Automated Cable Assembly: Ultimate Guide on Automatic Wire Harness Manufacturing

Wire harness assembly is a manual and time-sensitive process that frequently ends in high costs and a lack of product quality consistency. Also, the project production time could take weeks, depending on cable types and quantities. However, more and more manufacturers are lately using automated cable assembly processes. These have proven to reduce project time spans significantly and be cost-effective.

Wire Harness Manufacturing

Granted, we are unable to transform to complete automation for specific processes. But we can still automate many of the crucial functions.

Processes That Can’t Be Automated

  • Wire Harness Assembly: This is a step-by-step process that must be done manually.
  • Terminal wire installation
  • Removing wires and cables via sleeves and conduits
  • Multiple crimping of individual wires where you’ll pass more than one wire through a single terminal
  • Taping harnesses at the branch after using fabric
  • Binding or harnessing components with loose clamps or cable ties

Processes That Can Be Automated

  • Cutting and stripping wires during the wire harness assembly
  • Crimping terminals on the sides of wires 
  • Plugging of wires that have terminals into connector housings
  • Soldering wire ends
  • Testing for electrical functionality
Heat shrinking tubing

Caption: Heat shrinking tubing

Cable Assembly Equipment and Automatic Wire Harness Machine

Below are some automatic wire harness machines:

AutoStrip 7400

The AutoStrip 7400 wire processing machine is for any strip length. It has a maximum strip length of 1200 and can cut and strip wires at a rate of 500 pieces per hour. If your project requires shorter strip lengths, the AutoStrip 7400 can do the task at a faster speed of 8200 pieces per hour. 

This device can handle gauges of up to 8.66mm. Furthermore, it can take a multi-conductor and flat cable gauge of around 8mm.

AMP-O-ELECTRIC G II+ Terminating Machine

The G II+ is a vital machine the production department uses to process gauges of increased diameter (16mm). It offers precision variable speeds, allowing technicians the flexibility to handle any custom wire harness application. 

Additional features include split cycle operation, a toolless applicator, and manual crimp height adjustment. 

Branson 2000 Xt Ultrasonic Welder

The Branson 2000 Xt Ultrasonic Welder can handle any welding process requiring precision. The device features advanced digital amplitude control to ensure consistency. It also features a comprehensive range splicing system that takes diameters between 0.35 to 32mm. 

In addition, the designs are stacked vertically to prevent side slicing, a common issue in the industry. 

Branson 2032S Wire Splicer

The Brabson 2032S wire splicer can handle any custom harness design process requiring an ultrasonic splicing system. The machine allows the automation of welding operations via ground detection, peak power, or time. 

In addition, the device features programmable starting ramp time, digital autotune, and precise digital amplitude control with proofing to enable complete automation of wire harness production. 

Additional Production Tools and Equipment

A wide variety of hand tools are necessary for semi-automation.

Open wire

Caption: Open wire

Benefits of Automated Cable Assembly 

Some benefits of automated cable assembly include:

Make Up for Downsides of Manual Processing

While machines can malfunction, there’s always a margin of error accompanied by manual production. Often these errors are related to incorrect wiring systems and damaged pins and connections.

In contrast, once programmed, machines are less prone to errors and don’t get tired, bored, or distracted from repetitive tasks. 

Also, their levels of output and efficiency are much higher. For example, instead of employing traditional visualization, you can save up to 70 percent of the time with automated wire assembly.

Make Sure Product Uniformity

Wire harness manufacturing processes like balanced terminal pressure and precise stripping ensure continual quality and product uniformity, which means consistency and shorter production time. 

Control Quality

Optimizing quality control in manufacturing components with automated cutting, stripping, and crimping machines are more accessible. These processes also follow exact specifications. 

For example, automated systems enable monitoring of sealing, crimp force, wire end, and knots in components, as well as separating the good from the bad. Also, when fully automated, crimping machines can provide processing options and twist and turn wires to varied lengths and cross sections.

Increase Production Run Capacity

Both high-mix, low volume requiring quick changeover capability or high-volume production of wire harnesses requires automating the cutting, stripping, and crimping machines.  

Automating these machines also helps maintain consistency, efficiency, and quality. The result is optimized quality control, higher output and efficiency, and reliable wire and cable components. 

Embrace the 4.0 manufacturing philosophy

New-generation wire harness design software employs advanced tools. Such tools are not only automated for today’s options. They’re built for compatibility with future manufacturing solutions.

Automated Wire Harness Assembly Processing at Cloom Tech

Below are some of our capabilities.

Equipment

At Cloom Tech, to satisfy customer needs, we have incorporated the use of state-of-the-art designs in the cable and wire processing industry, such as:

Crimping/Presses/Applicators

Circuit Analyzers

Heat Shrink Applications

Terminators/Automated Termination Equipment

Overmolding Equipment

Ultrasonic Welding

Automated Testing

Wire Stripping Equipment

Laser Marking and Kitting

Services

We can provide you with:

Machine Precision Wire Preparation

We utilize automated machines and benchtop equipment to cut, strip, and terminate coax, ribbon, and jacketed cables. We are capable of processing wires between 30 AWG and 40 AWG. With the help of our automated machines, we can work at rates of up to 10,000 wires per hour. 

Crimping

Seeing that terminal crimping of wires is a core production process at Cloom Tech, we assure you that we have the experience and proper equipment to handle the job. We use hand tools, benchtop presses, automatic processing machines, and pneumatic and hydraulic presses to manage any tasks.

Wire Marking

For all your wire marking needs, we provide the following services:

Heat shrink labels

Hand-placed vinyl labels

Direct inkjet printing

Machine-wrapped vinyl labels

Wire Bundling

To securely bundle wires, we utilize tie wraps manually or via semi-automated machines.

In addition, we are fully stocked with a wide array of shrink tubing sizes, styles, and colors. We can shrink the tubing using a heat gun or a calibrated oven.

Also, we use cutting-edge equipment to perform precise and uniform wire twisting. In addition, wires are retained in the twister by softly gripping the cables inside the pressurized surgical tubing. 

Automated Cable Assembly: Soldering/Tinning

At Cloom Tech, you can rest assured because we can handle all your soldering tasks, from PC boards to through-hole devices. 

Automated Cable Assembly: Beading

Beading is the wrapping of wires on a component or device. For most jobs, ferrite beads are used.

Automated Cable Assembly: Custom Harnessing

We fully utilize our cable and wire harnessing techniques from crimping to bundling to design any complex wiring harness. 

Automated Cable Assembly: Testing

Before any project, we always ensure to perform a complete electrical continuity test. The test helps ensure there are no opens, shorts, or incorrect wiring.

Conclusion

Automation of wire harness processes enables manufacturers to increase productivity, maintain quality, and improve efficiency, satisfying all your needs. At Cloom Tech, we pride ourselves on the wiring harness and cable assembly industry. We are constantly upgrading our computerized systems to enable the real-time cable assembly process. 

Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

Reach me at [email protected] to get a quote for your projects.

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