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HomeTips & GuidesWire Harness Manufacturing Equipment: Automation in Wire Harness Manufacturing

Wire Harness Manufacturing Equipment: Automation in Wire Harness Manufacturing

Are wire harness manufacturing equipment important, or is automation a virtually impossible practice in this industry? 

In the past decades, automation in wire harness manufacturing processes was nearly impossible. 

There were just too many steps that were labor intensive and required a human hand that it would be impossible to employ machines. 

That has since changed, and today, we have manufacturing equipment handy in this cause. 

Let’s explore the equipment in detail by first highlighting the processes that can be automated and those that require manual input. 

Table of Contents

Wire Harness Manufacturing Process That Can Be Automated

Colorful Wire Harnesses. 

Colorful Wire Harnesses. 

Below are the main processes that we can automate in wire harness production processes: 

  • Machines can cut and splice the individual wires and crimp their ends. 
  • Also, we can use devices to fit wire crimping terminals to connector housings. 
  • Robots can apply tin and soldering the wire ends as perfectly as a human worker. They are even faster in practice, so they come in handy when dealing with a vast output requirement. 

Wire Harness Manufacturing Process That Can’t Be Automated

Colorful electrical wire harnesses with plastic connectors. 

Colorful electrical wire harnesses with plastic connectors. 

While automation is possible for many major wire harness production steps, some must involve human input. 

  • Installing the terminated wires, especially of varying lengths, requires caution to prevent wire damage. So, it must involve manual work. 
  • You need a human hand to fix the cables into the harness wire insulation conduits/pipes. 
  • Branch outs are crucial parts of the harness and must be secured using fabric tape. Human input is necessary for this process. 
  • Making multiple crimps on some wires with automatic wire processing equipment would be impossible. 
  • Finally, you need workers to bind cables with parts such as cable ties, clamps, and tapes. 

Types of Wire Harness Manufacturing Equipment

A bunch of wire harnesses for the automobile industry. 

A bunch of wire harnesses for the automobile industry. 

Above, we’ve highlighted some major processes involving wire harness equipment. So which are some of these equipment? 

Automated Wire Processing Machines

Most of the wire preparatory processes are labor intensive and require immense time. 

Their nature means meeting the production demands would take a lot of time. And this is where automating machines come in handy. 

Wire cutting, stripping, marking, bundling, and creating terminals are seamless with machines. 

An example of such an important machine is the Komax Zeta, which specializes in wire bundling.

Automated Wire Testing Machines

Quality control measures such as testing are handy in ensuring the output of the wire harness fixture meets the standards. 

Today, we have machines with the capacity to test various aspects, such as follows: 

  • Connectivity 
  • Signal Integrity
  • Impedance. 

Timely wire harness testing is handy in meeting manufacturing demands. 

You can schedule testing with automated systems like CKT technologies Harness Builder for E3.series and DeltaSigma. 

Automated Wire Harness Assembly

Wire assemblies process. 

Wire assemblies process. 

Next comes a process that may seem too challenging to automate- Wire harness assembly. 

It takes a lot of work to assemble the various wire sizes into one harness. In truth, it may not yet be possible to automate this process. 

However, with recent technological advancements, it is only a matter of time before manufacturers hack automation in custom cable assembly. 

There’s good progress on this front, with tools like Komax Zeta performing basic yet time-consuming activities like linking wires to connectors. 

Once manufacturers fully learn to automate assembly, most of the manual applications will be gone. 

Automated Printing and Labeling

Wire harness labels. 

Wire harness labels. 

Printing and labeling wire harnesses are some of the processes where automation has found immense success. 

The crucial process is essential in wire harness content identification and other critical component data. 

Assemblers will primarily depend on the labeling to tell the components of the respective harnesses. 

Numerous tools assist in this process, making labeling and printing arguably the most automated process in wire harness production. 

Additional Custom Wire Harness Tools and Equipment

In addition to the automated equipment, numerous hand-held crimping tools help create the wire harness. 

These tools come in handy for manufacturers in helping fix the issues that the typical processes that automation cannot handle. 

An example of such a tool is the wire splicer. 

Benefits of Using Wire Harness Manufacturing Equipment

A High-Quality Wire Harness production line. 

A High-Quality Wire Harness production line. 

Why do manufacturers opt to use automated manufacturing processes over manual equipment? 

Errors Mitigations

Wire harness processes are prone to errors, especially when manual processing is involved. 

As such, manufacturers opt for automation equipment that doesn’t make human errors.

Machine operation is also not foolproof. But with excellent programming and settings, they’re unlikely to make the mishaps prevalent with human labor.

 In addition, they don’t suffer human feelings such as boredom or distraction. 

They can do repetitive tasks without the risk of exhaustion as you’d expect with human labor. 

Automation systems have a better throughput rate than human labor and a lesser error propensity. 

Guaranteeing Product Uniformity

Improving the products’ throughput times is not the only upside to automation, as you also get uniform products. 

The consistency stems from applying the same settings to produce many components.

So, the output features uniform-size wires stripped to the same lengths and a similar crimping design. 

The uniformity helps maintain the design quality and create volume parts reserved for similar operations. 

Excellent Quality Control

Manual workers’ input may be handy in guaranteeing quality wire harness products as they check each part individually. 

However, human errors are likely to creep in at some point, compromising the product quality, especially if the workers get tired/bored. 

But with automated wire harness equipment, there are quality checks at every production phase. 

All activities and aspects, like the crimp force, nature of splicing, and sealing, are under precise control. 

So, at no point can the quality get compromised. Despite operating at relatively high speeds, exemplary quality control ensures the design processes meet the necessary standards. 

Increasing the Production Run Capacity

The core aim of automatic wire harness production is to increase the run capacity. 

It also means you can make rapid production changeovers blissfully. It is something that would be hard to achieve with manual labor. 

Summary

We’ve covered the range of wire harness manufacturing equipment and their upsides in the production processes. 

They are essential in ensuring auto manufacturers meet the market demand for harnesses without compromising quality. 

But as we have highlighted, some functions cannot be automated, although the ever-improving technology means we may soon solve this issue.

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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