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  • Writer's pictureLocke-Brothers

Manufacturing Acronyms Everyone Should Know

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

It doesn’t matter if you’re a buyer, engineer, or in sales. These acronyms are important to know and have the basic understanding of what they mean. Most manufacturing professionals will assume everyone in the room fully understands these acronyms.


BOL - Bill of Lading: The document providing a detailed list of the goods being shipped.

BOM - Bill of Materials: A complete list of components and material contained in the design records; this list includes a listing of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, parts, and the quantities of each needed to manufacture the end part.

FOB - Free on Board: The freight cost is paid by the buyer.

Net Term: Reference to the number of days allowed to pay an invoice.

Net 30: The customer has 30 days to pay an invoice after the invoice date.

COD - Cash on Delivery/Demand: The customer must pay for parts at time of delivery.

ASN - Advanced Shipping Notice: a detailed document notifying a customer of an upcoming shipment.

DFM - Design for Manufacturing: This is the best practice to help optimize the design for its manufacturing process. The goals are to eliminate unnecessary costs and improve overall efficiency of the process.

LEAN Manufacturing (Leadership, Eliminate waste, Act now, Never ending): Lean Manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on maximizing productivity while minimizing waste. Waste is seen as anything that the end customer does not believe adds value and they are not willing to pay for.

5S - Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain: 5S is a system for organizing work space so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. This system focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean. In turn this makes it easier for people to do their jobs without wasting time or risking injury. One must decide what tools and equipment are necessary and organize them in the most efficient way possible.

ISO - International Organization for Standardization: ISO is a worldwide federation of national standards. Over 160 countries recognize and use this quality standard.

QMS - Quality Management System: Is a system that documents the procedures and policies to ensure a supplier delivers repeatable high-quality product or services. ISO 9001 is a QMS.

APQP- Advanced Product Quality Planning: Is a structured framework for product and process development.

There are 5 Phases of APQP:

  1. Product Planning and Quality Program Definition

  2. Product Design and Development

  3. Process Design and Development

  4. Validation of Product and Process

  5. Production Launch, Assessment, and Improvement

PSW - Part Submission Warrant: This form summarizes the whole PPAP package. It identifies design changes or anything else that a supplier would like to document with the end customer.

ISIR - Initial Sample Inspection Report: This is an important part of the sampling processes as it documents the results of the initial sample.

PPAP - Production Part Approval Process: This an automotive and aerospace procedure that helps ensure that suppliers are manufacturing their parts as consistently as possible. There are 5 PPAP Levels:

  • PPAP Level 1: Part Submission Warrant (PSW) only submitted to the end customer

  • PPAP Level 2: PSW with product samples and limited supporting data

  • PPAP Level 3: PSW with product samples and complete supporting data

  • PPAP Level 4: PSW with other requirements as defined by the customer

  • PPAP Level 5: PSW with product samples and complete supporting data available for review at the supplier manufacturing location

** Level 3 is the most common request PPAP level.

FAI - First Article Inspection: Assesses the quality of the first couple parts run on production intent equipment. Ensures all the customer’s requirements are being met.

PFMEA - Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis: This is a structured analytical tool used by companies to identify and evaluate all potential failures of a process.

GD&T - Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing: A set of rules and standard symbols to define part features and relationships on an engineering drawing depicting the geometric relationship of part features and allowing the maximum tolerance that permits full function of the product.


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