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Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is about having a clear understanding of what customers want, need, and expect in a product and then planning accordingly.

Production processes often have inherent risks, such as process failures. Following the APQP process can help minimize these risks. In turn, risk management leads to greater quality control and business success.

During the late ’80s, APQP programs were in use by major players in the automotive industry. According to the American Society for Quality, Automotive Division, APQP is a structured process that includes critical tasks from concept approval through production.

The aim is to create a product quality plan for developing and manufacturing products that meet customer requirements.

Today, APQP planning generally follows a five-phase process:

  • Product Planning and Quality Program Definition
  • Product Design and Development
  • Process Design and Development
  • Validation of Product and Process
  • Production Launch, Assessment, and Improvement

Some would argue that the first phase is the most critical. When customer demands require the introduction of a new product or an overhaul of an existing one, preliminary planning becomes front and center, even before discussions of product design or redesign.

In this APQP phase, planning is directed at understanding the customer’s needs and product expectations.

Planning activities include gathering necessary data to define what the customer wants and then using the information to hash out product characteristics. The quality program needed to create the product as specified can then be defined. The output of this work includes product design, reliability, and quality goals.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Advanced Product Quality Planning Training, a 2-day course that provides the tools and procedures required for the quality protocols designed to ensure a product meets standards and it satisfies the customer.

Participants will also learn fundamentals and more, such as in order to ensure the customers’ satisfaction and meet quality standards, APQP needs to be planned up front and then implemented through production.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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