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Complex and Advanced Cable and Wire Harness Assembly Testing

Posted by Don Glencross on May 6, 2016 4:22:32 PM

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Delivering Electronic Enclosures with Varied Complex Cable Content

Most basic cable testing consists of point-to-point verification of the wiring against the requirements, but sometimes—in the world of contract manufacturing, and value added services—the requirements of each wire harness assembly are not as straightforward.

Fourstar_Connections_Wire_Harness_Assembly.jpgMany assemblies include additional components that do not lend themselves to traditional electrical methods of testing and require a custom approach. Fourstar’s ability to adapt process and test capabilities allows us to quickly meet the challenging needs of our customers. Fourstar Connections can deliver completed electronic assemblies or electronic enclosures with a variety of complex cable content.

Electronic assemblies or electronic enclosuresmay include, but are not limited to:

  • Fiber optics and related components
  • Power supplies
  • Dedicated printed circuit boards
  • Pressure, temperature, or atmospheric gages
  • Hall effect sensors or magnetic switches
  • Black box circuitry, where the function is unknown
  • Discrete components integrated into cable designs
  • Motors, drives, analog and digital I/O

Review for Best Approach

During the engineering first article build and design for manufacturing (DFM) process, Fourstar reviews each assembly for the best approach to ensure that the product meets all deliverables. The challenges of complex custom cable assemblies and wire harness assemblies quickly become obvious. In each case, various tactics are employed to gain the highest degree of success. In cases where automated continuity testing is not appropriate, specialized testing or inspection procedures must be established. This may require a combination of multiple sets of testing approaches, such as:

  • Automated point-to-point testing
  • Hi-Pot, VSWR, inserting loss, insulation resistance, etc.
  • Manual testing for continuity and shorts
  • Visual inspection of key attributes in the absence of testing
  • Functional testing using an approved customer procedure
  • Third-party testing or verification
  • Pre-testing of key components or sub-assemblies

Know the Testing Process

Following any testing, or during the final appraisal process of the product, it’s also important to know what may not have been part of the functional or verification testing. While every effort is made to automate testing wherever possible, there are instances where knowing what is not covered as part of the standard testing is critical and can avoid misunderstandings or failed expectations later with the customer. For example: a motor that may have been terminated, but may not have been part of any functional testing for operation prior to shipment, requires special attention during appraisal and agreement with the customer. Ensuring that the customer is aware of what is and what is not tested, also helps the customer to design and streamline their processes accordingly. This is also leads to higher degrees of confidence by the customer, which has several benefits.

  • Reduces the customer’s inspection and appraisal costs upon receipt
  • Decreased installation time
  • Supports lean and allows product to move directly to inventory or manufacturing without additional testing
  • Reduces manufacturing failures and related costs
  • Reduced processing costs—the result of having more complex assemblies
  • Releases internal resources to focus on other objectives

Partnering Capabilities

Box build assemblies are a natural extension of our assembly capabilities. Fourstar provides competitively priced assemblies that are ready to use in our customers’ applications with a high degree of success and confidence in their operation. Our customer gain the advantage of increased values in their manufacturing operations. Additionally, a pre-tested assembly will reduce rework and inspection resources. By partnering with Fourstar, our customers can streamline their operations, and reduce overall costs and resources to allow core activity and increased growth. We’re adept at handling you’re your custom cable assemblies projects, whether you need a wire harness assembly, box build, electronic enclosures, or other contract manufacturing solutions. We recently worked with Columbia Tech on a project that involved Fourstar supplying a range of cable and complex wire harnessing: 30 AWG to 4/0 AWG and Metal Clad cable and electro-mechanical assemblies. 

You might find it interesting, along with the same successful collaboration for your company. Read it now!

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Topics: Wire Harness Assembly, Wire Harnessing

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Finding a Better Way

Fourstar partners with leading companies to problem solve, innovate, and find better ways for New Product Introduction (NPI) and Design for Manufacturing (DFM) initiatives.

What you get:

  • Our project management and manufacturing expertise
  • Comprehensive range of products and solutions
  • Advanced IT systems
  • Exceptional customer support

From cable assemblies to complex box build solutions, we can quickly ramp up to meet target dates and volume requirements. We are dedicated to helping you improve program efficiency, enhance product performance, speed time to market, and lower total cost of product.

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