APQP Process Review and the Purpose of PPAP

I

IEGeek - 2006

#1
We received an interesting email from our customer. They shall remain nameless. The first part in italics was my email to him the second part is his response. My head is spinning...

I have been reviewing all the documents and processes associated with our APQP Process as we discussed in our call yesterday.

After reviewing the process and interviewing key stake holders I have determined that this is a robust process. The controls are in place, the documents are being fully utilized and the relevant team members are all well aware of the process and the importance of the process. While there is always room for continuous improvement in every aspect of our business, including transactional processes, this system at this stage is has been determined to be good.

In reviewing the latest submission to XXX in regards to P/N XXXX and the rejected PPAP from you, I can not determine a failure or root cause systemic breakdown. Our normal APQP and PPAP process is not a short term project. We commit resources (both personnel and financial) to ensure project success and timely completion. The only failure I see is that XXX requested (us) to “up” our normal timeline for completion from an average of six (6) weeks to two (2) weeks and we accepted. Executive, Engineering, Quality, Manufacturing and Supply Chain were all involved from inception to completion. I have also reviewed the PPAP submitted and utilized the TS16949 “rules of engagement” and in our DVP & R we state that “All assemblies shall be free of burrs and sharp edges which may be detrimental to assembly, safe handling, or functioning per GM1007C 3.2.2” while we at (here) realize that any overhang of the XXXX could constitute a sharp edge not safe for assembly or handling, it does not specify that on the most current revision drawing (XXXXXXX Rev. A).

In reference to the rejected PPAP—my understanding from your email was that the PPAP was rejected due to a false submission. I would request that you clarify that for me at your convenience. For elucidation purposes and for your own knowledge, there were no “hand picked” samples as you describe. We ran the thirty (30) piece PSW as requested XXXX to meet a PPAP date of XXXX During this production run we discovered that the design had errors. The XXXX to which we are all aware of, has no call out, any dimension or tolerance listed on the print we were provided. There is only a reference dimension of the unit itself, not the XXXX. As a supplier / partner we immediately notified you that there was a design flaw in regards to this top plate and recommended a change to the geometry to eliminate or reduce the XXXX shift. In my experience that is exactly what the PPAP and APQP processes were designed to find and fix. (Our) engineering and quality were and are well aware that this XXXX shift does not meet the design intent of the part, however if that XXXX does in fact shift, what is an acceptable level or tolerance of shift?

Can there be no “overhang”?

Can there be overhang +/- .25mm?

Can the XXXX line up to the edge of the XXXX (knowing this causes a gap on the opposite side)?

Does the XXXX have to be centered longitudinally and horizontally? If so, what are the reference points?

I would suggest that the PPAP and APQP Process worked as designed. We noticed a dimension and sub-component part that was not part of the design intent and notified XXXX immediately. We also quickly developed an engineering drawing change request to compensate and / or correct this XXXX shift and submitted a drawing on XXXX.

I would be more than happy to complete the (your document) as you originally requested, however I am not sure of the validity of the concern in regards to a systemic failure of our PPAP and APQP process at this time.

I look forward to speaking with more in depth next week and I look forward to your comments.


OK HERE IS HIS RESPONSE (not yelling,just trying to set apart)

Project Success is in jeopardy and timely completion was not achieved.
I was not advised of the process/design problem until after PPAP submission and approval. (You) must have known about the process/design issues upon submission (As indicated below) but, submitted a control plan and PFMEA that did not reflect any issue at all. When I asked, "how did you obtain the 5 Submission samples", (you) replied. "we visually inspected and picked the good ones".
If there was not print violation, why did you throw up a red flag and say you could not run more parts? Again, this is your design and your process. Besides, your drawing does indicate the reference envelope dimension for the XXXX. I figured it was this dimension that was violated.
Who did you notify and when, and, why did you submit PPAP that did not mention or reflect a problem? If this is an oversight, you need to update your APQP process and/or train your people to the procedures.
These questions should have been asked and answered during Design Phase and DFMEA. This is your design. Please investigate and establish "Lesson Learned" for ineffective Design Review and utilization of DFMEA.
There is one additional point I need to clarify regarding meeting the requirements of ISO/TS16949; Para 7.3.6.3;

The organization shall conform to a product and manufacturing process approval procedure recognized by the customer. Note: Product approval should be subsequent to the verification of the manufacturing process."

To these two points:
Please review the attached copy of our Supplier Quality Manual; with particular attention to XXXX.
It was my mistake for authorizing the submission and approval of PPAP samples prior to verification of your manufacturing process. I had assumed (you) validated the design and process prior to submission. Which brings up another nonconformance within your APQP process. Do your procedures call for pre-production validation - before PPAP? And, was this done before submission.
We differ from your comments above with respect to the purpose of PPAP. XXXX does not use the audit and PPAP submission for the purpose of validating your process. That's your job. We use XXXX and PPAP as prescribed in ISO/TS and XXXX SQA Manual to verify compliance to print and other XXXX requirements. This is the idea of "First Time Quality" to your customers. There should be nothing wrong with a well planned and validated design as a well planned and validated process. You need to insure the design and process are validated before PPAP submission.


Did I miss something?

HELP?!?!?!?!?!?!?
 
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C

chaosweary

#2
Re: APQP Process Review

You need to insure the design and process are validated before PPAP submission.[/I]
Did I miss something?

HELP?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Yes, you submitted a PPAP when something was wrong with their design. Not only did you trouble shoot their design process, they wanted you to fix it as well!!! :lmao:
This has happened with us as well and it is very common!

Have a conference call and include someone that can amend the contractural agreement. Make sure that it is in the contract that if customers want their product they will need to pay extra if the design requirements (inputs) are flawed and need to be debugged. You should develop a standard detection reaction mechanism for this type of activity from your customer. Sorry for sounding "dicriminating" but this has happend with more than one of the Asian companies I've delt with. Don't let them get away with you troubleshooting their design flaws.
They should be happy that they didn't get someone like me that would produce the product anyway and make them EAT it as it was produced to their requirements. :whip: I call this consumating the supplier and seller relationship! :D
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#4
Without having more familiarity with the situation, it sounds like the customer might have a legitimate beef. But there is conflicting information. For example, you say,
For elucidation purposes and for your own knowledge, there were no “hand picked” samples as you describe.
While the customer says,
When I asked, "how did you obtain the 5 Submission samples", (you) replied. "we visually inspected and picked the good ones".
And you said,
After reviewing the process and interviewing key stake holders I have determined that this is a robust process.
While the customer says,
I was not advised of the process/design problem until after PPAP submission and approval. (You) must have known about the process/design issues upon submission (As indicated below) but, submitted a control plan and PFMEA that did not reflect any issue at all.
Looks like what we have here is
failure to communicate. :D
 
C

chaosweary

#5
I am curious IEGEEK (or anyone else in the Cove), is this the first time a customer has tried to pull this with your company? I am only 12 yrs in the quality field and it is fairly prevalent.
 
I

IEGeek - 2006

#6
I agree on the failure to communicate -- however are we not supposed to be design partners with our customers? If we find a spec / dimension or call out that does not meet the design intent or is non-existent on the print and we develop a more robust / stable part and engineer a fix to the problem, should that not be shared with the customer? Or do we just make parts to the print even though it would have created a potential installation problem at the line of their customer?

Their print was missing some crucial and vital information relating to this part. We noticed it upon completing the 30 part PSW and notified them immediately. Up until that time, no one (and I mean no one) thought this specific issue would happen (one in a million chance) but it did. We created and designed a fix by altering some geometry and submitted as soon as possible.

This is going to be an ongoing thing for a few weeks, but I am curious what all you experts think on this.

Just some thoughts....
 
I

IEGeek - 2006

#7
Chaos -- yes.

They have always been very receptive to our engineering and abiltiies. They have been a true partner until now.

One of the things I did not mention (and I have to clean this up a little) is the email from our SQE that stated--

"I am rescinding my approval of your PPAP due to a false submission and outright falsification or records relating to PPAP" He goes on to further say, "I am cancelling my trip out there as your continuance of a supplier to XXXX is at risk"
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#8
I am curious IEGEEK (or anyone else in the Cove), is this the first time a customer has tried to pull this with your company? I am only 12 yrs in the quality field and it is fairly prevalent.
When I used to deal with automotive OEMs as a job shop quality manager I had numerous occassions when the customer tried desperately to blame their design problems on us. When dealing with the B3, it's not always good enough to meet the specifications--you're also expected to be clairvoyant. It's interesting that there were also numerous occasions when we did offer suggestions for improvement, but were told, more or less, to mind our own business and leave the design to the "experts.":bonk:
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#9
I agree on the failure to communicate -- however are we not supposed to be design partners with our customers? If we find a spec / dimension or call out that does not meet the design intent or is non-existent on the print and we develop a more robust / stable part and engineer a fix to the problem, should that not be shared with the customer? Or do we just make parts to the print even though it would have created a potential installation problem at the line of their customer?

Their print was missing some crucial and vital information relating to this part. We noticed it upon completing the 30 part PSW and notified them immediately. Up until that time, no one (and I mean no one) thought this specific issue would happen (one in a million chance) but it did. We created and designed a fix by altering some geometry and submitted as soon as possible.

This is going to be an ongoing thing for a few weeks, but I am curious what all you experts think on this.

Just some thoughts....
Here's what the customer seems to be saying (not what I'm saying): "It's your design, and you submitted PPAP knowing that there was an anomaly, and the anomaly wasn't reflected in the documentation you submitted, leading us to believe that everything was hunky-dory. You also appear to have cherry-picked the submission samples. PPAP should be submitted only after design validation has taken place, and you are ready for full production, and it appears that you had knowledge of not being ready at the time you submitted the PPAP."

Is this wrong?
 
I

IEGeek - 2006

#10
NO, I agree that is what he is saying, HOWEVER he is so wrong.

It is a design from them. They took our product from a similar line and modified it to meet the new build. Submitted the drawing to us for manufacturing feasibility and then accepted on a two part prototype build. We had no way of knowing that upon HVPT we would see the anomaly we did. Our engineers, their engineers, no one expected this issue. (it truly is an anomaly, but how can you reproduce an anomaly?) We submitted PPAP that met every spec on the drawing and was within all tolerances and call outs. Let me say that part again -- our PPAP submission met every dimensional specification on the approved drawing as well as all required testing (burst, pressure, heat, cold, etc). What we were suggesting to our customer is that this issue would happen in the manufacturing process and the detection level is so low that there could very likely be an escape to their customers line. We then further said - Hey we can fix it and here is our proposed fix, what do you think?

You have read his response...
 
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