Key Indicators for Evaluating a Wire Harness Partner

As wire harnesses become increasingly more complex in both scope and scale, wire harness manufacturers can look to leverage the latest assembly innovations to increase their profitability while following strict quality standards to deliver a quality finished product to their end customer. As new research demonstrates, the demand for wire harness assemblies is beginning to exceed the manufacturers’ capacity. Finding the right wire harness solutions partner has never been more critical.

Quality, consistency, and speed are paramount to the success of a wire harness manufacturer. There are several factors that will determine whether a wire harness manufacturer can deliver on these key indicators:

1. COMPLIANCE WITH KEY INDUSTRY STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS
Wire harness assembly has traditionally relied on manual processes to manufacture and assemble the final product, leaving room for workmanship variances and quality errors. Beyond the regulations providing safety for those involved in the assembly process, a great deal of work has been done to drive quality into the manufacturing process to ensure that a safe and reliable product is delivered to the end customer.

2. CUSTOMIZATION OR TURN-KEY?
Flexibility in wire harness manufacturing often refers to the ability to quickly deliver customized solutions. As manufacturing becomes more time sensitive, wire harness manufacturers are leveraging new technology to meet that demand. Traditional nail and board wire harness boards don’t always provide the required level of speed and flexibility. The introduction of Modular systems have helped reduce the cost of assembly material, allow for rapid prototyping and job changeover, as well as free up precious production space that was once used to store harness boards.

3. FOCUS ON THROUGHPUT
With wire harness manufacturing being a hands-on industry, the ability to focus – and deliver – on a fast turnaround is essential. As reaction time becomes a bigger part of the industry, the ability to automate the more manual aspects of an assembly will help determine the winners and losers in the industry. One example – automated cable tie installation – reinforces that automation most readily applies to processes that rely on repetitive actions, and that will apply across the most wire harness assemblies.

For decades, Pandit has invented and created wire harness solutions for some of the most important manufacturing processes in the world. Panduit offers comprehensive solutions for wire harness manufacturers, working with leaders across the industry, including:

  • Wire Harness Manufacturers Association – The Wiring Harness Manufacturer’s Association® (WHMA) was established in 1993 to serve and dedicate their resources to the global cable and wire harness industry. WHMA is the ONLY trade association exclusively representing the cable and wire harness manufacturing industry including manufacturers, their suppliers and customers.
  • Cirris Systems – For more than 30 years, Cirris has specialized in cable and harness testing for thousands of applications across consumer devices, hospital and medical equipment, aerospace and more.
  • Delta Sigma Company – An ISO 9001:2008 registered company located in Kennesaw Georgia, Delta Sigma Company specializes in developing systems and tools to automate large, complex, precision assembly and manufacturing processes.
  • Gem Gravure – For over 60 years, Gem Gravure has provided quality printing technology and fluids for marking wire and cable creating product combinations for everything from bottling craft brews to manufacturing electronics.
  • Schleuniger – Schleuniger is a leading international manufacturer of high-precision cable processing machines.
  • Telsonic Ultrasonics – Since 1966, Telsonic Ultrasonics has been a specialist in industrial ultrasonic technology. Telsonic Ultrasonics are certified according to ISO 9001 (SQS) and applies lean production principles.

For more information, read our latest eBook, Best Practices in Wire Harness Manufacturing: Your Guide to Increasing Productivity and Profitability.

Digitizing History for Future Preservation with Data Center Solutions

How the Vatican Apostolic Library Preserved its Manuscript Collection

The Vatican Apostolic Library preserves its invaluable documents with the help of a robust, highly available network infrastructure.

Undergoing a massive data transfer process is not easy, but the Vatican Apostolic Library did just that. Panduit’s previous success in enhancing the connectivity and performance for the Vatican Apostolic Library’s main data center earned it the trust to help digitize and protect more than 80,000 priceless historical manuscripts.

Founded in 1451, the Vatican Apostolic Library’s collection includes precious material from as far back as Michelangelo and Galileo. To preserve the collection and continue to contribute to the worldwide sharing of knowledge, the 15th-century library decided to digitize its antiquated and increasingly delicate manuscripts.

To successfully complete this project, the library’s Belvedere Court building needed a more efficient data center infrastructure to support document storage. The library also needed solutions to address power and energy usage challenges, capacity constraints, environmental and connectivity issues, and security and access control requirements.

Adapting to the constraints of the ancient structure, Panduit developed a solution with security, storage, and power management.

The building now uses hot-aisle containment with hot/cold air separation inside the cabinets for improved airflow – delivering a power savings of nearly 30% compared to the previous system.

SmartZone solutions simplified the library’s network infrastructure, managing, and monitoring rack power distribution units and environmental sensors through a single IP address. For enhanced data center security, the gateways support access via intelligent handles on cabinets.

The Vatican Apostolic Library now has the capability to support the vast amount of data generated by the digitization project, ensuring high reliability and elevated transmission speed. Because of Panduit’s network, people around the world have online access to these invaluable treasures.

Read the full article here.

Delivering a Tasty Recipe for Productivity

Panduit and Noosa teamed up to improve OEE.

 

Noosa yoghurt’s one-of-a-kind authentic Australian recipe was dominating the flourishing yogurt industry. The company’s strong dedication to delivering a quality food product to yogurt consumers in new and different ways propelled it to invest in a $5 million plant upgrade in 2015. As anticipated, this upgrade to their network infrastructure increased production and nationwide awareness of the noosa yoghurt brand. However, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.

Challenge

Although the upgrade allowed noosa yoghurt to increase its operations, challenges developed. The network was growing without standardized methods, so it became cumbersome to troubleshoot, often resulting in costly unscheduled downtime. This was affecting Noosa’s bottom line, so something had to be done.

The 32,000 square foot facility needed to be networked across two production plants and a main office. Panduit Advisory Services, along with Malisko Engineering, recommended a network design that aligns with the Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) to simplify operations and reduce the total cost of ownership. The Panduit partner ecosystem (Malisko Engineering, Rockwell Automation) collaborated to design and implement a standardized network architecture to improve availability.

This included:

  • a manufacturing backbone
  • an enterprise backbone
  • a spare backbone for scalability
  • Separated enterprise and production zones for limited downtime

Solution

We worked fast with pre-configured technologies including an MDC, zone enclosures with UPS and sloped tops for easy hose down, and a pre-configured IDF which installs 25% faster with 3X cooling capacity. DCF cables keep everything connected and organized. A Panduit certified installer implemented these solutions with a 25-year performance warranty for the utmost reassurance.

Result

The new facility was completed in just six months. Noosa yoghurt’s production capacity increased by 300% and it added 4,000 retailers nationwide in a total of 30,000 stores.

Thanks to Panduit’s partner ecosystem, noosa yoghurt has no problem meeting production demands, and all 50 states are experiencing the tasty flavors noosa yoghurt has to offer.

See how Panduit did it here. 

 

Specifying can help EPCs Improve Productivity and Installation for a Safe Environment

Specifying can help EPCs Improve Productivity and Installation for a Safe Environment

 

Here’s a fact. Electrical standards ensure product safety and reliability.

But, how do you know if a product is reliable if it’s not tested to rigorous standards? Or when it comes time for inspection, how can you ensure it was installed according to the required standard?

For example, something as seemingly benign as using a manufacturer’s lugs with a different manufacturer’s tool can cause a crimp to not be UL certified and thus not pass inspection, leading to costly re-work, cost, and time overruns.

Standards compliance also provides engineers and procurement with a baseline to read beyond a supplier’s marketing and compare products. Be sure that the manufacturer you are considering buying from provides external or self-declaring test reports in line with the standards required for the project. Also, make sure they comply with ALL of the standard’s requirements, and if they don’t, they need to explain why or what parts do not fully comply.

With the global scale of the projects that you work on, electrical standards ensure there is seamless integration when working across borders.

What is UL 467?

This is a general safety standard used in grounding and bonding. Various tests are conducted and requirements provided as a baseline of quality for grounding and bonding equipment.

In Panduit’s case, it provides this for our direct burial compression grounding connectors. All reputable manufacturers of direct burial compression grounding connectors comply with UL 467.

UL 467 provides five requirements: Tensile force strength, in other words, how much force can be applied before any movement is detected between the connector-wire connection.

  1. Short time current, which simulates a fault to make sure the connectors are doing what they are intended to do
  2. Corrosion resistance.
  3. Direct Burial rating or whether a grounding connection can be buried in the earth (dirt or concrete).
  4. Markings such as DB (direct burial rated), AL (for use with aluminum wire only), AL-CU (for use with both aluminum and copper wire

What is IEEE 837?

This is a more stringent electrical standard than UL467 and has only 2 revisions since 1989. It is self-proclaiming by the manufacturer and not subject to a third-party testing agency similar to UL. The manufacturer should provide their test data to show that they comply such as:

  1. IEEE 837-1989 à IEEE 837-2002
  2. IEEE 837-2002 à IEEE 837-2014

There are 3 key elements of IEEE 837-2014:

  1. Pull out test eliminated and UL 467 rating acceptable. This is about half as stringent as the 2002 edition.
  2. Short time current test with a stricter requirement than UL. Used to emulate a utility-scale fault. The short time current rating is about twice as stringent as the IEEE 837-2002 edition.
  3. Sequence testing used to emulate harsh and heavy environmental conditions.

What is IEC 61914-2015?

This specifies requirements and tests for cable cleats that are used to secure electrical cables. To fully comply, cable cleats must pass tests for resistance to flame propagation, impact, and ultraviolet light exposure, as well as for lateral retention.

Cable cleats provide resistance to electromechanical forces resulting from a short circuit event. IEC 61914-2015 provides testing standards for this product, including the following highlights:

  1. Temperature rating
  2. Adequate resistance to flame propagation
  3. Lateral load testing
  4. Axial load testing
  5. Impact resistance (very light, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy)
  6. Resistance to electromechanical forces (ability to withstand one or more short circuit events at the manufacturer’s declared values of peak short-circuit current)
  7. Adequate resistance to corrosion

Partner with a company committed to meeting the daily challenges you face. Panduit offers a full solution of over 30,000 readily available parts – from cable ties to power connectors, terminals to identification – Panduit products are engineered for all aspects of designing, installing and maintaining infrastructures within EPC environments.

TSB’s ‘IT Troubles’: Why making the right infrastructure choices are more vital than ever






IT and Network Infrastructure

Carefully considering the connectivity infrastructure which underpins your IT systems can make for a vastly smoother operating environment.

 

You may be aware of TSB’s technical woes. Especially if you’re a customer.

Last month, the bank announced it would be upgrading its systems to replace the ones it inherited from Lloyds. After it announced services were back online, customers quickly began complaining. Many were unable to access their accounts at all. Some were able to see the personal details of others through their mobile banking app. Others have seen fraudulent or anomalous transactions on their accounts.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, multiple in-branch services also failed.

In terms of damage to trust in the brand, potentially enormous loss of revenue from normal transactions, and the possibility of regulatory fines, it’s been a tough time for TSB.

To avoid similar service catastrophes, companies need to carefully consider how they select every part of their IT ecosystem. How every part works in harmony with the others. And how they select the companies they choose as vendors and partners.

Infrastructure is no exception to this rule.

Carefully considering the connectivity infrastructure which underpins your IT systems can also make for a vastly smoother operating environment. Preventing the kind of hiccups that can often occur during the upgrade process, when a new (potentially incompatible) framework is ‘layered’ on top of existing systems. Systems that may themselves already exist within a fragile, unpredictable lattice. Which can react explosively when anything new is brought into the mix.

Well planned, well-provided infrastructure means the difference between a stable foundation for the IT department to do great work. And attempting to build a successful user experience and backend on an ever-shifting sea of quicksand.

So, the next time you’re planning an upgrade, remember to ask the important questions first. What are you building? And what are you building it on?

To learn more about ensuring you have the best infrastructure in place to deliver for your organisation, read the report – https://pages.panduit.com/finance-all.html.

How Capturing Near Misses Can Put Facility Safety Managers Ahead of the Game

What is good safety practice today? Recording near misses.

The generally-accepted definition of a near miss is: “An unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage – but had the potential to do so.” In terms of smart business choices, it’s important for company leadership to establish a near miss reporting culture. This kind of safety culture will, in time and in practice, reinforce the opportunity to identify hazards. And, when the hazards are known, action can be taken to mitigate them.

Encouraging employees to participate in recording near miss events doesn’t have to be a challenge. If the practice of making these records comes without blame or negative consequences, then employees are more likely to report. It’s common for employees to be cautious or even afraid to report near misses. Either they may not want to admit a mistake in following safety procedures or they may believe they could be mistakenly accused of some wrongdoing. To have an effective near-miss reporting program, the stigma of blame should be eliminated.

For a near-miss reporting structure to work well, employers need to create a safety culture and a comfortable atmosphere. The goal is to make employees so comfortable with the process that they will report electrical near misses nearly as freely as they might report that a hallway needs to be cleaned or that a hazard sign needs to be replaced.

For a safety manager to keep ahead of the game, it’s important to understand that near misses can lead to the identification of a hazard. Ultimately, identifying a near miss also allows the root cause to be determined. Once this is identified, corrective action or mitigation steps can be taken to prevent any additional incidents from occurring. This results in avoiding potentially serious injuries and disruptions to operations.

Near misses are common and many consider to be underreported within industry. They also occur with relative frequency in handheld voltage testing, which should further urge a safety manager to create a way to capture the near miss incidents. If knowledge is power, then learning from experience is even more powerful. In a case from the 1997 paper, “Personnel Safety and Plant Reliability Considerations in the Selection and Use of Voltage Test Instruments,” an error in reading the digital display of a multimeter was noted. As the case details: An electrician familiar with an analog multimeter was given a new digital multimeter. When he encountered an over range condition on a voltage measurement application, he interpreted an “OL,” or over-range, indication to mean “zero,” or no voltage present. This misunderstanding of the instrument indication could have resulted in a serious, perhaps fatal, accident.

This near miss demonstrates the importance of managing tools used to carry out a particular task. Facility and safety management should work together to develop a system to manage selection, purchase, training, maintenance, and operation of all safety and test instruments used in the workplace.”

In the 2018 paper, Electrical Investigations: Case Studies, Common Electrical Safety Mistakes, and Lessons Learned , an incident is recalled whereby improper tool usage proves a weakness in relying on portable voltage testers. This case study reveals that an electrician was removing a fluorescent ceiling light fixture and was asked if he had de-energized the circuit. The electrician indicated that he had used his non-contact voltage probe instead of a digital multimeter. The electrician was asked if the voltage probe he was using had feedback to the user to indicate that the battery was good. He indicated no but added that he had replaced the batteries that morning. The voltage probe indicated that the light fixture was de-energized, but when the electrician began removing the fixture he experienced a shock. An investigator that was on site at the time asked him to check the voltage again with a digital multimeter, which confirmed that the circuit was still energized.

Again, these examples indicate the importance of selecting the right tool for the job. A dedicated voltage tester, like an AVT, can eliminate these types of process failure modes by providing a simplified output with a dedicated indicator.

How To Optimize the Maintenance Budget and Reduce Unplanned Downtime

Over time, wear and tear accumulates on electrical equipment and that can lead to unplanned downtime. And, we all know that downtime is waste.

We can safely assume that the major benefits of preventative maintenance are about reducing planned and unplanned downtime, but optimizing a maintenance budget may include this one simple trick: Save time by automating tedious processes or work to make them more efficient.

When electrical maintenance needs to happen, NFPA 70E requires that workers establish and verify equipment is in an electrically safe state. This involves a test for absence of voltage, which – with handheld portable testers, is time-consuming.

The VeriSafe™ Absence of Voltage Tester (AVT) ensures the entire process of verifying absence of voltage is performed in the proper sequence every time. The process performed by the VeriSafe AVT tests the tester itself, verifies installation, checks for voltage, and retests the tester and installation; at the push of a button with no risk of exposure to electrical hazards.

With Panduit’s new VeriSafe AVT, testing for absence of voltage is now safer, easier, and more efficient . The VeriSafe AVT helps the maintenance budget in that it enables employees to verify an electrically safe work condition in a fraction of the time compared to using hand-held portable test instruments. When the maintenance budget is already spread thin, every little bit helps. And, when employees are able to move from job to job and task to task with confidence in their own safety, their time is better spent.

Optimizing a maintenance budget boils down to putting a priority on planning (and planning ahead). Planning for safety is an important first step in maintenance modernization. And, when safety matters, the VeriSafe AVT ensures the entire absence of voltage verification process is performed with reliable results every test, every time.

Retrofit Solution Connects All Generations of Motor Controlled Centers to Ethernet Based Devices

retrofit solution

The risk of downtime and maintenance cost has become a leading pain point for many companies.

But, physical network infrastructure solutions including, structure cabling and converged plantwide Ethernet (CPwE), is now part of a retrofit solution that provides the infrastructure required to connect added industrial switches and other smart devices for common Motor Controlled Center (MCC) upgrades.

Remaining fully functional, the MCC Copper Cabling Bundle System removes industrial switches away from harsh environments by taking them out of their cabinets.

With the promised delivery of consistency and repeat-ability, and in response to an increased demand for Intelligent MCC, Panduit launched the enhanced (MCC) Copper Cabling Bundle System.

This system is a cost-effective alternative to purchasing new equipment to upgrade and retrofit an existing MCC.

This system delivers:

  • Consistent monitoring of your systemsretrofit solution
  • Flexibility for easy adjustments when needed
  • Pre-terminated product: providing consistent network performance while reducing installation time and on-site waste.
  • Ensured verified performance: 100% factory tested before the product is delivered to you.

While also providing you the needed electrical infrastructure and control panel solution consumables, Panduit offers quality design guidance for plantwide physical network upgrades to all our customers.

Panduit works closely with certified partners to develop a building-block approach to deploy industrial networks with complete validation and highly integrated solutions that manufacturers need most.

Learn more about the MCC Copper Cable Bundle System.

Smart Business 2018: Prioritizing Electrical Safety for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals

These days, smart businesses prioritize electrical safety. To maximize the benefit of electrical safety with regard to maintenance and reliability in the plant, it’s important to consider the allocation of resources.

When it comes to equipment maintenance, choose reliability over risk. Neglecting the maintenance of electrical equipment and wiring can lead to non-compliance with installation codes and practices, but it can also increase the probability of workplace injury.

Today, the smart business choice is to lean into safety.

It can be said that electrical professionals may be knowledgeable about electrical technology and how electrical equipment functions, but they may not be seasoned experts in safety management and maintenance and reliability systems. And, maintenance and reliability professionals may be highly skilled in understanding and implementing functional equipment, but they may not be familiar with safety management or the facility’s electrical systems.

A facility’s senior management may not have deep expertise in either of these areas, but they do hold the key to financial resources and human resources that can solve for issues of importance, like electrical safety. Therefore, their collective skills and responsibilities can create facility-wide collaboration to improve both the electrical safety program and the electrical system maintenance with an eye on uptime.

Smart businesses also put a significant emphasis on eliminating energized work, whenever possible. This means placing equipment in an electrically safe working condition and verifying that equipment is deenergized must be a primary focus of the electrical safety program.

Lockout/tagout is a critical step in verifying the absence of voltage

Every step to verify the absence of voltage is purposefully designed to serve as a critical safety step.

Eliminating a hazard is the most effective method according to the hierarchy of risk controls, and should be the first choice whenever possible. NFPA 70E emphasizes the need to work on electrical systems only when they are placed in an electrically safe working condition, but creating and verifying this condition requires more than just de-energizing, as it involves multiple steps to confirm the system is safe and verify the absence of voltage.

Though the entire testing process may seem complex, every step is purposefully designed to serve as a critical safety step, making it impossible to skip testing steps and still attain an electrically safe working condition.

Absence-of-voltage testers (AVTs) are permanently-mounted testing devices that are specifically designed to determine if a circuit part is de-­energized prior to opening panels or removing covers to access and maintain electrical equipment.

AVTs are a new product listing category in UL 1436, Standard for Outlet Circuit Testers. They are designed to automatically run internal diagnostics and administer the live-dead-live type of verification testing with an internal known voltage source and actively indicate the absence of voltage.

AVTs help improve electrical safety by way of a Prevention through Design approach, making them an ideal option for maintenance and reliability professionals and their staff.

Achieving New Goals: Maximize Uptime With an Enhanced Electrical Safety Program

Downtime is a killer to the bottom line. Whether planned or unplanned, downtime idles the workforce, slows production numbers, and can create downstream effects that may cause major disruptions to the supply chain.

How does the electrical safety program in your facility maximize uptime?

First, it’s important to bear in mind that although scheduled maintenance will create some amount of downtime, when maintenance is planned downtime can be minimized. Planned maintenance allows adequate time for pre-work safety assessments to be completed without the stressful time pressures that are commonly associated with unplanned downtime.

Taking time to plan for maintenance work creates opportunities to identify hazards, perform risk assessments, incorporate any mitigation techniques, review procedures and areas where training may need to be refreshed, and think about emergency response before work is underway. Thoroughly planning the work from start to end, as well as to complete any prerequisite job briefings and communicating planned actions to affected individuals, helps ensure the work goes safely and smoothly. Uptime is effectively maximized because safety inevitably achieves a decrease in incidents and thus scheduled work and production work can continue unabated.

Manufacturing facility floorplan

How does the electrical safety program in your facility maximize uptime?

In industrial facilities, it’s also important to remember that maintaining electrical equipment is fundamental to optimizing equipment performance that will prevent unplanned downtime. Reliability and safety are closely linked. In terms of electrical safety, reliable equipment requires less maintenance. Because reliable equipment is not being accessed as frequently, there are fewer occasions for workers to be exposed to hazards.

Panduit’s new VeriSafe Absence of Voltage Tester (AVT) can be used as a method of testing and verifying the absence of voltage once equipment has been de-energized. This product utilizes technology that reduces procedure testing time and reduces complexity in a way that improves productivity and maximizes uptime. In addition, because it is installed and mounted permanently on the outside of electrical equipment, it reduces the risk of exposure to electrical hazards for improved worker safety.