Octopus Day, Part II.

Building Large-Scale Wire Harnesses

Earlier this month we celebrated Octopus Day (October 8th) by providing a little insight into both the marine and the wire based versions. Today we would like to share with you how we build great wire harnesses to go into high performance cars.

Properly Laid Out

While these harnesses can be built on plywood boards with nails holding the wires in place, DECA uses a more sophisticated system. We lay harness out with

  • reusable, plastic form boards

  • snap-in fasteners with elastic

This system is designed to hold wires gently place without damaging the wires or their jacketing. The boards also allow us to add labels noting specifications for different sections of the harness. These boards make it easy to

  • manipulate wires

  • add additional sub-components

  • perform assembly tasks such as tape wrapping.

Automated Tools for Processing and Labeling

We use automated systems to cut, strip, seal, and terminate the wires that will be used in the harness. Automation allows us to make sets of wires with high-throughput efficiency and precision. Automation provides us with better ways to label the harness too. We have a labeling system that robotically wraps our harnesses with crisp clean labels in a sequential order to avoid creases and labeling errors.


Testing

No matter how cool a wire harness looks, it must be tested to make sure that data and power flows through the cable properly. After mounting the completed harness on whiteboard with the cables schematics, our computer-based Cirris system tests the entire harness. If there is a problem with the harness, it tells us where and what it is so the harness’s components can be adjusted as needed.


Building Better Wire Harnesses, Requires a Better Skill Set

In addition to having the correct tools and layout system, our staff’s skill set is a vital part of our success building these large wire harnesses. Building one is more than just processing the raw materials; its knowing how to appropriately prepare and combine all the elements of the harness. For example our assembly staff must be able to

  • Properly terminate a wire

  • Run quality checks using methods such as crimp height measurement, pull testing, and cross-sectioning

  • Understand how to properly setup tooling

  • Ensure wire breakouts measure to customer specified lengths and tolerances

  • Have a focus on manufacturability and driving insights back to the customer where valuable

To be successful our production staff has

  • a high level of dexterity

  • attention to detail

  • drawing interpretation skills

  • familiarity with wire processing techniques and equipment.

  • proficiency with IPC A620 standards

  • the ability to efficiently breakdown the tasks to be done on larger harnesses.


Contact us Today

We would love to talk with you about building the large-scale wire harnesses you need for your next project. Whether it is just a prototype or you are ready to go to production, contact us today