In order to validate the tools developed as part of the Construction Product Quality Planning (CPQP) framework, the Construction Innovation Hub worked with specialist modular building manufacturer Project Etopia to demonstrate the benefits of following the framework when developing new construction products.
CPQP is a quality assurance framework for the construction industry which sets out a best practice approach for manufacturers to follow during the creation of new platform systems and offsite construction products.
CPQP includes a five-phase process, ranging from product definition to product launch, and the creation of a ‘live’ control document which provides a digital audit trail for building safety cases.
A set of documents has been made available which includes the CPQP Guide, the Construction Product Approval Process (CPAP) Handbook and nine supporting guidelines which provide templates for the completion of crucial aspects of the quality assurance process.
Project Etopia is at the forefront of inventing all-in-one solutions for a more sustainable, efficient and resilient approach to net-zero carbon buildings. Project Etopia prides itself on using the most up-to-date technologies and practices to create state-of-the-art, innovative homes.
The Hub’s CPQP project team worked with Project Etopia on updating its assurance procedures ahead of the latest product developments. Their aim was to help identify potential failures at the design and development phase for both new products and processes, and to develop methods for monitoring and resolving emerging issues, using processes set out in the CPQP framework.
The Hub’s team helped form a multidisciplinary team within Project Etopia and developed bespoke Design and product Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (DFMEA and PFMEA) through a structured CPQP framework approach.
This created a methodical way of recording potential risks and failures for later action, and the resulting template also featured a hybrid function to allow the inclusion of Health and Safety issues.
The team then undertook a root cause analysis to help populate the FMEAs with the Project Etopia team, using methods detailed in the “8 Disciplines of Problem Solving” guidance in the CPQP toolkit.
The main aim behind the use of an 8D problem-solving process is to identify the root cause of a problem, implement containment actions to protect customers, and develop and implement corrective actions and preventative measures to avoid future recurrences of similar problems.
Following this work, the Hub was able to support the creation of a Control Plan for monitoring and resolving risks which were identified during in FMEAs.
CPQP is an adaptation of Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), which is employed throughout manufacturing industries, such as aviation and automotive, to effectively ‘build in’ quality when developing new products.
The Construction Playbook and Transforming Infrastructure Performance Roadmap to 2030 have set out a vision for a manufacturing-led construction sector. New products and platforms are needed to achieve this and drive progress against value, quality and Net Zero targets.
CPQP is part of a suite of tools that the Hub has developed to meet these ambitions. Specifically, it aims to ensure innovative new products meet and exceed existing quality standards in traditional construction projects.
The aim of CPQP is to ensure that quality is built into the manufacturing process and final product from the start and that any new construction products meet performance requirements from day one and throughout their lifecycle. This helps businesses move away from defect detection and toward a culture of defect prevention.
Project Etopia quickly identified cost and time savings through a more efficient product development cycle. In addition, the holistic approach laid out in the CPQP framework meant fewer, but more impactful, control measures could be developed where multiple risks could be mitigated with one activity.
In addition, a structured approach produced a more efficient FMEA process which takes less time, increasing capacity to address risks. FMEA is now an important part of Project Etopia’s R&D process and can be seen to add value to the overall process.
The Project Etopia team reported positive cultural change within the organisation thanks to the systematic, inclusive approach set out in the CPQP framework. Common risks are no longer accepted as inevitable aspects of the project, helping to optimise manufacturing processes at all levels.
Project Etopia –
"The act of going through risks in a systematised manner has allowed the team to view the overlooked common occurrence risks prevalent in any manufacturing system. This allowed for quick and easy controls to be put in place."