimensions should accommodate shrinkage or growth.

Unless otherwise indicated, we’ll conduct in-process inspections to save time during prototyping. But we can always scale up the intensity of our inspection, so if you need a first article inspection or want us to verify critical dimensions, just let us know! We frequently provide FAIs for our aerospace and medical clients. 

For an efficient inspection that keeps your timeline moving according to plan, request a quote from KAD today!