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).

Although it might not be suitable across whole industries, but some of the required documentation and product development phases are very similar with different terminology.

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

And the APQP related document flow can refer to the following diagram:

APQP Documentation 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 Input & Output

For individual APQP Phase, respective input and output are illustrated in their input & output diagram to indicate what are the required information along with expected output prior going to the next phase.

APQP Phase I Input & Output
APQP Phase II Input & Output
APQP Phase III Input & Output
APQP Phase IV Input & Output
APQP Phase V Input & Output

PPAP Introduction

Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) is a process which is designated for automobile OEM to:

In general, if supplier have any change made within product design, manufacturing process or even manufacturing location. PPAP shall be provided to automobile customer to review the changed scope.

The following cases required suppliers to submit PPAP when needed, but this can also apply to the change management scope across different industries:

PPAP will have five different submission level along with the required documentation (see below):

Part Submission Warrant (PSW) only, Appearance Approval Report (AAR) for required appearance item

Submit PSW with product sample and partial PPAP documentations.

Submit PSW with product sample and complete PPAP documentations

Submit PSW with customer designated PPAP documentations.

PSW & product sample shall reserved at manufacturing site for auditing complete information.

The following table will summarize PPAP’s submission level’s required documentation and submission timing.

PPAP Submission Level and Legend

Besides the PPAP documentation requirement, the on-site PPAP confirmation requirement is listed below:

Shall sampled within 1 to 8 hours of manufacturing process time interval. The minimum quantity for qualification shall be 300pcs (unless specified by customer)

Shall sample from variation based on manufacturing tooling, inspection equipment, processes, material and operators.

Parts shall be sampled and measured while consider tools with multiple cavities. Each cavity’s product shall be measured for covering the manufacturing condition’s maximum variance.

Share your thoughts