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APQP Training: Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a structured process aimed at ensuring customer satisfaction with new products or processes. APQP is used by progressive companies to assure quality and performance through planning.

Ford Motor Company pioneered this approach with the publication of the first Advanced Product Quality Planning handbook for suppliers in the early 1980s. APQP made a difference with Ford suppliers as they were able to develop excellent detection and prevention controls for new products. This went a long way in support of Ford’s efforts in quality control.

Tools of APQP

Core tools are available to help with product and process success. One of these tools, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), is a methodology aimed at allowing organizations to anticipate failure during the design stage by identifying all of the possible failures in a design or manufacturing process.

Another, Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA), is a thorough assessment of a measurement process, and typically includes a specially designed experiment that seeks to identify the components of variation in that measurement process.

A measurement systems analysis considers:

  • Selecting the correct measurement and approach
  • Assessing the measuring device
  • Assessing procedures and operators
  • Assessing any measurement interactions
  • Calculating the measurement uncertainty of individual measurement devices and/or measurement systems.

Statistical Process Control (SPC) is yet another APQP tool. This describes several basic and advanced statistical methods to ensure process improvements are more effective. Generally, there are two phases in statistical process control studies.

  1. The first is identifying and eliminating the special causes of variation in the process. The objective is to stabilize the process. A stable, predictable process is said to be in statistical control.
  2. The second phase is concerned with predicting future measurements thus verifying ongoing process stability. During this phase, data analysis and reaction to special causes is done in real time. Once stable, the process can be analyzed to determine if it is capable of producing what the customer desires.

One other popular tool, Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), defines the approval process for new or revised parts, or parts produced from new or significantly revised production methods. The PPAP process consists of 18 elements that may be required for approval of production level parts. 

Learn more about Advanced Quality Product Planning in a 1-day Tonex course, Advanced Product Quality Planning Training | APQP Training.

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