Industrial and/or manufacturing environments may be chaotic and physically taxing on machinery, let alone the internal components that allow it all to run efficiently. However, properly planned out wire harnessing allows these extreme environments to run with little to no interruption.
Often thought of as merely an aesthetic option, wire harnesses play a major role in keeping complex operations (both inside & out) well-routed and organized. Visual observation shows nothing more than bundled cables. In general, the primary function of the wire harness is to transmit a signal or electrical power. But this is only the most basic of functions, and it can only be done if proper planning goes into the design of the wire harness.
The type of wire, connectors, and termination, are just some of the basic elements involved in a properly planned out wire harness build. There also needs to be attention given to the physical health of the wire harness and how best to protect it in the environment it will find itself in. Cable management, ties, clamps, and location of elements universally referred to as ‘strain-relief’ components need to become a valuable basic part of wire harness design so as to keep the final design safe.
However, the wire harness world goes beyond that of appearances and protection. For example:
Wire Harnesses & Cable Assemblies — These two terms are used interchangeably, but they are different. The biggest differences between a wire harness and a cable assembly is that a wire harness has multiple breakouts with multiple terminations as opposed to two ends for a cable assembly.
Progress — Using wire harnesses makes for quicker, easier installations, upgrades, and/or retrofits as technology changes over time. Customization of wire harnesses for a particular application can lead a better design over time, keeping components safe. Wire harnesses also prove to be an ideal solution when space is an issue. Some environments can be cramped, so a quick interconnect solution that is stout in both form & function is preferred.
Man AND/OR Machine — A hot topic in the world of manufacturing is the integration of automated processes. Many have feared that a reliance on automation would lead to the decimation of the physical employee. However, wire harnesses have shown this to not be the case. They are a vital component that still relies on a significant amount of manual assembly. However, automation is used when possible to help increase productivity and maintain consistency across units. This collaborative effort has been effective at creating the most technologically-advanced components used in history, all while still keeping the human component safe.
Testing — Wire harnessing is run through an exhaustive amount of testing and general quality control. The ‘completed’ harness is connected to a test board that is pre-programmed & run to make sure all is as it should be. This means checking for electrical integrity, resistance, and checking for intermittent connections. Keep in mind that new technology is available that allows software to run testing on its own, providing a digital record of the testing.
In the end, the amount of work that goes into wire harnessing will vary between manufacturers. This also explains why the final build quality of wire harnesses can vary quite a bit. LoDan Electronics, Inc. in Illinois has been an interconnect solutions standard-bearer for over five decades because of our dedication to the quality of our products & our customers.
Click here to have a LoDan technical specialist help you today.