What Is First Article Manufacturing?

Custom Case Manufacturing


Designers have worked diligently to understand your product, how it is used by customers and how it needs to be packaged. Custom case designs have been sketched out and drafted. Your case has been rendered on a computer screen and fine-tuned to exact specifications. Custom dies and molds have been crafted, and production tools have been built.

Is your packaging solution ready for mass manufacturing? Not quite yet.

Before cases move into the production process, First Article approval is a crucial step. Here’s a closer look at what First Article manufacturing entails.

A Brief Overview of First Article Manufacturing

First Article manufacturing, or sampling, is the process where the first unit of a product is made. While this sample unit offers customers the excitement of seeing their case in a tangible format for the first time, it also proves to be highly beneficial in terms of product evaluation.

Before a large volume production run, the First Article provides customers with the chance to confirm that their custom case coincides with the design, dimensions and geometry outlined in relevant specifications. Further, it gives them a way to ensure that the case functions as intended, as well as verify the overall quality and durability of the solution.

In some instances, custom cases may need to undergo testing for the International Safe Transit Association or environmental testing. The First Article approval process is where these tests are performed with the optimal results achieved before next steps.

Like any type of test, there’s a chance that issues could be found with the sample unit. But that’s the purpose of this step: to discover problems before you scale. The centralized nature of the problem makes it easier for manufacturers to immediately address the issue, versus having to recall thousands of ineffective units and then correct the problem.

First Article Approval Benefits Your Bottom Line

Without First Article approval, even the most well-designed cases run the risk of imperfections or an end result that simply doesn’t meet brand and industry requirements. And in especially strict industries like healthcare and food safety, the product may be rendered useless if the intended design doesn’t precisely match the final outcome.

That’s why Cases By Source always leverages the First Article inspection method — no matter how simple or complex the case solution may be. We want to ensure that when products hit the mass production phase, customers have peace of mind about the quality of their product, as well as their ability to meet tight timelines and budgetary restrictions.

To learn more about how Case By Source uses First Article manufacturing to ensure the optimal case solutions, see our design and manufacturing overview page.custom-case-get-started

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