APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning)
APQP describes the foresighted quality planning for a structured development process – from drafting of specifications to the start of production. APQP was developed in the 1980’s by the companies Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, and is defined in the AIAG’s (Automotive Industry Action Group) APQP Manual. The five major steps are:
- planning phase
- product design and development
- process design and development
- product and process evaluation
- production/component/process approval
This sequence is supported by the application of standardized methods (measurement system analysis, statistic process control, FMEA et al.). The aim is to ensure that all required process steps are completed on time and that the product satisfies the customers. This is implemented by using a continuous project management for product planning and quality planning and for all phases of the development process. APQP thus expresses that quality is mainly set in the definition and development of a product, rather than later in the serial production.
For the certification as per ISO/TS 16949 a sequence in accordance with APQP is mandatory.