Value of APQP and PPAP for Small Volumes


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a really dumb question

Hi Cove Friends...Long time, no see

Looking for some thoughts from all of you "automotive" experts.

We have a new customer, who is not automotive, but someone in an influetial (sp) position came from this field. We are to be their testing ground for implementing an abreviated version of PPAP. Along with first article inspection, we need to provide a FMEA, Gage R&R, and CP data.

We will make about 1000 parts per year for them, utilizing less than 2% of our shop capacity to make this product.

All the info I have been reading so far seems to indicate this to be a HUGE waste of resorces for such a small volume of work.

I can definitly see the value-added if you are making 1000 per day or month, but at our level.....I just don't see the benefit.

We will definityly go through the process anyway.

Thanks all,

Al Dyer

Hi Carol,

Has your company actually performed a cost analysis of performing the activities? I guess in my "automotive" mind, these thinks are done for all parts, big or small, even if it for our own piece of mind.:)

Bill Ryan - 2007

I agree with AL. Even our non-automotive customers begin to get irked as the reject rate increases. Therefore a "well done" PFMEA could make the difference between making a profit or not, especially with such a low volume part.

To me the Gage R&R is a must. If you can't trust the measurements, how do you problem solve?

The Control Plan is just a natural outcome of the PFMEA.

Please understand, our non-automotive customers (approx. 15% of our total sales) don't require these documents as a "First Article" submission but because of our heavy automotive background we have learned the hard way that the upfront work is worth it.


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Bill and Al,

Thanks for your input....

I am looking at this from the outside world. And if I was in the automotive market, it's gotta work great. But.....we are a sheet metal job shop. We produce over 2000 DIFFERENT parts in a years time, averaging 50-100 piece orders. To make these activities part of our SOP would be unmanageble for a small company.

Al- No, we haven't, but my guess is my time that I will invest in this will exceed what we will be paid for the parts. We just see it as a cost for getting our foot in the door with this customer.

Thanks again,


Al Dyer


Sounds as if you are producing the same product but with maybe some differt dimentions or thicknesses or coatings. If this is true you can use a "generic" or family type FMEA etc... to cover all of the parts and simply have a work instruction for a certain product.

Anybody able to expand on "family" parts?:)



I did an automotive consulting gig for a small shop. They had only 4 process flows for all products. So, I did four "family" FMEA's, Control Plans, etc, and referenced part specific characteristics, as needed, in Work Instructions.

Is all the work value added ? Yes. It doesn’t seem like it. I know this. But the consequences of an oversight are usually severe. Not that it has ever happened to me (wink, wink)…………………………The 1,000 pcs per annum could grow into bigger business in the future and they’ll only remember the 2 bad ones you sent, not the 998 good ones.:bonk:


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very interesting

Thanks have given some new ideas and a new perspective.



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I just got the details of the order for this customer.....125 pieces per year in 25 piece increments.....we're giving the parts away!!!!

:bonk: :bonk: :bonk:
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