Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)

APQP or Advanced Product Quality Planning is one of the five (5) automotive core tools which is a key requirement for any organization in the automotive supply chain for acquiring ISO/TS 16949 certification. In the Quality Management System (QMS), the role of APQP is for problem prevention.
APQP is:

  • A defined process for product development
  • A common path and synchronization of product development activities
  • A tool to ensure that communication between parties (i.e. company to company to customer) are effective

APQP’s successful implementation relies on the following fundamentals:

  • Organize the TEAM
  • Define the scope
  • Team-to-Team interface
  • Training
  • Customer and supplier involvement
  • Simultaneous engineering
  • Control Plans
  • Concern Resolution
  • Product Quality Timing Plan
  • Plans relative to timing chart

APQP follows the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle in mapping-out the product development activities. The APQP cycle is composed of five (5) stages:

Stage 1: Plan and Define the program
– Describes how to determine customer needs and expectations in order to plan and define the quality program
– Designed to assure that needs and expectations of customers are clearly understood
Stage 2: Product Design and Development
– Discusses elements of planning process during which design features and characteristics are developed into a near final form
– Designed to assure a comprehensive and critical review of engineering requirements and related technical information
Stage 3: Process Design and Development
– Discusses major features of developing & manufacturing system and its related control plans to achieve quality products
– Designed to ensure the comprehensive development of an effective manufacturing system
Stage 4: Product and Process Validation
– Discusses major features of validating manufacturing process through an evaluation of a production trial run
– Additional concerns should be identified for investigation and resolution prior to regular production runs
Stage 5: Feedback, Assessment and Corrective Action
– Time to evaluate effectiveness of the product quality planning effort
– Variable and attribute data must be evaluated


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