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Relationship between APQP and CM (Configuration Management)

M

monicafmz

#1
Hello,

I am doing my master´s thesis and I would like to know if there exists a way to stablish a relationship between configuration management and APQP. I am trying to propose an implementation of the APQP processes under a PLM solution, also taking into account the benefits of CM. At the moment I see both of these processes as parallel but not related to each other.

I haven´t found any information on this topic until now.
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#2
Configuration Management is a subset of the APQP process 'parts'.

What is a PLM solution?
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#6
If you look at MIL-HDBK-61A, Configuration Management has similarities to APQP. Configuration Management could be seen as a precursor to the APQP process as defined by the automotive folks at the AIAG (i.e.: Ford, GM and what was then Chrysler). But over time Configuration Management has dwindled in its breadth in what many companies actually use, while the APQP process has added some automotive specifics, which is why I said Configuration Management is a subset. One could argue that Configuration Management is more comprehensive than the APQP process and that some aspects such as the control plan and FMEAs (process, product, machine, etc.) are expected outputs by a different name.

If you currently have a documented Configuration Management system, you could superimpose the APQP system elements on them and see where they match up which would give you the similarities. Seeing as you are a student, you would match up the MIL-HDBK-61A 'full blown' CM system to the APQP system. You will see both are essentially a cradle to grave system, and both are intended to ensure consistency of a product's functional and physical attributes, as well as its design and operational aspects, remain the same over the life of the product.

Product Lifecycle Management is in much the same boat. There are common aspects.

When you look at the various systems, understand that there may be elements which are named differently but address the same goal.

When I said "Configuration Management is a subset of the APQP process 'parts'.", it would have been more accurate had I said the APQP process has elements of Configuration Management in it, and both are meant to achieve the same essential goal(s).
 
M

monicafmz

#7
Thanks Marc,

I am sure this information will be very helpful. So, would you say it makes no sense to try to implement both processes (APQP & CM) at the same time? or would they complement one another?
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#8
Well, the thing is they're essentially the same thing. Variations on a theme, if you will. What you implement would depend upon the company specifics, including the product. If you're making medical devices, a full blown Configuration Management system more like MIL-HDBK-61A would be required. If you're injection molding rubber ducks for kids to play with in the bath tub, a very much less stringent process would do.

I can't say I would implement either in a company per se. The first thing I would do is evaluate the company, the product(s) and processes, and define the requirements. Then I would look at the requirements and design an appropriate system. The system would be a mix of different 'named' approaches, and consideration would be given to where similar parts of each have different names. An example is explosives. I've gone through quite a few 'Hazardous Operations Studies'. When I jump the fence to automotive, the closest thing is a Process FMEA. For all intents and purposes they are the same with the caveat that there are differences, most of which are subtle, which are specific to the different products and processes. For all intents and purposes though, both (in this case) are what we commonly call a Process FMEA (process failure modes and effects analysis).

The thing to remember is both are essentially a cradle to grave system, and both are intended to ensure consistency of a product's functional and physical attributes, as well as its design and operational aspects, remain the same over the life of the product. Neither in it's complete form is necessarily applicable to every company.

So - When you said "I am trying to propose an implementation of the APQP processes under a PLM solution, also taking into account the benefits of CM.", my first response *should* have been, "Have you defined the company, its products and processes?". Until then all you can do is guess and generalize.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#9
APQP vs. Configuration Management

Configuration Management system from MIL-HDBK-61A:

Confiuration%20Management%20Model_600.png

The APQP process system (my interpretation):

APQP%20System.jpg

The APQP process system according to the AIAG:

AIAG%20APQP%20System.jpg
 
M

monicafmz

#10
...

...The first thing I would do is evaluate the company, the product(s) and processes, and define the requirements. Then I would look at the requirements and design an appropriate system. The system would be a mix of different 'named' approaches, and consideration would be given to where similar parts of each have different names....
Hello Marc,

I can't really imagine how could I "design" a system. Are there methods to design such systems? What methods would you recommend?. I have read a lot of theory, about the concepts, the history, the reasons, the benefits, but I haven't found the part when it comes to the design and implementation. It all seems very abstract to me. I can't find the bridge that takes you from the theory to the "real" application of it.

I would be very thankful if you could "show me the light".
 
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