Interview with Juan Carlos Rodríguez, Production Manager of Wastewater Containerised Plants in Toro Equipment

Today we talk with our partner – Juan Carlos Rodríguez – about the significance of FAT (Factory Acceptance Testing) in the value chain of Toro Equipment company.

What exactly are these tests and why are they so important?

Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) are tests which assess the equipment during and after its manufacturing, verifying they have been designed and built according to specifications required in the project. The aim of this assessment is detecting potential incidents so that in case they occur, and after warning the manager about them, carry out its correction.

The tests we perform in Toro Equipment are decisive in our quality system, because they verify our clients are going to receive a unit with guarantees of a proper functioning.

In Toro Equipment, do you follow a protocol to perform this FAT?

Of course we do. All inspections are carried out following a standardised inspection item protocol in order to:

– Detect possible abnormalities in integration equipment coming from other internal groups. Assembly of units that comprise a pre-assembled equipment makes necessary to execute checks to verify the proper running of the whole equipment.

– Detect possible abnormalities in equipment coming from external suppliers. Just to give an example, a pump or a compressor could have been damaged during transportation from our supplier’s facilities to our factory, and we can only detect such damage by exposing them to working conditions required in our design.

– Examine works done during manufacture processes in the various workstations. The works that are carried out have its corresponding checklist, so that all GRP floor assemblies, thermal insulations, air conditioner devices, access doors, ventilations… which the tank is fitted with has a unique code allows to know ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’ such works have been performed.

– Check the lettering, labelling and marking pursuant to company’s standards and certifications to comply with in terms of logistics (rail shipping, sea shipping…). A large part of our pre-assemble equipment are delivered to countries outside EU. This requires that, apart from complying with the specific regulation of each country, they will be certified as per rail or sea shipping standards and thus, economising such cost.

– Verify the compliance of the project’s specifications. It is common that our pre-assemble equipment be part of complex projects carried out by our clients. So that our equipment fit in them like a glove, we work closely with our clients in the selection of the most suitable components (pumps, compressors, blowers…) with each and every project.

What are the most relevant items to check?

In pre-assembled plants the tests carried out are the following:

– Dimensional check

– Structural quality

– Hydraulic performance check

– Noise limit values check

– Power consumption check

Where are FAT carried out?

Tests are carried out in the factory, on each manufacturing station. The time to perform the tests is after completing each manufacturing process, so that for detection and correction of a deficiency there is no need to undo tasks or dismantle components that could hide it.

Could you tell us which benefits arise from the performance of these FAT?

Such tests/inspections have many benefits:

– They reveal in which stages of manufacture we have to improve control.

– They reduce the time and costs in deficiencies correction.

– They guarantee the reliability of the product, avoiding delays in projects where they are included (external clients, works…).

– They ensure the client receives a quality product.

Tests executed properly verify the machines are built according to manufacturing and design standards. Furthermore, FATs provide a high guarantee level that the machine will run smoothly from its commissioning.

In many cases, FATs are usually a contractual requirement by the customer. In such case, the client is often present during testing full functioning tests. Previously, we have been checked the equipment at each manufacturing stage.

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