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Using a sub-supplier's PFMEA in PPAP Submission



I am wondering if it is acceptable in a PPAP submission to my customer, the PFMEA and Control Plan that was submitted to me by my supplier. To clarify, my company purchases a part from a sub-supplier. We then supply this to our customer. Our supplier submits PPAP documents including inspection, PFMEA and CP to us. Can we then pass this documentation through in our PPAP submission to our customer? The relevant processes occur at our supplier. Do we still need to have our own PFMEA and Control Plan, etc, to cover the purchase and monitoring of our supplier? Thanks in advance for your input!
Let me first answer this with what SHOULD happen. Your subsupplier has described a process to make a part that they sell to you. I am going to assume it is a correct and to standard PPAP submission. You should then be signing a Part Submission Warrant provided by the subsupplier that basically says "We, your customer, agree with this process to make and control the quality of your product."

You are then going to take this component and include it in some process of yours, that is going to make a product for YOUR customer. You should submit a PPAP describing YOUR process (with the PFD, PFMEA, Control Plan and all the other stuff) to YOUR customer. And you should include the warrant(s) you signed for your suppliers. Which let your customer know that you have checked what your supplier has done. And that SHOULD be enough.

Now lets talk about what MAY happen. Your customer may not trust you. Probably won't. And they will want to review the processes that are generating some of the key components. Especially if there is a lot of metallurgy involved and you are passing them through. Why don't they trust you? THAT's another discussion, but .... the key points for you are.

1) Your customer has requested a control plan or other key information from your supplier.
2) From a business standpoint, you MUST ask the supplier's permission to forward it. I am reasonably sure there is some NDA running around, AND it's just good manners.
3) If your supplier says "Nope. Not forwarding MY stuff to YOUR customer." Then you politely tell your customer that your supplier considers the material proprietary and he can come review it with you at YOUR location or the sub suppliers location, but you cannot forward it. (Happens all the time).
4) If your supplier say "I'm good." Then forward it and make your customer happy. If your customer is being a pain and you want to needle him a bit, you COULD open with "Would you like to sign my sub suppliers warrant?" Which he will answer "No." Then you can ask "Why, then, do you need to see his submission?"

All of us in "quality" should be data and procedure driven individuals. I am always amazed at the amount of politics involved.


Thanks for the feedback. I should have clarified, the product that we are purchasing is going straight to our customer without any further processing by us. I think all of what you said still applies and it makes sense. We do provide an approved warrant to our supplier. For our part (documents to our customer) does not leave much to add to the PFMEA and other documents though. In this case, are the documents just as simple as it seems - purchase, validations, etc? It seems more detail should be provided as to the process. As you mentioned, we could then see what our supplier is willing to supply to our customer.
This is a relatively new area to me and I want to do it right. Your insight is helpful:thanx:


I should have clarified, the product that we are purchasing is going straight to our customer without any further processing by us.
Watergirl, if you are only re-shipping or directing the shipment of the product to the customer, then what value are you adding? I would be concerned that your customer's purchasing and lean practitioners will remove you company from the process as "non-value added" and go directly to your supplier. If you do provide some value add to the process you should be documenting it to provide justification for your add-on costs, unless you are providing this service for free.


I guess that is really the concern that my company has. This part passes through us to the customer. However, we designed the part. We did have some value, just not in production. I have searched further and see that others find themselves in similar situations but not a situation where they try to keep supplier and customer not identified to each other. My company does not want identity shared either direction (our supplier or customer) for obvious reasons as mentioned by adamsjm.
I can have a third party inspect parts for PPAP, but other documents such as control plan, PFMEA and flow diagrams only seem relevant from our supplier. As the parts are purchased, how do others handle purchased parts? Do you pass along your supplier's documents (the PPAP requires submission of this info)? Do you generate you own documents only noting the purchase and validation processes? Would that even make sense? I realize that if we use supplier's docs that the info provided needs to remain unaltered (company identifying info). There are those within my company that feel that we can alter that identifying info. I caution against that. Any references for such a situation are welcome.
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