First Articles

First Articles 

What is a First Article?

A First Article (FA) validates that identified purchased parts meet Bosch design-controlled specifications by:

  • Validating a supplier’s capability to initially produce a specific Bosch product within a production environment
  • Validating production/capital tooling
  • Reviewing the supplier’s production documentation, including but not limited to control plans, PFEMA’s, Evidence of Conformance, etc.
  • Testing product
  • Reviewing and documenting Certificates of Conformance 

Is a Sample the same as a First Article?

Simply stated, “No.” 

  • A Sample is a request from Bosch Design Engineering or Product Management.   The purpose of the sample is to determine whether or not the product meets Bosch’s needs, functions as intended, etc.   Most times a sample is requested for an unreleased part.
  • A First Article is a request via a discrete Purchase Order (P.O.) typically with a production order quantity indicated on the P.O. from Supply Chain.   A FA is requested on “released” drawings and must be produced using the intended production machines, processes, materials, etc.

When is a First Article Required?

At design review, at new item release, through a significant change, when a part is sourced/resourced, by requests from specific areas such as Sales, Purchasing, Quality, Design Engineering, or requests by the customer, the need for a First Article is determined.

Additional factors that may impact whether a first article is required, include but are not limited to:

  • Specification Changes due to Engineering Change Orders (ECO)
  • Critical design of a product with tight tolerances or specifications
  • Refurbishing production/capital tooling
  • Program parts or high quantity items
  • New supplier for the part

What will be the indication to the supplier that a First Article is needed? 

The need for a First Article will be indicated on a Purchase Order and denoted as a Certification 1 – A.    The P.O. will contain the part number and the number of FA’s needed.

Also included will be the following information: 

  • Send completed First Articles:
    • To include in English:
      • Parts Submission Warrant (PSW) (Level 4)
      • Evidence of Conformance (EOC)
      • Control Plan  (you may submit your own control plan format, if desired)
      • Balloon drawings to product the part(s)
      • Material Certifications
      • Send to:
        • Bosch Automotive Service Solutions Inc
        • Randy Mucha
        • 655 Eisenhower Drive
        • Owatonna, MN 55060
        • (507) 455-7498
        • Mark on Packing Slip and shipping container:
          • ATTENTION: FIRST ARTICLES-Randy Mucha
          • PART NUMBER xxxxxx
          • PURCHASE ORDER NUMBER  xxxxx
  • A label is provided on this website for your use.
  • Paperwork is to be included with shipment and should be placed in an envelope or folder marked as First Article Paperwork

DO NOT SUBMIT FIRST ARTICLES without the proper paperwork listed above.

How many pieces are to be submitted with the First Article paperwork?

Typically, a First Article Submission consists of three pieces.   However, there may be times when it will be more or less may be requested, depending on the product type and the packaging involved.

What is the notification process if the First Article is Accepted or Rejected?

In either case, the supplier will be notified by a signed Parts Submission Warrant (PSW) from Bosch’s Quality Special Measurements Department.

Once the supplier receives the notification that the part is ACCEPTED the supplier may proceed with production.

If the supplier receives a notification that the part is REJECTED additional information will be provided, such as a copy of the Discrepancy Report indicating why the First Article was rejected.  There will be additional instructions on how to proceed which are:

  • Submit new First Article.   If that is the case, another Purchase Order line will be opened on the P.O. to indicate that a new Certification 1 – A (First Article) is needed.
  • Correct in Production.
  • Bosch will modify drawings.   In this case, the existing drawing will go through the Bosch ECO process and a new revision level will be assigned to the drawing.  You will need to acquire the new drawing from the appropriate Bosch Buyer.

Remember that the supplier is responsible for inspecting the product to all Bosch specifications.  If the supplier is not able to perform the proper inspection of the product, the supplier will need to outsource the inspection process with a third party.

Do not ship First Articles that are not to specification.   Waivers are not granted on First Articles.