What is the PPAP?
Colloquially speaking, the PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) should be understood as the set of ‘tests’ (studies, forms, checklist, samples, certificates…etc.) that show compliance with all the requirements imposed by the client (design, materials, dimensions, functionality, appearance…etc.) in addition to all regulatory (UNE, ISO, IATF…etc.) and government (emissions, recycling…etc.) requirements that may apply.
Actually, no definition of PPAP can be given. It is preferable to understand the purpose and application of the tool so that the whole is more intuitive.
Purpose of the PPAP
The Production Part Approval Process defines the general requirements for the approval of production parts, including production materials and raw materials.
Where to perform a PPAP?
The PPAP must apply to both internal and external locations or locations of organizations that supply parts for production, for services, raw materials, or bulk materials (in the case of bulk materials, the PPAP is different. Consult the PPAP Manual). These organizations must comply with the PPAP unless this is formally denied by the authorized customer representative.
For Tire and Bulk/Bulk Material manufacturers, the PPAP requirements contain some quirks. Volume/Bulk material is understood as substances (eg, some non-dimensional solid, liquid or gas) such as adhesives, sealants, chemicals, coatings, fabrics, lubricants, etc.
It is important to emphasize that the organization must obtain the approval of the authorized representative of the client to:
- A new part or product. For example, a specific part, material or color not previously supplied to any particular customer.
- The correction of a discrepancy in a piece previously issued.
- A product modified by an engineering change with respect to design records, specifications, or materials.
- Any other situation that is reflected in section 4 of this module (Requirements for notifications and issuances to clients).
In general, any change in what was previously approved with the client or their authorized representative must be notified to them and cannot be implemented until their approval is received.
The PPAP is a manual that is responsible for establishing the approval process for the parts that will be used in production, that is, it defines the methodology that will be followed to verify if the parts meet certain minimum quality requirements.
Structure of PPAP
The PPAP process is made up of 18 elements that may be required for the approval of parts in the production area. Depending on the case, not all items may be required for each approval process. Additionally, there are also five levels of submission of the approval process for generally accepted production parts.
The PPAP manual must have precise information, guidelines and supported documentation of the samples that were used in the process. The PPAP submission provides assurance that the final product has met or exceeds the necessary requirements and that the procedure used is capable of effectively reproducing quality parts.
Why go through the approval process for production parts?
The approval process for production parts is responsible for making sure the supplier understands all the quality requirements and specifications that the parts must meet for the customer, and that at all times the parts must be held to those standards.
When should the (PPAP) be performed?
It is necessary to prepare a PPAP to present a new part or in the case of a change in an existing process or part that needs approval. The client may request an approval process for production parts at any time to ensure that everything goes according to plan. Therefore, the supplier must always have a continuous quality system.
The PPAP process consists of a collection of key elements that must be achieved in order to verify that the production process will result in a quality product.
- Design Documentation: A copy of the design chart.
- Modification documentation: Document that describes the original design and all the changes that have been made and authorized.
- Customer engineering approval: It is the validation of the customer before the tests carried out in their facilities, which is carried out before the PPAP .
- Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis DFMEA: Document that contains technical specifications of the possible errors found. It must be signed by the client and the provider.
- Process flow diagram: Contains all the procedures that were followed to manufacture the product.
Production Failure Mode and Analysis Process (PFMEA):
- According to the diagram from the previous step, this document indicates what problems could arise in manufacturing.
- Control Plan: Provides information on potential problems, how they are reviewed in quality procedures.
- Analysis of Measurement Systems SAM: Normally it has the R&R study of the critical characteristics, and a proof that the indicators used to measure these characteristics are calibrated.
- Dimensional Results: Describes the specifications at the dimensional level of the product, that is, all its measurements.
- Material records / Performance tests: Document that contains the history of all the tests carried out and the results obtained by dates and individually. This summary is usually in the form of a DVP&R.
- Initial Process Studies: This part teaches all statistical process control charts that affect the most critical characteristics. The purpose is to demonstrate that critical processes have stability.
Qualified laboratory documentation:
- Copies of the documentation provided by the laboratory that issued all the certifications.
- Appearance Approval Report: A copy of the AAI (Appearance Inspection Approval).
- Production Part Samples: A sample of the original or first batch part or piece. The customer must keep one.
- Master Sample: A part used for comparison purposes at the factory to determine the accuracy of its replicas. It must be signed by the client and supplier.
- Control aids: When specialized tools are available to verify parts, the samples in this section are images of the tool and the calibration records, including the dimensional report of the same.
- Client Specific Requirements: Clients may have different requirements to be included in the PPAP. It is advisable to ask the client about the expectations of the PPAP before starting work.
- Order of Submission of Parties (PSW): Form that fully summarizes the PPAP. This form shows the reason for the presentation (project change, annual revalidation, etc.). If there is any type of deviation, the provider must note in the authorization or inform that the PPAP cannot be submitted.