Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a structured stage-gate process for new product development used by OEM and Tier 1 companies from the automotive sector. Over the years, the APQP process has been adopted by many industry segments, including the Aerospace and Defense industry, which has been one of the key influences for the AS9145 standard. APQP extends beyond new product development, involving cross-functional collaboration from understanding customer needs through engineering, production, quality assurance, PPAP, and continuous improvement.

APQP Core Tools

The APQP manual is a part of the IATF 16949’s Five Core Tools, which includes FMEA, PPAP, SPC and MSA.

What are the Five Phases of APQP Process?

APQP Phase 1 talks about Planning and the Voice of Customer mapping. Phase 2 is about how we Design the product, map part characteristics, and transfer it to the 3rd Phase, which is about Process Design and Manufacturing. In the 4th Phase, we validate the Product and Process, and in the 5th Phase, we focus on Process review and Continual improvement.

This 5-phase APQP approach allows suppliers to share development status at each stage, thereby reducing the risk of product failures related to the NPD process.

Following the 5 Phased APQP process helps a supplier in the early detection of potential failures that could have occurred during their product development process. It’s important to note that the Core tools are all interlinked. Therefore, APQP compliance or APQP implementation essentially means implementing all the 5 Core tools together.

Integrating APQP / PPAP (AS9145) within AS9100


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Solutions for Achieving World-Class APQP/NPD for Companies and Their Suppliers


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Successful Implementation of APQP & PPAP using Digitalization


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Conducting Virtual APQP Program Assessments on Suppliers


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AS9145 APQP and PPAP in a Nutshell


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Digitalization of FMEA, Control Plan, and other APQP/PPAP documents using EwQIMS - Enterprise FMEA Solution
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Deploying APQP, PPAP and Zero Defects in a Large Tier 1, Subsidiaries and Supply Chain
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APQP/PPAP Documentation Solution for a Leading Tier-1 Automotive Supplier
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Applicability of APQP

APQP applies to both New Product Introductions and Existing products. For the former, the emphasis is on learning from past new product development experiences. The latter focuses on how continuous improvement and defect prevention have been implemented in the suppliers’ manufacturing processes.

How to implement APQP and the Core Tools?

Omnex conducts workshops focused on effectively implementing the Automotive Core Tools, including APQP. Customers can choose from our training workshops, which range from management overviews to detailed implementation workshops, providing a step-by-step practical approach. You can choose your courses from our top automotive training programs.

You can also learn about APQP implementation from the case studies in our resource center. APQP White papers and APQP reference slides are also in the resource center to help your implementation.

APQP Software

Omnex offers a flagship software to manage your APQP process. Our Enterprise solution, EwQIMS NPD Platform, not only digitizes your entire APQP process, including FMEAs and Control Plans but also integrates with Problem Solving tools.

For a case study on APQP implementation using our software, please contact us.


Do you have time constraints and unable to sit for a full day program? Not to worry, check out Omnex’s E-Learning module for APQP. It provides a learning experience very similar to an onsite in-person training workshop. We have designed unique exercises and quizzes that you work through to ensure you understand all the implementation concepts. The E-learning course is priced as low as US$ 1,150 per license and is valid for 12 months.

History of APQP

In the 1980s, experts from Ford, GM and Chrysler recognized the necessity of collaborating to create a shared set of principles for product quality planning, now known as Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP). APQP has since become a significant component of the automotive industry, leading to the standardized protocols and formats for each component to meet customer requirements. Moreover, in the early 1990s, guidelines were introduced to promote consistency, and these guidelines subsequently gained traction and adoption among suppliers across a wide range of industries.


APQP is a structured framework used in the automotive and several other manufacturing industries for the development of new products and processes, focusing on quality and customer satisfaction and providing a process for continual improvement.

APQP helps ensure that product development processes are well-defined, risks are identified and mitigated, and quality is built into the product and capable manufaturing processes from the beginning.

APQP typically includes multiple phases, e.g., planning, product design and development, process design and development, product and process validation, serial production, and feedback and continuous improvement.

While APQP was developed as a process in the automotive industry, its principles and methods have been adopted in various manufacturing sectors and can be customized for practically any industy.

APQP is the process used to develop and plan for new products, while PPAP is the final step of APQP, providing objective evidence that products and production processes are capable and can consistently meet customer and reguatory requirements.

APQP should be used for all new products or processes, and for any products or processes that are being changed. APQP can also be used to improve existing (legacy) products and processes.

The five phases of APQP are:

  • Planning: This phase involves developing a plan for the product development and manufacturing process.
  • Product design: This phase involves designing the product to meet customer requirements and to minimize the risk of failures.
  • Process design: This phase involves designing the manufacturing process to produce the product to the required specifications.
  • Product and process validation: This phase involves validating the product and process to ensure that they meet the required specifications.
  • Production launch and continual improvement: This phase involves launching the product into production.