Advanced Product Quality Planning

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What is APQP?

APQP or Advanced Product Quality Planning is a structured method of defining and establishing the steps necessary to ensure that a product satisfies the customer. Effective product quality planning depends on a company's top management's commitment to the effort required in meeting customer specifications.

The Objectives of APQP

Some of the bottom line goals of product quality planning are...

  • effective communications with all those who are involved in the implementation scheme.
  • timely completion of required goals.
  • minimal or no quality problems.
  • minimal risks related to quality during product launch.

Phases of APQP

They include...

  • Plan and define the program
  • Product design and development
  • Process design and development
  • Product and process validation
  • Feedback assessment and corrective action

Planning and defining the program

This stage is designed to ensure that customer needs and expectations are clearly understood. The input of this phase is furnished by the contract review for full service suppliers.

Outputs Include

  • Design goals
  • Reliability goals
  • Preliminary bill of material
  • Preliminary process flow chart
  • Preliminary listing of special product and process characteristics
  • Product assurance plan
  • Management support

Suppliers can consider this phase of APQP equivalent to Design and Development Planning and Design Input in QS-9000

Product Design and Development

This area encompasses a thorough review of product design (engineering) requirements and concludes with a sign-off on the design reliability

Outputs by Design Responsible Activity

  • Design failure mode and effects analysis
  • Design for manufacturing and assembly
  • Design verification
  • Design reviews
  • Prototype build-control plan
  • Engineering drawings (including math data)
  • Engineering specifications
  • Drawing and specification changes

Outputs by Advanced Product Quality Planning Team

  • New equipment, tooling and facilities requirements
  • Consensus on key/critical product and process characteristics?
  • Gages/testing equipment requirements
  • Team feasibility commitment and management support

Process Design and Development

This phase ensures that customer expectations and design requirements are carefully incorporated into the manufacturing process.


  • Packaging standards
  • Product/process quality system review
  • Floor plan layout
  • Process flow chart
  • Characteristics matrix
  • PFMEA (process failure mode effects analysis)
  • Pre-launch control plan
  • Process instructions
  • Measurement system analysis plan
  • Preliminary process capability study plan
  • Packaging specifications
  • Management support

Product and Process Validation


  • Production trial run
  • Measurement systems evaluation
  • Preliminary process capability study
  • Production Part Approval (PPAP)
  • Production validation testing
  • Packaging evaluation
  • Production control plan
  • Quality planning sign-off and management support

Feedback, Assessment and Corrective Action


  • Reduced variation
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Documentation and service

Benefits of APQP

  • Resources are directed towards customer satisfaction.
  • Required changes are identified early Changes close to or after product launch are avoided.
  • On time delivery of a quality product at the lowest cost.

The management should develop and document a quality policy relating to grade of service provided

  • the organization's image and reputation in the domain of quality objectives for improving product quality.
  • approach to be adopted in the pursuit of quality objectives.
  • the role of company personnel in implementing quality policy.

Systems Requirements For APQP

Documented Procedures implementing Quality Policy to-

  • manage Advanced Product Quality Planning Activities
  • address all required elements
  • establish appropriate organizational structures
  • manage necessary technical interfaces meet all customer requirements

Organizational Chart in the Quality Manual Displaying-

  • the overall structure of the organization and the level of hierarchy
  • the organization of the quality department
  • the organization of each department (optional)

Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) is the automotive world's legal documentation, for OEMs and suppliers, demonstrating production parts meet engineering (product) drawing specifications, customer specific requirements, and all test requirements specified in applicable Engineering Technical Data.

A product launch progresses through a number of important stages:

  • Team formation
  • Process mapping
  • Determining the ways the business might fail (FMEA)
  • Developing control plans
  • Submitting part submission warrants
  • Submitting first article reports
  • On-going management of lessons learned
PlanTech's Professionals can consult in optimizing the PPAP process in your organization so that you can expedite receiving tooling moneys from your customer!

Structured Problem Solving (8D, 5D, 7D)

Structured Problem Solving is a formal and meticulous approach to solving complex problems. The process uses a combination of effective techniques and tools to focus a cross functional team through a very detailed analysis of the problem that has brought them together. When followed diligently, the process will lead to the discovery of the root causes and possible solutions with consideration of cost, timing, effect on customers, and the impact on the organization.

Warranty Tracking / Warranty Analysis

Warranty tracking and analysis consists of tracking applicable data that is supplied by OEM automotive firms, and reviewing trends of such, along with reviews of returns, and ascertaining root causes / preventive actions in order to reduce and prevent future recurrences.

Additional Information:
PlanTech's Quality Professionals have been recognized by GM, Ford, and Chrysler in the tracking and continuous improvement of Warranty! Let PlanTech consult on how to make your Warranty program better! Click on this PDF to view our APQP Training Outline.
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