What is FAT test? and What is IFAT test?

What is FAT test?

Many manufacturers do FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) while adding, modifying or upgrading a system. A FAT requires a standardized device testing procedure and is conducted where the final installation is done. It is difficult to predict the correct operation of the safety instrumented system or its effects due to defects in certain parts of the safety instrumented system, a FAT provides valuable inspection of these safety problems.

Why conduct a FAT test?

  • The objective is to identify and resolve any system problems before they reach the site of the plant.

  • The FAT’s purpose test both the BPCS / SIS system’s software and hardware functionality as an integrated unit.

  • Ensure the product meet all the specifications.

  • FAT saves time and money over fixing issues in the field.

  • Provide independent proof of functionality, quality and integrity through our comprehensive inspection process

  • Verify all important documents, such as manuals, instructions, plans, drawings, piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs)

  • Ensure that your equipment or plant performs as expected under the testable range of likely conditions, including mishandling and error.

General procedure for FAT test:

The methods for conducting the FAT must be well specified and properly documented. In a logical sequence, every test procedure shall be definedThe general testing procedure should outline the details to be addressed in the test. These should include the following considerations, as a minimum:

  • A statement of the location and dates of the FAT.

  • A description of the general approach.

  • Specification of the revision levels of the hardware and software to be tested.

  • Specification of the exact configuration of equipment being tested.

  • Personnel safety issues that may apply during the test.

During the FAT following should be covered:

Comprehensive inspection: This is typically customized based on the customer’s equipment and requests, but may include a range of conformity checks and checks

Contract audit: This is a summary of the original agreement to ensure that all contractual obligations are met.

Water test: This procedure simulates the proof of functionality of the system in operation. Usually, these tests include verification of relevant documents, including user manuals, P&IDs and any kind of instructions that come with the equipment to ensure accuracy.

Documents required for the FAT test:

  • System Functional Requirements Specification
  • System 1 / 0 List
  • Process Control Description
  • Control Logic Specification Sheets
  • Configuration Worksheets
  • Logic Flow Diagrams
  • Instrument Specifications
  • Process Flow Sheets
  • Graphic Design Drawings
  • Program Listings (Documented)
  • System Self-documentation Printouts
  • System Arrangement Drawings
  • Termination Lists
  • Vendor Manuals
  • Punch-list Form

What is the IFAT test?

An Integrated Factory Acceptance Test (IFAT) is a testing activity that brings together selected components from major vendors of control systems and plant personnel from Industrial Control System (ICS) to validate and test a subset of control system network and security application environment in an ICS environment.

Industrial Control System (ICS) is a general term that includes many types of industrial production control systems, including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Distributed Control Systems (DCSs), Programmable Logic Control (PLC).

Purpose of IFAT:

The aim of an IFAT during outage operations is to avoid costly redesign and troubleshooting. Conducting an IFAT provides an opportunity to verify communication between systems and identify potential problems before installation.

Discovery of problems during the IFAT prevents costly delays and rework by enabling redesign and troubleshooting to be completed in a more appropriate environment.

The IFAT, along with subsequent testing during installation, also provides oversight and verification to aid in meeting regulatory requirements for the site.

The integrated security solution enables consumers and suppliers to gain knowledge and comfort. The tests are designed to verify the performance of systems and applications as required and do not adversely affect operations of the system.

Advantages of IFAT:

  • It will allow plants to better comply with vendor support by implementing a single solution resulting in a cohesive network environment.

  • It saves time during an outage from an implementation schedule because many of the design for cyber security is validated in a laboratory.

  • It increases the level of trust of the proposed solution’s plant and supplier as well as providing evidence that solutions actually work.

  • ICS personnel are better positioned to accept and support existing vendor security solutions