What do NASA and Hutchinson Engineering have in common?
14 Aug 2017
Are you familiar with PPAP? Production Part Approval Process, its roots trace back to the NASA Apollo space programme of the 1960’s, where elements of the PPAP process such as Design FMEA, Process FMEAs, MSA/SPC were implemented to ensure product quality on the Apollo Rockets.
The American automotive industry then adopted PPAP as a way to streamline and improve its supply chain. The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) developed the system with some input from General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler.
We are now starting to see a variety of sectors adopting PPAP as a method of certifying a mutual understanding for the performance of parts between component suppliers and purchasers.
At Hutchinson Engineering we realise that the ability to provide quality components to our customers is of number one importance. We constantly strive to keep raising our own standards, and PPAP is helping us achieve this.
PPAP was initially pushed in the mass production industry by the American big three ( Ford, GM, FCA) but is now being used worldwide not only in the Automotive Industry but also other industries like Aerospace, electronics and heavy engineering.
What is the PPAP?
The Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) is a standardised process, traditionally associated with the automotive and aerospace industries, that helps manufacturers and suppliers communicate and approve production designs and processes before, during, and after manufacture.
PPAP aims to provide a clearer understanding of the requirements of manufacturers and suppliers. The ultimate goal of PPAP is to provide consistency during production runs.
Why use PPAP?
Why do we use a production approval process? Because of the potential consequences of a faulty production process.
For example, in the aerospace industry, a small flaw in a single part could potentially cause an engine to fail. It is the potential risk that has inspired a need for a stringent approval process to produce parts within these industries.
PPAP ensures suppliers can provide the requested number of parts within an agreed lead time for a specified price while meeting the manufacturer’s tolerances.
How does Hutchinson Engineering use PPAP?
Our quality team has vast experience of using various quality management tools such as PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) and APQP (Advanced product Quality Planning Process) from prototype sample parts through to full production parts to ensure our customers quality and delivery requirements are delivered on every new project.
We have used this quality management methodology on a number of customer projects in the power generation, public transport and off road vehicle markets, as well as the traditional Aerospace and Automotive sectors. By implementing PPAP processes used in the Automotive Industry this helps to ensure Right First Time methods are applied to all NPI customer Projects.
PPAP is part of the APQP process ( Advanced Product Quality Planning) with APQP being the industry project management process which is used to manage a new product from Kick off to Job 1 MRD. Both APQP and PPAP have developed to ensure that the industry has now a defined set of documents and processes used in the PPAP process therefore ensuring a high level of standardisation and project robustness.
Integrating PPAP into our QMS ensures that Hutchinson Engineering:
- Maintain design integrity
- Identify issues early and resolve them
- Prevent loss of parts, materials, and time from poor-quality parts
- Prevent use of unapproved parts, reducing risk of faults
- Improve overall product quality and customer satisfaction- Right first time
In Summary a PPAP is an ideal way to ensure that the customer receives the parts they have paid for, with consistent quality.
PPAP enables Hutchinson Engineering to prove that our manufacturing process has the potential to manufacture parts to specification short term and long term by parts sampling and process capability studies.
If you would like to find out more about PPAP and Hutchinson Engineering, please contact us on 028 29540302 or email us.