How To Design Various Wire Harnesses


A wire or cable harness, is a linear arrangement of many wires that can allow passage of signals or electricity. These cables are held in one piece by special ties, strapping, cable laces, cable sleeves, tape (usually electrical), conduits, extruded woven strings, or with a combination of any of the above.

Commonly applied in wiring systems of motor vehicles as well as during construction of buildings, these harnesses are very advantageous over loose ones in tgat they are stronger and multipurpose. For instance, many aero planes, vehicles and space crafts have inbuilt masses of wires which can cover a long distance when stretched.

When bound together the harnesses are well secured from environmental influences from surface scratches, moisture and vibration.

Harnessing the wires into a rigid bundle saves space and thus further reduce short circuiting in electrical arrangements because the installing personnel have a single harness to install (and not many loose wires), wiring time is greatly reduced and it can be done to standard.
Also, holding together the wires into a sleeve that is flame-retardant remarkably lowers accidents such as electrical fires.

Anchoring to designs required by clients, custom wire assemblies can be made.

How are they produced?

Following a specific template designed according to electric and geometrical measurements, cables are assembled.

A diagram of the template is traced om a screen monitor or on a paper then the length of wires is determined and cables are cut. A machine can do the cutting (an automated process) and afterwards stripping to expose the core of the wires is done to allow for fitting into connectors and terminals. Then the wires are grouped together on a board specially designed for their assembly (as per template) into a harness. Then sleeves for protection are fitted. At this point the cable harness is ready to be used in construction or autombile circuitry or packaged for shipment and sale.

Manual processes (done by hand)

Even with the automation of cutting wires, other processes of harnessing cables can only be done by hand, since there are many other processes that cannot be automated such as:

1. Placing wires into the protective sleeves
2. Using fabric tape to hold the wires together. Especially for those wires that are designed to divert and branch.
3. Crimping wire terminals especially for a harness that needs numerous crimps (meaning many wires to be put into a single terminal)
4. Putting sleeves onto one another. 
5. Tying up strands of wires to fasten them with tapes.

Automation of harnessing processes can be done in part as in:

1. Wires can be cut individually by use of a cutting machine.
2. Terminal crimping into both sides of the wire,
3. Plugging of wires partially especially those already fitted with terminals into modules (housings for connectors)
4. Use of a solder machine to solder the wires together.
5. Wire twisting.

All these processes need a dedicated and experienced team as well as professional software.

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