APQP (Advance Product Quality Planning)

This is a complete guide to learn about APQP.

If you really want to learn detail APQP process in easy way, you will enjoy and learn in this post.

Therefore the purpose of this post is to get the concept knowledge of the APQP process.

Lets started in…

What is APQP?

APQP (Advance Product Quality Planning) methodology is developed by AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group).

Therefore it is the systematic way of tracking, defining and planning the steps.

This steps present in product and process development phase to satisfies the customer (Internal & External).

Therefore this process capture the voice of customer (VoC) to satisfies the customer. 

APQP is the automotive core tool and apply during product & process development phase.

Why are APQP so important?

Back in the days there are many challenges in automotive industry

  • Inovation
  • More complex Product
  • Reduce new product developement time
  • Complicated supply chain activity
  • Increase in customer and quality requirement

There now solution on these challenges, automotive industry adopted this APQP process.

APQP method is use to achieve similar benefits. such as

  • Avoid late changes in Product and process.
  • First time right quality product
  • Low cost
  • Reduce risk at early stage

How to Implement APQP process?

Specifically, Advance Product Quality Planning (APQP) cycle works as per PDCA methods.

Therefore the APQP process consist of Four phases and Five major activities.

Also it has 20+ supporting tools along with ongoing feedback and action plans. 

Similarly the supporting tools include DFMEA, PFMEA, CTQ, Special Characteristics, Control Plan, SPC etc…

Fundamentals of APQP

Before we go for the phases in APQP,

Its important to focus on the fundamentals require to complete the APQP process.

With that, Here is the fundamentals of APQP process that is used before start..

APQP fundamentals

The management should assign the responsible person for the APQP process. Also to form the cross functional team for effective planning.

The team should include the persons from various departments in the organization.

Such as Marketing, Engineering, Quality, Purchasing, Packaging, Customer representative etc.

Therefore for each functions like in product development need Product design team. 

And for process development need the process manufacturing experts in CFT.

However the project scope is too important initially. So that the scope includes the customer voice, roles and responsibilities and quality, cost and delivery impact.

Finally the APQP process is start with the product quality plan.

Therefore the CFT will review the product concept, past experience and milestone. So that they can make the product quality plan to satisfies the customer.

As a result the product quality planning team focus on defect prevention to meet customer expectation.

So to achieve the quality plan, it is linked with product timing plan to complete the APQP process within timeline.

Phases in APQP process

Its no secret that APQP is the key for product development

As it turns out the process is completed in phases

So here are in the diagram shows four types of phases, which undergoes the APQP process.

There are five phases of APQP

  1. Planning
  2. Product design & development
  3. Process design and development
  4. Product and Process validation
  5. Feedback assessment and corrective action

Phase #1 – Planning

The objectives of plan and define phase is To determine customer needs and To plan a Quality Program.

Therefore in this phase #1 the voice of customer should be clearly define and understood by team members.

So for each phases start with the inputs requirement.

And finally we get the output from each phase.

Lets see what are the input require in planning phase and similar output of that phase?


  • Voice of the Customer
    • Market Research
    • Historical Warranty and Quality Information
    • Team Experience
  • Business Plan/Marketing Strategy
  • Product / Process Benchmark Data
  • Product/Process Assumptions
  • Product Reliability Studies
  • Customer Inputs


  • Design Goals
  • Reliability & Quality goals
  • Preliminary Bill of Materials
  • Product Assurance Plan
  • Preliminary Process Flow Chart
  • Management Support
  • Preliminary list of Special Product and Process Characteristics

Phase #2 – Product design & development

The objectives of Product design & development phase is To develop design features and characteristics

Also critically review engineering requirements, and finally to assess potential manufacturing problems.

Therefore in this phase #2 development of design into near final form to be done.

And prototype, feasibility, volume study and manufacturing schedule to be review.

Lets see what are the input require in Product Design and Development and similar output of that phase?

Output of phase#1 is input for phase#2

Output of Product Design and Development
  • Design FMEA (DFMEA)
  • Manufacturing and Assembly Design (DFM/A)
  • Design Verification
  • Prototype Control Plan
  • Engineering Drawings CAD the Master
  • Material Specifications
  • Design Review
  • Engineering Specifications
  • Change Control for Drawings
  • New Equipment, Tooling and Facilities Requirements
  • Special Product and Process Characteristics
  • Gages / Testing Equipment Requirements
  • Team Feasibility Commitment and Gateway approval

Phase #3 – Process design and development

The objectives of Process design and development phase is To develop a comprehensive and effective manufacturing system.

Also to ensure that the manufacturing systems meets customer requirements.

Therefore in this phase #3 Develop a manufacturing system and its related control plans to achieve quality products.

Lets see what are the input require in Product Design and Development and similar output of that phase?

Output of phase#2 is input for phase#3

Output of Process design and development
  • Packaging Standards and Specifications
  • Quality System Review
  • Process Flow Chart
  • Floor Plan Layout
  • Characteristics Matrix
  • Process FMEA (PFMEA)
  • Pre-Launch Control Plan
  • Process Instructions
  • Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) Plan
  • Preliminary Process Capability Plan
  • Gateway Approval

Phase #4 – Product and Process validation

The objectives of product and process validation phase is to validate the manufacturing process.

Also to ensure that customer expectations will be met So to identify additional concerns.

Therefore in this phase #4 Validate manufacturing process through
production trial run.

So validate that the control plan and process flow chart are effective and that the product meets customer expectation

Lets see what are the input require in Product Design and Development and similar output of that phase?

Output of phase#3 is input for phase#4

So the outputs are

Output of Product and Process validation

Phase #5 – Feedback assessment and corrective action

The objectives of Feedback assessment and corrective action phase is To evaluate output of the phases.

Therefore in this phase 3 effectiveness of the product quality planning efforts is being assessed.

Lets see what are the input require in feedback assessment and corrective action and similar output of that phase?

Output of phase#4 is input for phase#5

Output of feedback assessment and corrective action phase

  • Reduced Variation
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction
  • Effective Use of Lessons Learned
  • Improved Delivery Performance

Summary of APQP (Advance Product Quality Planning)

Finally here is the quick list of summary, I’ve picked up in this APQP process…

So that you can summarize the documents and purpose of APQP.

What we do:

How we do it:

We do all the process by upfront detail quality planning.

What we get:

  • Defect Free Launches
  • Reduced Warranty Claims
  • Zero Spills
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Robust Products
  • Greater Supplier Control
  • Reduced supplier cost

Benefits of APQP (Advance Product Quality Planning)

Now its time for me to show you the benefits of the APQP process..

You will not read this before…

Finally during the development manufacturing process functions are clearly planned.

So it will validate, documented and communicate the results in:

  • Robust and reliable designs
  • Reduced process variation
  • Enhanced confidence in supplier’s capabilities
  • Better controlled process changes
  • Defect free launches
  • Improved Customer satisfaction
  • Maximum ROI
  • Improved Delivery and Service
  • Minimum Waste
  • Minimum Cost of Non-conformance

This is a complete guide to learn about APQP. If you really want to learn detail APQP process in easy way, you will enjoy and learn in this post. APQP (Advance Product Quality Planning)