Flow Chart - Part of the APQP Process


Since last we met, we decided to talk about FMEA’s in our next blog, but before we do that, it's important to know the steps of production before you can determine what could go wrong. A Flow Chart sets the tasks for the manufacturing process, that is, the actions required to manufacture a part complete. The person we use here at Auto Bolt to create the flow chart (to become the router in our system) is an Applications Engineer. This person is well versed in understanding and interpreting what is required; the who, what, where, and why.  Our Applications Engineer is not doing this alone, as our Team has already met to discuss the part (APQP). Someone must interpret the Customer’s specifications and generate the flow of operations to manufacture and commit it to paper. Specification requirements, after interpretation, are generated and stored in our specification library.

We chose this specification library for several reasons. Firstly, our new ERP system had a module for this. Secondly, our request for like service from different Suppliers is consistent (i.e., Gr 5 per SAE J429). We can also revise a requirement and update globally. A flow chart has all the manufacturing steps identified, including work-centers, order of operation, inspections performed, and Suppliers required in the process.

We manage production electronically from this flow chart converted to a router. We scan the product and work-center / service destination. Each operation must be completed before the parts are able to enter the next operation. If not correct or complete, our ERP system will not allow further processing and the associate will have to notify their Supervisor.

A Flow Chart is needed to communicate the actions required to produce the product your Customer desires. We would be negligent if we did not mention that the AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group) has generated and published excellent documentation on APQP and its support processes. Greater detail and description can be found on their website.  AIAG Website

Next discussion will focus on another aspect of the APQP process, namely the FMEA, Failure Effect Mode Analysis.


Contact us at 800.988.BOLT, or visit www.autoboltusa.com for all your fastener requirements.

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