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Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)

Obtain full approval for the production and shipping of components. Use Lumiform's mobile app to make sure you use the correct PPAP Documentation Checklist.

What is a PPAP Checklist?

The Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) is an 18-step structured sampling process for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers. The purpose of PPAP is for OEMs and suppliers to demonstrate an understanding of customer specifications and to produce products that consistently meet all requirements and specifications in volume production at the production rate. Customers review the documents and determine the status for release of the production part: fully approved, interim approved, or rejected.

Quality managers use the template for sampling to easily identify mismatched process flows, FMEAs and control plans. They also use its support to ensure the complete, accurate and timely submission of PPAP documents such as design records, Appearance Approval Report (AAR) and Initial Sample Inspection Report (ISIR) to obtain full approval for production and shipment of components.

This article deals with the following areas:

1. Frequent errors that show up in the PPAP Documetation

2. Actions taken after knowing the PPAP status

3. A mobile checklist app for a successful PPAP checklist

Common errors that show up in the initial sample inspection report

Due to the methodical and comprehensive nature of the production part approval process, quality managers often overlook some customer-specific requirements. When PPAPs are rejected, OEMs and suppliers inevitably waste time and resources to implement corrections for resubmission.

Here are 3 common mistakes that occur when creating an initial sample inspection report according to VDA template and how you can avoid them:

  1. Unreadable work instructions
    If work instructions are dirty or worn out, the risk of employees making mistakes increases.
  2. Inadequate employee training
    If employees are not comprehensively trained in new work processes, errors are often pre-programmed.
  3. Change in the work process
    Especially when employees are already very routine, changes in the work process are quickly overlooked.
  4. Use of wrong parts and tools
    If the wrong parts or tools are used in production, this usually leads to a significant product and quality shortage.
  5. Omission of operations
    As soon as individual work steps are not carried out, the planned product quality can no longer be reliably achieved.
  6. Wrong insertion of workpieces
    Often, it is due to poor incorporation that workpieces are not correctly inserted or clamped during a work cycle.
  7. Machining of incorrect workpieces
    If an incorrect workpiece is processed due to ignorance, the product quality can no longer be guaranteed.
  8. Insufficient documentation
    When manually filling out logs and work reports, it is easy to make mistakes: Entries are forgotten, for example, or deliberately “glossed over”.
  9. Setting and measurement errors
    Incorrect settings as well as measurement errors in the work process can (unnoticed) affect the processing of the components.
  10. Inefficient communication
    Quality managers need to work closely with the PPAP evaluator on the customer side to deliver exactly what customers are looking for, especially if there are technical changes and the basic sample needs to be approved by both sides.

Understand PPAP status and take further steps

The PPAP checklist review by a PPAP evaluator can take some time, but quality managers can use the time to create templates and adjust some operating parameters. After receiving PPAP status, OEMs or suppliers should do the following:

  1. Fully approved
    Because the component and its PPAP documents have proven that the manufacturing process enables consistent, compliant production, the components can now be shipped to the customer as scheduled. OEMs and suppliers avoid costly production delays when they use the PPAP checklist to meet or exceed customer expectations.
  2. Preliminary Approval
    If customers see a deviation in any of the PPAP documents, the quality manager should take containment action. Even if the OEM or supplier is only allowed to supply for a certain period of time and/or a limited number of parts, corrective actions should be implemented and reflected in the resubmission of the PPAP checklist to obtain full approval within 90 days.
  3. Rejected
    If the part does not meet the customer specific requirements or if the PPAP has discrepancies in the documentation, the OEM or supplier is not authorized to ship the rejected product. Quality managers should utilize a corrective action form to take actions based on what the customer has determined to be the reason for rejection and revise the PPAP documentation accordingly before resubmission.

Use a digital template for the initial sample inspection report

Proper PPAP documentation is critical for full product approval. However, managing paper-based PPAP documents can be tedious and costly. Using digital PPAP checklists from Lumiform, the quality and safety inspection mobile app helps ensure accurate and timely submission of PPAP documents. This is to achieve full approval for on-time production and shipment of components.

With Lumiform, manufacturers and suppliers benefit from:

  • Lumiform offers over 12,000 templates for a fast and secure digital start.
  • Get real-time data on internal processes. This makes quality and safety in production measurable. Based on the collected data, processes can be continuously optimized.
  • All reports are automatically generated, stored online, and can be shared immediately with team members and customers.
  • Extensive analytics help uncover inefficient areas in production faster, enabling continuous improvement of work and inspection processes.

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