Elevating Wire Harness Design and Manufacturing Productivity with Automation

Enhancing Wire Harness Manufacturing with Digital Twin Technology

Automating manufacturing processes marks a significant evolution in the industrial sector, streamlining operations, enhancing precision, and boosting production efficiency. When producing wire harnesses and cables, having a digital twin of the design is the foundation for enabling manufacturing automation. Manufacturers can simulate, test, and refine wire harness layouts before production by leveraging the information from digital design tools like E3.series and its plug-in, Harness Builder. This automation accelerates the design phase, reduces errors and rework, and ensures a smoother, faster, and more cost-effective production cycle. Zuken’s commitment to guiding customers in adopting this strategy is evident in future product enhancements.

Sneak Peek at the Future of Harness Builder for E3.series

Zuken is poised to revolutionize wire harness design and manufacturing with the launch of Harness Builder for E3.series 2024 later this year. The release is laden with exciting industry automation upgrades designed to optimize the wire harness design and manufacturing process with advanced features that automate documentation, streamline quoting, and simplify wire processing. The software’s intelligent design and parts database enable designers to quickly develop harnesses, while its outputs boost efficiency and reduce costs for manufacturers. Zuken’s dedication to customer-centric innovation shines through, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to advancing design and manufacturing solutions.

Expanding Connectivity and Automation

With every release, Harness Builder continues to expand its reach to connect with all facets of the product lifecycle while introducing automation throughout. In a previous article, Islands of Automation: Charting a Course for Design-To-Manufacturing Automation, the current ties are reviewed in detail. Looking ahead, Harness Builder for E3.series 2024 will include new bridges with Telsonic, adaptronic, Berrylium, Komax EasyWiring, PTC, and others.

Integrating Telsonic Ultrasonic Welding Systems into Harness Builder

Harness Builder will introduce a new feature this year that will enable the generation of the Telsonic production control XML file input format. Using the file interchange will allow users to operate ultrasonic welding equipment directly from their design. The export automatically places the generated file into the ‘Requests’ folder.

The flexible enhancement will cover single splice definition or multi-segment splice configurations. By simply creating the design, the information is ready for manufacturing. Additionally, checks before exporting the drive file can save time when identifying faults downstream. Teams can store the drive files for future reuse or revision control purposes, enabling easy identification of changes as the design evolves.

adaptronic Brings Unmatched Testing Precision

Designed exclusively for the Komax adaptronic range of wire harness testers, Harness Builder for E3.series will include an unparalleled new export function. This cutting-edge feature showcases the true power of automation by dispensing with manual programming of test equipment, eliminating human errors, and streamlining the entire testing process. This innovative tool allows design files to be effortlessly translated and loaded directly into the adaptronic machines, creating a seamless flow from digital models to physical testing, underscoring a new standard in the efficiency and reliability of wire harness testing workflows.

adaptronic’s testers are modular, adaptable, and built for industries such as automotive, aerospace, and transportation. The integration of these testers eradicates the need for proprietary format programming, ensuring precision engineering and cutting-edge connectivity. The equipment can even perform functional testing of complex configurations, and its automated test preparation via smart importing from formats like Excel or CSV significantly enhances operational efficiency. adaptronic’s products guarantee reliability and excellence, embodying the hallmark of German craftsmanship.

“This partnership, reflective of a mutual commitment to technological advancement and user-centric design, streamlines the path from digital blueprint to tested reality. It is a clear example of how automation and precision engineering converge to deliver solutions that not only save time but also elevate the standard of accuracy and reliability in testing.

In essence, adaptronic and Harness Builder for E3.series redefine what is possible in wire harness testing, ensuring that the leap from model to machine is not just a step but a stride into the future.”, comments Simon Müller, Komax, Product Manager Software

Coming soon – Harness Builder for E3.series 2024 continues to automate manufacturing and quality processes.

New Enterprise Solution with Berrylium

At the recent Zuken Innovation World (ZIW) conference, a synergistic partnership was ignited as Berrylium unveiled its vision for a transformative B2B engineering collaboration platform. Recognizing the potential for elevated efficiency in design and engineering workflows, Zuken responded swiftly, creating a new direct interface for Bills of Materials (BOM) exchange under revision control inside Harness Builder for E3.series.

Berrylium’s cutting-edge platform empowers design and engineering teams by streamlining product lifecycle management and revolutionizing how professionals exchange information and share documentation in the engineering sector.

Central to the Berrylium platform is a robust system for managing product catalogs, BOM version controls, and enterprise-level auditing for tracking engineering changes. The platform fosters a collaborative ecosystem where teams can freely share ideas and develop innovative solutions efficiently and precisely. It also includes an advanced search engine, tailored explicitly to engineering specifications, that allows teams to quickly locate and share vital components and tooling options, streamlining their workflow.

The integration facilitated by Zuken goes beyond mere connectivity; it forges a dynamic link between Harness Builder’s designs and Berrylium’s web-based control system. The connection pushes the information to the web-based control system after creating a harness design for a quotation inside Harness Builder for E3.series. The new partnership allows  Berrylium to maintain its commitment to enhancing collaboration and communication among design and engineering professionals. With this, Zuken and Berrylium are charting a course towards a more interconnected and innovative future in engineering design. (For a detailed example of a BOM, click on the beginning of this article on the online Flipbook.)

Michal Meciar, CEO of Berrylium, said, “Our collaboration with Zuken has forged a powerful alliance, driven by our mutual ambition to make the engineering design workflow more efficient and to speed up the transition from concept to market.

Zuken’s comprehensive approach to electrical design, coupled with sophisticated documentation requirements and automated checks for device interconnectivity, empowers users to focus more effectively on the creative and practical aspects of their designs.

Beryllium contributes to this synergy by prioritizing thorough documentation, traceability of changes, and alternative components, and providing collaboration tools that ensure external partners have access to the same specifications and documentation for close cooperation, sourcing, and strengthening their strategic partnerships.

The result of this symbiotic integration is a dramatically simplified process that accelerates time-to-market for new innovations and creates a user experience that is efficient, rewarding, and with exceptional results. “

Facilitating Mixed Reality Work Instructions

In collaboration with Komax France, Zuken is expanding the electronic formboard interchange file (EFB) information. The additional information will improve the process of building and assembling wire harnesses. With the help of the Komax France team, we have altered the format to include all necessary instructions that technicians can load into Komax’s easy-to-use harness-building system.

The Komax Smart Data feature will consume the EFB file and convert the data into mixed reality step-by-step work instructions highlighted directly on the Komax EasyWiring formboard.

Komax’s EasyWiring is an interactive harness assembly board that simplifies the production and prototyping of electrical harnesses. This cutting-edge solution replaces traditional paper plans with dynamic display instructions, providing operators with seamless traceability throughout the entire production process. This technology is a perfect example of areas manufacturers can easily automate with direct engineering information from the digital twin.

Ignacio Gonzalez, Komax France, EasyWiring Project Manager, states,“Maintaining the digital thread from inception to manufacturing is key to the future and success of Smart Factories.”

Incorporating New Bridges

Responding to a surge in customer demand, Harness Builder for E3.series has extended its export capabilities to include a new export to the PTC Onshape web-based mechanical design application. The export will allow users to seamlessly transfer detailed wiring information directly from Harness Builder into Onshape, capitalizing on the agile web-based CAD environment to enhance and expedite design workflows. This strategic move underscores Zuken’s commitment to interoperability and customer-driven innovation, fostering a more streamlined and cohesive design experience.

PTC’s Onshape is a revolutionary cloud-native product development platform that offers professional-grade CAD capabilities and next-generation product data management (PDM). Onshape allows users to access agile design processes while collaborating seamlessly and efficiently with other stakeholders from any web-connected device. Unlike traditional file-based CAD systems, Onshape allows information to flow freely across the business without the constraints of a check-in and check-out process. This means everyone can stay in sync and work together to achieve outstanding results.

Looking Forward

The forthcoming launch of Harness Builder for E3.series 2024 is a significant step towards employing digital twin data to fundamentally transform the automation of wire harness design and manufacturing processes. Equipped with advanced features and intelligent designs, the tool promises to help designers quickly develop harnesses while boosting efficiency and reducing production costs for manufacturers. By leveraging the digital twin data of the wire harness design and the power of strategic partnerships with Komax, PTC, Berrylium, and Telsonic, as well as the integrations with their software, the solution is even more robust for the industry. At Zuken, a customer-first philosophy is the fuel that drives continuous product improvement through valued user input and feedback.

Visit the Zuken team at the EWPTE conference for an exclusive demonstration of these breakthrough technologies and witness firsthand how Zuken is transforming the future of wire harness design and manufacturing.

Author Bio:

Paul Harvell is the Product Director for E3.series, leading an application development team within Zuken USA. His team defines the Harness Builder for E3.series product and other Zuken design automation solutions to connect engineering and manufacturing. Paul plays a pivotal role in refining the electrical design-to-manufacturing process to help customers successfully realize digital transformation.