The automotive industry is governed by QS-9000 (and/or ISO 16949) with coordination provided by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG - www.aiag.org).
The QS-9000 standard requires suppliers to use the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP). It specifically deals with determining and ensuring that the entire customer’s engineering criteria, design records, and specification requirements are properly understood. In addition, PPAP is intended to prove that the supplier’s processes can produce products which meet those requirements during the actual production.
The DISCUS core competency is managing a part’s Technical Data Package at the characteristic level of detail. DISCUS enables a user to view a drawing or model and quickly identify the features and characteristics. This identification can then be used to efficiently create downstream artifacts for manufacturing and quality assurance. This includes First Article Inspections, In-Process Inspection Plans, Manufacturing Process Plans, and Producibility Analyses.
The overall PPAP effort consists of many steps such as mapping the process, performing failure analyses, etc.; In addition, the formal PPAP submission consists of many forms such as control plans, failure mode and effects analysis, part submission warrants, etc. Thus, many suppliers consider the PPAP to be a very laborious effort.
One of the most time-consuming activities of the PPAP is the effort to identify and document the part’s characteristics. Thus, while many software packages for PPAP and APQP focus on document management, DISCUS focuses on characteristic management. DISCUS helps you to quickly analyze and interrogate the part – whether it’s in the form of a 2D drawing on 3D CAD model. In addition, DISCUS addresses the core of the PPAP, which includes capturing the dimensional results. The output from DISCUS complies with the AIAG pronouncements and allows you to create custom reports.