This paper will review the process a vertically integrated subsea equipment OEM took to implement Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) techniques in effort to satisfy API Specification Q1, 9th Edition risk assessment requirements. Through this paper, we will highlight the organization's implementation approach, challenges faced, and benefits expected including improved product quality, increased customer service level, and lower costs.
Driven by recent changes in API Specification Q1, 9th Edition along with customer specific quality requirements, Dril-Quip desired to institute Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) processes across its diverse product line and global manufacturing footprint. APQP has been successfully deployed and adopted in many manufacturing industries including automotive, aerospace, and defense. In this paper, Dril-Quip will discuss how it defined APQP standards to fit the specific needs of the oil and gas industry and its approach to apply them to the full range of Dril-Quip products. We will discuss the cross-functional approach including development of Design Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (DFMECA) and Process Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (PFMECA) for subsea wellhead systems. Critical to that discussion will be a conversation about how Dril-Quip identified the Critical to Quality characteristics (CTQs) and the procedure by which these critical features were assimilated into Dril-Quip's Quality Management System.
Additionally, this paper will highlight how APQP will help the organization improve product quality and thus unlock constrained manufacturing capacity. Traditional quality management processes used in the oil and gas industry rely heavily on quality control and inspection. As a result, manufacturing operations often generate a significant number of non-conformances and customers require witness and hold points to ensure product quality. APQP brings a more proactive approach to quality management starting with product design and carrying through product verification analysis and validation testing, manufacturing and product delivery; thus, reducing non-conformances. By reducing non-conformances and designing quality into the product and its production processes, overall product quality and customer confidence will improve eliminating the need for third party witness and unlocking trapped capacity. Equipment manufacturers who are able to unlock this capacity will in turn be able to increase production volumes, shorten lead times and reduce costs.
While APQP is not a novel or new concept and has been successfully deployed in the automotive, aerospace, and defense industries, it brings a new approach to quality management in the oil and gas industry. The ultimate conclusion will focus on the reasons why APQP implementation at a vertically integrated OEM reduces costs, improves process efficiency, and achieves a vast quality improvement over previous models including highlighting benchmarks from improvements realized from implementing APQP in other industries.