Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) overview
In order to provide consistency and stability, suppliers are now required to submit a PPAP report for assessment. Although the process may be complex, features of a PPAP report are commonly outsourced, to attain consistent part data. For example, dimensional analysis are commonly outsourced to an inspection lab. This helps users maintain the integrity of the PPAP report and ensure accurate analysis.
What is PPAP?
PPAP stands for Production Part Approval Process. Initially developed by and for the automotive industry, PPAP has spread across the aerospace industry as well. The PPAP process is administered by the PPAP manual which was published by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG).
What is the purpose of a PPAP?
PPAP is used as a risk classification and qualification process which is used to determine whether a production run will produce parts with consistency and repeatability. PPAP also allows for a clear communication outlet between a customer and supplier. The purpose of a PPAP include the following:
A PPAP provides confirmation that the customer and supplier have clear understanding in regards to engineering design specifications and requirements, which can be met by the supplier.
A PPAP also validates that the manufacturing process has the potential to produce the part consistently, meeting all design requirements during production, at the quoted production rate.
PPAP process confirms that a supplier can meet the manufacturing and quality requirements of the parts being produced.
A PPAP report is required to be filled out by the following suppliers (automotive industry):
- Bulk Material: PPAP only required if requested by customer
- Production Material: PPAP required unless waived by customer
- Service Parts: PPAP required unless waived by customer
- Production Parts: PPAP always required
When is PPAP necessary?
A PPAP report is necessary when one of the following occur, subject to AIAG PPAP manual:
- New part
- Engineering changes
- Correction to discrepancy in previous submission
- Design or process change
- Change in source of subcontracted material or services
- Transfer or rearrangement of tooling & equipment
- Parts produced at a new or additional location
The main benefit that PPAP reports provide customers is that the process allows users to avoid the use or distribution of unapproved parts from the production line. A PPAP report also makes it very easy for customers to detect issues or defects early in the production process, inevitably reducing time and saving costs. Moreover, the PPAP process helps suppliers and customer relationship by maintaining and withholding the integrity or design parameters for production parts as well as assisting customers to review and handle supplier changes more effectively.
The PPAP process involves a set of instructions for setting up the approval process for production parts. In the automotive industry, there are 19 distinct elements which need to be taken into account for the approval of parts. Furthermore, depending on the PPAP submission level highlighted by the customer, the supplier must provide a part submission warrant (PSW) along with supporting data for each of the 19 elements listed. Initial Sample Inspection Report (ISIR), Sample parts, documentation and warrants are assessed, if the PPAP report is not approved, the process is repeated until all conditions are met.