The New APQP and Control Plan Core Tools are published!

The 3rd edition APQP and 1st edition Control Plan Core Tools manuals are published by AIAG 

The new Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) and Control Plan enhanced core tools are now available with all standard languages published at the same time. What was once a manual that included both APQP and Control Plan are now two separate editions. The original edition was published in 1994 and revised slightly in 2008, therefore an update was needed due to industry changes in; program management, technology, vehicle complexity, electrification, etc., and also to align with IATF 16949®. The six AIAG Core Tools (APQP, FMEA, Control Plan, MSA, SPC and PPAP) are the building blocks of an effective quality management system. Some quick highlights from the 2023 AIAG Quality Summit:

  • GM, Ford and Stellantis have worked together on these new core tools for commonization of Customer Specific Requirements (CSRs)
  • The three OEMs have set implementation timing targets for 6 months after publication and all will accept immediate adoption of the enhancements after publication.
  • Control Plan transition is for new programs and going forward, legacy control plans are not included
  • Includes best practices based on lessons learned
  • Software development is not part of the new APQP
  • Program Management is included
  • PPAP core tool is next for revision (no timing yet)
  • Unlike FMEA that was globally harmonized with VDA and AIAG, the AIAG APQP and Control Plan core tools is not harmonized with VDA.

What to know about APQP

Advanced Product Quality Planning is a methodology that originated in the automotive industry to ensure the development and production of high-quality products that meet customer requirement and expectations.

Benefits of APQP:

  • Improved product quality
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction
  • Increased efficiency
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved supplier relations
  • Better risk management, assessment and mitigation
  • Improved process control
  • Promotes early identification of required changes
  • Provides a quality product on time at the lowest cost

Why the need for APQP Update?

Incorporation of lessons learned from issues with escapes and delays during new product program launches. The 3rd edition of the APQP manual addresses how to improve successful new product launches and includes updates to reflect agile product management.

Changes to APQP

The key changes to APQP revolve around gated management, traceability and checklists:

  • Removed control plan content into stand-alone document (core tool)
  • Added sourcing section and sourcing checklist (applies to new and existing suppliers)
  • Added change management section and change management checklist
  • Added section for APQP program metrics
  • New gated management section (also applies to sub-tiers):
    • Suggested documentation checklists for each “gate” review
    • Aligned to typical program milestones
    • Supports expectation for gate review

What this means for the quality team is an increase in the number of tasks on the technical side (which has always been well-defined), and more pre-planning, an increased number of gates and more focus overall on risk-based thinking on the managerial side.  

Why the need for a Control Plan update?

The control plan is the operational expression of the FMEA and drives the measurement studies required for the PPAP. Control Plan continues to be an ongoing point of audit non-conformances and is consistently in both the top ten major and minor non-conformances as identified by the International Automotive Oversight Bureau (IAOB).

  • Incorporate lessons learned from escapes during both product launch and mass production
  • Allowances and considerations for new and or highly automated manufacturing processes 
  • An opportunity to harmonize CSRs of Ford, GM & Stellantis 
  • To separate the Control Plan from APQP 
  • Provides more detailed and thorough guidance to all users for development, maintenance, and utilization of control plan 
  • Allows more frequent change of control plan to reflect continuing evolution of automotive product and processes

Control Plan key content/changes

Key changes to the Control Plan cover special characteristics, pass through characteristics, reaction plan details and directed supply. It provides in-depth information on the development of control plans with examples and guidance. The new edition also covers “Safe Launch” plans, examples of plans for highly automated manufacturing applications, and details for using software to develop and mange control plans.

Chapter 1: Requirements & Guidelines

Details requirements and guidelines for 12 topics based on past problems/opportunities.

Key examples:

  • Special characteristics identification and classification
  • Allow use of “correlation matrix”
  • Customer may also designate key or critical characteristics for special handling
  • Pass through characteristics identification and management
  • Organization must have a process to identify and ensure adequate control of PTC throughout supply chain, and must communicate control methods to the customer
  • Obtain necessary information from supplier to develop the control plan

Chapter 2: Developing a Control Plan

  • Process flow (how to develop, phases)
  • Previously just described “form field content”, now includes description of how to obtain information and some minimum expectations, including:
  • Frequency – if not 100 must be volume based and support containment
  • Reaction plan –
    • clarified expectation to include contain suspect product, stop process from creating more suspect product, steps to bring process back to control
    • requires inclusion of owner/responsible for the reaction or reference to detailed instruction document

Chapter 3: Control Plan Stages

  • Addition of “Safe Launch” requirements
  • Typical application
  • Prelaunch: customer may require during pilot stage and continued into launch; how to document
  • Production: start of production will include safe launch; must establish judgement criteria

Chapter 4: Effective Use of Control Plans

  • Consideration points for effective use of QMS and other elements related to control plan implementation – an opportunity for OEMs to give guidance on good practices they’ve seen within their suppliers.
  • Key concepts –
    • Why the topic is important
    • What to do and how to do it
  • Topics include:
    • Reverse PFMEA
    • Using software to develop and manage control plan
    • Layered process audit as control plan verification
    • Control plans in highly automated processes
    • Using family/foundation control plans and FMEAs
  • Control of storage and handling related risks
  • Abnormality management related to control plans

For more information, AIAG has a quick APQP and Control Plan overview available for viewing. Purchase and review the new manuals and assess the gaps between your current practices and the new APQP and Control Plan guidelines. Once you’ve reviewed them, consider how will you be utilizing the new editions of the core tools. Are you ready for the new version and will you meet the deadline for adopting it?  

If you’re searching for a consultant, our team at simpleQuE is well positioned to support your IATF 16949® certification, maintenance, and internal auditing needs. SimpleQuE also offers a full line-up of IATF 16949® training courses which includes AIAG and VDA Core Tools, Root Cause Analysis and Problem Solving, Requirements and Implementation.  With IATF® also putting a major focus on internal auditor competency, it is essential to have IATF 16949® Internal Auditor Training. Our IATF 16949® auditor training utilizes the process audit approach. Contact us to learn more about the customized services offered to match your certification and training needs.

SimpleQuE is not associated with the IATF®, IAOB, ANAB®, IAQG®, and is not a certification body. SimpleQuE is an independent consulting, training, and second-party auditing service provider that assists a company on a path to obtain and maintain certification through accredited certification bodies.

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