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The 5 Most Tedious Parts of Harness Assembly

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Tedious does not mean bad. Tedious means that a certain job takes just a bit more dedication. While these tasks take a bit more effort, they are very critical to making a successful wiring harness. Without further ado, here are “The 5 Most Tedious Parts of Harness Assembly.”

 

1. Making the HAD

A Harness Assembly Drawing (HAD) is something that we make sure to take the time to make in-house at InterConnect Wiring for most if not all of our programs. Our engineering department creates these drawings with the utmost precision. I have seen one engineer shave off .05 inches (or 1.27 mm) from a drawing because it was too long. Our engineers will also recreate HADs that were originally made in the 1980s, 1990s, or whenever, to ensure accuracy and make them easier for our assemblers to read and understand.

 

2. Wire Cut

This job is tedious because of the volume of wires that are cut daily. We go through a lot of wire every day at InterConnect, and we must make sure that every wire that we cut is done so within a certain tolerance. Luckily for us, we have machines that help do this work for us. We even have machines that can laser mark the wire and then cut it for us at the same time. Can you imagine how, in the past, they would have to cut all the wires by hand with a pair of wire cutters? Even with the machine, the large quantity of wire that we cut every day makes this quite the task.

 

3. Kit Assembly

Have you ever counted out 260 filler plugs? Because I have and let me tell you it can be some precise work. Miscount by too little and you slow down production for the assembler. Miscount by too many and you might just mess up the inventory. What is worse is that this can cause the assembler to think they might have miscounted on their end and missed something! That is something that we certainly make sure to avoid. Putting these kits together can be some tedious work for sure. Fortunately, we have measuring equipment and experienced kitting technicians. 

 

4. Testing

Testing is a topic that we have covered recently in one of our Vlogs. Something that we did not mention in the Vlog is that testing a harness can sometimes take a very long while. How long you ask? Try two hours for the very largest harnesses! Almost long enough to watch a Harry Potter movie! Of course, testing is important to make sure the job is done correctly, but still, that can be quite the task. Oh, by the way, if a harness is braided (it often is) then you must test the harness twice! Once before braiding and once after braiding. 

 

5. The Inspection Process Manual

How would you like to read at least 1000 pages of dense text to know what to look for while inspecting a harness? That would be like reading more than a whole series of Harry Potter books! From connectors to soldering, everything is covered in these manuals and specs. Now for the fun part… Did you know that the 1000 pages worth of specs and manuals differs from program to program? While an F-16 and an F-15 are both part of the “fighter jet” classification, they might have very large differences in their processes. Or, even more tediously, they may have very small differences that need to be recognized by our expert team of engineers, planners, and inspectors. Thoroughness is already showing its worth!

 

So, now that you know what is tedious about making a wiring harness, let me tell you something else about it: IT IS ALL WORTH IT! Making the best wiring harnesses in the world is what we do; therefore, all this tedious work is well worth it. We want our customers to trust that when they receive a harness from us it is going to be exactly what they designed and needed. We do that by being thorough during every step of harness assembly. Because at the end of the day, the connection from our harness to your aircraft matters. #ConnectionsMatter

P.S. Did I tell you our engineers can design electrical wiring interconnect systems (EWIS)? We can and do.

Our Licenses

We are the sole licensee of Lockheed Martin for F-16 electrical products. Through this agreement, we have access to Lockheed Martin’s F-16 engineering data, tooling and configuration control information. We also have a Technical Services agreement with Sikorsky for all of their aircraft. This agreement allows us to obtain their engineering data needed to rewire helicopters that Sikorsky manufactures.

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