Level 1: Factory Test or Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)
The factory acceptance tests or FAT take place at the manufacturer of the machine (in the factory), they make it possible to check the proper functioning of the machine in accordance with the specifications specified beforehand in the specifications. It is therefore an extremely important step. One of the main uses of the FAT test is to avoid shipping a defective or malfunctioning machine to the customer.
Following the FAT test, a report summarising the various checks must be drawn up.
Level 2: Inspection or on-site acceptance test (SAT)
Once the equipment is delivered to site, it is inspected by the commissioning agent (verification control). This is to ensure that the equipment is what was ordered and also meets the project requirements. These checks are usually recorded via check sheets and are part of the overall process.
Level 3: Pre-functional testing (EPF) or component functional testing (EFC)
This is the installation inspection of the equipment only. The builder and commissioning agent work together to determine if the equipment has been installed correctly and meets industry requirements and regulations. It is also the first time that the equipment has been put into operation and its operation has been checked.
Level 4: Functional Performance Test (FT) or Functional System Test (FST)
Once Level 3 inspections and start-up testing are complete, the process moves to Level 4, functional performance and site testing. These are additional tests to verify that the equipment is working as expected and that faults have been properly incorporated.
Level 5: Integrated Systems Testing (IST)
These are the final tests. During this final stage, the focus is on proving that all systems can work together and meet the expected design and project requirements. Tests typically return mechanical systems, known as “thermal load testing”, and electrical systems, known as “integrated electrical testing”. They are usually run separately as they have slightly different goals.