Wire harnesses refer to wires that are bundled together to suit specific applications. They come in a wide range of complexities from individual wires to a complex harness that comprises of hundreds of individual wires. The good thing about wire harnesses is that they can be highly customized to transmit power as well as data. Additionally in terms of location they can conform to a wide variety of space constraints. Some of the aspects that need to be considered when it comes to wire harness design so that it functions safely and as per specifications include:
- Environmental considerations
- Power Demand
Taking these details into account at the design stage means that costly errors can be avoided later & that the results are more effective. Let us look at some of the aspects that you need to consider while manufacturing a wire harness.
Wire harness design: Things to keep in mind
It is imperative to consider the demands of the environment in which the harness must function. Some of the environmental hazards that cable harness assembly must face include:
- Extremes of temperature
- Exposure to water
- Exposure to chemicals
- Exposure to vibration leading to abrasion
It is important, therefore, to choose the right wire depending on the environmental factors. The wrong choice of wire can lead to issues including but not limited to breakdown of insulation, safety issues, compliance failures, costly accidents, and more.
It is extremely important that when you share the list of parts with a contract manufacturer, you make sure that the partner can cross reference these parts to a manufacturer. In case your requirements do not pertain to a specific manufacturer or brand, a mention of “or equivalent” can go a long way for the contract manufacturer to be able to substitute the parts in a way it optimizes quality as well as costs.
In case there are internal specifications for production, you need to make sure that the same is shared with the partner so that the harness meets your bespoke specifications.
1. Lengths and Tolerances
You need to know the exact dimensions as well as the acceptable tolerances for the lengths.
Some of the covers available include:
- Braided Loom
- Split Sleeve
Each of them has their own distinct set of advantages. Understanding them in detail will ensure that you are able to determine which one will work best for your bespoke application. In choosing the covering (or not), ensure that you keep the following aspects in mind:
- Troubleshooting, and more.
3. Splicing and splice locations
Do remember to review the kind of splicing you need before you reach out to the wire harness manufacturer.
4. Wire color and labeling
To help identify circuit names, wire colors as well as any text that you want printed is to be determined early.
Ensure that you choose the type of wire with care. Wire that is used for automotives, for example, is quite different from those used in electrical control panels. Some of the aspects to keep in mind include:
- Voltage Ratings
- Insulation Material
- Bare or plated copper, and more.
6. Terminals, seals, and connectors
There are a wide variety of terminals in wire harness, seals as well as connectors. In fact, connectors cater to several types of terminals and seals. Additionally, some connectors require additional accessories. It is important therefore to identify such accessories in advance.
In case you need certain connectors to be labeled, it is imperative that a note be placed on your drawing that informs the contract manufacturer of your requirements.
Depending on your bespoke requirements & where the harness needs to be used, you may have specific testing requirements. In some cases, a continuity test may be in order while in others a high voltage test may be imperative.
Work closely with the PCB contract manufacturer
It is important to recognize that a drawing can seldom be perfect. There could be occasions where in your bid to offer too many details on the drawings you have rendered it extremely cluttered. On the other hand, in a bid to avoid clutter, you could end up giving information that is too unsure for the contract manufacturer. It is therefore advisable to work closely with the contract manufacturer to ensure that you give the right level of details as well as choose a convenient way to handle any deviations and/or revisions.
Choice of the right PCB contract manufacturer can go a long way in ensuring that the process is streamlined & your wire harness is created to meet your exact specifications.
When it comes to the right PCB manufacturer you can consider Mer-Mar Electronics which provides cable harnessing assembly service without any hassle. We specialize in assembling simple wire cable harness assemblies through to complex custom-build cable and wire harnesses using combinations of single-core or multicore cables.
Get a quote to know more details.