Wire Harness Manufacturing Equipment: The Ultimate Guide

FACTS CHECKED BY  Jose George​

In the past, almost all wire harness manufacturing projects were manual. The lack of wire harness equipment made the job long and complicated. The production time depended on the wire harness’s complexity and could take up to several weeks. Although it’s impossible to apply automation in most processes, fully automated equipment can be used to strip, cut, and crimp electrical wires. Today, we will introduce you to some standard wire harness manufacturing equipment.

Custom Wiring Harness from Wiringo
Custom Wiring Harness from Wiringo

Wire Harness Manufacturing Process That Can Be Automated

Luckily, during the wire harness manufacturing process, not every step has to be done manually. Some actions can be automated, making the process easier and more efficient.

For example, you can use specialized cutting machines to cut and strip the ends of individual wires. You can also apply automation when crimping terminals at the ends of each wire and plug in cables already fitted with end terminals into the connector housing. You can also solder wire ends via automation.

Once you finish the wire assembly, you’ll need to perform an electrical functionality test. The testing step is slightly automated since you’ll use a teddy board designed for the wire harness, allowing it to plug into the board hence checking for any electrical malfunctions.

The main wire harness manufacturing processes that one can automate include:

  • Plugging
  • Cutting
  • Crimping
  • Stripping
  • Minimal Soldering
  • Electrical safety tests

Benefits of Using Automated Wire Harness Manufacturing Equipment

The main benefits of automation are reduced labor hours during harness assembling, increased productivity, and significantly fewer wire failure-related issues.

Avoiding the Downsides of Manual Processing

With manual processing comes a high chance of errors occurring. Mishaps in the assembly of wire harnesses arise primarily due to incorrect wiring, damaged connectors, and pins, all of which mainly occur due to human error.

Although even machines sometimes malfunction, it’s safe to say that it’s unlikely to happen because once a device is programmed and operational, the chances of malfunctioning are minimal.

Another plus of machines is that they never get bored, tired, or distracted, especially when performing repetitive tasks. Machines also process more in less time with higher levels of efficiency.

In a nutshell, applying automation to wire harness manufacturing results in higher quality and improved productivity.

Product Uniformity

Automation in the manufacturing process not only fosters increased productivity but also ensures consistency and uniformity of products. Product quality and uniformity are vital and interconnected.

Automated crimping, cutting, and stripping provide fixed lengths, balanced terminal pressure, and precise stripping. Automation ensures the production of standardized components in shorter periods while maintaining consistency. In turn, it increases productivity and ensures consistent quality standards.

Quality Control

The crimping, stripping, and wire-cutting machine allows you to monitor processes optimizing quality control as components are made. The system fully integrates all monitoring activities, such as splice, crimp force, and seal monitoring. It also performs system detections to monitor knots and wires and comprehensively sorts valuable components.

Automated systems function at high speeds, with reliability and efficiency, ensuring all processes are to exact specifications. Crimping machines can also tilt and twist wires of different lengths and cross sections while performing various processing options such as tip and full tinning.

Production Run Capacity

Large-scale wire harness manufacturers ensure quality and consistency by fully automating all their cutting, crimping, and stripping processes. Automation is crucial to low volume and high mix production that relies on rapid changeover capability.

Regardless of the circumstance, high mix, or high volume, fully automated machines ensure the high efficiency and reliability of cable and wire components.

Precision Wire Harness Assembly Equipment

Below are some of the high-level equipment for high-quality wire harnesses.

AutoStrip 7400

AutoStrip 7400 is used to handle long strips. It has a wire length capacity of 1,200 and can strip both ends at a rate of 500 pieces per hour.

It can also accommodate shorter wire lengths at even faster rates. Additionally, it can handle gauges of wire of around 8.66mm, multi conductors, and flat cable gauges of 8mm.

AMP-O-ELECTRIC G II+ Terminating Machine

Amo-O-Lectric G II+ can handle broader wire gauges of up to 16mm. The machine ensures speed and precision to accommodate all your needs. It also allows split cycle operation, toolless applicator changeover, and manual crimp height adjustment.

Branson 2000 Xt Ultrasonic Welder

Any welding process can turn to Brandon Ultrasonic Welder. It ensures consistency by allowing digital amplitude control.

The splicing system can handle diameters between 0.35 to 32mm. It ensures quality via a vertical stacking design that prevents side splicing, which often leads to failure.

Branson 2032S Wire Splicer

For custom designs, the Branson wire splicer is the tool for the job. It features automated welding processes by ground detection, peak power, and time. Additional features include precise amplitude control, programmable ramp start time, and digital autotune for automatic production.

Additional Custom Wire Harness Tools and Equipment

There are countless hand-crimping tools. With the help of all the tools and machinery, wire harness manufacturers can handle all your manufacturing desires.

Automate Printing and Labeling

Labeling wires, components, locations, and other visible data is essential to the job. Labels help increase productivity and promote quality.

Automated Wire Harness Testing

Testing is an essential part of the job. Automated wire testing machines help save time and reduce the error rate significantly.

Types of shrinking tubing

Caption: Types of shrinking tubing

Wire Harness Manufacturing Process That Can’t Be Automated

Designing an assembly wire harness is a manufacturing process done mainly by hand. To properly accomplish the process, you’ll require the assistance of a schematic design. The process of automating wire harness assembly has proven too difficult. Therefore, even today, manual assembly is the most widely used and cost-effective method.

To assemble a wire harness, you’ll need to go step by step. You must do some tasks like installing terminated wires of different lengths or running cables and wires through conduits and sleeves manually.

If a terminal has more than one wire running through, you’ll need to specify the wires and perform several crimps by hand. That is still the case when tapping the wire harness with fabric tape at the branch outs. Also, multiple components must be harnessed or bound manually with cable ties, video, or clamps.

Coax Cable

Wire and Cable Assemblies Capabilities at Cloom

Cloom Tech is well equipped with fully automated equipment capable of producing fine wire and cable assemblies.

Machine Precision Wire Preparation

Our fully automated wire processing machines and benchtop equipment can cut, strip, and terminate ribbon cables, wire leads, coax cables, and jacketed cables.

With complete automation of wire processing machinery, we can cut, strip, and terminate both ends of a wire at rates of up to 10,000 wires per hour.

Crimping

Crimping wire terminals is an essential step of the production process at Cloom Tech. We use automatic wire processing equipment, hand tools, benchtop equipment, and hydraulic and pneumatic presses to crimp terminals. We get the job done the first time perfectly since we have been performing millions of crimps per year.

Wire Marking

In the wire processing industry, authentication is essential. At Cloom, we employ four wire marking methods.

  • Heat shrink labels
  • Machine-wrapped vinyl labels
  • Hand-placed vinyl labels
  • Inkjet printing directly on wire insulation

Wire Bundling

Our wire bundling can include any of the following:

Tie Wraps

We use tie wraps to bundle wires together using semi-automated machinery or manual application. With semi-automated machinery, the machine dispenses wrap and secures the tie wrap at the tap of a button.

Shrinking Tubing

At Cloom Tech, we don’t limit your shrink-tubing options. We shrink the tubing using a heat gun or calibrated oven. We are fully equipped with a wide variety of sizes, colors, and styles of shrink tubing.

Wire Twisting

Our wire twisting machinery performs uniform twisting and precise twist counts. For safety, the twister retains the wire by gently gripping the inside of the wire from the pressurized surgical tubing preventing damage.

Soldering/Tinning

At Cloom Tech, we are capable of soldering through-hole components and wires to PC boards. We ensure to use the best solder equipment and material.

Beading

Beading is the wrapping of wires around a device, typically ferrite beads. Cloom Tech has the experience and equipment to handle all your needs.

Custom Harnessing

Cloom Tech combines all its wire and cable harness abilities to develop complex wire harness designs.

Testing

After every job, a complete electrical continuity test ensures no open, short, or faulty wiring.

Faulty wiring

Faulty wiring

Conclusion

Fully automating the cable and wire processes such as cutting, stripping, terminating, and rigorous testing is more efficient and cost-effective. It ensures precision and enables easy repeat techniques such as stripping when using different insulation materials. You can also quickly achieve consistent cutting quality and dimensional accuracy for processed conductors. Any confusion? Feel free to contact us to explore various automation options for your custom cable assemblies. 

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