What is PPAP and How to Perform it Effectively

Why is PPAP important? Learn exactly how PPAP works and why it is important for your product to receive "Part Approval" before it can leave your factory.

managers approving production parts

Published 17 Aug 2022

What is PPAP?

PPAP, which stands for Production Part Approval Process, is a process that manufacturers follow to ensure that the parts they produce are according to customer specifications and of the highest quality. PPAP allows suppliers to provide evidence of their processes in place that ensure their ability to produce parts that consistently meet customer specifications.

Essential in automotive and aerospace industries, manufacturers must accomplish seven documents for PPAP:

It is essential to have a good understanding of PPAP and how to perform it to help ensure smooth production and timely delivery of your products.

Purpose

The purpose of PPAP is to make sure that parts are manufactured according to the customer’s specifications and that they meet the customer’s requirements. PPAP also helps to ensure that suppliers are capable of producing quality parts consistently and be able to make adjustments to the product as needed by the customer.

If you’re looking to produce a product that meets customer specifications, you’ll need to implement PPAP into your quality management system. To do this, you’ll need to create product and process specifications, establish inspection and test plans, and develop a system for tracking and reconciling customer approvals.

How is it Connected with Six Sigma and Quality Management?

PPAP is often used in conjunction with Six Sigma and Quality Management Systems (QMS), as it provides a way to ensure that parts meet the highest possible standards. It has both the essence of a quality management process as well as the six sigma in a way that it is used to ensure that products are manufactured to the customer’s specifications.

The process begins with the customer providing the manufacturer with product specifications, which the manufacturer then uses to produce the part. The part is then submitted to the customer for approval, after which the manufacturer can begin shipping the product.

What is the Difference Between PPAP and APQP?

There may be some confusion about the difference between PPAP and Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP). While they are both quality management processes, they serve different purposes.

The purpose of PPAP is to provide documentary evidence that the supplier’s production process can consistently deliver parts that meet the customer’s requirements. In order to provide this evidence, the supplier must submit a PPAP package, which includes a completed PPAP submission form, product samples, quality records, and a process flowchart.

Meanwhile, the purpose of APQP is to plan for and identify potential quality problems before they occur. In order to do this, the supplier must complete an APQP worksheet, which includes a product description, process flowchart, and risk assessment. The supplier must also create a control plan, which outlines the steps they will take to ensure that product quality is maintained.

Benefits

Some of the benefits of PPAP include:

  • Improves product quality
  • Reduces manufacturing costs
  • Increases customer satisfaction
  • Makes it easy to detect issues or defects during early production
  • Lessens manufacturing time
  • Provides integrity to the company

PPAP is an essential step in the manufacturing process, and it’s critical that manufacturers comply with its requirements in order to ensure their products meet customer expectations.

How is it Performed?

The process begins with the supplier submitting a sample part to the customer, who then tests it and approves it, or requests changes. Once the part has been approved, the supplier sends a final production quantity to the customer, who again tests it and either approves or rejects it.

PPAP is performed in three stages: planning, production, and post-production.

  • In the planning stage, the supplier and customer work together to create a PPAP submission that includes a part description, manufacturing process details, and quality control plans.
  • In the production stage, the supplier manufactures the parts according to the customer’s requirements and sends them to the customer for approval.
  • In the post-production stage, the customer verifies that the parts were manufactured correctly and approves them for shipment.

What is a PPAP Checklist?

Now that you understand the basics of PPAP, it’s time to learn about the checklist. A PPAP checklist is a document that contains a list of all the information and documentation that’s needed to approve a production part.

It includes important details like the part number, manufacturing process, specifications, and test results. Having this information all in one place makes it easier for suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that parts meet all the necessary requirements.

What are the 18 Elements of a PPAP?

The process has 18 elements which are all important in ensuring the quality of a product. The 18 key elements of PPAP include:

1. Design Documentation

Design documentation is an integral part of the production process. It features each part of the product that must be ballooned to coincide with inspection results.

This ensures that the product will meet all the requirements of the market, enabling the company to sell it and take advantage of the market.

2. Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (DFMEA)

DFMEA is a process that helps identify possible failure modes and their effects on the product or system during the design process. This information helps the design team to reduce or prevent any cause of failure.

3. Process Flow Diagram

A process flow diagram or process pap is a graphical representation of a process. It serves as a tool to facilitate communication and understanding of the process. It contains steps of the processing part to ensure that it has gone through the right process.

4. Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA)

PFMEA is a method of identifying and analyzing potential hazards during the production process by identifying the preventive actions that can be taken to prevent these failures.

5. Control Plan

Similar to PFMEA, the control plan provides detailed information about a project such as how possible issues are tested during the assembly process and end process.

6. Measurement System Analysis

Measurement system analysis is a technique used to measure the variability of a process. The analysis will provide you with the mean and standard deviation to help you understand your process.

7. Sample Production Parts

A sample production parts document provides images of the parts included in the product and where it is stored.

8. Master Sample

Master samples are used to train the production team about subjective inspections. It is then signed by the customer or supplier.

9. Checking Aids

The production uses checking aids to inspect, test, and measure parts during assembly. These aids list the part, describe the tool, and provide the calibration schedule for the tool.

10. Customer Specific Requirements

This section of the PPAP requirements is where customers can list their specific requirements for the PPAP. This allows PPAP to be tailored to the customer’s individual needs and expectations.

11. Dimensional Layout Results

A dimensional layout result is a list that includes the specification of the product, its characteristics, and measurement results. It also provides an assessment that shows if the dimension “passed” or “failed.” It usually has a minimum of 6 pieces of report per product.

12. Records of Material or Performance Tests

All tests that have been performed on the part shall be documented in this summary, including any pass or fail inspection results. This summary shall be signed off by the customer and the supplier to certify that all required tests have been completed and that any additional data for the tests have been submitted.

13. Initial Process Studies

Initial Process Studies (IPS) is a method for studying the efficiency of a product or service. A company can choose to conduct an “Initial Process Study” (IPS) by gathering data about the initial usage of a new product or service. This report will help a company understand how their product is performing.

14. Qualified Laboratory Documentation

Qualified laboratory documentation includes certification from any labs involved in validation testing. This certification verifies that the labs meet industry standards and requirements.

15. Appearance Approval Report

The appearance approval report confirms that the customer has examined the final product and it satisfies all the necessary appearance specifications for the design. The report encompasses color, textures, fit (gaps between parts), etc.

16. Engineering Change Documentation

The purpose of Engineering Change Documentation (ECD) is to provide a record of all engineering changes performed, including the supporting rationale and the history of the change.

17. Customer Engineering Approval

Customer engineering approval is a way to give products to customers in order that they can help determine the product’s development, in order to provide a better and more effective product.

18. Part Submission Warrant Form

The Part Submission Warrant (PSW) contains a summary of the entire PPAP Package. Unless the customer has stated, it is necessary for each part number to be included.

Shella Marie Ang

SafetyCulture staff writer

Shella Marie Ang

Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.

Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.