What is the purpose of a PPAP?

Although the PPAP has been a common practice in the industry since 1993, the actual purpose and meaning of a PPAP is still often misunderstood. We will explain this based in the AIAG standard.

Many persons think that a PPAP Approval is a shipping authorization that allows the supplier to send parts to their customer in serial production quantities, this is false. Many others assume that a PPAP Approval will avoid rejection of the parts in the future becoming a sort of blank check for the suppliers, this is not true.

According to the AIAG PPAP Manual 4th Edition, the purpose of the PPAP is :

To determine if all customer engineering design record and specification requirements are properly understood by the organization and that the manufacturing process has the potential to produce product consistently meeting these requirements during an actual production run at the quoted production rate”(1)

We can divide and simplify this in two sections:

a)Determine if the customer’s design has been understood by the supplier.- For the first part, it is key that the supplier has access to ALL the specs and drawings to the latest level, otherwise, how can the supplier understand the requirements? This begins with the Phase 1 of the APQP, Design Review.

b)Determine if the supplier has the potential to produce good parts consistently.- Here, it is important that the form in which the Dimensional Reports, Capability Studies and Material and Performance Test Results will be submitted must be agreed upon by the customer and the supplier in advance.

As an additional note, some companies have also made a practice of conditioning the payment of tooling to the Full PPAP Approval as a way to ensure that the supplier is delivering acceptable parts.

We hope that you find this information useful. We will continue to post more articles that we know will be of interest for you. Please follow us in FB, LinkedIn and Twitter.

PPAP Manager Team

  1. Production Part Approval Process Manual 4th Edition AIAG.