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What is PPAP?

What is a Production Part Approval Process?

PPAP stands for Production Part Approval Process. It is a standardized approval method automotive OEM’s require of their suppliers. Documented and observed evidence is required of suppliers to demonstrate they can meet customer requirements prior to regular production runs. It is a process to show your customer that you can make their parts on an ongoing basis.

Learn More about PPAP with this Tutorial:

PPAP Tutorial

PPAP stands for Production Part Approval Process 



a standardized method developed for use by suppliers to automotive customers to submit approvals for new or changed parts to their customers prior to fulfilling production orders. PPAP Manual defines these requirements.



  • to determine if all automotive customer engineering design record and specification requirements are properly understood by the supplier
  • supplier has the potential to produce product consistently meeting these requirements during an actual production run at rate

Scope of PPAP

ISO 16949 Clause Product approval process states:

A supplier to an automotive customer must conform to a product and manufacturing process approval procedure recognized by the customer.

  • The same approval procedure must also be applied to its own suppliers.

PPAP includes:

  • Internal & external suppliers of Bulk (when requested by the customer) and Production Material 
    • Including service parts
  • Standard catalog production or service parts, unless formally waived by the customer

PPAP is Required When:

  • You are producing a new component or product where the specific parts, materials or color have not previously been supplied to that specific automotive customer

  • Correction of a Discrepancy on a previously submitted part

  • An engineering change to design records, specifications or materials for production product / part number 

  • New process technology for Bulk Materials 

Customer Submission & Notification

Customers may require different levels of documents submitted to them for PPAP approval. This is referred to as Submission Level.

At various times during the product life cycle, the supplier to the automotive customer may be required to notify the supplier based on various criteria.

  • Re-submission may also be required. The Customer may elect to require a PPAP re-submission or formally waive the requirement.


Customer Notification & Re-Submission Requirements

Occurs when there is any activity of any design and/or process changes for:

  • Other construction or material
  • New or modified tools, dies, molds
  • Refurbishment or significant rearrangement of tools / equipment
  • A different plant or location
  • Change in test/inspection method

Customer Notification & Re-Submission Requirements

Occurs when there is any design and/or process changes for:

  • Change of any supplier and/or its suppliers’ changes that would affect fit, form, function, durability or performance of salable product.  
    • This includes outsourced services such as heat treat, painting, plating, etc.
  • Tooling that has been inactive for 12 months or more
  • Following a suspension due to a quality concern

When Submission is Not Required

  • Changes to Component level drawings, made internally or by its suppliers, that do not impact the design record for the product supplied to the customer
  • Tool movement within the same plant (used in equivalent equipment, no change in process flow, no disassembly of the tool)
  • Equipment movement within the same plant (no change in process flow, same equipment). 
    • Be sure to ask your customer supplier quality representative.   Some OEM customers do require notification and approval prior to moving equipment.

When Submission is Not Required

  • A customer waives a formal submission (must be received in writing or e-mail by appropriate customer representative)
  • Identical gage replacement
  • Rebalance of operator job content with no change in process flow.  
    • Be sure to ask your customer supplier quality representative.   Some OEM customers do require notification and approval when rebalancing operator job content.
  • Changes resulting in reduced RPN on PFMEA (with no change to process flow)


  • All items in the PPAP file must still be created, reviewed, updated and retained, regardless of what documents the customer asks for submission.
  • If the customer grants a waiver, the PPAP file must contain the name of the person granting the waiver and the date
  • Customer notification is required anytime customer product requirements for fit, form, function, durability & performance are affected.
    • Both product and process changes
  • PPAP documents are legal documents and therefore need to be cared for with appropriate diligence.
    • Ask your customer for specific retention times required

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