Ramp-up quality assurance plan is a systematic, yet individual set of actions that focus on product quality at the time of new product introduction (NPI), or at the introduction
of a new process. The sole intention of this assurance plan is to make sure of detecting possible defects, which may come up in high-running production and possibly wouldn't occur before a decent amount is
manufactured. During the ramp-up phase, the company switches the quality control of the affected product into a state with increased sensitivity. In the midst of this state special tests are performed, even if
they wouldn't be cost effective in the long-term.
Ramp-up quality assurance plan itself is defined usually before pre-serial phase, after DFMEA and PFMEA
and kicked off right before SOP (Start of Production)
Ramp-up QA is usually defined for a given time-frame or a given quantity of products to ensure safe launch. As soon as the time expires or the quantity is reached (and there are no systematic defects), the
company leaves the Ramp-up QA, and switches to the "normal" conditions.
Increased testing during ramp-up period (Source: qMindset.com)
The assurance plan may contain the following elements that are used temporarily:
- Increased testing of a product characteristics (100% inspection or firewall instead of sampling test or SPC).
- Increased test coverage (testing minor characteristics, that won’t be tested during the serial life after ramp-up).
- Increased inspection / testing of incoming material.
- Destructive tests on samples that wouldn’t be done in "normal serial life".
- Tightened test limits.
- On-site support at the customer’s plant, beside the customer’s production line, with continuous focus and feedback possibilities.
- Extra data analysis of quality metrics (extended SPC content), analysing individual data and not only the trends.
Always consider the possibility of Ramp-up QA, when introducing a new product. It costs money, but can be beneficial for both the customer and you, so the "price" of these
additional tests should be built into the price of the product (or project).
"Listen to the parts", as they tell the truth about your production. The start of ramp-up (after SOP) is crucial, as you have not produced thousands or millions from the
given part yet, so you have limited information. This is why the product design, process design, lessons learned and ramp-up QA complement each other, and are all necessary for high level quality production.
Create and manage your Ramp-up Control Plan
, which will be a temporary version between the pre-launch and
the serial CP. This CP will contain the additional tests, and the increased test frequencies.