Lean Manufacturing Principles Applied to PPAP Approval Process

January 9, 2019

Lean Manufacturing Principles Applied to PPAP Approval Process
January 9, 2019

In today’s manufacturing environment, the lack of resources and the high engineering and quality personnel turnover cause tension in the Quality Departments. This is true especially when putting together the PPAPs that will be submitted to the clients but also to review and approve the PPAPs required by the suppliers.

Identifying the seven wastes throughout the PPAP approval process

This is why in this article, we wanted to identify the 7 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing in the PPAP Approval Process so you can avoid them or at least reduce them. We hope you find these reflections useful:

1.-Defects: The rejection of a PPAP, because it does not meet the customer’s expectations is not only extremely costly, but it usually attracts unwanted attention from your customers’ quality department. An excellent way to reduce these defects is to agree with your customer on the PPAPs’  acceptance/reject criteria in the shape of a PPAP Checklist. In this way, you can make sure that the documents meet your customer expectations before you submit them, saving you time, money, and, let’s say: embarrassment.

2.-Over Production: Overproduction is to produce items before they are needed. Translating this concept to a PPAP, you may be working in a PPAP that is not needed anymore or in a PPAP that will be required three months later when you should be working in another urgent PPAP needed this week. You can easily fall into this case if you need a PPAP Management system. You can get a simple, affordable PPAP Management System.

3.- Transportation: In manufacturing, the product is moving around. For this discussion, we can correlate transportation to the effort of gathering the different documents that form the PPAP. Again, if you use Excel spreadsheets and email to manage your PPAPs, it is likely that you will spend more time than necessary gathering the PPAP documents.

4.- Wait: In many cases, we have seen the typical example of a customer using an Excel spreadsheet with 19 different tabs, one for each document. This means that the first PPAP Element can only be submitted after the last paper is completed and entered into the spreadsheet so the whole PPAP can be submitted. If you can start sending the elements as they are completed, you will have more time to introduce them properly and take your time with everything being dropped on your lap the day before PPAP. Of course, you have to be careful that so many documents flowing independently do not create a mess, as we explained in case 3 (Transportation).

5.- Inventory: We relate the excess inventory to the extra work needed to complete unnecessary PPAPs. We have seen cases when a PPAP due to an Eng. Change is very close to the date of annual revalidation. In this case, you can use the Eng. Change PPAP to cover the yearly revalidation so you don’t have 2 PPAPs. Another example is when you have numerous revision changes during launch and must have an approved PPAP for every revision. In this case, take one version, make a full PPAP for it, and for the following versions, you can use PPAPs with fewer elements validating only what changed from one revision to another.

6.- Motion: The ideal scenario is when you sit in front of your supplier or customer so you can clarify any question or doubt promptly. However, this usually involves high traveling costs for both parties and time spent taking planes, trains, or driving. This fact dramatically impacts productivity and, in many cases, is not feasible. To improve the communication between customers and suppliers, establish periodic meetings and try to use video conferences instead of relying on email only. Please look for a platform that facilitates communication using real-time notifications.

7.- Process: We can associate the Over Processing waste with excess work needed to complete a PAPP or elements inside a PPAP. Working in a PPAP that is no longer needed is an excellent example. Another good example is the effort of putting together a GR&R in the MSA. If you already have a GR&R study performed for the same instrument with acceptable results, you can surrogate this GR&R (assuming it is at most one year) and use it in your PPAP. We recommend that you check with your customer representative first. You can also make generic PFMEAs or Control Plans to save time and effort, but you should be extremely careful to make them meaningful.

Although your PPAP approving may be OK as of today, you should always remain vigilant of having the habits of excellence present to make job more accessible and meaningful.

Share this post? Twitter Facebook Linkedin