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Why Risk Poor Precision Metal Stamping Quality? Automotive Industry Averts Risk With APQP

Precision metal stampings are a critical component of so many products. Automotive components, medical devices, electronic parts – all contain metal stampings. For the part or the device to function properly, the stamping needs to be free of defects and of perfect quality.We continue our metal stamping quality article series with a discussion on APQP.Automotive industry refuses to take chances with precision metal stamping quality.Poor quality is not an option with the automotive industry. That’s why the ‘Big Three’ (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) created Advanced Product Quality Planning, better known as APQP.So what is APQP? Technically, “it’s a guide in the development process and also a standard way to share results between suppliers and automotive companies.” More simply put, it’s a way of making sure the automotive companies are involved in every step of the development and launch process with their suppliers – to ensure nothing goes wrong. Why? Ultimately, to ensure the ‘Big Three’s’ customers are satisfied with their automobiles.APQP is typically deployed in 5 concurrent and collaborative phases:Plan and Define Program
Product Design and Development
Process Design and Development
Product and Process Validation
Launch, Feedback, Assessment, and Corrective ActionSome of the questions that can be addressed through the APQP process are:Can the product/process be error proofed?
Can the product/process achieve a higher level of capability through tolerance design and/or process variation reduction?
What controls must be developed to ensure that defects cannot reach a customer?The APQP process actually monitors 23 topics before production is even started. Topics like design robustness, design testing, quality inspection standards, product packaging, and more.Metal stamping companies need to be prepared.There are a lot of suppliers wanting automotive business. Automotive manufacturers and the companies that represent them can demand that their suppliers abide by APQP processes.And that requirement certainly applies to metal stamping companies as well. Automotive suppliers need to ensure the metal stamping companies they do business with are committed to APQP and should insist they:Establish and continually monitor company-wide APQP processes
Utilize APQP tools such as Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) to ensure quality
Utilize advanced technology to verify stamping quality, thicknesses, and dimensions (sensors and gauges)
Implement sophisticated quality control plans and tools to ensure consistency and zero defect parts (i.e. Statistical Process Control (SPC)
Adhere to the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)With these controls in place, metal stamping companies can do their part to ensure the automotive manufacturers achieve their ultimate goal of customer satisfaction.Want to know more about APQP?For comprehensive details on the APQP process, refer to the AIAG APQP Manual available through AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group).

Abroad Travel Tips

Travelling is always fun! It can be made memorable if you follow some travel tips. During your travels, just pick some handy pointers mentioned below to enjoy the whole travelling experience.Security First:• Inform your bank ahead when you leave your home country to comfortably use bank cards while you are abroad. This is to avoid account freeze on any withdrawals or payments on your card, as banks may think that your card has been stolen or cloned• Carry at least 2 scan copies of your passport with you and in separate bags. Keep an email copy of your passport to yourself and also a trusted parent or friend before leaving your country. Make sure that you carry a list of emergency contact numbers for any bank cards or traveler’s checks• Do have some money in your belt which is well hidden. A trick here is to have a fake wallet with some expired cards and a little money, in case of being mugged• Lone female travelers can protect themselves by arranging a doorstop and put it in the door, which makes opening even an unlocked door impossible, and it would make plenty of noise to alert youPacking:• Keep small bottles to fill shampoo/conditioner to avoid carry large sizes as there will be a limit for hand luggage• If travel with heavy luggage, buy some compression socks so that you can carry a few more items! Roll clothes instead of folding them to save space.• Pack your luggage in waterproof bags. Use travel towels which are light, hygienic and can absorb nine times their weight in water• Always get padlocks with you while travelling, as lockers may be provided to leave valuables• Remember that toilet paper and a torch are essential items. It is good to carry a pack of cards – they help in creating easy camaraderie in groups• Carry a sarong – you can lay on the beach, it can be used as a towel, covers your shoulders for temple visits and many more!• Pack in ketchup, tabasco, mayonnaise, salt, pepper sachet. These days laundry service is available at hotels, so just carry minimum clothesEtiquette:• Always discuss the price of the total fare with taxi drivers BEFORE you get in. Check if there is any charge extra for air-conditioning and be aware of the lodge surroundings you stay• Understand the sort of behaviour of your travel country before you arrive. Maintain friendly nature. Respect their traditions as you are a guest.