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Kenneth Crow DRM Associates From: http://www.npd-solutions.com/apqp.html Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a quality framework used for developing newproducts in the automotive industry. It can be applied to any industry and is similar in many respects to the concept of design for six sigma (DFSS). The APQP process is described in AIAG manual810-358-3003. Its purpose is "to produce a product quality plan which will support development of a product or service that will satisfy the customer." It does this by focusing on: Up-front quality planningEvaluating the output to determine if customers are satisfied & support continual improvement The Advanced Product Quality Planning process consists of four phases and five major activities along withongoing feedback assessment and corrective action as shown below.

A further indication of the APQP process is to examine the process outputs by phase. This is shown in the table below:

The APQPprocess involves these major elements: Understand customer needs . This is done using voice of the customer techniques to determine customer needs and using quality function deployment to organizethose needs and translate them into product characteristics/requirements. Proactive feedback & corrective action. The advance quality planning process provides feedback from other similar projects withthe objective of developing counter-measures on the current project. Other mechanisms with verification and validation, design reviews, analysis of customer feedback and warranty data also satisfythis objective. Design within process capabilities. This objective assumes that the company has brought processes under statistical control, has determined its process capability and has communicated itprocess capability to its development personnel. Once this is done, development personnel need to formally determine that critical or special characteristics are within the enterprise's process...
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