APQP Advanced Product Quality Planning

APQP as well as the PPAP, FMEA, SPC and MSA are considered the Core Tools of the automotive sector and is a requirement of the IATF 16949: 2016 technical specification.

This is a defined process for a product development system for General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and its suppliers. According to AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group), the purpose of the APQP is to produce a product quality plan that supports the development of a product or service that meets the needs of the customer.

The APQP is a process developed in the late 80s by a commission put together by Ford, GM and Chrysler. This tool is used today by these three companies, their suppliers and some subsidiaries. APQP serves as a guide in the development process and is also a standard way to share results between suppliers and automotive companies.

This process focuses on the development, industrialization and launch of new products. During these phases, 23 items are monitored; these should be completed before serial production starts. Some items that are monitored are: robustness of design, design tests and compliance with specifications, production process design, quality inspection standard, process capability, production capacity, product packaging, product testing and training of operators plan, among others.

The APQP has 5 phases, these are:

  1. Planning and definition of the program
  2. Design and development of the product
  3. Design and development of the process
  4. Validation of product and process
  5. Feedback, evaluation and corrective actions

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