Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) – Process and Tools

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APQP

Advanced Product Quality Planning is a quality management system that ensures customer satisfaction and product conformity.

This process has been used in various industries, including the automotive industry.

This blog post will discuss what APQP is and its benefits and methods. We will also go through different topics, such as principles, continuous improvement, quality goals, preliminary bill measurement methods, etc., so you can understand how it works!

Advanced Product Quality Planning

What is APQP?

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a comprehensive process that helps companies ensure that their products meet customer and regulatory requirements.

The planning starts with the customer’s requirements and works backward through the product development process, identifying potential quality problems and solutions.

It can be an integral part of a QMS. It is required by the OEM to validate that suppliers have a process in place to deliver products with zero defects or near-zero defects. This helps companies reduce waste and improve customer satisfaction while increasing profits!

APQP process

APQP Process

The process includes the following steps:

1. Process Design: In this step, the process is designed, and the steps used to manufacture the product are identified.

2. Process Validation: This step is validated to ensure that it meets the customer’s requirements.

3. Process Quality: In this step, the quality of the process is ensured by using measurement methods and corrective actions.

4. Manufacturing Process: The manufacturing process is created in this step, and the steps are refined as necessary.

5. Product and Process Validation: The product is validated to ensure that it meets the customer’s requirements in the Product and Process Validation step.

APQP process flow chart

The process flow chart is a graphical representation of the APQP process. It shows the relationships between the various steps in the process and what inputs and outputs are associated with each step.

Following is a sample graphical representation.

APQP Process Flow infographics

APQP and Customer Satisfaction

APQP aims to ensure customer satisfaction by delivering high-quality products that meet or exceed customer expectations.

It is a crucial element of a QMS and is commonly integrated into ensuring that product design requirements are met before manufacturing begins.

It provides the framework for developing a QMS, which integrates all activities in an organization with processes and procedures designed to meet customer needs while controlling costs, maximizing productivity, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.

APQP principles and quality goals

APQP ensures that the products released into the market are of high quality. It is a collaborative effort between the customer and the supplier and helps ensure that the customer’s needs are met.

Identifying and addressing potential problems early helps improve the product’s quality.

One of the main goals is to achieve customer satisfaction.

Another key goal is to ensure that the products meet the requirements specified by the customer.

A final goal is to improve the overall product quality of products continuously.

APQP Five Core Tools

The APQP Five Core Tools are a set of tools used to help improve the quality of the product. The tools are:

  1. FMEA: Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
  2. PFMEA: Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
  3. Control Plans
  4. PPAP: Production Part Approval Process
  5. APQP: Advanced Product Quality Planning

FMEA

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is a tool to help identify potential problems with the product. The APQP process, as defined by ISO/TS 16949:2009 / AS 46000 -2017, requires that all the team members participate in this activity.

Each individual will be responsible for identifying failure modes in their area. The APQP team leader will then collate all of the individual’s results to create a list of potential problems for the product.

PFMEA

Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is another tool used within APQP, as defined by ISO/TS 16949:2009 / AS 46000 -2017. This tool identifies potential failures in the production process.

The team will use this tool to identify potential problems with the manufacturing process and how they could impact the quality of the product.

Control Plans

Control Plans are a tool used to help ensure that the product meets the customer’s requirements. The control plan will specify the methods used to measure and track the quality of the product.

PPAP

Production Part Approval Process is a tool to ensure that parts are manufactured to meet customer requirements.

This process involves submitting a sample of the part to the customer for approval. Once the customer has approved the part, companies can use it in production.

Quality Management Systems

QMS is a system used to ensure that the quality of the product meets the customer’s requirements. The QMS will typically include the following:

Policies and Procedures: The policies and procedures of the QMS should be documented and accessible to all employees.

  • Quality Manual: The quality manual should be a comprehensive guide to the QMS and include all policies and procedures.
  • Document Control: Documents related to the quality of the product should be controlled and tracked.
  • Training: Employees should be trained on the requirements of the QMS.
  • Auditing: The QMS should be audited regularly to ensure effectiveness.

APQP Measurements Methods/Product Development Process

Processes include the following:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Product development
  • Manufacturing

Each has specific process instructions and process flow charts taken to ensure quality. In addition, APQP tracks product development design changes, reviews, prototype testing, and supplier performance.

It monitors process capability, variation, and product conformity in manufacturing. All of these measurements are important to maintain high-quality standards for products.

It’s also important to note that it is a cyclical process, constantly being refined and improved. This continual improvement leads to increased quality and customer experience over time.

Corrective Actions and Continuous Improvement

Implement the APQP process with quantitative evidence to achieve quality on-time delivery targets and customer expectation fulfillment.

  • Maintained APQP plan throughout the development process by using corrective actions to return metric values within authorized limits.
  • Completed APQP Quality Goals Preliminary Bill identifying total defects, rework, scrap, rejects, and customer returns for a given period.
  • Regularly measured product characteristics to validate the ongoing manufacturing process and identify necessary corrective actions.
  • Continuously improved APQP process through data analysis and identification of root causes.
  • Identified product quality problems and provided a solution to quality program management by creating a corrective action plan following APQP guidelines.
  • Consistently meets APQP goals on time while coaching the team through the process.
  • Continuously worked with quality program managers to implement APQP across the manufacturing plant.

Process Quality Control/Assurance

Process Quality Control/Assurance (PQC/A) is critical in manufacturing and producing quality products. PQC/A is the methodology by which an organization can ensure that its manufacturing and production processes consistently deliver quality products. It also allows for the early detection and correction of defects, thus preventing the shipment of non-conforming products to customers.

The goal of PQC/A is to ensure that products meet customer needs and are consistent in terms of quality. To achieve this, an organization must have a well-defined manufacturing and production process and a rigorous Quality Management System (QMS). The QMS should include design, validation, manufacturing, and continual improvement processes.

PQC/A is implemented through process design documents, validation, and control plans. These documents ensure that the manufacturing and production processes produce good products. They also provide a roadmap for ensuring that products meet customer requirements and specifications.

Conclusion

Advanced Product Quality Planning is a standard process used in product development, and it helps ensure customer satisfaction by reducing the risk of defects and maximizing quality.

The process consists of four phases: Process Design, Process Validation, Product Quality Planning Principles, and Continuous Improvement.

It helps companies achieve their quality standards through ongoing improvement.

Thank you for reading this post! We hope you have found it informative and valuable!