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Increasing costs of equipment, materials and labor combined with expanding world markets have resulted in an increase of outsourced parts. Many component parts are being outsourced to overseas manufacturers. This often results in longer lead times and larger order quantities. Initially PPAP was utilized by the automotive and aerospace industries. PPAP is now being utilized by several industries to improve communication and provide quality products.
The PPAP process consists of 18 elements that may be required for approval of production level parts. Not all of the elements are required for every submission. There are five generally accepted PPAP submission levels.
The PPAP manual contains detailed information, guidelines and sample documents useful for completing the process requirements. Why Perform Production Part Approval Process PPAP The PPAP process verifies that the supplier understands all customer engineering design specifications and requirements and that the process is capable of consistently producing product meeting those requirements during an actual production run at the quoted production rate.
PPAP and other quality tools continue to be implemented into more industries; therefore it is important to gain an understanding of the PPAP requirements to remain competitive as a parts supplier. The customer may request a PPAP at any time during the product life.
This demands that the supplier must maintain a quality system that develops and documents all of the requirements of a PPAP submission at any time. This detailed process is a collection of key elements that must be completed to verify that the production process will produce a quality product. Not all of the elements are always required for a PPAP submission.
The particular requirements of the PPAP are usually negotiated during the quoting process. The documentation should also include a copy of the purchase order. In some cases the supplier is required to supply documentation of material composition.
The purchase order is used to confirm that the correct part is being ordered and that it is at the correct revision level. The design engineer is responsible for verifying that the two drawings match and all critical or key characteristics have been identified. Engineering Change Documentation If the PPAP is being required due to a request for a change to a part or product, the documentation requesting and approving the change must be included in the PPAP package.
This documentation usually consists of a copy of the Engineering Change Notice ECN , which must be approved by the customer engineering department. Customer Engineering Approval When required as part of the PPAP, the supplier must provide evidence of approval by the customer engineering department. If required, pre-PPAP samples are ordered by the customer for onsite testing. The samples must be production intent and ship with a waiver so that testing can be done.
When testing is complete, the test engineers will provide an approval form for inclusion in the PPAP submission. Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis DFMEA is a cross-functional activity that examines design risk by exploring the possible failure modes and their effects on the product or customer and their probability to occur. These failure modes can include: Product malfunctions Reduced performance or product life Safety and Regulatory issues The DFMEA is a living document that should be reviewed and updated throughout the product life cycle.
Process Flow Diagram The Process Flow Diagram outlines the entire process for assembling the component or final assembly in a graphical manner.
The process flow includes incoming material, assembly, test, rework and shipping. The PFMEA is also a living document and should be updated even after the product is in normal production. The Control Plan lists all product Special Characteristics and inspection methods required to deliver products that continually meet the customer quality requirements.
Calibration records for all gages and measurement equipment must be included. Dimensional Results Dimensional layout of sample parts is required to validate the product meets the print specifications.
The samples should be randomly selected from a significant production run usually at least 30 pieces. Each dimension on the drawing is measured on the final assembly to make sure that it falls within specification. The results are recorded in a spreadsheet and included within the PPAP submission. It should list each and every test performed, a description of how the test was performed, and the results of each test. This section may also include copies of all the certification documents for all materials steel, plastics, etc.
The material certification shall show compliance to the specific call on the print. Initial Process Studies Initial process studies will be done on all the production processes and will include Statistical Process Control SPC charts on the critical characteristics of the product. These studies demonstrate that the critical processes are stable, demonstrate normal variation and are running near the intended nominal value.
Qualified Laboratory Documentation Qualified laboratory documentation consists of the industry certifications for any lab that was involved in completing validation testing. This could be for an in-house test lab or any offsite contracted test facilities that were used for validation or material certification testing. This report verifies that the customer has inspected the final product and it meets all the required appearance specifications for the design.
The appearance requirements could include information regarding the color, textures, etc. A picture of the production parts is usually included in the PPAP documentation along with documentation regarding the location that the parts are being stored. Master Sample A master sample is a final sample of the product that is inspected and signed off by the customer. The master sample part is used to train operators and serves as a benchmark for comparison to standard production parts if any part quality questions arise.
Checking Aids This is a detailed list of checking aids used by production. It should include all tools used to inspect, test or measure parts during the assembly process. The list should describe the tool and have the calibration schedule for the tool. Checking aids may include check fixtures, contour, variable and attribute gages, models or templates. MSA may be required for all checking aids based on customer requirements.
Customer Specific Requirements This element of the submission package is where any special customer requirements are contained. A PSW is required for each of part number unless otherwise stated by the customer. The PSW includes: The reason for submission design change, annual re-validation, etc. The level of documents submitted to the customer Declaration of part conformity to customer requirements A section provided for any required explanation or comments Supplier authorized person signature along with contact information An area for the customer to indicate disposition of the PPAP The PPAP process is a detailed and lengthy process.
The PPAP package includes documentation of various multiple cross-functional tools and documents the ability of the supplier to meet all customer requirements. PPAP provides customers adequate information to validate that all areas of the design and production processes have been reviewed thoroughly to ensure that only high quality products will be allowed to ship to the end customer.
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