Schuette Metals uses Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), an in-depth fabrication approach.

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a comprehensive and systematic approach to fabrication that focuses on identifying and mitigating potential issues throughout the entire manufacturing process. By employing APQP, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) can ensure that their parts are ready and consistently meet the required quality standards.

At the beginning of the APQP process, the project progresses to the alpha phase, which involves fabricating a test part. During this phase, several quality gates are implemented at key checkpoints to ensure the effectiveness of the overall process. These quality gates serve as milestones to validate the accuracy of the assumptions made at each stage of the fabrication process.

These quality gates aim to thoroughly examine the various aspects of the manufacturing process and confirm that they align with the defined project requirements. Each gate represents a critical point where the project team reviews and assesses the progress, ensuring that the desired quality standards and specifications are being met.

At each quality gate, specific criteria are evaluated to validate the accuracy and completeness of the fabrication process. These criteria may include factors such as:

  • Design specifications
  • Material selection
  • Manufacturing techniques
  • Equipment calibration
  • Process documentation
  • Compliance with regulatory standards

Conducting rigorous assessments at each gate can identify potential issues or deviations from the desired outcomes early on.
Through the implementation of quality gates, the alpha phase of APQP helps to minimize risks and enhance the overall product quality. It ensures that any deviations or discrepancies are addressed promptly, reducing the likelihood of encountering significant problems during subsequent phases of the manufacturing process.

By validating assumptions at every point in the alpha phase, the APQP approach provides a solid foundation for ensuring that the project progresses smoothly and that the final parts meet the required specifications. This systematic approach enables OEMs to identify and resolve issues proactively, preventing delays, rework, and potential quality concerns.

In summary, Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a meticulous fabrication approach aiming to uncover and minimize issues throughout manufacturing. The alpha phase of APQP involves fabricating a test part and implementing quality gates to validate the accuracy of assumptions made at each stage. By following this approach, OEMs can ensure that their parts are ready from the start, minimizing risks and ensuring consistent quality in their final products.

+BETA Process

The +BETA process is the subsequent phase that follows the alpha phase in the Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) approach. It involves further refining the manufacturing process based on the results obtained from the alpha phase and documenting the data to establish a standardized procedure for operators.

Once the test part in the alpha phase meets the required specifications and quality standards, the data collected during this phase is carefully documented. This documentation serves as a reference and creates detailed work instructions that provide operators with a clear starting point for the manufacturing process.

The work instructions outline the step-by-step procedures and guidelines operators should follow to ensure consistency and accuracy in producing conforming parts. These instructions encompass various aspects such as material selection, tooling requirements, machine settings, quality checkpoints, and any specific procedures unique to the manufacturing process.

Moreover, the +BETA process acknowledges that process changes may be necessary to further optimize the fabrication process or accommodate any improvements identified during the alpha phase. These process changes are implemented and incorporated into the work order, a comprehensive document outlining the specifications, instructions, and any modifications or updates to the original process.

Documenting the data and providing work instructions creates a standardized and replicable process that operators follow, ensuring the manufacturing process remains consistent across different production runs, minimizing variability, and improving overall quality.

Additionally, as part of the +BETA process, a Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) document is issued. The PPAP document serves as a formal confirmation that the manufacturing process can consistently produce conforming parts. It includes comprehensive information about the process, such as design records, process flow diagrams, control plans, measurement system analysis, and other relevant documentation. The PPAP document is typically required by customers or regulatory bodies to demonstrate that the manufacturing process meets the required standards.

By completing the +BETA process, OEMs can establish a well-documented and standardized manufacturing process. This process enables operators to consistently produce conforming parts and ensures that the necessary approvals and documentation are in place to validate the capability of the process.

In summary, the +BETA process in APQP involves:

  • Documenting data.
  • Creating work instructions for operators.
  • Incorporating process changes into the work order.
  • Issuing a PPAP document to confirm the ability to consistently produce conforming parts.

It focuses on establishing a standardized manufacturing process and ensuring all necessary documentation and approvals are in place.


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APQP Process Flow