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Q UA LIT Y S O FTWA R E & A N A LY S I S

APQP REVISITED
W

h is
hen
i the
th last
l t time
ti
you thought
th
ht
about APQP/PPAP? Advanced
Product Quality Planning and Control
Plan (APQP) was originally printed in
1994 with the second edition in 2008.
Production Part Approval Process
(PPAP) was originally issued in 1993,
the second edition in 1995 and the
third edition in 1999.
In the past 17 years, from 1993 to
the present, computer technology has
done amazing things. Basic office software has done wonders to help fi ll out
and standardize documents. There is
no excuse for not having professional
looking documentation that is organized and easy to produce.
First, assume the following:
1. You have read and understood the
latest document.

Source: Toyota Motor Corp.

Do you remember what APQP and PPAP stand for?


BY L O U AN N L ATH RO P

2. Your organization has a quality system with documented procedures.


3. You can map your processes to the
latest APQP and PPAP documents.
4. You understand the requirements
and documents required regarding
APQP and PPAP from customers.
5. You have standard tests that are
done as part of the product and process development process.
6. You have a good relationship with
the customer.
If this is not true, please take the
steps to remedy this. Engage the whole
organization.

Over the years, PPAP has become more


widely known than APQP. However, in
auditor talk, PPAP is really the evidence
that APQP has been executed. APQP
states Product quality planning is a
structured method of defining and establishing the steps necessary to assure that a
product satisfies the customer.
APQP includes sections on the following:
1. Plan and defi ne program
2. Product design and development
3. Process design and development
4. Product and process validation
5. Feedback, assessment and corrective
action
6. Control plan methodology

TECH TIPS
 There is no excuse for not having professional looking documentation that
is organized and easy to produce.

38

QUALITY | February 2010

038-QM0210soft.indd 38

 A thorough review can and should


be conducted with virtual parts using
the latest computer-aided design and
analysis tools.

 If suppliers do not have the proper


tools, they should find the people at
the OEM that have this capability.

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1 IPTV

Another area that has had increased


visibility and produced good results
is having robust and standard validation procedures. The definitions of
validation have shifted from a final
inspection to a built-in qualityor
engineered inperspective. What is
the particular test validating? Is it for
quality, reliability and durability and/
or performance and function? Analysis,

Part XXXXXXX MY 09

en

VALIDATION PROCESSES

12 MO IPTV

em
ov
pr
Im

Engineering Change

Started May 07

25%

minus .25

Part XXXXXXX MY 10 Projected

.55 IPTV

Engineering Change 1

Start for MY 09

10%

minus .1

Process Change 1

Start for MY 09

10%

minus .1

Engineering Change 2

Start MY09

-10%

plus .1

Engineering Change 3

MY 10

10%

minus .1

Projected MY 11 Warranty

0.35

Part xxxxxx Benchmark 2009

.7 IPTV

As this warranty projection chart shows, warranty is a huge line item on annual reports.
IPTV stands for incident per thousand vehicles. Quickly addressing and preventing warranty issues puts money right to the bottom line. Source: Lou Ann Lathrop

Cumulative Incident per Thousand Vehicles (IPTV)

How does one test that the product satisfies the customer? Start with the thingsgone-wrong category first: warranty.
Get the warranty data for the products in question and look at warranty
from the paradigm of every warranty
issue is an unhappy customer.
When one looks at every data point
as one unhappy customer, the data is
staggering. Act as if that customer is
yourself or a family member. Now act
as if you are the owner of the company:
how can you react to help prevent the
problem from ever happening again?
A lot of data, and relatively recent
data, is available. Get all of the data
possible. Get every part back and run
through a standard and rigorous failure
analysis as new model years are started.
Do this for the entire model year. Get
trend data on a regular, monthly basis
and review. Understand the data, and
what affects it. Learn what is driving
the numbers. Understand the concepts
of statistical process control.
Compare the warranty data of all the
companys products against each other,
compare and contrast the data, and
figure out why some products are better
than others. This fulfi lls the requirement of benchmarking.
Understand and Pareto the causes
of warranty issues. Do deep dives to
fi nd permanent and irreversible corrective action. Predict the improvement
in warranty by understanding current
warranty and what is driving it. Look at
all upcoming changes that will address
warranty concerns to predict a projected warranty. Implement as soon as
possiblethe sooner the better. Make
sure all appropriate change management procedures are followed.
Warranty is a huge line item on
annual reports. Preventing warranty
issues or quickly addressing them puts
money right to the bottom line.

WARRANTY

Months in Service
This is an example of a warranty chart comparing model years. Manufacturers would
do well to learn what is driving the numbers and understand the concepts of statistical
process control. Source: Lou Ann Lathrop

CPK

PPM

IPTV

.33

317,310

317

YIELD
68%

% OF
TOLERANCE
303

.5

133,614

133

.66

45,500

45

.83

12,419

12

1.00

2,700

2.7

1.17

465

.47

1.33

64

.064

1.5

6.8

.0068

67

1.66

.6

.0006

60

200
95%

152
121

99.73%

100
86

99.99%

75

50

It is important to understand the concepts of statistical process control (SPC). SPC is a


critical, often overlooked and forgotten knowledge. Source: Lou Ann Lathrop

February 2010 | QUALITY

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Q UA LIT Y S O FTWA R E & A N A LY S I S

TATSUHIKO YOSHIMURAS CLIMATE OF SHARING FAILURE INFORMATION CHECKLIST


1. Does top management feel that a problem caused by his
subordinate is his problem?
2. Does top management reprimand the subordinate causing
the problem from the standpoint of a customer?
3. Has top management directly talked to the person causing
the problem or his superior on the cause of the failureat
the work site, with the actual part in hand?
4. Has top management discussed the cause of failure with
the person in charge from the standpoint of an engineer?

development and validation (ADV) is


General Motors Corp. (GM)s interpretation of APQP.
Setting a rigid time in the program
for validation test complete dates can
help drive the entire organization to
a new level of performance. Just waiting for PPAP deadlines is not enough.
Documentation for tests, or the evidence of, also should be completed.
One may hear the terms: validation
testing complete (VTC) and validation
documentation complete (VDC). All

5. Does top management praise those responsible when the


cause analysis and measures to correct the failure were
good?
6. Has top management made it a routine practice to discuss
examples of how he learned from the past failures with his
subordinates?
7. Does the company have a process to make failure examples a corporate asset?

Over time in every commodity, a


specialist should gather criteria, with
pictures of what is good, bad and in
between. This could be called end of
test criteria; years ago in electronics
manufacturing it was called workmanship standards. It could include pictures
and measurements of what makes a
good solder joint, a marginally acceptable solder joint and bad solder joints.
Having detailed criteria and adding to
this documented criteria helps to capture lessons learned over time.

supplier testing, all component testing, all sub system testing completed
and all vehicle level testing are rigorously tracked for completion. Every
test result from validation testing
should be rigorously reviewed and
scrutinized. There are very few test
properties these days, so every test
and test result counts.
The tests are run, so it would be a
waste if the results were not studied to
every last detail. The test properties
should be autopsied in detail.

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In 2003, GM hired retired Toyota


executive Tatsuhiko Yoshimura, an
expert in vehicle durability, to critique
GMs procedures.
Yoshimura, in his writings to leadership, would say any meeting where
there were no parts to look at is a waste
of time. He extolled his concept of
what he called GD3: good design, good
discussion and good dissection.
Good dissection was embodied by
the process of DRBTR: design review
based on test results. He wanted everyone on the team to see the test properties and have a good discussion around
them. Discussion and actions are to
be documented in a report. Issues and
buds of problems are summarized and
documented.
The same type of review can and
should be conducted with virtual parts
using todays latest computer-aided
design (CAD) and analysis tools. Stackup analysis of parts also should be part
of the standard process. If suppliers do
not have these tools, they should find the
people at the OEM that have this capability and responsibility. Maybe they can

Over the years, PPAP has become


more widely known than APQP. However,
in auditor talk, PPAP is really the evidence
that APQP has been executed.
run the analysis and provide the supplier
with the detailed information.
Lastly, Yoshimura required a climate
of sharing failure information and
had a seven-item checklist to assess a
company. (See Checklist on pg. 40).
The checklist is to assess the climate
of sharing failure information. Is
the environment a learning environment, or is the system closed down to
sharing? This is similar to one of Dr.
Demings 14 points to Drive out fear,
so that everyone may work effectively
for the company. This type of culture

has always been implied and required


for both APQP and PPAP; without
this, APQP and PPAP processes will be
cumbersome rather than the corporate
strength that it could be. Q
Lou Ann Lathrop worked for General Motors Corp.
(GM) for more than 26 years in quality engineering, manufacturing engineering, manufacturing
and product engineering. Lathrop, a senior
member, is past chair for the American Society
for Quality - Automotive Division and is a current
member of ASQs board of directors. She can be
contacted at louannlathrop@live.com.

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