APQP thoughts - Excel .xls spreadsheet vs. APQP Specific Software

S

s-bell

#1
I'm presently scoping out a project for a Masters Degree and would like to gauge from the good people in the cove as to what they feel would make APQP, and its related documentation easier to complete, and more effective on implementation?

Is simply completing various Excel documents the answer, or is Powerway or other APQP specific software the best way forward?

Just wondering to see if common themes exist.

A bit of an open one this but lets see how the posts develop. :D
 
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R

Randy Stewart

#2
APQP isn't something you get from a canned program or forms. It is something that comes from knowing your business, processes and capabilities.
All businesses will complete portions with any project - some are just better than others.
IMO this was an attempt to force suppliers to do some "up-front" planning in order to support the B3 and fill in the cracks caused by their lack of planning.
If you look at what is asked of APQP, it makes sense (the intent). If you look at what the customers require of APQP it starts to get muddy and non-value added.
As I go through APQP, my customer hasn't issued a design freeze. I may still be waiting on clay freeze. :bonk:
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Randy Stewart said:
APQP isn't something you get from a canned program or forms. It is something that comes from knowing your business, processes and capabilities.
All businesses will complete portions with any project - some are just better than others.
IMO this was an attempt to force suppliers to do some "up-front" planning in order to support the B3 and fill in the cracks caused by their lack of planning.
If you look at what is asked of APQP, it makes sense (the intent). If you look at what the customers require of APQP it starts to get muddy and non-value added.
As I go through APQP, my customer hasn't issued a design freeze. I may still be waiting on clay freeze. :bonk:
Advanced Product Quality Planning, IMO (similar to Randy's), is nothing more than the processes our Quality Industry has traditionally used in developing a Control Plan for producing any product or service. These are some of the mental and physical gyrations we go through in producing a Control Plan with factors ranging from
  1. determining initial capability and capacity of the organization to tackle the project
    to
  2. evaluating product design for potential pitfalls (3 decimal callouts where 1 decimal is sufficent?)
    to
  3. acquiring and confirming suitability of input material (purchasing, supplier quality, etc.)
    to
  4. selecting the most efficient process (machines?) to produce the intended quantity
    to
  5. instruments and methods for in-process inspection (evaluation?)
    to
  6. instruments and methods for confirming conformity and functionality of finished product
    to
  7. protective handling, packaging, storage, and shipping
These processes have been a part of good manufacturing practice for at least the 30+ years I've been involved.

Do checklists and software programs make the process produce better quality?
Not in my opinion.
Do checklists and software programs make the process a little or a lot faster?
Probably.
Do checklists and software programs make the process more uniform and easier to follow for folks of different skill and experience levels?
Definitely. However, this really only works when the products are all very similar and will use existing suppliers, machinery, and processes within the organization. All this goes out the window when the organization is contemplating a unique product or a unique quantity outside the normal scope of the organization.
Ultimately, an organization makes the decision based on a profit motive - especially if not following a process with the specific title APQP will result in the loss of a customer.
 

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Randy Stewart said:
...If you look at what is asked of APQP, it makes sense (the intent). If you look at what the customers require of APQP it starts to get muddy and non-value added...
You got that right!!
 
S

SteelWoman

#5
We recently added a new line and the ONLY "form" we used was the one page form (can't recall the name) that asks for everyone from all the effected disciplines to sign off on the process. All of our other documentation of the APQP process was forms, communications, charts, budgets, etc that we would naturally produce as part of the process of bringing on a new line anyway. Our "APQP" notebook (the compilation of all that documentation and the one sign-off form) not only passed the audit with flying colors but got major kudo's for it's thoroughness.

What is the INTENT of APQP? To require a disciplined, thorough product planning process.

Does that have to, even NEED TO be done with software or a volume of forms or whatever? IMHO, no. Sure, there probably are situations where the forms/software/checklists serve the purpose of prompting you to consider certain things you might not consider otherwise, but adding a process or product successfully requires a certain level of forethought and planning anyway, but a level usually consistent with YOUR business, not necessarily consistent with or applicable to someone elses.

Just MHO, of course
 

Howard Atkins

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Admin
#6
As I see it there is a lot of confusion which is compounded by the customers.
As SteelWoman said
What is the INTENT of APQP? To require a disciplined, thorough product planning process.

Does that have to, even NEED TO be done with software or a volume of forms or whatever? IMHO, no. Sure, there probably are situations where the forms/software/checklists serve the purpose of prompting you to consider certain things you might not consider otherwise, but adding a process or product successfully requires a certain level of forethought and planning anyway, but a level usually consistent with YOUR business, not necessarily consistent with or applicable to someone elses.
APQP is a process in which the inputs are the customer and your requirements.
The output is the production process and the part and the documentation of this "PPAP"
The documentation of the APQP should be that of of design control (of part and/or process). One of the outputs is PPAP on the required customers forms.

One of the ways customers control their suppliers is by supplying lists of APQP actions and requiring a report on the timetable, this has made a lot of people think that APQP is in fact a timetable and not the process itself.

The only documents that have to be in customer format are PPAP and any other requested by him obviously part of the process is the FMEA and creation of the CP and this should be done on the standard forms to save time.
The need for software or other tools is to ensure the integrity and completeness of the 3 master documents that have to be completed for PPAP - whether you supply to the customer or not - Flow chart, FMEA and CP.
 
S

s-bell

#7
Howard Atkins said:
One of the ways customers control their suppliers is by supplying lists of APQP actions and requiring a report on the timetable, this has made a lot of people think that APQP is in fact a timetable and not the process itself.
I agree completely with this, APQP is often confused by the customer requirements and focus. APQP is a natural evolution in project development to obtain a quality product and should be performed at the correct stage through product and process development.

The customer does confuse things with the APQP reporting documents, which do make APQP more of a timetable.

The latest reporting document we have recieved covers 23 elements with approx 10-20 questions behind each element to provide verification. An APQP validation meeting with the customer can take up to one day on one component. Given on some projects we have 20 components the APQP reporting becomes a nightmare and a distraction of resource from key activities.

Do others have similar reporting problems, we are dealing with customers new to the APQP philosophy and I am unsure of how the B3 deal with these issues.

We obviously need to report status to our customers but are the issued documents the best way to go? Have any of you agreed an alternative format with your customers?
 
R

Randy Stewart

#8
Reports and more Reports

S-Bell,
I feel it goes along with the PPAP submission level. If your customer allows self certification then all the other requirements are backed off on. We have gone from the APQPQOE to the APQPRPT (attachments).
 

Attachments

S

s-bell

#9
Thanks for the files.

We are dealing with the Premier Automotive Group, who have issued us the attached document to use for APQP status reporting. (sorry about the bandwidth).

I have attached this as an example, the APQP process as mentioned earlier in this forum is a process we follow as standard. To complete and review the attached document detracts from performing the real value added work. :bonk:

Because of lack of APQP experience in certain (but not all) sectors of the PAG these documents are being worked to the letter causing extreme frustration. The document is comprehensiveas a check list but just how far do our customers have to go?
 

Attachments

R

Randy Stewart

#10
We do some low volume production work for the PAG and we did the proto work on the X-350 (our contact was Alan Beames). I still have some APQP data from this program (aluminium XJ).
Don't make it any more difficult than it is. All they want is a type of assurance that you will make the PND (product need dates). Things like the DVP&R, you may not have any equity in, contact the designers to get a copy.
It has been my experience that they use the APQP as a :ca: operation and not what is was intended to be.
Talk with your STA and determine what it is the priority (i.e. PSW or quality parts to build with). IMO they get so caught up in checking off boxes and worrying about the launch that they overlook the work it takes to make the products. You should be able to negotiate some consessions with the STA and I would strongly suggest that you talk with the QA people at the assembly plants and see how they are checking incoming product.
On one of the roofs we were supplying, we found they were using a different clamping sequence than we were and it was causing major problems.
Let me know if I can help.
 
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