Published 23 May 2023
What is PPAP?
Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) is an 18-step guideline for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers. PPAP documents show that OEMs and suppliers understand customer specifications and ensure that their manufacturing process consistently produces conforming parts at the quoted production rate. Customers examine the PPAP documents and determine the production part approval process status—fully approved, interim approval, or rejected.
A PPAP checklist is used by quality managers to comply with all customer specifications, manufacture conforming parts, and ship them as scheduled. This comprehensive PPAP checklist includes detailed questions for each of the 18 production part approval process guidelines—from design records to part submission warrant. Use this mobile-ready PPAP checklist to easily perform the following:
- Specify the part name, number, and submission level
- Capture and store unlimited photos for PPAP documentation of material tests, sample production, etc.
- Verify cohesiveness of PPAP documents such as process flows, FMEAs, and control plans
- Assign corrective actions for nonconformances
- Complete the PPAP checklist with a digital signature
In this article
- What is a PPAP Checklist?
- 3 Common PPAP Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
- Understanding your Production Part Approval Process Status and What to Do Next
- SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) Part Inspection Software: How it Makes Your Process Better
- Digital PPAP Checklists
What is a PPAP Checklist?
A PPAP checklist is used by quality managers to easily detect mismatched process flows, FMEAs, and control plans; ensure the complete, accurate, and timely submission of PPAP documents such as Design Records, Appearance Approval Report (AAR), and Initial Sample Inspection Report (ISIR); and gain full approval for production and shipment of parts.
3 Common PPAP Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Due to the methodical and comprehensive nature of the production part approval process, quality managers often overlook some customer-specific requirements. When PPAPs get rejected, OEMs and suppliers inevitably waste time and resources to implement corrections for resubmission. Here are 3 common mistakes during the PPAP and how to avoid them:
1. Ineffective Communication Between Supplier and Customer
Quality managers should work closely with the PPAP evaluator to provide exactly what the customers are looking for, especially when there are engineering changes and the master sample needs sign-off from both parties. During the contract review, clarify customer specifications with FMEA teams, design engineers, and manufacturing personnel to facilitate effective communication in the manufacturing facility as well.
2. Mismatched Process Flows, FMEAs, and Control Plans
There should be a clear link from the Design FMEA and Process FMEA to the Process Flow Diagram and Control Plans. Quality managers should consider all known special characteristics and address all high-risk failure modes with executable action plans to accurately demonstrate all manufacturing operations, handling techniques, inspection steps, and alternate/backup processes. Detailed and complete process control plans should be in place and include all print, specification, attribute, and purchase order requirements.
3. Mismanaged PPAP Documents
Most PPAP revisions get rejected because of avoidable clerical shortcomings. Quality managers should provide evidence that the FMEA is a living document, a special characteristics deviation waiver is available, and non-conformance in any of the PPAP documents is resolved before submission. All PPAP documents should be legible, updated, and reviewed for completeness.
Understanding your Production Part Approval Process Status and What to Do Next
The PPAP evaluator may take some time reviewing the PPAP documents, but quality managers can use the lead time to create fixtures and adjust a few operating parameters. Upon receipt of the PPAP status, here is what OEMs or suppliers should do to move forward:
Since the part and its PPAP documents have proven that the manufacturing process can consistently produce conforming output, the parts can now be shipped to the customer as scheduled. OEMs and suppliers prevent costly production delays when they meet or even exceed customer expectations.
If customers see nonconformance in any of the PPAP documents, containment measures should be undertaken by the quality manager. Even when the OEM or supplier is authorized to ship for a defined period of time and/or a limited number of parts only, corrective actions should be implemented and reflected in the resubmission of PPAP documents to gain full approval within 90 days.
When the part fails to meet customer-specific requirements or when the PPAP shows inconsistencies in the documentation, the OEM or supplier is not authorized to ship the rejected product. Quality managers should execute corrective actions based on what the customer established as the reason for rejection, and revise PPAP documents accordingly before resubmission.
SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) Part Inspection Software: How it Makes Your Process Better
A good part inspection process can catch minor product part issues before they turn into major problems. Similar to a First Article Inspection, the part inspection’s goal is to identify defects and non-conformance in the initial stages of production to avoid wasting resources, time, effort, and the legal repercussions of non-compliance with the mandated design.
Below are some of the ways in which the SafetyCulture helps you improve your part inspection process:
Data Collection, Compilation, and Organization are Streamlined Into One Process
Unlike paper-based templates which require you to manually compile and organize your findings after your inspection, SafetyCulture combines these processes into a single task for maximum efficiency. SafetyCulture automatically saves your data during and after your inspection to ensure that no information is lost. Your inspection data is then automatically transferred to your SafetyCulture web dashboard where you can use search filters to access relevant statistics, individual inspections, and even specific answers. SafetyCulture makes data navigation easy.
Cloud Storage Provides Unparalleled Data Security
Paper documents are susceptible to loss, damage, and unauthorized access. Not to mention the multiple file cabinets eating up more and more useful space as time passes. With the SafetyCulture Part Inspection Software, your data is automatically saved via unlimited cloud storage and secured with the help of permissions that you can set to ensure that only authorized personnel can access specific templates and inspection data.
Real-time Database Updates
Using paper templates makes database updates inefficient; often requiring multiple steps just to complete basic data entry. SafetyCulture automatically updates your database every time your organization completes an inspection anywhere in the world. SafetyCulture gives you access to the latest, most relevant data every time.
Consistent Data Parameters
Part inspections done through paper templates are susceptible to collecting subjective data since inspectors may record the same findings in different ways. In some instances, handwritten notes may also be illegible. SafetyCulture boasts highly customizable answer fields that include short and long text answers, multiple-choice, checkboxes, yes/no, and many more, so you can set the proper parameters to ensure the right data is recorded. Finally, you can include if/then logic fields that reveal or hide sections based on your previous answer to ensure that only relevant data is captured.
SafetyCulture can interact with other software such as Google Docs and Google Sheets for automatic data entry each time you complete an inspection, eliminating the risk of incomplete or incorrect data transfer ever-present when doing manual data transfer. It also gives you the option to automatically generate and send a comprehensive report to designated personnel each time you complete an inspection; making your overall process faster, smoother, and more accurate.
Proper documentation is crucial in getting a PPAP fully approved, but managing paper-based PPAP documents can be tedious and burdensome. Taking advantage of a PPAP checklist app such as SafetyCulture, the world’s most powerful inspection checklist app, can help ensure the accurate and timely submission of PPAP documents and gain full approval for the on-time production and shipment of parts.
We have digitized PPAP checklists and PPAP documents to save you time and help streamline your production part approval process. These templates are 100% customizable and can easily be modified according to your needs.
Digital PPAP Checklists
PPAP Documents Checklist
A PPAP documents checklist aims to ensure the accurate and timely submission of production part approval process documents. This PPAP documents checklist contains a PPAP submission assessment for quality managers to evaluate their performance of the PPAP and maximize opportunities for continuous improvement. Easily complete PPAP documents such as measurable system analysis studies, performance and material test results, and checking aids with the use of this checklist.
An FMEA template aims to identify potential problems in a process, product or design and prevent their adverse effects on customers. Describe the process function, identify the mechanism of failure, and determine the RPN with the use of this easy-to-use FMEA template. Design engineers and process improvement teams can customize this FMEA template according to company requirements.
Appearance Approval Report Form
An Appearance Approval Report Form aims to document the color evaluation of an appearance item identified on the engineering drawing. This appearance approval report form has been designed to make it easier for quality engineers to specify the reason for submission, sourcing and texture information. Use this appearance approval report form to take or attach relevant photos of an appearance item and evaluate hue, value, chroma, gloss, and metallic brilliance.
Initial Sample Inspection Report Form
An Initial Sample Inspection Report Form is prepared and completed by quality inspectors prior to sending sample production parts to the customer for approval. Start by indicating the part name and number, order quantity, and delivery quantity. Identify the scope and extent of the inspection and indicate inspection results as released, released with stipulations or rejected. Finally, capture the digital signature of the customer representative as an agreement to the overall disposition of the intial sample inspection report.