Limiting the scope of APQP - Supplier of metal cutting equipment and test equipment


Suzanne Artzberger

My company is a QS/TE registered supplier of metal cutting equipment and test equipment to OEM's, Tier One and Tier Two suppliers. We take contracts for designing and building machines (sell price usually $150K-$8M), modifying existing machines (sell price $15K to $4M), contract machining ($10-$5K), and spare parts ($100-$10K).
The consultant that we used to help us with our QS/TE registration suggested that we could limit where we use APQP. Therefore, we have an AQP procedure that says 'Advanced product quality planning is required for sales orders with sell prices greater than $100,000...' Obviously we are trying to limit the scope of to something that is reasonable for our business. My question is - does this type of statement limit the scope of through as well? For example, I have a situation where we are quoting a $20K order for a machine refurbish (no engineering or qualification). Do we need a feasibility review? A control plan? A FMEA? These things are technically not listed under subelement of but under other subelements. This is technically a 'machine project' but adding that level of complexity makes our pricing uncompetitive. I would like to tighten up our procedures to be clearer about this issue. I am currently hearing alot of comments like 'oh, it doesn't matter because the price is under $100K...' and I'm concerned we're using this as the ultimate get out of jail free card but are not doing everything we are required to do. I also have another example where we received a purchase order of about $20K to modify an existing machine drive mechanism. Obviously this includes engineering but the same questions as above apply - how much do we really have to do to satisfy QS/TE or can we except our way out of these situations? Would a broader statement like 'Quality Planning is required for sales order with sell prices greater than $100,000...' This implies limiting the scope of everything under 4.2.3. or do I have to address every situation separately?

Thanks very much for your feedback!

Suzanne Artzberger


Fully vaccinated are you?
Let's say you have a building with 2 distinct product lines. One is automotive and 1 is 'commercial'. You can limit the scope of registration to the automotive line.

If you want to produce non-automotive on the automotive line, you can do that. But - whether a project is $1 or $10M - if it's for automotive you cannot shortcut APQP.

I cannot say about the rebuild situation. Hopefully a T&E 'specialist' will help out here.

Laura M

I would refer to the R&M Guideline in addition to APQP. If you look at the phases of equipment; "conversion" (ie refurbishment) is in Phase 1 as part of the Life Cycle Cost. I'm not sure how a dollar amount can be used to determine APQP - its automotive or not. Customer requirements such as "no machine qualification" should be determine with the customer at contract review.
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