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Defining The Advanced Product Quality Planning Information Technology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Technology
Wordcount: 5193 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a structured method for defining and executing the actions necessary to ensure a product satisfies the customer along with cost and time. APQP is required of all vehicle, system, subsystem and component manufacturing locations.

1.2 Goal

The goal of APQP is to facilitate communication with all persons involved in a programme and ensure that all required steps are completed on time, at acceptable cost and quality levels.

1.3 Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to establish:

Common APQP expectations for all M&M activities.

Common APQP process metrics.

Common APQP deliverables.

A common programme status-reporting format.

Lead and Support roles and responsibilities for each APQP Element.

1.4 Approach

APQP emphasise on Up-front planning, First three part of the P-D-C-A cycle are devoted to up-front product quality planning through product / Process Validation. The Act of implementation, the fourth part is the stage where the importance of evaluating the output serves two functions; to determine if customers are satisfied, and to support the pursuit of continuous improvement.

This guideline focuses on 23 key APQP elements. Definitions, expectations, and deliverables for these elements are identified in Section 5.0 APQP Element Description of this guideline. The status for these disciplines is summarized on the APQP Status Report. This guideline provides a management tool for follow-up and timely completion of all 23 APQP Elements.

1.5 Applicability

APQP status reporting is a requirement of all M&M activities and must be applied to the following:

New Product launch/ relaunch.

Changed/ modified product launch.

Launch of a new manufacturing site.

Significant process changes (new facilities/ toolings).

High impact suppliers.

Carry over issues.

Part Submission Warrant (PSW) requirement as per the MQS Mahindra Production Part Approval Process Manual.

2.0 APQP Fundamentals

2.1 Teams

The first step in the Advanced Product Quality Planning Process is to assign lead responsibility for every APQP Element. This leader establishes a cross-functional team to complete the element requirements on time. Effective Product Quality Planning requires a cross-functional team including representatives from Product Development, Manufacturing Engineering, Manufacturing Plants, Purchasing, Quality, Field Service, Sales, Suppliers, and Customers, as appropriate.

2.2 Elements

This guideline focuses on 23 Key APQP disciplines, identified as APQP elements. These elements, when summarized and reported, communicate the quality planning status of a programme.

2.3 Adjustments

If the programme is considered to be low risk, the APQP leader may skip certain APQP elements. For example, if the product is carry-over with minor changes, existing control plans can be used and/ or packaging evaluations may not be required. The cross-functional team must agree to all deviations from the APQP process. If the team agrees that an element is not required, the function should write “N/A” for “not applicable” in the remarks section of the APQP Status Report (Annexure 1).

2.4 Roles & Responsibilities

The APQP Lead/Support Responsibilities are documented in Section 5.0 APQP Element Description, of this guideline.

2.5 APQP Elements in MPDS

The alignment of APQP elements is done using the timing plan of the Mahindra Product Development System (MPDS).

2.6 APQP Process Flow

Figure 2 shows the generic APQP Process Flow

Figure 1


MPDS Gateways

SI : Strategic Intent

SC : Strategic Confirmation

PA : Programme Approval

VV: Virtual Validation

PC : Programme Confirmation

PR : Product Readiness

PP : Production Prove-out

SO : Sign Off

LR : Launch Readiness

J1 : Job 1

FS : Final Status


J 1










Figure 2 : Generic Process Flow – APQP




Risk Assessment Y/R




APQP Status G/Y/R

Major Review Meeting including APQP Assessment Results

Start APQP Reporting

Initiate APQP Process


establishes cross-functional team

Criteria for APQP


3.0 The APQP Status Report

3.1 Purpose

The APQP Status Report summarises the status for the 23 APQP elements. The status report facilitates communication between Product Development, Manufacturing Engineering, Manufacturing Plants etc. It also provides a dated record that future programmes for reference.

3.2 Status Reporting Responsibility

For each of the 23 elements, there is a lead responsibility defined. This lead function obtains the necessary input/support from other affected functions and consolidates it into a G/Y/R (Green/Yellow/Red) status (per element) on the APQP status report form.(MQS/APQP/F01)

Reporting Requirements

The Project Team consolidates the APQP status report and present summary to senior management at all major Programme Reviews/ Gateways. Action plan is prepared for all Yellow & Red status.

Ratings and Assessment

4.1 G Y R Status

Green-Yellow-Red status communicates the progress toward the successful project completion of elements by the program need date. Program need date is the last possible date an element can be completed and not adversely affect quality, cost or timing of the program. The “GYR Status” column of the report shows the assessment for each element.Definitions/Risk factors for Red, Yellow, and Green are listed in the table below.






Target dates and/or elements are at risk. A recovery Action Plan is not available and/or implemented, or the Action Plan does not achieve program targets. Late on time.



Target dates and/or elements are at risk, but a recovery Action Plan has been developed to achieve program targets, and has been approved by the appropriate Project Team. Target date can be met with management support.



Target dates and elements are on track and meeting objectives.

Each element shall be supported by relevant documented evidence like reports, circular, filled format, quality documents, scanned signoff copy etc. For this purpose MQS & PQO recommends the use of appropriate softwares like Excel, Word, Power point, MS Project, etc with hyperlinks to the document.

Any item once become red will remain red & Yellow/Green will be superimposed appropriately to show latest status.

4.2 The 8 Focus Elements :

For all 23 elements, quality expectations are defined in this Guideline. Out of the 23 elements, the following 8 elements are considered as Focus Elements :

Design FMEA

Design Verification Plan

Prototype Build Control Plan

Manufacturing Process Flow Chart

Process FMEA

Pre-Launch Control Plan

Operator Process Instructions

Production Control Plan

These elements when completed with Quality and On Time lay the foundation for Programme success.

The 8 Focus Elements are assessed for Quality of Event using Focus Element Rating Checklist.

4.3 Status Report Descriptions :

Build Level : Indicates the level of Build such as Engineering Prototype, Verification Prototype, Production Trial Run, Job # 1, etc.

PIST : Percentage of Inspection points that satisfy Specified Tolerance (all points).

PIPC : Percentage of Indices which are Process Capable (Percentage of Critical & Significant Characteristics with Pp & Ppk greater than or equal to 1.67 for the pre-production phase and Cp and Cpk greater than or equal to 1.33 for production phase).

SC & CC (Special Characteristics) : All products and processes have features described by characteristics which are important and need to be controlled. However, some characteristics called special characteristics require extra efforts to minimise the risk of potential adverse consequences.

Special Characteristics consist of –

1. Critical Characteristics are those product or process requirements that affect compliance with government regulation or safe vehicle/ product function AND which require special actions/ controls.

Product or process requirements can include dimension, specification, tests, processes, assembly sequences, tooling, joints, torques, welds, attatchments, component usage etc.

Symbol :

Severity Rating : 9 or 10 for any occurrence rating.

2. Significant Characteristics are those product, process, and/ or test requirements which are important for customer satisfaction AND for which Quality Planning actions must be summarised on a Control Plan.

Symbol :

Severity Rating : 5 to 8 Occurrence Rating : 5 and above

For further details please refer Charachteristics Classification Guideline,


The 23 APQP Elements

5.0 APQP Element Description Description DescriptionThe following pages include an in-depth view of the 23 APQP elements. Each element is split into six separate areas. These areas are :

Definition – identifies the motivation behind the element.

Expectations – defines the requirements for the element.

Lead Responsibility – identifies the function responsible for lead reporting . Identifies function that all others will support in completion of the element.

Support function – identifies the support functions that will provide input to the Lead Responsibility.

Timing – Identifies the initial and final Gateway timing for the element with respect to Total Project Work Plan (TPWP).

Deliverables – indicates the items that must be completed during time frames specified for the element.


11. Sourcing Decision


Sourcing Decision is a formal customer commitment to work on a timely basis with internal and external suppliers on the programme.


The Sourcing Decision is completed and communicated to internal and external suppliers before the Programme Need Date.

The sourcing need dates for all components, systems and vehicles are established.

Lead Responsibility

Project Team/CFT for in-house sourced components / aggregates.

Material Management.(MM)

Support Functions

Supplier Upgradation

Product Development

Strategic Sourcing

Manufacturing Plant

Manufacturing Engineering


Initiate Milestone < PA >

Finalise Milestone < VV >


Establish a Timing Plan for completion of Sourcing Decisions.

Start communication with potential in-house manufacturers for “make parts” and with suppliers for “buy” parts.

Identify long -lead items (i.e. sourcing for new facilities, implementation of single sourcing strategies for Assembly Plants, etc.)

Evaluate the percent of completion for the Sourcing Decision Element at the beginning of each month between < PA> and .

Sourcing Decision for long-lead items is completed and communicated.

Open issues are identified and agreed upon by Project Team/CFT .

The Soucing Decision is completed and communicated.

22. Customers Input Requirement


The Customer Input Requirements Element is used to initiate the Quality Planning process through identification of design criteria and programme requirements.

Quality Function Deployment, (QFD) is one of the mechanisms to generate the Customer Input Requirements.


Design goals (specified through customer survey) are translated into tentative and measurable design objectives.

The Project Team/CFT must receive initial system and component designs and specifications from R&D Centre including

– Product Assumptions

Functional Performance



Reliability and Quality goals are established based on

Prior model product and process concern history

Customer wants and expectations

Programme objectives

Reliability bench-marks

The reliability and quality goals must include the following:

Useful life Reliability Targets

Warranty Targets ( R/1000)

Incoming quality targets (parts per million, defect levels, scrap rates)

Functional Targets

Note: The above targets should be supplied as appropriate to the system, subsystem, or component.

The Programme Timing Plan is established to meet the customer needs and expectations by identifying the Timing Requirements for the following:




Programme Timing Date must be communicated for the following:

Programme status reviews

APQP Plans

Design Freeze

2Prototype builds

In Plant Dates

Job #1

Affordable cost targets have been communicated for the vehicle, system, sub-system and components.

Capacity Planning volumes have been provided to the supplier (external and internal)

A list for Key Contact Personnel within M&M – the Project Owner, Project Manager, Design Leader, Manufacturing Engineering Leader, Launch Leader, MM Leader, Supplier Upgradation Leader and others as appropriate – is established. The list should include name, location, e-mail address and phone number.

Lead responsibility

Product Development

Support Functions

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing Plants



Project Team/CFT

Assembly Plant assigns a Launch Manager to support all necessary activities at the Milestone and beyond. The Assembly Plant prepares a want list of preferable product and process improvements. The Wants List is prepared based on customer data and manufacturing process capabilities of current running production models. When necessary, quality, cost, and timing data shall be presented to lead activities.


Initiate Milestone

Finalise Milestone


Establish Plans to develop:

Design goals

Reliability and Quality goals

Programme Timing

Cost Targets

Capacity Planning Volume

– Key Contact Personnel

2The Programme Steering Team recognizes and supports the criteria identified in the expectations.

A manufacturing strategy is identified and available.

The preliminary Product and Business Targets are defined in sufficient detail to initiate Engineering projects at the Milestone.

The Programme Core Team is identified.

Resources are identified and committed by all affected functions.

The Total Programme Work Plan (TPWP) is developed and agreed upon by the Programme Core Team including APQP deliverables.

The manufacturing requirements (must/ wants) are available, consolidated and submitted to the Programme Core Team.

Objectives, Targets and Plans for the above desired expectations are completed, confirmed and communicated to all sources and planning activities.

The TPWP (including APQP deliverables) is signed off.

33. Design FMEA


A Design or Concept FMEA is a systematic approach (used by the design responsible team) which assures that potential design failure modes and associated causes are considered and addressed.


DFMEAs are led by Product Engineering, prepared with a cross-functional team, and follow the guidelines laid down in the MQS FMEA Manual.

DFMEAs prepare for new product features, technologies, and product development quality concerns unresolved during the previous model lifetime.

DFMEAs are essential in developing Prototype Build Control Plans and the Manufacturing P/ FMEAs.

Unanticipated failure modes encountered during design verification testing must be addressed in the D/ FMEA.

Potential Special Characteristics & are identified.

Lead Responsibility

Product Development

Support Functions

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing Plants

Customer Care


Initiate Milestone

Finalize Milestone



Establish a list of Concepts, Systems, Sub-systems etc on which DFMEA needs to be conducted and write out a DFMEA Timing Plan.


Review percentage of DFMEA completion at all Milestones between and


100% of the DFMEAs are complete and all necessary actions to minimise quality risks are implemented.

Potential & are identified.

4 Design Reviews


Design Reviews are regularly scheduled meetings led by the design responsible activity and must include any affected areas, such as, Manufacturing Engineering, Plant personnel etc. The review process includes the following:

A series of verification activities that are more than engineering inspection.

An effective method to prevent problems and misunderstandings.

Provide a mechanism to monitor progress and report to the management (including the review of APQP open issues)


The Design Feasibility concerns are resolved in time to support each build In-Plant Date.

Review the progress of the Design Verification Plan and Report (DVP&R)). Unanticipated failure modes encountered during design verification testing must be addressed in the DFMEA.

Review any open APQP issues.

Review the progress toward achieving reliability, quality, cost and timing targets.

Lead Responsibility

Product Development

Support Functions

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing Plants

Customer Care



Initiate Milestone

Finalize Milestone


Develop a Design Review Plan.

Define roles and responsibilities

Develop a Design Review work plan one month prior to the initial Design Review


Evaluate the progress of DVP&Rs

Review the significant and critical characteristics identified in the Engineering Specifications.

Concerns are identified at each Milestone from to

100% of the open design issues are resolved

The Project Team/CFT present the lessons learned from the Programme.

For further details please refer Design Review Guideline,


5Design Verification Plan &Report


The Design Verification Plan & Report (DVP&R) is a document listing the engineering evaluations, tests, and reports required to establish a design fit for use in the intended environment and meets the customer driven objectives and the intent with which the product / process was designed. The design verification plan has a correlation with the Customer Input Requirement.


The DVP&R is a team approach

Identification of specific tests, methods, equipment, acceptance criteria, sample sizes, design level and timing must be contained in the DVP&R.

Tests must include variation within tolerance on team selected product characteristics.

The Design Verification must include:

Test requirements for design, material, or manufacturing process that apply to the production trial.

Tests, which address for the customer usage profile and duty cycle.

Tests which address the useful life of the product.

Tests which address the effects of the external environment (climate, road surface conditions etc)

Tests which address the effects of physical interfaces between components or systems.

Lead Responsibility

Product & Reliability Engineering

Support Functions

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing Plants

Customer Care

Support Functions have skilled personnel assigned to review and confirm the DVP&R results and specification settings for significant and critical characteristics.


Design Verification Plans and Reports are used for the following schedules,

Development Prototypes.

Product Validation.

Product Life Cycle.

5Design Verification Plans and Reports include the following tests

Engineering Development Tests: Performed during product design for functional development, for detecting time dependent failures.

Design Verification Tests : Performed to demonstrate that the design samples meeting production intent environmental, functional, reliability and durability requirements

Production Validation Tests: Performed to demonstrate that the design samples from the production environment meet all requirements similar to Design Verification tests and assure that no adverse variables have been introduced.

Continuous Conformance Tests: Performed on an on going basis to assure contained compliance to all Product &Process requirements.


Initial Gateway

Finalize Gateway


Develop the DVP&R and appropriate review process

The DVP&R is complete and the identified metrics enable comparison with target metrics at Engineering Prototype review.

DVP&R is updated and a draft of the Engineering specification is available as per MPDS Guideline.

The DVP&R is complete in order to support the Verification Prototype (VP) builds.

All Engineering specifications, up to and including job #1 design level are confirmed and released.

All verification and validation tests are completed.

6Subcontractor APQP Status (Tier 1 Supplier)


The Subcontractor APQP Status identifies and reports on the condition of an external Supplier or Subcontractor’s APQP process. It is required of Supplier to cascade APQP requirements to their suppliers or subcontractors and conduct APQP reviews as appropriate. The results of these reviews are summarised on the APQP Status Report.


All suppliers must assess risk and specify the level of their suppliers APQP participation.

Subcontractors that affect significant and critical characteristics must follow all APQP disciplines.

Suppliers will allocate sufficient resources to work with their subcontractors as part of the cross-functional APQP effort.

Suppliers will hold regularly scheduled APQP status reviews with their subcontractors.

Concerns are reported to the customer and action plans are developed for elements that do not meet quality, cost and timing objectives.

Lead Responsibility


Support Function

Supplier Upgradation.


Initiate Gateway

Finalize Gateway


Communicate to all relevant suppliers the expected APQP deliverables in line with Programme Need Dates (In Plant Dates).

Provide a Subcontractor APQP status at each Milestone

100% of approved PSW parts delivered before Gateway

100% of the supplier’s open issues are resolved to support on-going production

7 Facilities, Tools & Gauges


The Facilities, Tools and Gauges element identifies the new, additional, refurbished and relocated resources necessary to manufacture the customer specified product at designated quantity and quality levels.


Facilities, planning approval, drawings and utilities must be included on the Product Timing Plan and funding approval must be complete.

Machinery FMEA needs to be completed before releasing the Design Approved Print (DAP)

SPC & MSA and acceptance criteria must be team approved before sourcing of Facilities, Tools or Gauges can be approved.

Trial runs should occur at the machine builder’s location to qualify all Facilities, Tools and Gauges.

All corrective actions for Facilities, Tools and Gauges not meeting customer requirements must be completed prior to the Production Trial Run.

Facilities, Tools and Gauges must be delivered, installed and approved prior to the Production Trial Run.

Lead Responsibility

Manufacturing Engineering

Support Functions

Manufacturing Plants

Project Engineering

Asset Management


Initiate Gateway

Finalise Gateway


Establish a Manufacturing Strategy.

New Technologies are identified.

Hard points for manufacturing process facilities and complexity are established.

Long lead funding is identified for major Facilities, Tools and Gauges at the Milestone.


Tooling for the VP0 build is confirmed and available before Gateway clearance

Readiness for PP(Production Proveout) assembly is confirmed at before Gateway clearance

Facilities, Tools and Gauges are installed &listed in the Process Sheets.

Equipment safety is verified.

Concerns are resolved.

8Prototype Build Control Plan


Prototype Build Control Plan (PBCP) is a description of the control factors that will be used to manufacture and assemble a prototype build. In the control plan evaluation process, PBCP is the first summary document. This document is necessary to align the responsible activities process steps to both the significant / critical product characteristics and customer targets.


A cross-functional team led by the Product Engineering develops the Prototype Build Control Plan.

The Prototype Build Control Plan is to be reviewed at each Design Review and is an essential part of the Team Feasibility Commitment.

All relevant records of Part Quality Inspection before Build are mandatory.

Lead Responsibility

Product Development

Support Functions

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing Plants


Initiate Gateway

Finalize Gateway


Establish a work plan for Prototype Build Control Plan development.

Review the percentage of Prototype Build Control Plan completion at each design review.

The Preliminary Prototype Build Control Plan is available at Gateway

A draft of the engineering specifications needed for the PBCB is made available at Gateway .

All relevant drawing and engineering specification results, upto and including Job 1, is summarized in the Prototype Build Control Plan.

All significant/critical characteristics are reviewed during the prototype build phase.

Lessons learned are identified.

Feasibility commitment of final Prototype Build Control Plan characteristics is available.

9Prototype Builds


The Prototype Builds Element entails the manufacture or assembly of components, systems or sub-systems, and assembled vehicles that will be supplied to the customer for builds occurring prior to the Verification Prototype (VP) Build phase.


All customer prototype material will meet the following requirements by the

In Plant Date.

Correct level parts

Customer specification data.

Customer approval for all non conformances.

The Prototype Build Control Plan was followed in the manufacture or assembly of the Prototype Builds.

Lead Responsibility

Product Development

Support Functions

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing Plant



Initiate Gateway

Finalize Gateway


Timing Plan for Prototype Builds is established.

100% of the parts are available before the Milestone.

All planned Prototype Builds are in line with the Timing Plan.

Quality level is verified based on the requirements established in the Prototype Build Control Plan.

Concerns are identified and documented.

9Timing Plan for VP Prototype Builds is established.

PSW status is fully identified for all parts necessary for each prototype build.

All planned Prototype Builds are in line with the Timing Plan

Quality level is verified based on the requirements established in the Prototype Build Control Plan.

Concerns are identified and documented.

For complete Build definition and its application please refer MQS website under MPDS Section.

Please refer Supplier’s Master Schedule for build details (MQS/APQP/F 021)

1010. Drawing and Specifications


The Drawing and Specifications Element refers to all engineering drawings, CAD data, material specifications and engineering specifications.


The Programme Need Dates must be communicated to the customer.

Note: the Drawing and Specifications Programme Need Date is the last possible date the supplier can accept a design change and support PSW (Part Submission Warrant) delivery at the Material Required Date.

PPRF/PR drawings are applicable for protobuilds.

Change cutoff for final drawing release should take place before

Pre-launch build.

Drawings and specifications must include

Engineering specification tests

Product Validation Test requirements

The Product Development / Manufacturing Engineering personnel who will be assessing drawings and specifications to meet Programme Affordable Cost and Quality requirements are identified.

The drawing information and engineering specifications will be used as a prerequisite to the Prototype Build Control Plan.

Lead Responsibility

Product Development

Support functions

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing Plants


Initiate Gateway

Finalize Gateway





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