What is a Wiring Harness?
You’ve seen people on social media building beautiful concentrically twisted harnesses for their street or club level cars. These are very complex looms and require a lot of time.
Automation in wire harness production is needed. This requires a massive investment in machinery and specialized software. However, the payback is huge.
A wiring harness is a group of insulated wires or cables bound together with various exterior binding materials. The binding material may be expanded sleeving, military lacing, spinal wrap, or tie wraps and is usually color coded for easy identification. These bundled wires or cables are used to control electric current flow within the equipment for functions like power and signaling.
Wire harnesses simplify the manufacture of larger components, reducing installation time and eliminating the need for splicing. These complex electrical bundles are commonly found in motor vehicles, industrial machinery and aircraft. They are also utilized in the construction of white goods such as washing machines and dryers, refrigerators, and televisions.
The main difference between a Wiring Harness and a Cable Assembly is their ability to function in different environments. While a Wiring Harness organizes wires or cables efficiently, it is not designed to protect them against Wiring Harness extreme weather conditions or friction between the wires themselves. A Cable Assembly is created to withstand these harsh conditions and is ideal for use in outdoor environments.
InterConnect Wiring provides a variety of different types of Aircraft Wiring Harnesses to help the aerospace industry with their complex electronic needs. These consolidated electronic assemblies are made up of dozens of wires and can include a wide range of terminals, connector housings, and other hardware. These are built manually and can take a long time to complete as there are many different processes involved in their production.
An electrical wire harness transmits data, signals, and power to multiple components. It also protects these cables and connectors from environmental factors such as moisture, abrasion, and electromagnetic interference. These factors are often the root cause of wiring harness failure, so choosing the right connectors and terminals is critical to ensuring the longevity of your wire harness.
Connectors are electromechanical devices that establish a continuous electronic signal between a wiring harness and its power source or circuit. They typically come in mating pairs, with male-ended plugs fitting into female-ended jacks. They also come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and qualities—circular, header, pin, crimped, and multitap, among others—depending on their application.
When deciding which type of connector to use, you must consider the number and type of connections, the power contacts, insulation requirements, and mating types. You must also consider the temperature range and environment in which the wire harness will be used.
For example, automotive applications require a massive network of cables that transfer information to various systems, including the engine management system, air conditioning, entertainment, and more. These cables carry data and electricity to ensure your vehicle functions smoothly. Wiring harnesses allow you to integrate all these cables and small parts into a single apparatus that saves manufacturing time and reduces human error.
The outer covering of a wire harness is an essential protective component that can vary from product to product. A quality harness will use durable materials that guard against environmental hazards such as heat, moisture, dust and friction.
Generally, sheathing is made of a tough thermoplastic or thermoset material. It also protects the wiring from damage due to stress, impact or vibration. Sheathing can be a conduit, tubing or sleeve. It can be affixed to the terminals with an insulator or wrapped around them to keep moisture out.
In an industrial context, sheathing can be used to keep facilities safe by containing stray wires and improving the durability of circuits. It can also decrease installation time by grouping cables sensibly. This can be especially useful for large or complex systems that may require a lot of wiring.
In addition to sheathing, a wire harness will include fuses that stop surges of power from overheating or damaging devices on the receiving end of the conductors. Finally, it will likely have grommets that help to prevent moisture from entering connectors. The type of sheathing used is determined by the electrical system, environmental conditions and the physical size of the cable assembly. For example, a wire harness used for automotive applications should be made of a material that can withstand high temperatures and vibrations.
Concentric twisting is a technique used in professional level motorsport wiring to produce a more stable, less noise prone harness. It involves alternating the number of wires in each layer, so that they are closer together at some points than others. This cancels out the electromagnetic / radio frequency interference (EMI) between the pair of conductors, reducing both crosstalk and common mode noise.
It is an expensive process and requires a lot of planning to be done correctly, but it is very effective for a harness with the right design. However, it is also an extremely time consuming way to make a harness Wiring Harness – it will take a great deal of work to create a truly effective concentrically twisted harness.
The concentrically stranded conductor comprises a child strand as a center (central core bunched strand (5)), a first-layer concentric strand (11) formed around the child strand by twisting single wires (9), and twelve of second-layer bunched strands (15) each formed by twisting together one wire at a time counterclockwise.
East West uses special wire twisting equipment to ensure uniformity and accurate twist counts. The resulting harnesses are then soldered to PC boards using only lead-free solder, and beaded with ferrite beads. They are then run through complete electrical continuity test fixtures to check for shorts, open circuits, and incorrect wiring.