Wire harnesses are used in different industries to ease the production of a larger component. They are useful in the production of different appliances, electronic equipment, and medical devices. Moreover, they are used in various aerospace, military, and aviation applications, in telecommunication equipment, in the development of robots, and in most vehicles.
Based on the design, a wire harness can have multiple wires and different components consisting of a lot of branches and terminals, going in various directions. The wiring harness operates by allocating, transmitting, and directing information through electric signals or currents throughout the entire system. Once put together, wiring harnesses allow for easy installation and product knitting.
The first thing to consider should be the location that the wire harness will likely be placed in. You need to ask several questions with respect to the placement of your wire harness, including:
- Are chemicals, liquids, or other wires expected to be near it?
- Will the wires and cables used be exposed or enveloped within a product?
- Will the wiring be pulled on or twisted? Will a coil cord be necessary so that the product can elongate and retract properly?
- At what temperatures will the product be placed? Will it be exposed to extreme temperatures?
These are some of the important things that need to be considered when conveying your product’s specifications and requirements to a design team. Several guidelines and industry standards are required to be followed when deciding the best type of wire harness to use. Along with considering the safety standards, it’s important for you to interact with a manufacturer who is well versed with international standards.
Difference between Indoor and Outdoor Wire Harnesses
If your product is meant for outdoor use, you’ll probably look for a thicker set of cables. This will probably need a cable assembly, as they have high durability and have multiple insulation layers to withstand wear and tear. Moreover, it will be an effective option if you need to cover larger distances. These cables are insulated by vinyl, shrink-wrapped thermoplastic, or thermoplastic rubber, which are heavy-duty materials.
If your product is suited for indoor use, a wire harness is going to be your best option, considering the product will not be exposed to any chemicals or extreme conditions. Moreover, wire harnesses are the best suitable in scenarios that require a reasonable solution for transporting electricity over a short distance because of their compact size and carrying capacity.
Another factor you should remember is whether or not the wire harness will be inserted in another product. If that’s the scenario, you must look at the functionalities of the product it’s going into. Can this product alter its temperature through its multiple parts? Is there a chance for the product to leak or malfunction in a way that could harm the harness? Prefer a manufacturer that builds and tests prototypes during the manufacturing process so that it allows designers to prevent errors before the manufacturing begins on a large scale.
Materials to Fight Temperature Constraints on Wire Harnesses
For extremely cold weather, coatings should not become rigid because of the climate. They should be able to expand and contract upon meeting frigid conditions. Ask your vendor to see the product properties and certifications from government bodies.
In the case of hot temperatures, ask your vendor what types of temperatures the product could withstand. Moreover, it is necessary to determine the heat tolerance that your wire harness will be required to meet the safety standards.
These are the components you should remember when selecting wire harnesses:
- Conductor Insulation
Type of Conductor
The conductor is the medium through which your signal or current is transmitted. The type of conductor chosen should be able to sustain specific conditions without corroding or overheating. Few things that must be considered when selecting conductors are as follows:
- The conductor should have high tensile strength in order to sustain mechanical stresses, including overheating.
- The type of metal and coatings used should be carefully selected. Copper is one of the most popularly used conductors because of its conductivity. In any case, it is prone to corrosion, making it necessary to determine what your wire will be exposed to and the right coatings required to avoid this.
Other Factors to Consider When Selecting the Right Components for your Wire Harness.
Apart from the basic components mentioned above, there are some other factors that may add extra functionality to your wire harness, such as:
- Connectors: There are several connectors used to bring different wires together. Few of them are permanently attached to the system, while others are temporarily affixed that can be removed when they require interchangeable parts.
- Grommets: These help keep wires secure and in their proper place. Grommets also help maintain a structured system. Moreover, they help make installation and any maintenance on the product more seamless.
- Terminals: The point at which the wire ends is known as the terminal, and it can be connected to another element or capped off based on its purpose and location.
- Strain Relief: It is a system designed to repress current as they reach the terminal. This is intended to extend the life of the terminal.
The Bottom Line
The ultimate wiring harness is only as good as its elements and the operating conditions it is built for. Hence, the kind of components you need to choose for your wiring harness, and how many, will be decided by the applications and the environmental scenarios that the product is operating in.
Selecting the right components for your wiring harness is vital to guaranteeing that you have a product that runs flawlessly and meets your design requirements. It is essential in developing a wiring harness that will work efficiently. Some of the vital considerations for your wiring harness design are the types of insulation, distance, and carrying capacity, along with the environmental conditions the product is intended for.
When choosing the OEM, make sure your product is with an experienced manufacturer that understands how wiring harnesses work. Moreover, you need an OEM that understands your business’s requirements and your product’s characteristics.
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