PPAP Explained: 2021 Guide

01 Jun 2021 by Jimmy Nguyen
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What is Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)?

PPAP (pronounced P-PAP) is a design & manufacturing inspection process used to verify a supplier's ability to reliably and repeatedly produce a part or set of parts for mass production.

PPAP validates a production process by inspecting parts before, during, and after a production run.

The PPAP report reviews 18 requirements such as design records, authorized engineering changes, engineering approval, dimensional results, control plan, and more.

PPAP is part of the five Core Tools for effective quality management with APQP, FMEA, MSA, and SPC being the other core tools.

Purpose of PPAP Summary:

  1. Validating supplier’s ability.
  2. Understanding customer requirements.
  3. Establishing a reliable and repeatable process & agreement.
  4. Reducing cost and having faster time to market.
  5. Maintaining expectations & compliance on both sides.

Why is PPAP important?

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PPAP is important for three things:

  1. For customers (the OEM) to validate the supplier’s process to supply the product at the required quality and quantity under normal production conditions.
  2. For suppliers to understand the customer’s product requirements and specs.
  3. For both customer and supplier to have agreed-to and documented expectations.

The manufacturing industry is highly competitive. Reducing cost, increasing faster time to market, and maintaining or improving quality are three tenets of any successful company.

Getting quality parts done right and taking corrective action earlier in the lifecycle saves significantly more time and money when compared to rework, scrap, and the dreaded recall.

Every OEMs goal is to have a reliable and repeatable process, and PPAP enforces that standard.

Common problems PPAP detects:

  1. Wrong or poor production process (e.g. equipment).
  2. Incorrect or ambiguous product design.
  3. Wrong or inconsistent quality of material.
  4. Inconsistent quality control.

Who does the PPAP and when is It required?

In general, suppliers or the production team create the PPAP report for the customer to review. The process is usually done in close cooperation with the OEM’s quality team.

PPAP is typically required for the production of new parts or when there is a change to the product or process:

  1. A new part or product.  
  2. Product changes/corrections: design, materials, supply, and function.
  3. Process changes/corrections: method, tools, location, and inspection criteria.
  4. Inactive tooling for more than one year.

What’s in a PPAP Document

The PPAP report reviews 18 requirements called elements.

PPAP 18 Elements:

  1. Design Records: A copy of the drawing or model provided by customer.
  2. Engineering Change Documents: Detailed description of changes of parts from previous revisions called Engineering Change Notice.
  3. Customer Engineering Approval: Customer approval of sample production parts.
  4. Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (DFMEA): Prediction of a product's potential design failure.
  5. Process Flow Diagrams: All steps in manufacturing process including components, measurement, and inspection.
  6. Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA): Prediction of a potential process failure that could occur during production.
  7. Control Plan: Details the plan for how quality will be implemented to ensure a stable and reliable process.
  8. Measurement System Analysis (MSA): Conformance to customer’s ISO or TS standard. Usually Gage R&R for critical impact characteristics to control repeatability and reproducibility and confirmation that gages are calibrated to measure these characteristics to control measurement bias.
  9. Dimensional Results: A list of every dimension noted on the ballooned drawing or model with pass/fail assessment.
  10. Material / Performance Test Results: Summary of every test performed on the part, usually in the form of DVP&R (Design Verification Plan and Report).
  11. Initial Process Studies: Shows that critical processes are reliable. Includes SPC (statistical process control) charts.
  12. Qualified Laboratory Documentation: All industry certifications for validation testing.
  13. Appearance Approval Report (AAR): Customer approval on final product appearance including color, texture, fit, and more.
  14. Sample Product: Sample from initial production run.
  15. Master Sample: Sample part signed off by customer and supplier.
  16. Checking Aids: Detailed list of all tools used to inspect and measure parts.
  17. Records of Compliance with Customer-Specific Requirements: List of customer’s specific requirements for PPAP process.
  18. Part Submission Warrant (PSW): Summary of entire PPAP submission.

The PPAP report has 5 levels of submissions with Level 3 as the default level of PPAP submission approval.

PPAP 5 Levels of Submission:

  • 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. 

PPAP Retention and Submission Requirements Table
Requirements Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
1. Design Record R S S * R
  - for proprietary components/details

R

R R * R
  - for all other components/details R S S * R
2. Engineering Change Documents R S S * R
3. Customer Engineering Approval R R S * R
4. Design FMEA R R S * R
5. Process Flow Diagrams R R S * R
6. Process FMEA R R S * R
7. Control Plan R R S * R
8. Measurement System Analysis  R R S * R
9. Dimensional Results R S S * R
10. Material, Performance Test Results R S S * R
11. Initial Process Studies R R S * R
12. Qualified Laboratory Documentation R S S * R
13. Appearance Approval Report S S S * R
14. Sample Report R S S * R
15. Master Sample R R R * R
16. Checking Aids R R R * R
17. Records of Compliance w/ Customer-Specific Requirements R R S * R
18. Part Submission Warrant (PSW) | Bulk Material Checklist S S S * R

S = Organization must submit to the customer and retain a copy of records or documentation items at appropriate locations.

R = Organization must retain at appropriate locations and make available to the customer upon request.


* = Organization must retain at appropriate location and submit to customer upon request.

Who Governs PPAP Standards?

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The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has a common  PPAP standard, although individual OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) can have their own distinct requirements.

AIAG memberships includes Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Caterpillar, and over 800 OEMs, parts manufacturers, and service providers.

Although primarily used in the automotive industry, other industries such as aerospace & defense, consumer goods, heavy industries, medical, electronics and more have been quick to adopt PPAP or a derivative of it.

The PPAP manual is currently in its 4th edition (Publication date: March 2006).

Digitizing the PPAP process: Automatic ballooning & measurement results

PPAP isn't easy.

Especially with creating PPAP reports manually.

With a model-based definition (MBD) PPAP creation time can drastically be reduced through automatic ballooning and measurement results.

MBD Benefits

MBD is a growing industry practice of having the 3D CAD model be the “single source of truth.”

This means the CAD model along with semantic product and manufacturing information (PMI) can drive the PPAP report, GD&T, bill of materials, notes, engineering change orders etc. for an improved method of inspection generation and other manual processes that can be automated.

The power of MBD-based PPAP is the human and machine readability factor. With 2D drawings, data is for human consumption which presents two major problems: reliance on human process & interpretation and data that is underutilized.


mbd FAI

Learn more about MBD PPAP Download: MBD-Based Inspection Reporting PDF


For example, if a large company with multiple suppliers receives the same drawing, most likely, the company will get back 5 different PPAP documents with different GD&T interpretations from the suppliers.

Not the headache we want to deal with.

MBD-based PPAP coming from the company first establishes the specification of the process and product more explicitly which ensures uniformity between different suppliers.

Also, quality and inspection teams are often viewed as pass/fail departments, yet they have valuable data that can help improve business products and problems.

MBD introduces data back into the ecosystem for improved designs, improved parts, and improved operations done quicker, cheaper, and more efficiently.

MBD PPAP Benefits:

  1. Automated: No need for human transcription or interpretation.
  2. Build and optimize a reliable and repeatable process.
  3. Data mapped back to the single source of truth.
  4. Start of the digital transformation from design to manufacturing.
  5. Valuable data to mined for analytics and business insights.

MBDVidia: Auto-generate PPAP Reports

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How MBDVidia for PPAP works

  1. Load a full annotated MBD model.
  2. Generate Bill of Characteristics: automatic ballooning and data sorted into organized BoC.
  3. Export Smart Excel report: Linked to MBD, AS9102 and ISIR, and customizable Excel forms and templates.
  4. Import Smart Excel report data to MBD model: see Excel data on model with results traceable to authority MBD dataset.

mbdvidia-logo

MBDVidia: Automatic BoC generation for PPAP, FAI, and other inspection reports.

Learn More: MBDVidia


 

Need more information about automatic PPAP BoC generation?

Contact Us

Contact us and we'll glad to help answer questions PPAP, FAI, or inspection programs.


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