Consultative Application Engineering Program to Support Heavy-Duty Equipment OEM Customers

For the many design decisions and application issues encountered, help is needed to identify the cable management products best suited for each application. Panduit provides consultative engineering services to engineers working on Truck, Bus and Heavy Equipment applications. The program, which provides industry best practice recommendations, application specific observations and an optional engineering review, is customized to each OEM customer’s application, resulting in new, innovative designs and products for its customers.

“Panduit draws on its more than 60 years of application engineering experience and robust heavy-duty cable management solutions. We partner with our customers to support their most challenging wire and cable management applications and needs,” said Mark Pfaller, cable tie product strategy manager, Panduit. “From project start through successful completion, we work with designers to identify the right products to achieve optimal application performance for the lowest possible installed costs.”

Consultative Application Engineering is an example of what helps set Panduit apart from many others in the industry. Panduit has moved beyond simply selling customers a product. Having dedicated technical experts providing personalized application support is the culmination of a journey that began more than a decade ago.

“During conversations with our customers, we wanted to better understand their challenges and problems. Taking the time to ask more questions that go beyond a specific product was critical in this journey. Customers helped us recognize a gap that many of them had when it comes to in-house expertise and best practices of specific wire harness applications,” said Pfaller.

This specialized support can be beneficial to both OEMs and the wire harness manufacturer or subcontractor that the OEM may work with for wire harness applications – because they collaborate on producing the best possible final products and both should be knowledgeable in the best practices for the unique applications they’re working within.

The Consultative Application Engineering Program supports OEM design engineers with best practice recommendations, including:

  • Material Review: Panduit will assess material capabilities and call attention to any issues related to high temperature, high vibration conditions, and UV exposure.
  • Installation Practices: Panduit will evaluate installation practices to improve operational productivity and identify opportunities for part consolidation and material use reduction.
  • Tooling Maintenance Program: Panduit will further develop a designer’s tooling maintenance program to promote uptime and reduce the lifetime cost of ownership.
  • Develop Customized Products: Panduit ensures custom solutions are built to optimize every step of the operation for its customer application needs by consulting multiple departments including production, engineering, and quality control.

“The customers who see tremendous value in this service have engineers that are typically very well-versed when it comes to the system they’re working on but they may not have as much expertise in the appropriate wire and cable management best practices for their unique application, so they lean on their partners,” said Pfaller.

Dedicated Research & Development and Testing for OEM Design Engineers

Panduit spends time with each customer to talk about industry best practices, including wire management concepts that have successfully solved problems for other customers and the financial benefits when applying similar solutions to their own applications.

But recognizing general examples don’t necessarily address a customer’s unique needs. A dedicated team of technical sales engineers, advanced product development, and technical application team with deeper expertise provide the next stage of value-added services. Sometimes this means creation of a custom product to fit the exact specification.

Through significant investment in research and development, as well as participation in industry standard bodies to meet new and complex regulatory requirements, Panduit works with its customers’ to meet their exact specifications for the next product cycle, and for technologies on their roadmap in the future. Panduit also ensures rapid integration within and delivery of a high-quality product that is responsible to cost and innovation.

For more information on this program, contact the Panduit Customer Service Group or a local Panduit Sales Representative at 800-777-3300 or cs@panduit.com.

Panduit at the Electrical Wire Processing Expo 2019

Panduit’s leadership in the wire harness market is on full display this year at the Electrical Wire Processing Show.  Customers have the chance to learn about and demo our products, interact with product experts, and receive the full Panduit experience. Panduit’s EWPT 2019 booth was designed to showcase our focus on productivity and worker ergonomics.  

This year we strengthened our productivity enhancing systems offering by adding a bowl fed ferrule strip and crimp machine and a new ferrule crimp applicator.  These products combined with our legacy installation tooling keeps workers happy, healthy, and productive.

Also, making its debut at the show, the flush mount fixture for our PAT4.0 system provides the optimal ergonomic bundling solution for applications where operators can bring the work to the tool.  Ergonomic improvement over traditional table top bundling methods is achieved via elimination of a foot pedal and eliminating the need to “lift” the work up off the table top during cable tie installation.

“The Electrical Wire Processing Technology Expo allows both customers and suppliers to keep pulse of the Wire Harness market.  We need to understand current customer needs and pain points to ensure that we are offering solutions that address them.  Panduit has been an exhibitor for many years and will continue to be a part of this show in the future”, said Scott Lesniak, Product Strategy Manager for OEM Automated Systems.

Another facet of Panduit’s offering is our Consultative Application Engineering Program that provides industry best practice recommendations, application specific observations, and an optional engineering review.   The program is designed to analyze and understand OEM customer’s specific needs and applications and tailor solutions via Panduit products and services that will improve quality, reliability, productivity, and profitability for these customers.

“Panduit draws on its more than 60 years of application engineering experience and robust heavy-duty cable management solutions. We partner with our customers to support their most challenging wire and cable management applications and needs,” said Mark Pfaller, Cable Tie Product Strategy Manager, Panduit. “From project start through successful completion, we work with designers to identify the right products to achieve optimal application performance for the lowest possible installed costs.”

To learn more about Panduit at the EWPT show, please view our video.

The Roadmap to Your HDV Success: What Standard You Need to Know for Wire Systems in 2019

As with many industries, the heavy-duty vehicle industry faces challenges with evolving safety standards and certification requirements. Many of these requirements may come from governments or regulatory agencies or may be more informal yet voluntary standards adopted by the industry. Staying familiar with these ever-changing regulations can be a daunting task, especially when factoring in regional or country-specific nuances.   

Every component you are designing into a product likely also has a required certification or standard that your product needs to be in compliance with. For instance, whether you are designing to transport people or goods, a heavy-duty vehicle will have a complex electrical wiring system. The electrical connectors and wiring materials you design into that system are critical, with the need to withstand dirt, debris, high heat, extreme cold, friction, corrosion and rigidity. Exposure to one of these elements and even the slightest damage to a small electrical component can cause havoc on the entire system.

With more than 50 years of proven experience in wire harness and heavy duty cable management, we know that designing with the right materials can mean the difference between meeting your complex specifications and regulatory requirements – or not. It is why we work so hard to push for standardization – not only to improve upon our own excellence, but to give the entire industry a benchmark upon which they can deliver quality products resulting in higher customer satisfaction, while improving their own productivity and profitability.

That is why changes happening this year are significant for those designing heavy-duty vehicles: the new ANSI UL 62275 publication has harmonized with CSA C22.2 No. 62275 (Canada), NMX-J-623-ANCE (Mexico) and IEC 62275 (Europe), establishing a standard type classification and performance ratings for plastic cable ties, mounts, metallic cable ties, and integral cable tie mounts.

Major changes include:

  1. A requirement of parallel entry metallic cable ties to be tested with the locking mechanism positioned at 9:00, whereas testing may have been conducted previously at 12:00.
  2. Coated metallic cable ties are currently classified as Type 21 products but will be classified as Type 2 under ANSI UL 62275.
  3. The contribution to fire test will now be needed to classify coated metallic cable ties as Type 2.
  4. Products classified as outdoor use products will be required to run the environmental exposure test at a spectral irradiance of 0.51, with the previous irradiance value being 0.35.
  5. Testing under ANSI UL 62275 will include tensile strength, minimum operating temperature, minimum installation temperature, minimum and maximum bundle diameter, UV resistance, vibration for metallic cable ties-cycling, corrosion, contribution to fire-needle flame, and plenum.

So what does this mean exactly?

The UL 62275 standard will be critical for the heavy-duty vehicles industry going because it ensures an increase in quality and safety. It also cuts down on the number of products to be tested, reducing the time, money and paperwork needed to ensure certification or compliance. Without harmonization, an OEM may be required to use different wire harness products based on a heavy-duty vehicle’s ultimate destination, taking up time and putting more pressure on workers to complete tests for each regional standard.

Instead, OEMs may now have more time for R&D to further advance their designs to better serve the end-user. Not only will this provide customers with better products, but will encourage a whole new host of innovation within the heavy-duty vehicle sector.

To get more insight into UL 622275, read our white paper Prepare for the Future: What Global Standards Harmonization Will Mean for the Wire Harness Industry.


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Reduce Time Needed to Validate: How Quality Tooling for Wire Systems Help You Achieve HDV Production Volume Faster

OEM Design Engineers know better than anyone how long it can take to thoroughly validate a new component or product to drive business value. When quality lacks in a product and it fails testing, nothing is more frustrating than needing to find a replacement – one that is not only responsible to both the cost and innovation – but that is able to pass all the testing without holding up the larger development and production timelines.

The heavy-duty vehicle industry is especially prone to quality challenges. Building machinery for some of the most variable and complex environments often involves custom design, assembly and maintenance. Heavy-duty vehicles must be durable to withstand dirt, debris, high heat, extreme cold, friction, corrosion and rigidity. Exposure to these elements or even slight damage to small wire components can strain an entire system. It is for this reason that durable and dependable wire harness systems for heavy-duty vehicles, while often overlooked, can make a huge impact in not only ensuring on-time production, but a product’s success in the industry.

So, what type of wire harness solutions can you incorporate to ensure a smooth pathway to production?

  1. Heavy Duty Cable Ties promoting design flexibility through added tensile strength, heavy duty cable ties can withstand internal and external temperatures and exceed industry standards for use in high vibration areas. Additional improvements in reliability and productivity can also be found by increasing bundle diameter variations.
  2. Automatic Cable Tie Tool – automatic cable tie installation systems can maximize bundling productivity six times faster than manual cable tie methods. Our PAT 4.0 Automatic Cable Tie Installation System can attach 84 cable ties per minute, which is 25 percent faster than other automatic cable tie systems, helping to reduce user fatigue and improve tool maneuverability.
  3. Harness Board System components – incorporating grid tiles and repositionable accessories can greatly improve the productivity of wire harness assembly builds. Panduit’s Quick-Build™ Harness Board System components such as grid tiles, mounting pegs, mounting platforms and grid tile connectors can help reduce layout and board build material costs as much as 65 percent, while delivering more than 50 percent in storage space savings by reducing the number of required bulky plywood boards.

One OEM that successfully implemented wire system solutions to maintain its continued excellence in the road transportation market is Iveco, the world’s leader in industrial special vehicles like firefighting, off-road missions, the military, and civil defense. The company needed to update its wire assembly during a system redesign of its Eurocargo truck in order to comply with the Euro 6 standard, which designated the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions of newly registered road vehicles sold in Europe.

Iveco worked with Panduit to install a complete fastening solution including cable tie mounts, plastic and stainless steel cable ties, accessories, and installation tools. Specifically, Iveco anchored two cables alongside the engine muffler on approximately 13,000 trucks – equaling about four cable tie mounts per vehicle. The solution to anchor those cables can withstand high temperatures up to 392°F, is weather resistant and has passed select chemical resistance tests. Iveco then improved its assembly line efficiency by using the PAT 4.0 system for installation, giving workers the ability to be more agile and install the fastening solution more quickly. With more than 50 years of experience in wire harness, heavy duty cable management and control panel solutions, Panduit has supported heavy-duty vehicle OEMs worldwide through its global manufacturing, warehousing and diverse technical and sales support capabilities. To learn how you can design wire assembly and bundling to be more productive for your heavy duty vehicle application, read our new eBook.

Utilizing Large Contract Buyers Helps Wire Harness Manufacturers Navigate Nylon 6/6 Shortages

The practical applications for Nylon 6/6 are incredibly vast today, more-so than when it first rose to prominence during 1940s wartime. While this has been great for the advancement of innovation, it has resulted in its demand to increase and its supply to correspondingly decrease.

What Is Causing The Shortage?

Manufactured in four high-volume plants – three in the U.S. and one in France – Nylon 6/6 is primarily used when high mechanical strength, great rigidity, and good stability under heat is required. While markets for Nylon 6/6 include industrial applications, power tools, and cable ties, most of it goes into auto applications. This can include air intake manifolds, ball bearing cages, bushings, gears, electrical components, oil pans, and other various machined parts and under hood components. But perhaps most prominently, Nylon 6/6 is the material that makes up most airbags.

This is notable because safety regulations and standards are becoming increasingly more stringent and widespread. With no signs of that trend slowing down, the need for Nylon 6/6 will increasingly become that much greater. And because the global economy has been recession-free for nearly a decade, car production is booming. Demand for Nylon 6/6 has never been greater.

Unfortunately, production of it is struggling to keep up. Demand for it is growing at the same time the world supply is decreasing, and OEM customers who are standardized on it may experience spot shortages. As a result, wire harness manufacturers need to prepare and act to protect their core business. The best way to do this is to partner with large contract buyers.

Large Contract Buying Vs. Spot Purchasing

Large contract buying is one of two traditional methods for obtaining Nylon 6/6. It’s where companies – like Panduit – contract with companies to guarantee them a percentage of their business and in return they get a guaranteed contract price and continuity of supply. So if a disaster or accident decreases the supply further, large contract buyers go to the front of the line for the remaining supply when there is an allocation.

At the back of the line and potentially without supply? Those using the other method of obtaining Nylon 6/6 – spot purchasing. This method is used by those requiring smaller amounts of the material.

With spot purchasing, cable tie manufacturers are reaching out to their suppliers to conduct one-off purchases. This allows for manufacturers to shop for the best price at any given time and keep that supply stored. This can be advantageous in a long market because the plants have capacity that needs to go somewhere, so they attempt to get what they can for it. However, in a short market, spot purchasers are at an extremely high disadvantage and may be unable to get Nylon 6/6 if the supply runs out.

Breaking down both strategies is a risk mitigation exercise. When supply is low, companies and large contract buyers like Panduit will get their Nylon 6/6. Spot purchasers? Potentially not. Not to mention, the market doesn’t dictate the price of large contract buyer supplies like it does for spot purchasers. While their price is not completely fixed, large contract buyers are more reliably low than spot buyers.

What Can You Do To Ensure You Don’t Experience An Interruption?

It’s no secret that the supply chain of Nylon 6/6 is under extreme pressure. But this bleak forecast doesn’t need to be a cause for concern for wire harness manufacturers who partner with wire management solutions providers that use a dependable long-term logistics model. Utilizing the services of large contract buyers like Panduit, wire harness manufacturers can ensure the supply of Nylon 6/6 won’t affect the productivity of their business and that prices won’t wildly fluctuate on the products they need.

The Potential for A Technological Revolution Requires Wire Harness Standards Harmonization

Whether you’re talking about the automotive, energy or telecom industry, standards have been the core of every technological revolution. Now, with the recent publication of ANSI/UL 62275, wire harness manufacturing can finally experience its own.

Up until now wire assembly has been a very manual industry, relying heavily on people and processes to manufacture the materials. But with ANSI/UL 62275’s adoption of IEC 62275 in the U.S. and harmonizing of CSA C22.2 No. 62275 (Canada), NMX-J-623-ANCE (Mexico) and IEC 62278 (Europe), a substantial opportunity has appeared for manufacturers to promote high value, consistent quality, and a safe and efficient application.

Regional standards bodies around the world.

The harmonization of wire harness standards includes participation from several regional standards bodies.


This harmonized standard for cable ties for electrical installations – including plastic and metallic cable ties, mounts and integral cable tie mounts – will provide wire harness component manufacturers test procedures to conduct rigorous tensile strength, minimum operating and installation temperature, vibration, corrosion, flame and plenum tests, among others, through one organization.

As a result, when a global component supplier is selected to ship to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, or other regions that accept these harmonized standards, customers can be assured of the delivery of a product that is high quality and of performance at lower installed costs with reduced risks. Without harmonization, a wire processing company may be required to use different products based on the end destination.

Base standards for wire management products have historically always included regional standards from the Association of Standardization and Certification (ANCE Mexico), ANSI/UL Underwriters Laboratories-US, CSA Group (CSA Canada) or EN/IEC (European Standards), resulting in varying benchmarks for compliance testing and certifications. Due to this complexity, wire management customers have not always had the consistent benchmark of performance and quality that they deserve, which has often resulted in unexpected total business costs.

Now, by reducing the number of separate standards and testing requirements, high quality and product performance based on the successful completion of test standards has been ensured. While all regional standards ANCE, CSA, IEC and UL have a stability date of December 2018, updated standards will be introduced in 2019. As this switchover nears, it is vital that we start educating customers on these requirements now.

Ahead of the anticipated changes customers need to learn the benefits for their applications. Not only will this provide customers with better products, but we believe that the availability of this harmonized standard will encourage a whole new host of innovation across different sectors – from energy to military and defense and aerospace, to medical devices to the broader industrial market.

History shows that we all win by embracing standards harmonization. Now is the time for implementation and education so that innovation can be right around the corner.

To learn more about how ANSI UL 62275 will forever improve the wire management industry, watch our webinar, Why Global Standards Harmonization is Critical for the Future of Wire Harness.

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.

Depending on the region you’re in, you may hear responses ranging from IPC/WHMA to ANCE to CSA to IEC and UL. You can learn more about the industry’s upcoming move to global standards harmonization by registering for our upcoming webinar on August 7 at 1pm CDT.

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.