Imagine a world where a wire harness is nonexistent. Have you ever thought about how will computer work? How about the functionality of other electronic devices? What will happen to the multimedia industry? Or think about the automotive industry in handling their production?
All enterprises must have been struggling to progress towards Innovation and Technology. What is the significance of wire harness in different sectors of manufacturers then?
The wire harnesses are multiple electrical wires that transmit electrical signals. Technically speaking, they aid machines in networking electrical power through the help of durable materials that provide insulation.
This process describes a wire harnessing. Thus, wire harnesses act as the backbone of the industry they serve.
A wire harness is everywhere. It is present in home appliances inside the household, in automotive systems, electronic devices, and other things that need electrical power to work. To understand better the fundamental ideas that surround the wire harness, let us discuss further.
The History of Wire Harness
In the year 1920s, engineers found out that binding many wires and cables into a wire harness allowed better protection against the adverse effects of vibrations, abrasions, shocks, and short circuits.
The 1920 millennium made wire harnesses more prominent not only in the automotive industry but also in electrical household products.
These electrical items refer likely to washing machines, irons, refrigerators, and vacuum cleaners. All products connected by complex individual wiring systems were also designed with many tiny features.
The Parts of Wire Harnesses
The main components of wire harnesses are wires, connectors, terminals, relays, fuses, corrugated tubes, grommets, sleeves, clamps, heat shrink tubes, and seals.
A wire harness is a set-up of electrical wires tied together. The purpose of these wires is to transmit signals and carry power to a variety of electrical components inside a machine.
The role of connectors, or couplers, is to connect wires. It gives a necessary fit and insulation for the terminal.
The terminals are the current-carrying linking points between the wires and a variety of applications in the machine. These parts are made of various metals and can be coated differently to meet several conditions.
Relays come in all shapes and sizes. Their utilization, in general, is to enable a low amperage circuit to switch on or off a higher amperage circuit.
Fuses are devices used to protect the circuits in any electrical system.
The corrugated tubes are heat resistant, durable, bendable, and available in various sizes and colors. In general, these tubes can be different ferrous and non-ferrous materials.
The grommets fit externally to a wire harness to be wired in a machine or device. They have a small-diameter cylindrical portion molded from elastomer, through which the wire harness is inserted tightly.
The purpose of the sleeves is to avoid any damage directly to the wire. It also prevents water penetration, chemical compounds, and protects from a harsh environment.
The clamps provide support and fix the wire harness firmly in place. The clamping stops the wire harness’s vibration.
Heat Shrink Tubes
The heat shrink tubes are shrinkable plastic tubes used to insulate the wires. Also, it yields abrasion resistance and environmental protection for stranded and solid wire conductors, connections, and terminals.
The wire seals and connector seals made of high quality are from superior synthetic rubber, like silicon. This type of seal does not get damaged even in a dire environment.
The Production Process
Engineering the wire harnesses are according to the spatial-geometric and electrical requirements of the product. The provision of a diagram takes place to guide the set-up for the assembly preparation by the production technician.
The technician will select the raw materials according to the plan. Then, he will cut them into preferred lengths using a special stripping and cutting tool. Once the wires have been cut, and the metal core exposed at the ends, the only step left is to fit them into terminals or connectors.
Usually, the wiring harness assemblies are clamped together onto an assembly board, or a special working bench, based on the design specification. Fitting of a protective sleeve is the final step in forming the harness.
While technology in this business has advanced dramatically, most of the manufacturing process is done entirely by hand. The reason behind this is the variety of processes involved and the struggle of automating those processes.
Harnesses produced by hand is far more cost-effective than automation would be, for many orders are custom made in small or varied batch sizes.
The Role in the Automotive Industry
The wiring harnesses play a massive role in the automotive industry. They function as connectors to those devices and transmitting electric power and signals throughout the entire car.
This purpose benefits the machine itself; for instance, just pushing one button enables the car engine to start.
The development of integrating advanced structures for improved performance, together with the driving experience, is in demand nowadays.
Moreover, the increasing demand for the latest technology on vehicles is anticipated to hit the market from 2018 up to 2023. Relative to this forecast is the incoming need for automotive wiring harnesses.
Furthermore, the anticipated complex development of on-board electronics with rigid regulations to reduce gas emissions and unstable fuel prices are escalating the market demand for the automotive wiring harness.
Nevertheless, factors like high cost or wiring harness and short-circuiting or overheating are some factors expected to hinder the market growth during the predicted period.
To sum it up, a wire harness is genuinely the integral system of the largest industries in the world. It is everywhere.
It is present in home appliances inside the household, in the automotive systems, electronic devices, and so many things that need electrical power to work. Without it, we might not be experiencing the high technology and tremendous innovations that we have today.