Automotive Industry

Improved quality has been the top goal of the automotive industry for many years. One of the main driving forces in the North American automotive industry has been the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG). Founded in 1982, the AIAG was created to develop recommendations and a framework on how to improve quality. The organization was founded by representatives of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler (now FCA).  Since its inception, many large companies have joined the AIAG including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Caterpillar and Navistar. The Tier one, sub-Tier one and service suppliers of these larger companies have also joined. Currently, the AIAG has over 3800 members.

The AIAG publishes automotive industry standards and offers educational conferences and training on their implementation. One area of concentration has been Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) which is a framework of procedures and techniques used to develop products.  Due to the tremendous influence of the AIAG membership, the AIAG APQP documents have become de facto standards for the North American automotive industry.

In recent years, the AIAG has partnered with the German Association of the Automotive Industry (aka VDA) to create APQP documentation to be used throughout the world. VDA members include BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler. Unfortunately, the APQP documentation coming from the AIAG and VDA is developed by committees. As a result of the need for consensus, many of the documents are not optimized because different members of the committees have considerable investment in their own techniques and do not want to change. Consequently, the procedures often grandfather methodologies that when used do not result in maximum quality and profitability.

Harpco® Systems has studied the AIAG and VDA APQP “standards” closely and believes they contain mistakes of “omission” and “commission”. The mistakes of “omission” are actions the AIAG and VDA standards do not require companies to do that are necessary to maximize quality and profits. The mistakes of “commission” are actions the AIAG and VDA standards suggest companies should do that if taken will reduce quality and productivity. The good news about the AIAG and VDA “standards” is that in order to achieve consensus, there is enough flexibility to create a product development system that is fully compliant with the AIAG and VDA standards that excludes the errors of commission found in the standards while including the actions that have been omitted that are essential to optimized product quality and profitability.

Harpco® Systems has created such as system. It called Risk Based Product Lifecycle Management® (aka Risk Based PLM®). By implementing Risk Based PLM® companies not only experience improved quality and productivity but also meet all the “Risk-based Thinking” related requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016.

For more information about Risked Based PLM®, go to “What is Risk Based PLM®“.