Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) Audit

The Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) is an automotive industry standard that improves communication around product development and production, to drive down nonconformances and delays.

A supplier embarks on the lengthy and detailed PPAP process to demonstrate to the customer that they can manufacture and meet the customer’s product specifications using their established and approved manufacturing process according to specification at the agreed-upon rate of production. The PPAP submission calls for developing extensive documentation, including design records, FMEA, a control plan, and a checklist of other requirements.

Pro QC PPAP Programs

To meet this challenge, Pro QC International works with our clients to set up global PPAP programs to audit and validate their supplier’s PPAP documents. As an audit provider serving clients in over 88 countries, Pro QC brings the core values of excellence, trustworthiness, and passion to our automotive clients.

The PPAP framework proves that advanced quality planning has been completed. Such planning is critical for any industry. If required, our in-house automotive and PPAP experts can devise an advanced quality planning approach specific to each company’s needs.

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PPAP and IATF 16949

IATF 16949 is the international standard for automotive quality management systems. Its goal is to meet customer requirements efficiently and effectively. Meeting the requirements of the standard indicates a supplier has developed a quality management system that will improve process effectiveness, satisfy customers, continuously improve, prevent defects, reduce variation and waste, and effectively contract to supply. Thus, being certified against the standard is very valuable to a supplier.

To meet the certification requirements of IATF 16949, a supplier must demonstrate a robust PAPP system. Demonstrating a robust Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) system is also essential. Pro QC’s PPAP consulting services are a vital tool to bring a client’s process into compliance and get certified. As a PPAP audit company, Pro QC will evaluate the readiness of a supplier’s quality management system for IATF 16949 certification.

Pro QC audits and validates the individual PPAP submission of a client’s supplier, whether the supplier is an existing or potential partner. This is Pro QC’s primary service in the area of PPAP. Following a checklist that examines each of the 18 elements of the submission, the auditor provides a report presenting objective evidence of fulfillment or non-fulfillment of customer requirements.

When is PPAP required?

A PPAP submission is required whenever a customer requests it. The customer may request it at any time. It is considered mandatory in modern automotive production. The following circumstances are examples where a PPAP submission is required, and they illustrate its value:

For new part development – In this instance, most or all 18 elements of the PPAP submission will apply.

When engineering changes have to be made – Engineering change documents and Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA) will be especially important in minimizing risk.

Lack of compatibility with previous submission and need for correction – Full documentation of corrections (and measurement of drift) allows for tracing any corrections and errors to their design inputs and preventing the issue when the next submission occurs.

When design or process changes have to be made – The PPAP addresses how to properly approve these changes before the next level assembly/process.

When there is a new supplier – The PPAP is essential in putting parts through the same standardized approval process regardless of supplier.

Production starting at a new location – Specification for service activities which can include service plans, service programs, maintenance plans, checklists, protocols, and training/competence requirements

A supplier must have a quality system in place that is capable of assembling all the elements of a PPAP without undue delay or missing elements.

Pro QC’s PPAP Audit Approach and Checklist

A PPAP submission is highly detailed and highly customized to the particulars of the part. Each PPAP submission is unique and results from a negotiation between supplier and customer. The end result is to satisfy each element of the submission at the specified level.

Most auto manufacturers procure parts globally and must manage multiple PPAP projects at once. Pro QC’s PPAP audit services cut through the complexity of this process to achieve a durable transformation of the supply chain.

Our auditor will provide an on-site gap analysis of the PPAP process. We examine the 18 elements of the PPAP and identify nonconformances. According to findings from the gap analysis, we help the factory gain compliance with PPAP and implement sustainable changes.

Pro QC’s PPAP consulting services include:

Individual PPAP review and approval. This includes an on-site gap analysis of the supplier’s PPAP process.

A system-wide service to consistently meet the PPAP requirements and implement sustainable changes.

Pro QC’s auditors will conduct a full PPAP assessment and examine each of the 18 elements of the PPAP that apply. We cover each level of submission, from 1 to 5.

As part of a PPAP submission audit, Pro QC will evaluate each element for completeness and accuracy. The 18 elements of a PPAP submission are:

  1. Design Records
  2. Engineering Change Documents
  3. Customer Engineering Approval
  4. Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (DFMEA)
  5. Process Flow Diagrams
  6. Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA)
  7. Control Plan
  8. Measurement System Analysis (MSA)
  9. Dimensional Results
  10. Material / Performance Test Results
  11. Initial Process Studies
  12. Qualified Laboratory Documentation
  13. Appearance Approval Report (AAR)
  14. Sample Product
  15. Master Sample
  16. Checking Aids
  17. Records of Compliance with Customer-Specific Requirements
  18. Part Submission Warrant (PSW)

The elements required vary depending on the level of the submission. Level 3 is the default. Pro QC’s auditors will verify the level is appropriate and that the elements correspond to the level. The PPAP’s 5 levels are:

1

Level 1:    Part Submission Warrant (PSW) only submitted to the customer.


2

Level 2:    PSW with product samples and limited supporting data.


3

Level 3:    PSW with product samples and complete supporting data.


4

Level 4:    PSW and other requirements as defined by the customer.


5

Level 5:    PSW with product samples and complete supporting data available for review at the supplier’s manufacturing location.


Level 1:    Part Submission Warrant (PSW) only submitted to the customer.

Level 2:    PSW with product samples and limited supporting data.

Level 3:    PSW with product samples and complete supporting data.

Level 4:    PSW and other requirements as defined by the customer.

Level 5:    PSW with product samples and complete supporting data available for review at the supplier’s manufacturing location.

Pro QC’s PPAP Audit Outcomes

Pro QC’s PPAP audit report will begin with a clear statement of scope: verifying that the supplier has fulfilled all customer specifications and engineering requirements and can successfully manufacture the part.

Next, the report presents a risk level score for each of the 18 applicable PPAP elements based on the audit findings. The report highlights an overall risk level (i.e., low, medium, or high) along with a risk statement.

An audit summary concisely states the areas examined (factory floor audits, interviews, records) and strengths worth mentioning.

The report then highlights recommended corrective actions.

Next in the report, you will find the results of a detailed checklist and questionnaire where each PPAP element is inspected. Findings are detailed in plain language, along with references to photos and records to assist in corrective action. Along with each finding is a score indicating compliance, noncompliance, or improvement needed.

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