Issues/Roadblocks with APQP implementation

g_dep1

Starting to get Involved
#1
Hello,

I am helping implement an APQP program for a new supplier we are looking to work with. They are new to APQP. I am familiar with APQP processes, but I would like to hear from others some common roadblocks small job shop type enterprises have with incorporating APQP to their business processes.

Specifically, what are common roadblocks you all have experienced with implementing APQP? Lack of management support? Lack of buy-in? Not enough production quantity?


Thanks,
Gurdip
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor

g_dep1

Starting to get Involved
#3
Buy in by all areas is the most important.
Too often everything is thrown on Quality
Engineering and production MUST take an active part or it is just paper.
What's your take on an organization which has management support, however there are too many skeptics from other functional groups? For example, Design Engineers who are skeptical about DFMEAs and Manufacturing Engineers who are skeptical about PFMEAs.

In my mind, even when management support exists, if the relevant functional groups are not convinced it will be value add, it will become a paperwork exercise (as you mentioned clearly) to satisfy upper management rather than a valuable set of documentation which drive actions to improve the overall product development. I've seen too many times Engineers and Mfg. Engineers get carried by Quality and forced to satisfy leadership resulting in sub-par APQP documentation with weak actions on FMEAs.

Do any members have anecdotal experience on what helps drive more buy-in from functional groups outside of Quality for APQP?
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#4
What's your take on an organization which has management support, however there are too many skeptics from other functional groups? For example, Design Engineers who are skeptical about DFMEAs and Manufacturing Engineers who are skeptical about PFMEAs.
If there are too many skeptics and they're allowed to water down the process, there is no management support.
 

outdoorsNW

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
Unrealistic or unclear customer expectations, often followed by poor customer communication is why suppliers may resist. Customer ignorance of actual APQP practices and what various steps are intended to be used for or demonstrate is another factor.

Keep in mind I have worked in high mix low volume job shops. When I worked some with APQP, we had 30-50 new parts per week. If we did not have a working new product process, we would not stay in business. In some cases, even using the largest sales volume anyone stated, the added APQP cost meant the part would not be profitable for 5 years, and in electronics not that many products last 5 years.

Examples include the customer orders 60 parts, with no commitment for future orders of the exact same part version, but expects data based on 125 part samples. With frequent revision changes and no guarantee of future orders, we have to make the sample size the same as the order size.

Customers who are design responsible but ask supplier for a DFMEA. Customers who include everything in the manual on their list when some of it clearly does not apply, listing bulk material forms when the item is clearly not a bulk material or an appearance approval form when the item has no appearance requirements listed and appearance is basically never a requirement for this type of part.

Customers with a designated contact in Asia, likely India, but the person does not know what the requester wants, so all my emails go to India first, are then forwarded to someone in Indiana, who then sends it back to the person in India, who then forwards it to me. Clarifications that could normally be accomplished in a day or two take a couple of weeks of back and forth.

Customers who want action taken on any PFMEA item with an RPN of over 40. You can find discussions in Elsmar about the problems created by hard FMEA thresholds. Plus in this case several of the items would require spending about a million dollars to fix a $50K per year problem (total for all customers) for a $100K per year revenue customer. Greater quality improvements can be achieved by spending a million dollars on other things. We ended up saying no to this customer and walking away.

Customers who complain about high process RPN numbers because their poor design forces us to use old processes we know don't work well but the customer's design or specifications will not allow us to use processes with better RPN numbers, and the customer won't allow changes.

Customers who want a part specific Gage R&R but don't want to pay for it when the measuring tool only does one specialized task where product variation has minimal well understood effects. An example is platting thickness measured by XRF. In electronics, as long as the area being measured is larger than the minimum size needed and the thickness spec is in the typical range, part design related factors do not account for any significant variation in any circumstance, and we had a machine qualification study to prove it. But some customers still wanted a study specific to their part and for us to eat the cost on a small order.

Hopefully you are starting to get the idea of how customer APQP requests can be unreasonable and that is why the supplier is reluctant to implement APQP. In a high mix, low volume environment, customer APQP expectations can make a job unprofitable if a supplier has good new part setup process.
 

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
Hello,

I am helping implement an APQP program for a new supplier we are looking to work with. They are new to APQP. I am familiar with APQP processes, but I would like to hear from others some common roadblocks small job shop type enterprises have with incorporating APQP to their business processes.

Specifically, what are common roadblocks you all have experienced with implementing APQP? Lack of management support? Lack of buy-in? Not enough production quantity?


Thanks,
Gurdip
Can you share with your supplier examples of your own company's APQP program and it's roadblocks and what is successful?
 

brandieb1230

Involved In Discussions
#7
Specifically, what are common roadblocks you all have experienced with implementing APQP? Lack of management support? Lack of buy-in? Not enough production quantity?

A big problem I experience is that people see it as a requirement and a box to check off. People don't understand and embrace the APQP process (any quality system in my experience) as something that is there to help the process.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#8
I'll agree with what Outdoors said. And add, that many job shops are experts in their process. Sometimes APQP just makes the simple complex.
 
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