Early Supplier Involvement Maximizes Quality, Minimizes Cost

As a component manufacturer in the automotive industry, you are responsible for determining the design and operating specifications of your products. But in order to successfully bring a serial product to market, reliable engineering is essential in the transition from design to production.

True success in creating zero-defect parts rests with the ability of your supplier’s engineers to co-create the parts that you have designed. Working with you as early as possible in the design process, a supplier can find the best way to manufacture your parts – taking into account the boundaries on what they can accomplish with their equipment and processes, as well as the functionality and performance requirements of your product.


The Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) Process

In the APQP process, serial parts suppliers work with their customers during the design and development of new or updated components. The process requires a multidisciplinary team, consisting of both supplier and client members. By partnering with your suppliers early on, they can provide expert feedback on process design decisions that can prevent unexpected failure.

Involving an experienced supplier in the engineering process also can greatly increase the quality of your serial parts. Their extensive knowledge of manufacturing could help spot and eliminate any weaknesses in the design phase before moving to full production. They also can ensure that any problems which can't be avoided will be contained. For example, a customer may consider a cold forging manufacturing process for a part, when hot forging would be a better choice for the overall quality and total cost of ownership.


The Production Parts Approval Process (PPAP)

As one part of the APQP, the Production Parts Approval Process (PPAP) is used by European and North American automakers and their suppliers to ensure that the parts the supplier produces will meet all the customer’s requirements, with a minimal risk of failure. The process includes developing a quality control plan, which documents the manufacturing equipment to be used, part tolerances, measurement tools and methods, process failure mode analysis, and mitigation plans for problems that may arise. Input from the client, in the form of customer specific requirements, is crucial to the success of the PPAP.

PPAP is the last phase of the development process. By sending the first parts a supplier produces along with PPAP documentation to the customer, the manufacturer demonstrates that they can control all facets of the production process. The parts, together with the documents, prove that the product meets the customer's requirements and that it can be produced with the least risk. 

All of this documentation requires heavy input from the supplier before the customer and supplier can sign off on the process and approve the part. No matter the project phase they are involved in, a strategic supply partner will do their utmost to create high quality, zero defect automotive parts for the lowest cost.

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Working with a trusted supplier early in the design process can help increase your part quality while reducing costs. Download the white paper: 10 Crucial cost drivers for automotive hot forged parts to learn more ways to reduce your total cost of ownership by designing in maximum efficiency with minimal risk – right from the start.

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About Bons & Evers Group

Bons & Evers is Europe’s leading supplier of non-ferrous hot forgings for the automotive industry. Our experienced process designers and quality management specialists can strategically partner with you early in the design phase to establish stable production processes that meet the requirements of IATF 16949. Our goal is to supply you with high quality serial automotive parts with minimal risk and zero defects.