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PPAP samples retention time

Dear All,
When you prepare PPAP samples for your customers, do you also keep some of them at your location? If yes, what should be retention time of such samples?
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Johnny Quality

Involved In Discussions

We keep PPAP samples indefinitely but it's easy for us as a small injection moulder. It's especially helpful when the customer complains of X feature when it's present on PPAP approved samples and you have physical evidence.

I would say it's good practise to keep them for at least the life of the program but depending on what you manufacture it may be difficult or impossible to do so. Especially if the samples will deteriorate where they will not be representative in years to come if kept in storage. #

Your customer may have their own requirements for storing samples.
Thank you. When it comes to customer requirements I couldn't find it in any source. The last thing I want to do is to ask them because I already know their answer... I want to avoid keeping them forever. In many cases I don't even know the application of my parts.

Maybe I should start with qestion - Is is even required to keep such samples? Sorry I have no PPAP manual on me.

Howard Atkins

Forum Administrator
Staff member
You need to keep them as per PPAP book
as per standard Record retention
Production part approvals, tooling records (including maintenance and ownership), product and process design records, purchase orders (if applicable), or contracts and amendments shall be retained for the length of time that the product is active for production and service
requirements, plus one calendar year, unless otherwise specified by the customer or regulatory agency.

I would say the samples should be for the same period
You want them so if there is a dispute you have evidence


Looking for Reality
Staff member
Super Moderator
FWIW, we sold those parts to the customer (billed them for them)...and then held them on site as "customer owned material".

Customer owned material was not ours to dispose this approach not only gave us the revenue, it removed the question as to "how long?"...we held them until the customer directed we did something else with them. And when they did direct us to do something with them, we had a customer directive to CYA.

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