The custom wiring harness market is growing at a fast pace, especially in North America. As a business looking for a custom wire harness system, accuracy is the primary goal. For this, every little detail count. Choosing the right wire harness manufacturers is more important than you think. It is crucial to ensure the safety and durability of the system.
If you choose a manufacturer without considering all the factors, it might give you a poor result. Unlike other companies, wire harnessing manufacturers need to follow these standards. Otherwise, it can compromise the safety of both the product and the user.
Let’s take a brief look at the things to keep in mind while choosing the right wire harness manufacturer.
Table of Contents
1. Accurate Testing System
The manufacturer needs to conduct rigorous testing on the cables and wire harness assemblies. That is necessary for every order. Performing both visual and electrical inspection can prevent any errors in the future. That will also ensure greater accuracy of the system.
Ensure that the company has the experience and ability for the testing before you order. They should also have the necessary testing equipment for physical and electrical examination.
Here, the company can make use of pre-programmed test boards. They can program these test boards with the electrical requirements of the project. It will enable them to test the parts of the wire harness in groups or components. That will contribute significantly to create a safer and reliable final product.
The company should also be able to show the test reports of all the electronic wire harness made by them.
These are some of the tests manufacturers use:
- Hipot Test
Hipot Test/high potential test for checking isolation. Alternatively known as Dielectric Withstand Test, it checks for excellent isolation. It ensures that there is no flow of current from one point to another. This high-voltage test can detect crushed insulation, braided shielding, and stray wire strands.
- Continuity Test
Contrary to the Hipot test, the Continuity Test ensures the flow of current from one point to another. Also, they make sure that each wire hooks up or connects corresponding to its original design.
- Quality Control
Before you order, make sure the company has a stringent quality control system in place. The manufacturer should only offer products of superior quality. Furthermore, make sure to check the following in a wiring harness:
- Correct labeling
- Proper crimps
The crimp should never break the insulation. Instead, it should completely wrap around and support the insulation. Furthermore, it should not expose an opening bigger than 45 degrees.
- Correct Wire Gauge
The most appropriate wire gauge for your assemblies depends on the qualities of the wire. These qualities include the length and resistance of the cable. Moreover, identifying the right measure for your wiring is a rather complicated process. That will depend on the purpose and nuances of your final product. Interestingly, the bigger the size of the wire, the smaller the gauge becomes.
Choosing a larger gauge size has its merits, for it significantly lowers the energy costs. However, this means that your product will be more expensive. It is due to the more considerable amount of conductor material you need for its build. Besides, this might only be useful up to a certain point.
In the same note, opting for very small conductors might also make the assembly costlier. It is due to its intricate extrusion process. The right choice is to find the perfect gauge suitable for your wiring harness system.
Also, make sure to carry out the following:
- Pull test – tug lightly at the wire ends at the point where they meet the connectors. That is to ensure that the wires are correctly attached.
- Broken wires test
- Check for damaged wires or insulation
Insulation should not have punctures or tabs penetrating the cables. Also, check if the insulation reveals wires – a sure sign of damage. Broken insulation is a grave matter as it can cause severe safety hazards.
Moreover, as it is very hard to detect damaged wires beneath insulation, you need to be extra careful. Check carefully for any scrapes, nicks, or other such damages in the cable.
2. Different Types Of Wire Terminals
The shape and size of the wire terminal will depend on the size of the screw and wire. Additionally, determine whether you need an insulated or non-insulated wire terminal for your project. Insulation acts as a non-conductor by providing a layer of added protection. It protects the wire from elements such as water, heat, and cold.
If you do not need added protection, you can go for a non-insulated terminal – a cheaper option.
You can choose from various types of terminals. For instance, you can go for a ring, hook, fork, and bullet.
- Ring terminals:
- Round-edged terminal for easy attachment of a stud or screw.
- Hook Terminals: Open-ended terminals that are available in both insulated or non-insulated options.
- Fork/Spade Terminals: Open-ended terminals for secure attachment or removal from the screw. You can choose from insulated or non-insulated ones.
- Bullet Terminals: This terminal creates a secure, stable, and high-quality connection. They can easily connect with both male and open-ended female connectors.
- Quick-disconnect Terminals: These terminals can easily and securely connect and disconnect with wires.
3. Types Of Terminal Insulation
Insulated terminals come in both partially insulated and fully insulated types. Somewhat insulated terminals are general use on ring and fork terminals. They prevent wires from shorting or crossing. Meanwhile, fully covered terminals on quick connect/disconnect terminals avoid contact between wires. However, for non-insulated terminals soldering or crimping them in place is necessary.
4. Check The Colors – Get The Wire Colors You Need
The wires are color-coded for better organization and easy identification. The color codes used in wire harness manufacturing is as follows:
- Black – Positive/Hot
- White – Negative/Common
- Green – Ground
- Red – Secondary Line – Positive/Hot
- Blue, Brown, Yellow – Use these colors to connect one point to another. You can choose between these three colors based on your personal preference.
5. Customization – Customize Wire Harness According To Your Needs
Ensure the company is capable of creating a reliable, high-quality wire harness assembly. The product should suit your project’s specific electrical requirements perfectly. That includes the size and thickness of the wire and materials that you need. Design requirements, such as insulation, are also necessary. In most companies, wire harness manufacturing is a manual process. It is because manual production is more cost-effective than automation in this case. Manufacturers cater to customized orders that require highly specialized products in small quantities. Therefore, manufacturing by hand is the best option. They should also test and retest these customized harnesses to ensure its reliability.
6. Straps – Using The Right Wire Strap
Straps secure both sides of the harness at the points where the wiring splits into two. There are different kinds of straps available such as ground strap and bonding strap. Bonding straps create an electrical flow between two points. Meanwhile, ground straps provide a ground potential to ensure protection from electrostatic discharge. The latter will protect the device from short-circuiting.
7. Wiring Approval – Is It UL Certified?
Make sure the company has a safety certification from UL, CSA International, or ETL. UL tests and certifies the safety and function of wires and cables based on rigid standards. These certifications mean that the company complies with international and industry-wide standards. They also have to upgrade their training processes regularly according to these regulations. They offer the highest standards and best practices for the wire harnessing industry.
Sometimes the customer may not have specific requirements. In that case, the manufacturers generally follow the standardized IPC A-620 certification. It is the widely accepted industry standard for wire harness installation and fabrication.
If you carefully consider all the above factors, you can ensure a safe and smart purchase for your project. Selecting the right manufacturer will surely save your money and time. But it is also crucial for the most important factor – your safety. Invest some time to align your needs with the wire harness manufacturer.
Talk to us to help you. Our customizable wire harness options will suit your needs better. Plus, you will love the accurate custom wire harnessing system for sure.