Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)

What is APQP?

- Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a procedures and techniques used to develop products in industry.

 - According to Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), the purpose of APQP is "to produce a product quality plan which will support development of a product or service that will satisfy the customer.

History of APQP

 - It is the process employed by Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and their suppliers for their product development system.

 - APQP helped Ford suppliers to develop appropriate prevention and detection controls for new products supporting the corporate quality effort.

 - With lessons learned from Ford AQP, the North American Automotive OEM’s collectively created the APQP process in 1994 and then later updated in 2008. APQP is intended to aggregate the common planning activities of all automotive OEM’s require into one process.

 - Tier 1 suppliers required to follow APQP procedures and techniques and are also typically required to be audited and registered to IATF 16949.

What is APQP?

 - The primary goal of advanced product quality planning is to facilitate communication and collaboration between engineering activities. A Cross Functional Team (CFT), involving marketing, product design, manufacturing and distribution, is used in the APQP process.

 - APQP ensures that the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is clearly understood, translated into requirements, technical specifications and special characteristics.

 - The main focus of APQP is utilization of tools and methods for mitigating the risks associated with change in the new product or process.

Phases of APQP

APQP is consist of one pre-planning stage and five concurrent phases.

Phases of APQP

Phase 1: Plan and Define

 - APQP Begins with customer expectations, wants, needs and desires to requirements. 

 - Resource planning, process and product assumptions are made.

 - List of preliminary special characteristics and design goals are also established.

Phase 2: Product Design and Development

 - Geometry, design features, details, tolerances and special characteristics are all reviewed in a Design review.

 - Design verification through prototype is a part of this phase.

 - In this phase Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (DFMEA) and Design Verification Plan and Report (DVP&R) tools are used.

Phase 3: Process Design and Development

 - This is a manufacturing techniques and measurement methods that will be used to bring the vision into reality.

 - Process Flow Chart (PFC), Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis(PFMEA) and Control Plan are examples of tools used in this phase.

Phase 4: Product and Process Validation

 - In this phase Validation of process quality and volume capabilities are done.

 - Statistical Process Control (SPC), Measurement System Analysis (MSA), and process capability studies are used in this phase.

 - After this phase Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) is ready for submission and production begins after approval from customer.

Phase 5: Launch, Assessment and Corrective Action

 - This phase explores learnings from the ongoing manufacturing process, RPN reduction, corrective actions (both internal and external), Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D) and the capture of information for future use.

APQP Inputs and Outputs

Input in Phase 1

 - Voice of customer which include Historical issues and Team Experience.

 - Business plan and Marketing plan

 - Product and Process Benchmark

 - Product and Process Assumptions

 - Customer inputs

Output in Phase 2

 - Design FMEA

 - Design review

 - Engineering Specifications

 - Material Specifications

 - Change control of drawing

 - Supplier selection

 - New Equipment's, tooling's and Facilities requirements

 - Special product and process characteristics

 - Update designs

Output in Phase 3

 - Packaging standards and specifications

 - Quality System Review

 - Process Flow Chart

 - Process FMEA

 - Measurement System Analysis (MSA) Plan 

 - Work Instructions

Output in Phase 4

 - Trial production run

 - Process capability study

 - Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)

 - Production Control Plan

 - Customer Approval

 - Packaging Evaluation

 - Quality Planning sign off

Output in Phase 5

 - Reduction in variation

 - Continuous Improvement

 - Improved Delivery Performance

 - Improved Customer Satisfaction

Note- Output of previous phase is the input for next phase

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