What is a wire harness?

A wire harness is a collection of multiple wires, optical fibres, or other electrical connections that are organized and held together by tying, shielding, and protection for power and signal transmission.

Common types of wire harnesses

Common cable assemblies include automotive, trailer, medical, appliance, robotic and industrial machinery wiring harnesses, see below:

Automotive Media Speaker Harness
Automotive Wire Harness
American Trailer 7-Pin Extension Cable
Trailer Wire Harness
Electrical Harnesses for Medical Assisted Vehicles
Medical Wire Harness
Washing machine wiring harness
Machine Wire Harness
Robot System Control Cable
Robot Wire Harness
Industrial welding machine internal wiring harness
Industrial Machinery Wire Harness

The manufacturing process of wire harness

The manufacturing process for wire harnesses is mainly divided into three steps: design and preproduction, the wire harness manufacturing/assembly process, and post-production line testing.

Design and Pre-Production Phase

During the design and pre-production phase, the wiring harness is created according to the geometric and electrical requirements of the equipment that will be installed. Schematics are used to create manufacturing files and assembly boards. The assembly board is a full-size drawing of the harness that includes all components and their respective locations. This phase also involves cutting, labelling, and stripping wires to expose uninsulated conductors, as well as installing terminals or connector housings.

Wire Harness Manufacturing/Assembly Process Stage

During the wire harness manufacturing/assembly stage, wires and components are assembled to meet specifications on a plug-in board before being bundled. The process involves installing wires of varying lengths, running cables through sleeves and conduits, making multiple crimps, and using tape, clips, or zip ties to bind the components.

The wire harness manufacturing process requires some manual labour as it is challenging to automate. However, certain parts of the pre-fabrication process can be automated using machines, which can perform operations like cutting, stripping, crimping, and stranding, thus increasing efficiency.

Post-production line testing stage

An electrical function test is performed during the post-production line testing phase and after the harness assembly is complete. This test is carried out using a pre-programmed test board that is programmed according to the electrical characteristics of the wiring harness. Once the harness is inserted into the test board, the board checks for any faults in the harness.

Applications of Wiring Harnesses

Wiring harnesses are utilized in numerous applications, including the automotive, aerospace, electronic, communication, household appliances, and industrial machinery industries.

  • In the automotive industry, wiring harnesses are used for the electrical system, lighting system, and instrument panel.
  • In aerospace, they are used for aeroplane control systems and communication systems.
  • For electronic equipment, they connect internal components such as computers and flat panel displays.
  • In communication equipment, they are used for fibre optic communication in fibre optic bundles.
  • In industrial machinery, wiring harnesses interconnect various manufacturing equipment, including CNC machine tools, textile machinery, packaging machinery, forging equipment, and instrumentation.

Advantages of Wire Harnesses

The advantages of wiring harnesses include the reduction of installation time and provision of safety. Wiring harnesses can simplify the vehicle manufacturing process by reducing the time and effort required to wire it. Additionally, the composition, insulation, and jacket of the wiring harness can shield it from adverse effects such as vibration, abrasion, and moisture. This way, it reduces the likelihood of electrical shorts and fires.

Quality Control of Wiring Harnesses

The quality control of wiring harnesses involves testing wire resistance and ensuring the quality of insulation materials. Maintenance and troubleshooting of wiring harnesses can be accomplished by using insulating materials, as well as common troubleshooting techniques such as checking for loose wires and replacing damaged wiring harnesses.

Future Development of Wiring Harnesses

Future trends in wiring harnesses include higher transmission rates, smaller sizes, and more. With the evolution of communication technologies and electronics, wiring harnesses will need to support higher data transfer rates and fulfil increasingly complex electrical and mechanical requirements. Meanwhile, as electronic devices become more miniaturized, wire harnesses will shrink to fit into compact design spaces.

Need help with custom wiring harnesses or solution inquiries?

Romtronic” is a leading and innovative professional cable assembly manufacturer and wire harness factory in China. With 27 years of experience in OEM and ODM, we specialize in producing medical, industrial, and automotive wiring harnesses. Besides manufacturing, we also offer technical support and customer service to our clients.

Romtronic International Co., Limited.

Call the experts at Romtronic today at +86 199-2816-5824 or email us at: info@romtronic.com.