Your Pathway to Mastering the Quality Core Tools

Over 30 years ago, AIAG collaborated with the domestic auto manufacturers to develop common quality methods and tools, which became known as the Quality Core Tools. The tools proved so useful that they were adopted by other manufacturing sectors, including aerospace, defense, medical, and pharmaceuticals.

The Automotive Quality Core Tools are the building blocks of an effective quality management system. They include Advanced Product Quality Planning & Control Plan (APQP), Product Part Approval Process (PPAP), Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Measurement System Analysis (MSA), and Statistical Process Control (SPC).

Today, most automotive manufacturers and suppliers require use of one or more of the Core Tools. Therefore, organizations whose employees have mastered the Core Tool processes can assure their customers that the industry’s most qualified individuals are working on their behalf and that ISO/TS 16949 and applicable quality reference manual requirements will be met without fail.

Who benefits from mastery of the Quality Core Tools?

Quite simply, anyone involved in the engineering, manufacturing, quality control, or sale of an automotive product. That includes automotive professionals working in:

  • Product quality planning
  • Measurement systems
  • PPAP submittals
  • Design and process FMEAs
  • Applying SPC methodologies

Keeping pace with the global growth in automotive, the Quality Core Tool documents are available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Thai.

How soon can I start?

How about now? With AIAG’s Core Tools eLearning program, your pathway to optimum quality and customer satisfaction is easier than ever.

What’s the logical pathway to learning the Core Tools?

If you’re just getting started, AIAG’s Quality Core Tools Connect the Dots eLearning is our basic level course. It will help you understand how the Core Tools fit together as a whole.

How can I assess what I already know?

If you’re already familiar with the Quality Core Tools, the best first step to Core Tools mastery is to assess how comprehensive your understanding truly is. Take AIAG’s FREE Core Tools Self-Assessment to determine in what areas you may need additional training or a refresher.

Specifically, what will I learn in studying each of the Core Tools?

Core Tool: APQP

Gaining a proficiency in APQP demonstrates an individual’s understanding of world class product quality planning and control plan guidelines. AIAG’s APQP training class takes you step-by-step through the automakers’ common requirements and what you need to do to achieve compliance.

Once you’ve received a good overview of the tools, procedures, and reporting requirements, AIAG’s APQP How-To Workshop crystallizes the relationship and flow between the processes.

Want to make sure that the learning sticks? Keep AIAG’s APQP manual on hand as a reference guideline. The manual covers the majority of situations that occur in early planning, design, or process analysis phases.

Core Tool: PPAP

Following APQP proficiency, your next step is an understanding of PPAP submittal requirements. AIAG’s PPAP Overview course provides an excellent introduction or refresher to the procedures and requirements specified in the PPAP manual. The PPAP manual provides guidelines to the processes required to produce parts with consistent quality.

Through group activities and hands-on coaching, AIAG’s Understanding and Implementing APQP with PPAP training helps you put it all together. To gain the maximum benefit to your quality management system, you must understand how these two Core Tools work in tandem, by developing flow charts, process instructions, and control plans all the way to PPAP submission.

Don't produce production part quantities? AIAG's Service PPAP Manual provides guidelines for to produce a lower volume of parts with production part quality.

For quality managers, team leaders, or auditors searching for a mastery level understanding of the quality planning process, check out AIAG”s Implementing APQP, Control Plan and PPAP e-learning module.

Core Tool: FMEA

Proficiency in FMEA helps you learn to successfully identify and manage risks. Start with AIAG’s FMEA Overview class, which teaches the common requirements used to implement FMEA techniques in design and manufacturing. You can also develop and practice your risk reduction and defect prevention skills through AIAG’s Implementing FMEA online e-learning class.

After the overview class, grow your understanding beyond the basic concepts by learning the specifics of developing and maintaining design and process FMEAs at AIAG’s Understanding and Implementing FMEA training class.

Keeping your skills honed to their sharpest is an ongoing challenge—but a necessary one if your company wants to be successful in its quality audits. Take an advanced step in your FMEA process improvement goals by participating in the AIAG PFMEA in Context workshop, a training class that demonstrates what a high-quality process flow diagram and control plan should look like.

And finally, complete your FMEA education by adding two manuals to your library: the Potential Failure Mode & Effects Analysis manual and the FMEA for Tooling & Equipment manual, your indispensable guides to identifying potential failures before they occur.

Core Tool: SPC

A demonstration of solid statistical process control techniques proves an individual’s ability to monitor and improve manufacturing processes. AIAG supports your need to achieve SPC proficiency through its Implementing Statistical Process Control e-learning course and the Statistical Process Control manual.

The new CQI-25 SPC Quick Start Guideis a supplement to the full SPC Manual and provides the building blocks of statistical process control for those who are new to the topic or have only experienced SPC from a limited perspective.

The SPC Short Run Supplement (CQI-26) guidelinewas developed to address the particular uniqueness of short run production, where suppliers do not have the production volume to readily apply the approaches identified in the full SPC Reference Manual.

Core Tool: MSA

If you need to sharpen your ability to analyze measurement systems, and explain and support your company’s selection of them, developing proficiency in measurement systems analysis is a must. AIAG’s Measurement Systems Analysis with Applications is the perfect online course to master the latest MSA principles and tie them to your own applications. The MSA Manual is your guide to assessing the quality of your organization’s measurement systems.

Like APQP and PPAP, to maximize the benefits of SPC and MSA, you must gain a deeper understanding of how they work together. AIAG’s Applied SPC and MSA for Practitioners class improves your integration of these complementary Core Tools, helping your organization develop a higher quality process control system. Furthermore, you can learn to analyze your organization’s manufacturing system and enhance its effectiveness by wrapping up your MSA/SPC education with AIAG’s Understanding and Implementing MSA and SPC training class.

What other resources are available to support AIAG training? 

  • Core Tool manuals are the key to getting the most value for your Core Tool education dollars. AIAG’s Supplier Quality Requirements 5-Pack is the most economical way to get the latest editions of all the Quality Core Tool manuals.
  • The ultimate collection of quality manuals is found in the ISO/TS 16949 7 Pack, which includes all five Core Tool manuals PLUS the latest editions of ISO/TS 16949:2009 and ISO/TS 16949 Rules - Automotive Certification Scheme for ISO/TS 16949.
  • To make your implementation of the Quality Core Tools fast and easy, download any of the required forms from the Core Tool manuals
  • The Automotive Project Management Guide explains how to improve the automotive development process by integrating APQP with the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK.
  • The Quality Measurement Data Specification outlines the standard that enables all gages to seamlessly exchange all types of quality information.

AIAG is committed to supporting you and your team’s quest to attain Quality Core Tool proficiency. Many classes are available both at AIAG headquarters in Southfield, MI and on-site at your location. If you need further help or clarification on any of AIAG’s quality training, e-learning modules, and support manuals, contact AIAG customer service at (248) 358-3003.