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.