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.