If you were to ask a person what they might be able to identify off of a wire harness, there’s a pretty good chance that they’d peg the wire part and nothing else. This isn’t to say anything critical or negative about the layperson, but it’s just not their wheelhouse. If you don’t usually work with or involve yourself with the ins & outs of wire harnesses, you’re likely not too concerned about what they are, what they look like, or how they work.
For inspectors, though, this is not a luxury that is available to them.
Inspectors need to have an idea of how exactly a wire harness works. Basically, you have a collection of wires that is bundled together to help conduct an electrical current, complete a circuit, and ultimately complete a system inside of machinery. Wire harnesses organize what could become a mass of wires. Moreover, it allows folks without technical training to take on basic installation & handle electrical wiring pretty easily.
It’s also important for the inspector to get a better idea of track-record that the machinery/wire harness in question has with respect to maintenance record and who might be operating the machinery. If there is a lax maintenance record, or a lack of one, a basic visual check that could have foreseen issues may be have skipped, leading to much more costly repairs & replacements. When it comes to who might be operating the machinery, if you’ve got someone who isn’t really qualified to do so, they could be causing damage they can’t see, namely internal issues such as wire harnesses. There might be something kitschy about the phrase, “Grind it ‘til you find it”, but all that really means is you’re going to be footing a big repair bill down the line.
Any discussion about wire harness and machine internals merits discourse about age. There are plenty of facilities out there who take pride in using the same machines that opened the doors decades ago. There’s a toughness & pride that comes with it, but there’s also a greater chance for mechanical failure. Inspectors need to always ask or check for the age of the wiring they’re looking at because even with proper maintenance & upkeep, there is always a risk of breaking down.
Inspectors are on the lookout for a number of things when checking wire harness issues. Some of these include:

  • Corrosion
  • Issues with connections
  • Broken wiring
  • Loose connections of terminals

At times, inspectors will have to take closer looks at the problem harness to find out what is causing the issue. The thing is that when it comes to replacing wire harness, it’s not just about taking one out and popping one back in. The inspection is just one part of understanding a problem for a customer. Once they get back on track, is their productivity where it needs to be? How well has their facility adapted to changes in technology? What do the next 5-10 years look like for expansion? A thorough inspection, coupled with the right wire harness manufacturer, can not only get your machinery back on track, but can get your company looking forward more than you imagined.
Since 1967, LoDan Electronics, Inc. has been designing, manufacturing, and delivering cost-effective, custom-engineered interconnect solutions, including wire harness, for customers across numerous industries. See what they may be able to offer you today.