NPI Process Intro

In this blog post, APQP and PPAP will be introduced to let viewers understand how these 2 tools can integrate into general new product/process development or introduction (NPD/NPI).

APQP Introduction

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a structured product development process flow based on AIAG’s princniple, the intention for APQP is as follows:

APQP also helps to identify required changes at early phase while mimizing excess costs for robust products. In addition, APQP’s systematic approach from development phase to mass production phase also helps to prevent late-stage modification which is generally costly.

The following diagram shows the 5 stages in APQP while indicate the PDCA flow just like the QMS.

APQP Five Phase with PDCA

And the general APQP timeline from pre-product realization to mass production can refer to the following timeline.

APQP Timeline Flow

Pre-APQP Execution

Before starting APQP formation, the following elements shall be considered to ensure APQP can be executed properly

Pre-APQP Elements

Ensure customers’ (external/internal) requirements (e.g.  product characteristics, testing frequency) are clearly addressed.

In addition, project feasibility (based on design, performance requirement and manufacturing process) versus cost, time and restriction shall be considered before finalize the scope & definition.

Ensure all APQP team members understand customer-required skills sets for an effective development plan. The essential 5 core tools include APQP, FMEA, MSA, SPC and PPAP.

Customer can co-plan the quality planning with suppliers, but supplier shall deploy internal cross-function team for quality planning along with requesting respective vendors to comply.

The APQP team shall summarize the issues encountered for product design/manufacturing. This will help to define clear roles & responsibility & project timeline setup.

Helps to align APQP cross function team to transit for different development phase while accomplish the necessary gate points prior to mass production.


In addition, product development progress and customer’s specific requirement shall be synchronized before product development’s deployment.

In addtion to these elements, control plan is also an essential to establish gating for product/process parameters. And it can be broken down to three different phases.

Emphasize on prototype’s production process while obtaining characteristic data for prototype’s product characteristics such as function, material characteristics or dimension check.

During the pre-launch stage, confirming additional process/product characteristics control prior to mass production is the most essential element.

FInalize the control plan from pre-launch while adding elements such as sampling plan, control method, SPC and inspection frequency.

APQP Phase I

During the planning phase, the supplier shall consider the customer’s need & expectation to develop products with robust quality for customer compliance.

The following diagram summarizes the input, process and output during the development planning phase:

PPAP can be classified in the general scopes and have the respective PPAP packaging document enlisted in the following aspects. The categories are not in a certified form, but the breakdown helps people to categorize the critical level for respective documents.

First, the PPAP scope can be split into the major 5 categories:

The PPAP documents listed below are documents which are generally required for the automotive OEMs. Additional documents might be required based on customer nature or regulatory compliance. 

PPAP implementation stages can be enlisted as the following phases starting from contacting the supplier’s contract settlement to the long term quality performance monitoring. The graph below will list the stages accordingly. 

In conclusion, PPAP is a complete tool for corporate to record and ensure product development and process establishment has a fine record tracking based on risk evaluation before going into mass production phases. The recording can also help to improve the NPI process flow and minimizing the variance during the on-going modifications.

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