Complex supply chains and products can lead to many failures, especially when new products are launched. Advanced Product Quality Planning Engineer (APQP), a structured process, is designed to ensure customer satisfaction with new products and processes.

APQP has been around for decades, in many forms and uses. Originally known as Advanced Quality Planning (AQP), APQP has been used by progressive businesses to ensure quality and performance through planning. Ford Motor Company released the first Advanced Quality Planning Handbook for Suppliers in the 1980s. APQP was a tool that helped Ford suppliers to develop the appropriate detection and prevention controls for new products in support of their corporate quality efforts. The APQP was created by North American Automotive OEMs using lessons from Ford AQP. It was updated in 2008 after being updated again. APQP is designed to consolidate all the planning activities that all OEMs need into one process. Suppliers use APQP for new products and processes that are validated and improved upon.

APQP describes many techniques and tools. Every tool can be of great value if used at the right time. The Core Tools are the tools that have the greatest impact on product and process success. These Core Tools will be used to comply with IATF16949. Five core tools are described in separate handbooks that include Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP).

What is an Advanced Product Quality Planning Engineer (APQP)?

APQP is a method for product and process design that uses a structured approach. This framework is a standard set of quality requirements that allows suppliers to create a product that meets customer needs.

Product quality planning’s primary purpose is to promote collaboration and communication between engineering activities. The APQP process uses a Cross Functional Team (CFT) that includes marketing, product design, and procurement. APQP ensures that the Voice of Customer (VOC) is understood and translated into specifications, requirements, special characteristics, and technical specifications. Through prevention, the product or process benefits can be designed.

APQP encourages the identification of changes early, both planned and unintentional. These changes can lead to exciting new innovations that support customer delight. If they are not managed properly, they can lead to customer dissatisfaction and failure. APQP’s focus is on the use of tools and methods to mitigate the risks associated with changes in the product or process.