From inception to production, our in-house engineering team works closely with each customer throughout the development process to ensure the final prototype or product meets or exceeds expectations.
Advanced Quality Planning (AQP) is a process used in industries like precision metal stamping that applies specifically to the product launch. It was originally used in the automotive industry to support QS-9000 activities. It is now used throughout many industries to help ensure a congruent process—that when implemented successfully—keeps the production cycle working smoothly and nimbly, at-the-ready to handle any contingencies that may pop up. And its efficacy extends far beyond the initial design and launch of a product.
The intention of an AQP is to establish a system, from the very beginning of the manufacturing relationship, which ensures that customer requirements are met (and exceeded) throughout the tenure of the customer/manufacturer partnership for any given tool or metal stamping part. AQP provides a framework of communication among all stakeholders within the manufacturing company.
The process rolls out in five phases:
Phase 1: Program planning and definition—this phase determines the customer’s needs, requirements, and expectations and how to define and set the inputs and outputs
Phase 2: Product design and development—review the inputs and execute the outputs, which include FMEA, PFMA, design verification, design reviews, material and engineering specifications
Phase 3: Process design and development
Phase 4: Product and process validation
Phase 5: Launch, feedback, assessment, and corrective action
Advanced Quality Planning Benefits
The benefits are always two-fold—both to the customer and the manufacturer. They include:
- Saving time and money—through the efficient use of time and resources
- Clear communication—to set expectations and mitigate misunderstandings and risk
- Continuous improvement model—that incorporates assessment, feedback, and nimble corrective action when needed
- Increase in overall customer satisfaction—by avoiding or reducing disruptions (and their subsequent containment contingencies)
- Superior quality—in designs and products, process flow and controls
At Larson, we instill the AQP process into the fabric of how business is done. We’ve found that approaching business and partnerships with AQP strategies firmly engrained into our culture can—and does—answer the needs of our customers completely, with congruity, and nimbly. Having AQP firmly established in our DNA is particularly helpful when customers present us with challenging product requests.