Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) Checklists

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Published November 11th, 2020

What is Advanced Product Quality Planning?

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a structured process employed when introducing a new product in the market or incorporating changes in the product after its release. A Cross-Functional Team (CFT) composed of engineering, manufacturing, quality, procurement, and distribution professionals performs an APQP to ensure that products meet or even exceed customer requirements. Primarily practiced in the automotive industry, it has been adopted by other manufacturing sectors such as aerospace, defense, medical, and pharmaceutical due to its proven effectiveness.

This article will briefly discuss:

  1. what are APQP checklists?;
  2. cost-efficient solutions to 5 common APQP challenges;
  3. powerful inspection checklist app to conduct more effective APQPs; and
  4. free APQP checklists you can download, customize, and use.

What is an APQP Checklist?

APQP checklists are tools used by CFTs to achieve optimum results throughout the APQP process—pre-planning, designing, developing, and validating the product and the process, launching the product, and assessing it for continuous improvement. Using an APQP checklist can help ensure the on-time production of quality products at the lowest cost and increase customer satisfaction.

5 Common APQP Challenges and Cost-efficient Solutions

Manufacturing products based on APQP requirements can be challenging, but it enables Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the entire supply chain to gain long-term, high yields. Here is how CFTs can proactively solve the 5 common challenges of advanced product quality planning:

  1. IATF 16949:2016 Compliance
    IATF 16949:2016 is an international standard for automotive quality management systems. Compliance with the IATF standard requires the proper documentation of processes implemented, inspections conducted, and actions taken for nonconformance. Perform regular IATF audits using a digital IATF 16949:2016 Audit Checklist to schedule routine compliance checks, assign corrective actions, and secure records in the cloud.
  2. Clear Direction and Responsibilities
    Management should oversee the advanced product quality planning process based on the quality policy of the company. Project managers should facilitate communication and collaboration among cross-functional teams to remove the guesswork and address unresolved issues. Take advantage of a mobile-ready APQP documents checklist to easily manage priorities and ensure the completion of all deliverables from pre-planning to production.
  3. Adequate Knowledge and Resources
    Engineering, manufacturing, and quality personnel should understand what APQP requirements entail and how to deliver them. Here are some of the most widely used APQP tools for designing, developing, and validating products and processes:

    • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a systematic method of anticipating potential failures in manufacturing processes and mitigating their impact on customers. In conducting Design and Process FMEAs, utilizing an easy-to-use FMEA template can help properly identify the mechanism of failure, accurately compute the Risk Priority Number (RPN), and regularly monitor corrective actions.
    • First Article Inspection (FAI) is the process of verifying design requirements of a product from the first production run, including part number accountability, materials/processes, special processes, functional tests, and design characteristics. An FAI report form converted into an iAuditor mobile app empowers quality inspectors to automatically generate a shareable report from the moment an FAI is completed.
    • Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) is used to verify that newly produced equipment works according to its construction code and customer purchase order specifications. It is performed in the manufacturing facility before delivery and installation at the customer’s site. Immediately resolve equipment nonconformities and keep the project on track and within its budget by using an intuitive FAT checklist.
  4. Time Management
    As a strategy for actionable data, ascertain all inspections/tests are recorded and analyzed to develop and implement corrective and preventive actions. To save time and effort, project managers should create automated workflows and easily manage reporting procedures, especially for visual inspections and risk assessments.
  5. Discipline and Team Accountability
    CFTs should meet on a regular basis to review APQP priorities and check the status of the entire advanced product quality planning process. Together with a record of open issues, risk and opportunity lists should also be maintained and presented to management.

iAuditor APQP Checklist App

Use iAuditor by SafetyCulture to streamline advanced product quality planning, ensure the on-time production of quality products at the lowest cost, and increase customer satisfaction. With iAuditor, you can:

  • Use APQP checklists offline or online
  • Capture and store unlimited photos
  • Schedule regular inspections and audits
  • Assign actions to team members
  • Gather digital signatures
  • Easily access records secured in the cloud

To help you get started, here are 5 of the best APQP checklists you can download and customize for free.


Shine Colcol

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.