Advanced product quality planning

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Advanced product quality planning (APQP) is a framework of procedures and techniques used to develop products in industry, particularly in the automotive industry. It is similar to the concept of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS).

According to the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), the purpose of APQP is "to produce a product quality plan which will support development of a product or service that will satisfy the customer."[1] It is the process employed by General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and their suppliers for their product development systems.


Advanced product quality planning is a process developed in the late 1980s by a commission of experts who gathered around the 'Big Three' of the US automobile industry: Ford, GM and Chrysler.

Representatives from the three automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the Automotive Division of American Society for Quality Control (ASQC)* created the Supplier Quality Requirement Task Force for developing a common understanding on topics of mutual interest within the automotive industry.[2]

This commission invested five years to analyze the then-current automotive development and production status in the US, Europe and especially in Japan. At the time, the success of the Japanese automotive companies in the US market was beginning to be remarkable.

APQP is utilized today by these three companies and some affiliates. Tier 1 suppliers are typically required to follow APQP procedures and techniques and are also typically required to be audited and registered to IATF 16949. This methodology is now being used in other manufacturing sectors as well.

The basis for the make-up of a process control plan is included in the APQP manual.[3] The APQP process is defined in the AIAG's APQP manual, which is part of a series of interrelated documents that the AIAG controls and publishes. These manuals include:

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) is a non-profit association of automotive companies founded in 1982.

Main content of APQP[edit]

APQP serves as a guide in the development process and also a standard way to share results between suppliers and automotive companies. APQP specifies three phases: Development, Industrialization and Product Launch. Through these phases 23 main topics will be monitored. These 23 topics will be all completed before the production is started. They cover such aspects as: design robustness, design testing and specification compliance, production process design, quality inspection standards, process capability, production capacity, product packaging, product testing and operator training plan, among other items.

APQP focuses on:

  • Up-front quality planning
  • Determining if customers are satisfied by evaluating the output and supporting continual improvement

APQP consists of five phases:

  • Plan and Define Program
  • Product Design and Development Verification
  • Process Design and Development Verification
  • Product and Process Validation and Production Feedback
  • Launch, Assessment & Corrective Action

The APQP process has seven major elements:

  • Understanding the needs of the customer
  • Proactive feedback and corrective action
  • Designing within the process capabilities
  • Analyzing and mitigating failure modes
  • Verification and validation
  • Design reviews
  • Control special/critical characteristics.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zhao, Yaoyao (2011). Information modeling for interoperable dimensional metrology. Springer. p. 301. ISBN 9781447121664. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  3. ^ "Advanced Product Quality Planning and Control Plan (APQP)". 2012. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2012.

External links[edit]