Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) process was designed by the automotive industry. It was developed in the 1980s, which was also the time US started to get serious competition in the automotive industry from Japan. The aim was to provide a high quality process to satisfy the end customer when developing automotive products.
The process allows communication between designers, manufacturers, suppliers and customers during development, and has detailed specifications about the end product.

APQP Phases

There are five phases in the APQP process as described below.

  • Project Planning: Determine customer needs, requirements and expectations, enable the implementation of a quality program
  • Product Design and Develop: In this phase the product starts to take form, and key technologies are tested to ensure they will work in the design. Quality tools like DFMEA and design reviews are used as part of the work.
  • Process Design and Develop: The third phase is to develop the manufacturing process. Some of the elements covered here are quality tools like flowchart and control plan.
  • Product and Process Validation: Both product and manufacturing process is validated in this phase.
  • Launch: Finally you launch the product and goes into maintenance mode. In this phase items like reducing variation reduction and continuous improvement is covered.

Benefits of APQP

One of the advantages by using APQP is that everyone speaks the same language. There is no need for long meetings between costumer and suppliers explaining what needs to be done, and how to do it.
Another huge benefit is the improved quality. By planning each stage and reducing risks and obstacles up front, the final product can be produced with fewer issues.

If you are interested in APQP or need training in some of the elements for your employees, then contact us for a free consultation.

Alternatively you can continue to our quality training page for an overview of other training we provide.

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APQP Process