How to Conduct Virtual Factory Acceptance Tests (vFATs)

In times of social distancing and a changing operational landscape, remote solutions are becoming increasingly important. The OpX Leadership Network has recently released best practices and leadership guidelines addressing the critical needs of conducting virtual factory acceptance tests (vFATs).

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the ability to perform certain business-critical tasks. Some processes that used to be carried out as normal, everyday tasks are no longer possible. Others can only be performed with severe limitations. This applies to Factory Acceptance Tests (FATs) which is why new methods for conducting FATs are being realized. Thanks to modern communication and connection technologies it is possible to perform the FAT virtually by allowing consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to interact with the OEM and equipment remotely. However, in order to perform a successful vFAT, additional considerations for proper execution are required. The best practices and leadership guidelines from the OpX Leadership Network are designed to assist in planning and executing vFATs.

The leadership guidelines support with the planning of a vFAT, inform about technology requirements and explain what needs to be considered when it comes to the testing process. For each step, checklists are available that will help you keep track of responsibilities and timings.

In many countries the lockdown is already being gradually eased. Does this mean that virtual FATs are only a temporary solution and will not last in the future? The OpX Leadership Network does not assume this. In a recent statement Bryan Griffen, director of industry services, PMMI, says: "The pandemic has required that new methods be established for executing FATs, which are likely to become standard procedures in the post-pandemic ways of working."

More information on this topic can be found on the OEM Magazine website.