Process Flow Diagrams - How detailed the PFD has to be



We are well into the QS9000 process and several of us have questions about how detailed the PFD has to be. Do you have to cover every little step in a process or just the main steps. If every detail must be covered in the PFD, does every thing on the PFD have to be in the control plan.


Retired Old Goat
Staff member
You can get in trouble here unless you can give a real good definition of a 'main' step.

Can you tell me what you do NOT consider a main step? How do you define a 'little detail'?

Ram narayan

The logic for splitting the processes or activities into substeps should be as follows:

1. If because of a subactivity, variations in the desired outcome of that activity will occur or if the shop floor is experiencing problems in that subactivity like for eg: Aluminium casting process should be split as following:
1. Weigh material
2. Melt material
3. Transport and pour into the mould.

Receiving should be split as Unloading the material and transportation to stores if the company is having problems during unloading like damages etc..

Second criteria for splitting should be as follows:

1. If the Cross functional team is not able to find the Desired outcome (Product characteristics) of the subactivity that there is no need to split that activity into subactivity. For eg: in a assembly process, if the subactivities are:

1. Place component in fixture
2. Place another component
3. Assembly

If the team is unable to define the desired outcome for Step 1, then that splitting is not required.


Retired Old Goat
Staff member
Ram narayan:

Your breakdown is excellent - well worded. Better than I could have said it!

Thank you!

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