Harness configurations have become more complex with a continuous challenge to move more out the door faster than ever before. Learn the best ways to help you be more productive, faster to market, and increasingly profitable with innovative wire harness technology that surpasses competition while providing cost reduction, increased flexibility, and enhanced throughput.
Reducing Costs and Increasing Time Savings
Installing terminals by hand has numerous drawbacks including inconsistency and lack of speed. Therefore, many wire harness shops already invest in more automated systems. But even they have disadvantages in that many automation systems each terminal may require a separate tooling applicator. With hundreds of possible terminals, changing out the tooling applicator adds cost and complexity to your operations, particularly if you must purchase an applicator for a terminal that is unique to a single job. When investing in an automated termination system, it’s important to choose one that requires the fewest number of tooling changes for the broadest number of terminations.
The Panduit Reel Smart™ system uses a single applicator to install over 300 reel-fed terminal types, from rings to forks, from disconnects to butt splices — the most comprehensive in the industry. That’s a tremendous cost savings as well as an investment in productivity since you are not changing out applicators, only reels of product. Combine that tooling efficiency with the speed and consistency of the automated system and you are not just reducing costs, you are also increasing overall throughput. Given that a terminal reel can contain thousands of terminals, disconnects or splices, the time required for particularly high-volume termination work is dramatically reduced.
Traditional harness board is a very manual and labor-intensive process, but the very equipment used, reflects the appreciation the industry has for carefully making something of quality by hand. There are alternatives that make better use of your time, space, and materials. Like automated assembly solutions that increase speed and minimize errors, there are harness layout solutions that make it possible for you to increase flexibility and minimize costs.
The Panduit Quick-Build™ harness board system is a modular system that allows you to reduce the amount of harness board assembly materials you need, quickly install, and reuse common standard harness board accessories, and expand and reconfigure the assembly when you need to. Easily reproduce a single layout on two or more boards, so you can have multiple workers building the same harness, increasing turnaround time. The ability to quickly reuse a single sheet of plywood for multiple layouts, instead of reaching for a new sheet of plywood for a new layout, means the Quick-Build system can reduce your storage space by as much as 50 percent and save you more than 65 percent in labor and raw material costs. Not only does the system save you money, but by improving your flexibility in being able to quickly adjust your workflow to meet customer demands, you’ll be making more money too. All without sacrificing the high-quality craftsmanship that is the hallmark of harness making.
Technology that can help you reduce turnaround times can also improve quality at the same time. By increasing throughput in this way, you stand to be more profitable. The key is automation. Manual processes can only be enhanced so much and there is a likely chance you will also see an increase in errors and diminishing returns. Processes that can be automated to improve this should be those that are repetitive and apply to virtually every wire harness, regardless of complexity or application. For example, the application of cable ties. This is where better tools and automation can really be an improvement.
While the best workers can manually install between 10 to 15 cable ties a minute to the proper tension and with flush cut-offs, automated cable tie systems like the Panduit PAT 4.0 system can install about six times as many in the same amount of time to the same degree of quality. Cable ties are a relatively easy and cost-effective way of bundling wires in a harness, so wire harness makers use them frequently. Applying them manually is labor intensive. There is a lot of attention to detail and activity required — activity that over time could lead to lost-time injuries.
The Panduit PAT 4.0 system eliminates stress, both mental and physical, from your worker while significantly increasing throughput. And it allows you to assign projects to workers who might be less experienced, letting you be more flexible in deploying work across your operations.
For more information, download the Panduit wire harness webinar at https://bit.ly/3CEdz1K.