Advanced Product Quality Planning is a structured method of defining and establishing the steps necessary to ensure that a product satisfies the customer. APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning) involves 75% up front planning and 25% implementation through production, to determine customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. Although APQP is generally associated with the automotive industry, the quality planning processes in APQP can be applicable within all industries. The Quality-One APQP approach is considered to be Best-in-Class, because it is easily communicated to design teams and suppliers.

The process was developed in the 1980s by a series of industry experts from major automobile companies when the US began to face serious competition from the Japanese auto market in an attempt to gain back a competitive edge in the market.

APQP serves as a guide in the development process and also a standard way to share results between suppliers and automotive companies. APQP specify 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 aspects as: design robustness, design testing and specification compliance, production process design, quality inspection standards, process capability, production capacity, product packaging, product testing and operators training plan between 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
  • Launch, Feedback, Assessment & Corrective Action

There are five major activities:

  • Planning
  • Product Design and Development
  • Process Design and Development
  • Product and Process Validation
  • Production

The APQP process has seven major elements:

  • Understanding the needs of the customer
  • Proactive feedback and corrective action
  • Designing within the process capabilities
  • Analysing and mitigating failure modes
  • Verification and validation
  • Design reviews

Control special/critical characteristics