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APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning)

New products and services typically require the engagement with a supply chain group that provides products and innovation that becomes crucial for successful launch. The difficult challenges facing organizations today make it virtually impossible to retain in-house capability for all aspects of product realization.

Advanced Product Quality Planning is an approach where the supply chain is engaged with the Original Equipment Manufacturer or originator of the service being planned. APQP (or AQP when products are not the primary deliverable) ensures that Collaborative Product and Process Design (CPPD) takes place. CPPD is a way to ensure that the design not only meets with the future customers’ expectations, but also allows the intelligent inclusion and inputs of the supply chain and interfacing groups to discuss better ways to design out failures, increase productivity and keep an eye on quality.

Special Characteristics are developed early in APQP. Characteristics begin from new product requirements and past failures which then evolve into actionable items/features/dimensions during the Design FMEA activity and are carried forward to the Process FMEA. These characteristics are the basis for a great deal of the risk assessment and control plan strategy.

Planning for quality requires discipline and the use of various tools and techniques properly deployed at the correct time for the benefits of APQP to be achieved. QSYS has successfully prepared and deployed APQP planning efforts for many products and services. The results of which can be seen in automobiles, golf cars, medical devices, banking services, motorcycles, farm and heavy machinery.

Check out our FREE APQP Overview Web Based Training!

Are you interested in learning more about the APQP process? Be sure to check out our new FREE Web Based Training course entitled APQP Overview. This short course defines what APQP is, what the five phases of APQP are, and how APQP utilizes QFD, FMEA, PPAP, and other quality disciplines. Our APQP Overview course   is typically deployed in 5 concurrent and collaborative phases.

  • Plan and Define
  • Product Design and Develop
  • Process Design and Develop
  • Product and Process Validation
  • Continuous Improvement and Feedback

APQP Characteristics Selection
These five phases never end and are in fact sharing information and technical risks which require mitigation plans. The tools within APQP make up a road map to follow where the Design and Process teams engage with the supply chain to exchange inputs of the new product and process designs. Each tool is selected for its specific strength. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a typical example of a tool used in APQP. There are many more to choose from depending on the circumstances and conditions where APQP is being used. The outputs of these tools provide the basis for formal design reviews where the Failure Modes and action plans to eliminate potential failure can be eliminated by asking one or all of the three the following questions.

  • Can the product/process be error proofed?
  • Mistake Proofing is reserved for the last question in this series.
  • Can the Product or Process achieve a higher level of capability through tolerance design and/or process variation reduction?
  • Greater tolerance
  • CP index calculation for future CP(k) achievement.
  • What Controls must be developed to ensure that the defects cannot reach a customer?

When planned and deployed properly the benefits of APQP are enormous. Quality Associates International has the experience and knowledge to make the APQP process valuable to any organization.


APQP for Product or Process change.

The same tools which make APQP valuable for new designs and processes also make it valuable when changes come. Change is inevitable. The tracking and evaluating in a technical sense reduces the possibility of mistakes and errors which can drive additional problems. Change can come from many common improvement techniques today.


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