For manufacturers serving the car or aerospace industries, the PPAP approval process is an accepted part of life. However, saying this does not make PPAP approval any less frustrating, or reduce the risk of delays while new parts are approved. Hold-ups during the inspection process are bad for your business and bad for your customers, increasing your expenses and leading to missed production targets.
This article explains what the PPAP approval process is, how it can be streamlined, and why it doesn’t have to be such a headache.
What PPAP Approval Is And When You Might Need It
PPAP is an acronym for the Production Part Approval Process, an international manufacturing standard that was set up with the best intentions in the world – to ensure high-quality components and enable manufacturers and suppliers to speak the same language. It sets out standardised design principles, manufacturing processes and quality checks that make possible the trust relationships that most manufacturers and suppliers have with their partners. It facilitates international trade and sets out a commonly understood approval process for all new automotive or aerospace components.
PPAP approval only applies to new or modified parts. You won’t need to seek approval for the same component twice, unless you undertake redesign or extensive modifications. However, the necessity of PPAP approval does require a more extensive planning, design and inspection process when rolling out a new part for the first time. There are two ways you can approach PPAP approval. You can either go through the process in-house with your own team, or you can outsource the process to an inspection agency such as Status Metrology.
The in-house route is often problematic for mid-sized manufacturers, where every member of staff is carefully factored into a time/productivity equation that allows for very little elbow room. To keep production targets on track, the easiest and most cost-effective solution is often to work with an experienced and reliable inspection partner, who can jump through all the PPAP loops on your behalf. This releases your team to concentrate on routine inspection and maintaining production excellence.
A PPAP Approval Checklist
Whether or not you choose to work with a company such as us, you can quickly bring increased clarity and efficiency to the process by following a PPAP Approval Checklist. Two simple versions are given below; one for automobile and another for aerospace components - as approval is slightly different for both industries. In as little as 10 minutes, understanding this checklist can help you assess your resources and calculate whether you have the internal capacity to meet your obligations, or whether you might need some external help to avoid bottlenecks.
PPAP Approval For The Aerospace Industry.
You will need…
- Your purchase order and demand fulfilment contract.
- Technical production drawings for new parts, or change documents for modified parts.
- Engineering Approval Documents from your customer.
- Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) documents for both design and process.
- Flow diagrams outlining your process.
- Production Verification Testing (PVT) strategy.
- Details for how the manufacturing and testing process will be approved.
- Material Certification Documents.
- A Quality Control strategy.
- Approval for all raw materials.
- Approval for product appearance, packaging, labelling and transport protocols.
PPAP Approval For Automotive Parts
Much of this checklist is similar to the aerospace industry, with these additional requirements.
- Full design records (PO and demand fulfilment documentation are not necessary).
- MSA (Measurement Systems Analysis) report.
- Material performance reports.
- Process studies and analysis.
- Sample product analysis.
- Analysis of all checking aids (e.g. CMM machines).
- All approved laboratory documents (if applicable).
- Proof of compliance records.
- Part Submission Warrant (PSW) for every component.
How To Avoid Inspection Bottlenecks
Needing to get PPAP approval can easily cause inspection delays, as it inevitably involves a process of two-way negotiation, checks and approvals. This can lead to costly and frustrating production bottlenecks. Fortunately, most of these problems can be avoided with the right planning, resource management and third-party inspection partners on your side. To find out more, please download our free Inspection Guide: How to Avoid Bottlenecks. This free resource, written by our contract measurement team, explains how bottlenecks occur and what can be done to avoid them. Claim your copy today by clicking here.