APQP, PFMEA and Risk Assessment

9 August 2016

A Tier 2 manufacturer in the clean / alternative energy industry contacted SCSI to help them introduce an APQP process into their business. They reached out to SCSI for help with design FMEA, process FMEA, process flows, and control plans.

What is APQP?

Advanced Product Quality Planning, or APQP, is a mainstay process in the automotive or aerospace industries. It uses tools and techniques like PFMEA (Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis) to evaluate potential risks and failures. When a manufacturer introduces a new product, they can use these processes to ensure it rolls out smoothly.

Brief Overview of the Process

1. The RFQ comes in, along with blueprints and customer requirements in the form of a contract.

2. A multi-functional team reviews the customer requirements, line item by line item. A complete print review is also performed. This review considers whether the company has all the assets needed for fabricating and measuring their final component.

3. The team creates flow diagram of all the process steps.

4. The next step is to complete a PFMEA. The PFMEA may be based off of a similar part. It identifies which pieces of the process are high risk. The risk assessment allows the team to identify and consider any outliers that may cause problems later.

5. Preliminary action plans are put in place to reduce all risks.

6. After Sales puts the official quote together to send to the customer and the customer places a purchase order, the next step is the first piece run. All of the procedures and work instructions are in place, and all labor has been trained. Now the system for the new product is tested by building one part. This test run is 100% first article inspection. The team looks for any problems and puts any corrective actions into place during this stage.

How does APQP help my business?

APQP is not just beneficial for automotive and aerospace. If you are an ISO-certified company, you may reap many benefits from undergoing this process.

The new ISO standard for 2015 requires risk assessment of your business. By completing the APQP process, our customer has completed a major part of what they need to meet the new ISO standard. They are way ahead of the game.

SCSI can help you.

SCSI has years of experience in multiple industries, including automotive. Quality is our business. We don’t take shortcuts and we will help you think of every fine detail in your risk assessment. We can be an objective second pair of eyes, and we have measuring equipment such as hard to find gages and CMMs to validate your process or first part. Contact us today to see how we can help you implement an APQP program.

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