Advanced Product Quality Planning, typically the abbreviation APQP is used. It is a framework - a set of procedures and techniques used to develop products especially in the manufacturing and industry. APQP framework is widespread mostly in the automotive industry. APQP is a concept, which is very similar to the concept of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) and it is derived from the standards QS 9000. Unlike a number of methods of quality of Japanese origin, APQP has its roots in the USA.
What is framework APQP for?
This is a very practical framework. APQP is a clearly defined, structured process of planning quality, which leads to ensure the required product quality for the customer. For example, it is used in the product development of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and their suppliers. According to AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group), the purpose of APQP is “to produce a quality product plan that will support a product or service development that satisfy the customers”. When transferring the customer’s requirements, the QFD method is used. According to the APQP, the process includes the following steps:
- Product design and development
- Process design and development
- Product and process validation
APQP process is defined in the APQP manual from AIAG, which is part of a series of documents that AIAG mutually controls and publishes. This guide includes the basics for setting up the processes for a quality plan: FMEA Manual, SPC Manual, MSA Manual, PPAP Manual.