Industry Forum

Leveraging Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) for Unparalleled Product Safety and Zero Defects and understanding the how the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) supports APQP.


In today’s aerospace industry, where safety and quality are paramount, the adoption of Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is crucial. This article explores how APQP drives unparalleled product safety and zero defects by integrating proactive risk management, stringent quality standards, continuous improvement, and customer focused strategies.

Additionally, it examines the potential drawbacks and challenges associated with APQP implementation to provide a balanced viewpoint.

Proactive Risk Management:

APQP enables aerospace companies to proactively identify and mitigate risks throughout the product lifecycle. Companies that implement APQP can experience up to a 35% reduction in product development cycle time and a 25% decrease in the number of defects compared to those that do not utilize APQP (Source: Frost & Sullivan, & Advanced Product Quality Planning: The Cornerstone of Aerospace Excellence”, 2023).

However, the process of identifying and mitigating risks can be resource intensive.
Smaller companies might find the upfront investment in time and resources prohibitive, potentially outweighing the benefits in the short term.

Stringent Quality Standards:

APQP emphasizes the establishment of stringent quality standards and specifications. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) reports that companies adhering to APQP guidelines can achieve a 20% improvement in first time right yield rates and a 30% reduction in scrap and rework costs (Source: Aerospace Industries Association, & Best Practices in Advanced Product Quality Planning," 2022).

Implementing stringent quality standards and specifications requires a significant commitment to training and continuous education, which can be costly. Furthermore, rigid standards might stifle innovation and flexibility, making it difficult for companies to adapt to unforeseen changes quickly.

Continuous Improvement:

APQP fosters a culture of continuous improvement. Companies that embrace APQP can report a 15% increase in operational efficiency and a 20% reduction in warranty costs over a three-year period (Source: Deloitte,”Driving Excellence through Advanced Product Quality Planning,” 2021).

The continuous improvement process necessitates a long-term commitment and may not yield immediate results. This long-term horizon can be challenging for companies looking for quick wins or operating under tight budget constraints.

Effective Problem Solving:

With structured problem-solving methodologies, APQP empowers companies to address issues effectively. Research indicates that companies utilising APQP can achieve a 25% reduction in customer complaints and a 30% increase in customer satisfaction scores within two years of implementation (Source: McKinsey & Company, “Unlocking Value through Advanced Product Quality Planning,” 2020).

Structured problem-solving methodologies can sometimes lead to over-reliance on processes and documentation, potentially slowing down decision-making and responsiveness in dynamic situations.

Customer Satisfaction and Brand Reputation:

Through the consistent delivery of defect-free products, companies enhance customer satisfaction and brand reputation. A study published in the Journal of Quality Management found that companies practising APQP can experience a 10% increase in customer retention rates and a 15% improvement in brand loyalty compared to their counterparts (Source: Journal of Quality Management, “Impact of Advanced Product Quality Planning on Customer Satisfaction,” 2019).

While customer satisfaction is a key benefit, the initial implementation phase of APQP can disrupt existing workflows and impact short-term customer perceptions negatively if not managed carefully.

Pause for reflection:
The cumulative benefits of APQP implementation over a three-year period can be substantial, encompassing improvements in operational efficiency, cost reduction and customer satisfaction.

However, the process also comes with significant challenges, including resource-intensive implementation, potential rigidity in innovation, and high upfront costs.

More and more the requirement to adopt APQP and the supporting Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) is being driven by the customer and hence a company’s ability to weigh these factors carefully and consider their specific circumstances before adopting APQP is becoming limited.

A strategic approach, tailored to the company’s unique needs and capabilities, is essential for successful APQP implementation.

Having made the decision to implement APQP an organisation may be required to provide evidence of their APQP activities. Typically, this evidence is provided in the form of a PPAP submission.

Increasing the chances of successful PPAP.

To aid suppliers who supply Aero Engine manufacturers the AESQ have developed a common set of supplier requirements documented within AS13100 and guidelines for APQP/PPAP in reference manual RM13145.

Within organisations who are operating APQP and PPAP in an efficient and effective manner lies several roles, however two of these are key. These roles are PPAP Co-ordinator (the role of managing the supply organisations PPAP process and subsequent submission to the customer and CARe Customer approved representative (the role of reviewing and dis-positioning supplier PPAP submissions to the organisation).

In support of these two roles RM13145 defines essential skills and understanding required for the roles of PPAP Co-ordinator and CARe.

1 – Essentials of the PPAP Process Management

  • Understand the fundamentals of APQP and relationship between APQP and
  • Appreciate the role of PPAP in various situations.
  • Navigate the APQP and PPAP Process Flow diagram and understand how
    this applies to PPAP.
  • Understand the how the PPAP Coordinator and CARe conduct their

2 – Evaluating the PPAP file

  • Understand what an acceptable standard is for each Element of the PPAP

3 – Preparing and evaluating the PPAP submission

  • Appreciated the meaning and use of Submission Levels.
  • Understand how to prepare and provide a PPAP Submission.
  • Understand when / how corrective action plan.

4 – Disposition of the PPAP submission and approval form

  • Be capable of conducting a disposition of the PPAP Submission.
  • Judge a PPAP Submission as Approved, Interim Approval and Reject.

The Industry Forum AS13100 aligned RM13145 PPAP Co-ordinator and CARe training course supports a strategic imperative for organisations committed to excellence in APQP and PPAP. By fostering a cross functional team of adept professionals equipped to navigate the complexities of APQP and PPAP and embrace the ethos of continuous improvement, this training program provides a shift towards operational excellence and enduring success.


The decision regarding implementing APQP is very much down to organisational culture, resource constraints and customer demand. The customer is seeking a reliable and predictable product launch process from suppliers. APQP and subsequent PPAP supports that customer goal.

Based on this customer goal, the skills and knowledge of the PPAP Co-ordinator and CARe are essential in ensuring the APQP process within an organisation delivers the required content for the PPAP file and PPAP submission, and that the PPAP process conforms to recognised best practice.