I've been asked to look for PPAP Classes




I've been asked to look for PPAP classes. Are there any I should consider other than the ones offered by AIAG?

We are not in the automotive industry. We are the customer requiring PPAP from our suppliers.

Thanks for your help.


This is the best way you can use, for now.. I got it from here the elsmar.

The author: @ncwalker

OK Beginners - Here's automotive PPAPs for Dummies. There are 18 Elements of a PPAP. It's a fancy way of saying "we want these 18 things ...." Drumroll .......

#1: Design Records - This is just the print or design. So there is a line in the sand saying what you built the process around, because customers LOVE to bump revisions while you are developing the process. What do you submit? The part print you did the process to. Handy tip: IF you have "bubbled" one, submit THAT so the SQE can easily evaluate the material further down.

#2: Engineering Changes - So IF they have changed the design in process and (very often) are way behind at giving you the updated print, you should be making a record of each and every change, probably in an excel document, that shows the changes from when you got your PO to when you got everything done - PPAP submission time. That's what goes in section 2.

#3: Engineering Approval - Usually THEY are involved in this more than you and will lord this over you to try and put off paying you your tooling money. When do you have to do something? When what you produce is testable as a stand alone component or sub assembly. Examples:
- a vibration isolation bushing - they are paying you to design a bushing that can go through X durometer cycles and you have to demonstrate your bushing CAN after so many cycles.
- a bearing - where they are specifying a bearing life under load, and not just straight dimensions
- a solenoid - where it has to cycle x many times loaded and x+ unloaded.
See where I am going? If your component can be functionally tested, you're going to have to submit the results of that in this section.

#4 Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (DFMEA): To put it glibly, this is a list where you and all your engineers sit around and say "what could go wrong with the DESIGN and what would happen if it did?" It's actually pretty formal and there's a whole AIAG manual devoted to this. But guess what? If you ARE NOT designing the part, you don't have to do this. What I mean is, if your customer has given you a print and said "Make me this exact thing" then THEY are design responsible. If they have given you specifications and it is up to you to fill in the "black box" with whatever to MEET those specifications - you are design responsible and you have to do this.

#5: Process Flow Diagram (PFD): This is basically a flow chart showing all the process steps. A very sore spot with me, the AIAG manual gives you an example and it is goofy and redundant and I really don't like it. AND it says "This is an example." To me, I'd rather see a plan view of your floor with arrows showing how the parts move. Even schematic in nature. You CAN do this. But sadly, many customer SQs want the goofy format because they think it is a requirement. What are your minefields here? You have to include EVERY step. Even movement. If you do process for a while, then send the part out to Bob's special whatever surface to have it painted/treated/plated/glued or otherwise some nasty process you don't want to do and then it comes back to you for finishing, you have annotate: pack it up for Bob's, move it to Bob's, Bob does his thing, Bob packs it back up, move back to me, etc. EVERY step. Including the inspection steps. Also, think ahead. Let's say you are going to get a whiz bang robot trimmer. But it's not going to come on line for months after start of production because it got ordered late and you are going to hand trim until then. If it doesn't affect form/fit/function, you CAN PPAP ALTERNATE PATHS. It does NOT say you can't. Path A is hand trimming, path B is fancy robot trimming. THEN you DO NOT have to resubmit PPAP again when the robot doohickey shows up later. OR if it breaks down 6 months in and you have to go back to hand trimming.

#6 Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA): This is exactly like the DFMEA, but instead of asking where the PART might fail, it asks how the process that makes the part might make a bad one. Simple as that. Could it make a hole oversized? Could it not make the hole? And I am going to add in here - GET THE BOOK. There are rankings for this on Severity, Occurrence, and Detection that are ranked on a 1-10 scale. And the meanings of the rankings is pretty much set in stone. You come up in court or on some crazy warranty issue and you use your own scale that doesn't match with industry standard, well, you have been warned. Also - every step in the PFD must be in here too.

#7: Control Plan - The process flow diagram list the steps you are going to do. This begets the PFMEA, where those steps are then analyzed for potential failure, which then begets the Control Plan which details HOW you are going to run the process to not have any of the bad things in the PFMEA happen. It's a table with columns indicating the step, what the operation is, is it making a key characteristic. How are you checking it? With what? How often? Here's where the minefields are: SOME people put everything in here. Every machine setting, readout, everything. I've seen these things get longer than 100 pages. The problem with this is - if in 6 months you bring on a new chiller, and suddenly your shop water changes temperature and you have to recalibrate all your settings - guess what? You have to re-PPAP because you changed the process. So don't overdo this. It it OK to put something in there like "refer to work instruction XXXX" for settings so you don't paint yourself into a corner. BUT ... what your SQ will require is sadly very inconsistent from customer to customer. So this one is always a bit of a game. Another mine field - it is very tempting to put in your control plan "I check one part out of every lot." I advise against that, though it is common and widely accepted as OK. Instead, put how many parts that is. If you are making cookies and you say early on in the process you are checking a 40 lb sack of flour for moths as part of your control plan, how many cookies is that? 100? 1000? It will help YOU flush out if your checks are statistically sound for frequency by doing this. And give you a better idea of what percentage is checked in each shipment. Important stuff if you have a quality spill. And, of course, every step must match the PFD and the PFMEA. Also - don't be afraid to try and go with a "family" control plan. Say you are making potato chips and the process is the same for BBQ and Sour Cream chips except for the bag of seasoning you dump in. You don't need to to a control plan for both. WARNING: Not every SQ sees the sense in this. Again - a lot will depend on what will fly with your SQ but this is a good question to ask.

#8: Measurement Systems Analysis: If there is one thing that bites people in manufacturing in the butt, it is this. Everyone assumes that this purchased gage works. You may go buy a wonderful digital micrometer that can spit out a half a micron. But if the nature of your part requires your tech to balance on one foot and reach around measure in an awkward position - guess what? That 0.0005 claim on the micrometer box won't mean diddly. Even worse - you enlist some special automated gage company to make you a whiz bang automated gage..... You better put words in that contract that it can pass a Gage R&R on ACTUAL PARTS. Not mock ups, not masters, REAL parts. I've seen this burn people over and over. Do the Gage R&Rs. Do them right. You should do them when a process seems unstable - it may be the gage and not the process that has the problem. Be VERY careful of Gage R&R forms you find on the 'net. Many of them don't work because someone copy/pasted a value where a formula should have been. Type in the example from the MSA Book or other known, good source into your software. If you don't get the same results - guess what? Your software is broken. I have seen professional software NOT calculate this correctly. No lie.

#9: Dimensionals. This is where your bubbled print from above comes into play. This is where you fully lay out n parts and say "look man, they're all in spec." How many is "n"? usually 3 to 5, but these days, people are asking for 6. Also, when you submit your PPAP to your customer, you must number and indicate in that PPAP shipment that THESE are the parts you did your dimensional checks on. It may be worth it to ship them separately. More often than I would care to admit PPAP parts get mistakenly built with normal production. Why send them special? So your customer can verify whatever measurements he's going to take in incoming inspection and check them against what you got. This is CRITICAL. Because guess what? HIS measurement system may be totally whack. And he may say a part is out of spec that you say is in spec. If that day comes in production, he is the customer. And that means that YOU are wrong until you prove yourself right which takes time. That whole time he will be billing you for sorting. And do you think when it comes out that you were right all along he will say "sorry, here, let me pay that sort bill for my mistake...." Ha ha ha. Cost of doing business, buddy. The lesson? These layout parts are GOLDEN. Insist he verifies them if he can. The other minefield? If this is a PPAP for a replacement tool, or duplicate process, or you are taking over business, expect to ALSO do an A to B comparison. So that's 12 parts. 6 old, 6 new with the differences highlighted. You should expect to have to do this and have that ready.

11 Capability Studes: This is Cpk/Ppk. The stats and they are usually only needed on the key characteristics. Work this out with your customer as to what they are. Minefields? Number one is pass through characteristics. You need to identify as early as you can what these are. And they are features YOU are putting in that your customer does not use, but HIS customer does. He "passes them through". You are making the brass ends of a garden hose, he is making the hose and putting your ends on it. He's not going to check if the fitting fits a spigot. That will be discovered when the consumer buys the hose and it doesn't fit his spigot at home. And you will be responsible for making your customer look bad in front of HIS customer. That's not a fun day for you, so push to get the pass throughs identified and if it is at all possible, you should poka-yoke them. They SHOULD be in the DFMEA he made that he should give you laying out the risks of the design. But he never gives you the DFMEA because he waits until the last minute himself to do it. Doesn't matter, when that part doesn't work at his customer, the only thing that will matter on that day is how badly you stink. Second minefield - if you do NOT have any key characteristics, PICK SOME. Pick a few dimensions that are going to be hard to make, or useful in knowing the process is behaving. If he doesn't ask, you don't have to submit a capability study, but DO IT for YOURSELF. Why? So you really know what your process is doing.

#12: Qualified Lab Documents - Man, this one is annoying. I'm not sure anyone REALLY understands what this means. But here's what works and will get you PPAP'd. Put together a list of all your measuring equipment and what it is in your lab. Toss in your ISO, TS, or QS certs. Maybe a blurb about your trick calibration database and what software you are using and your latest CMM certification and this will sail right through. It's not really enforced. (Don't want to argue this point with anyone, I am stating what I have seen work).

#13: Appearance Approval Report - This is like arguing with your spouse over what to wear, except there's a FORM! Seriously, if you are lucky, you are producing something that doesn't even need this (like a muffler) and if you are unlucky, you are producing something that does, (like a seat). And the kiss of death is if you are producing something that is visible, and some other guy is producing the thing that mates up to it - like you are making the seat and this other guy is making the door panel and he's on the other side of the world and your stuff has to match. Good luck. This is VERY customer specific and there are two pitfalls. The first is how much definition do you get? So the customer wants your product "to match." That's what he wants. Well, DEFINE this? Suddenly it's not so easy. You start asking questions in good conscience to get more clarity. And that's the trap. MOST LIKELY you are a subject matter expert on the object and the customer is not. Again I will go with car seats as an example. You probably know all about weave, and dye curing, and thread count. Your customer is an automotive engineer and doesn't know the ins and outs. As you push him for definition you have to be careful of your tone and how hard you push. Because if you start making the customer feel ignorant, there is a risk he will start making stuff up that "sounds good to him" so he doesn't feel ignorant. Yeah, we are supposed to be data driven, but this is a real risk. A LOT of design engineers are bright young men and women out of college who haven't made an object in production ONCE. So their knowledge of expected variability comes from what they believe to be true with little experience and what is copy/pasted from earlier designs which may stink. Gently steer this one, folks. If you have some measurement method that works for controlling appearance on whatever you make and you can sway this into "the way it's done" at your customer - BONUS !! Second pitfall - and this applies to any characteristic, really, but especially to these touchy/feely ones. This is the key point: in the event of a problem at your customer that may involve your product, it is less important that you be right and more important that you be not wrong first. That SOUNDS the same, but it isn't. You get a call from your customer saying "Hey man, I think I have a problem. Could be your thing, but it could be this other thing over here ....." You do NOT wait for him to make up his mind. You go full battle rattle and put a pretty document together that (truthfully) shows why you have your act together and it is not likely your thing. And you get it in your customers hands ASAP. Outgoing inspection data, traceability data, you show him you know about all your parts in the supply chain. Because if there are several suppliers who MAY be responsible for the problem, the focus is going to be on the LAST guy to do this professionally. And THAT guy is going to paying for all the sorts and expedites while the root causing is going on. Be not wrong FIRST. THEN, do your homework and check your stuff, because if you ARE the problem, it will be found. We (the customers) are pretty good at root cause. But usually, when the spill first hits, there's some days of panic where all the crazy demands that aren't data driven are made. And the key to avoiding that is being not wrong first. THEN get your ducks in a row. Don't make stuff up to avoid blame. The secret is have your act together and be able to show this in a neat, organized, PROMPT way.

#14: Layout Samples - Remember those 6 fully measured and marked parts from 9 Dimensionals above? Yep. These are those. They have their own section. :)

#15: Master Sample - Someone needs to hang on to the "golden part" when the process was new so that a year from now when you are asked "was it always like this?" You can say "Yep, here's an early part." Many times, your customer will want one at his location. But the fact is, storage space costs money. Most likely, they will say "you keep it." One can argue that with all the measuring, we have effectively digitized the "master part" and the physical part itself is redundant. Yeah, no. Keep it. Keep 3 if you have room. It could mean the difference between a back charge or not.

#16: Checking Aids - Here is your opportunity to shine. What is this? This is the non-standard gaging stuff. Hard gages, CMM fixtures. I have seen this mostly be helpful with gears and splines. But it should be considered with any kind of hard gage - like one for checking hard tubing that's bent. Mearuements where without the special clamping fixture or nest or whatever, it can become an arguing point over what the dimension actually is due to difficulties in measuring. If this is a new launch, odds are you are getting the tooling (and gaging) paid for by your customer. And if you are making one of these special gages because it is the best way to measure conglomerate dimensions quickly and efficiently, you go to you customer and say "Hey, you should fund us for two of these and we will build them at the same time. Because it really helps with the measuring and then you can have one at your location should you need to check our stuff." That shows foresight and it protects YOU. Why? Because if your customer does have trouble with your part and starts checking it the best way he can - a questionable measurement without this check fixture and he finds a problem, the customer's gage is always right. Let me say it again - the customers gage is always right. Yes, you will send in your engineer with this fixture in tow, and sit at his location and say "See, it's ok, you just need this fixture." However long that takes, you will be sorting and expediting. And yep, you may get stuck with the bill for that, your fault or not.

#17: Customer specific requirements - Blue books are no help here, this is up to your customer. A couple of pitfalls, at least in automotive, the CQI audits. Especially 9, 11 and 12. These are for heat treat, coatings and platings. If you do these things, get an audit done. In general, you need one once a year and MOST customers are OK if you have one within the year, even if it is not on their part. We won't go in to the fact that really only approved auditors may conduct these. It SHOULD be that way. In reality it's OK if you have a current one. Another pitfall is Early Containment. Called many things by many customers. In words, it means you are going to be extra careful with the new process until you get some miles on it. Some customers want an entire separate Control Plan for this. It is the same control plan as the NORMAL one, except the frequency of inspection is jacked up. Sometimes to 100% on key characteristics, so get ready for that. If you are really clever, when you create your Control Plan and you are filling out the frequency of inspection you put BOTH entries here. For example: you plan to normally check a diameter once an hour, but 100% during Early Containment. In your frequency of inspection box you put "1/hr (EC 100%)" and cover both with the same plan. The early containment inspection cannot be on the line. You have to have a special area away from the line where these checks are done. Set aside some floor space so you can do this in an organized way, and get used to it because this requirement is not going away as far as I can see in automotive. How long do you do this Early Containment? Depends on your customer, but typical is 30 days without a breach. What I mean is: expect to check 100% your KPCs for 30 days. And if the EC process catches ONE bad one, the clock resets. It's really the same thing as Controlled Shipping 1, except you are doing it because you have a new process instead of because you goofed. The mechanics are the same. If you have a special area properly equipped, this is easier.

#18: The Part Submission Warrant (PSW). It's a bad idea to stray from the one in the blue books. This is a pretty universal form. And it has it's pitfalls. Primarily, fill it out correctly, but here are common problems:

a) Not a problem, but a pet peeve. The books say the weight is to be completed to 4 decimal places. What they mean is 4 significant figures, which isn't the same thing. You sell me the front of a bulldozer, and tell me it is 14,230 kg. That's fine. I don't need to know it is 14,234.8831 kg.

b) Comments. If there is a dimension out that is not critical, like a fillet radius is supposed to be R20 max and you are a little generous and it is actually R21. Make a note in the comments that there is a need for deviation. This may start a lot of arguments here, because many believe the PPAP parts shouldn't be deviated. But there are lots of components and processes where correcting that initial tooling can do more harm than good. You may get lucky and the customer may say "eh, it's ok." But if he changes his mind in 6 months and you don't have a blurb on your warrant, you may get hit for it later.

c) There is a blurb about 3/4s of the way down the warrant in the DECLARATION that says "I further affirm that these samples were produced at the production rate of blank/blank hours." That is exactly what it reads like. You put in the number of parts and the number of hours it took for your PPAP run. Example: 400 pcs/8 hrs. It doesn't have to be per 8 hrs, it just has to divide out to the (rough) production rate you made your samples at. This is to certify that you did not make jewelers samples and baby them through your process. But that they (reasonably) went through the process at intended production speed so that they actually DO represent what we expect from the process. THIS IS NOT A RUN AT RATE It is also not an agreement to any kind of rate at all. If you think this, you are wrong. But be warned, there are lots of people out there who DO and will try and stick you with the number you put in here. Don't fall for it. Fight it if a customer comes at you with that. READ the sentence, it could not be any more clear, and yet .... ARRRGG.

d) IMDS. This goes on the warrant also. And if your industry does not partake of this, count yourself lucky. In reality, it is a really cool system. But too often done as a pencil whipping exercise, or not given diligence. It's really pretty easy to do, if you take the time to learn what the system wants. If you don't, well, your boss will be asking you again and again why all that tooling money is being held up. Different customers have different levels of what they are willing to accept. But here are some pitfalls:
- Just because you submitted it, does NOT mean your customer approved it. They have to log in and approve it. And many times it's an additional duty for someone who really doesn't want it but got stuck with it. Usually resulting in a panicked flurry at the last moment to get it all right. So here is what will help...
- Semicomponent vs Component - if what you sell, what you are PPAPing, is going to have some follow on operation done to it that will CHANGE THE WEIGHT of the part, like machining, you are selling a SEMICOMPONENT. If you don't submit it this way, your customer cannot adjust the weight for HIS submission and it will be rejected.
- Also, IN the IMDS database there are two weights. One is called "calculated" and the other "measured." Customers are getting picky about this and checking. The calculated weight needs to match what is on the print, calculated from the 3D math and the density. The measured weight needs to be what the part weighed when you made it and THIS MUST MATCH THE WARRANT.
- And last, not only is the part number in there, but the revision is as well. THAT needs to match the revision you submitted to and the warrant.

And that's it. It seems daunting, the first time you put a PPAP together. But if you really are doing the right stuff from a quality perspective, there shouldn't be any "new work" other than the packaging.

Believe me, PPAP is not complicated, you will learn everytime you submit one and your customer reject it.


Wow, thank you. This is rather timely for me as I am supposed to present the PPAP process to various members of the team.

Thank you for pulling this up for me. I know that it's located in these forums, but I'm not sure I ever would've found it on my own.
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