1. Preparation of reference samples for verifying that the design of a casting conforms to the drawings and dimensions, in particular for the inspection of series tools, new or modified patterns, gravity dies and die casting molds.

2. In production and manufacturing as well as quality management, sampling generally refers to the inspection of components and finished products to check them for compliance with specified characteristics. Here, a distinction is made between initial sampling (described below – see also Initial sample) and subsequent sampling.

Initial sampling in the automotive industry

Initial sampling is particularly common in the automotive industry and can be based on different standards, e.g. ISO/TS 16949. This set of rules ensures standardization of the product sampling process in the automotive industry and a close cooperation between the customer (purchaser) and the supplier (manufacturer), creating a basis for agreements.

Initial sampling according to ISO/TS 16949, PPAP and PPF

ISO/TS 16949 defines the sampling requirements according to the so-called Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) laid down in the reference book of the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG). Based on this, initial sampling according to PPAP or the Production Process and Product Approval Process (PFF) pursuant to VDA Vol. 2 (German Association of the Automotive Industry) is common today.

Basically, it must be proven that the manufacturer of cast products has understood the requirements, carried out quality planning and is able to meet the customer’s expectations under series-production conditions. The application of the PPAP/PFF process is relatively complex as submission levels need to be defined, taken into account and recorded in special PPAP/PFF documents in line with the customer-specific requirements for production part approval. The approval processes according to VDA 2 (PFF) or QS 9000 (PPAP) comprise both the product and production process approval.

Literature references:
VDA Vol. 2 (VDA Vol. 6.1)
Wikipedia entry on sampling