Wiring Harness News Sep-Oct 2022 - Page 10


High Voltage Cable Processing

Continued from page 8 _____________
There are some automated cable processing systems already on the market . Komax and Schleuniger , among others , are producing fully automatic systems , but I would say that the majority of production of high-voltage cables assemblies is still carried out using semi-automatic equipment . This is simply due to the fact that production volumes are relatively low for the time being . That , coupled with what I was just saying about the difficulty of handling such heavy cable assemblies , means that semi-automatic processing is also more easily integrated into an existing harness assembly plant .
We do see full automation coming , that ’ s for sure . Most forecasts show the volumes increasing very significantly after 2030 which will make the necessary investments to automate much more cost effective .
WHN : What advice would you give manufacturers to be successful with high-voltage assemblies ?
Martin : I guess I would start with the most obvious and that is you need to use high-quality tooling . It ’ s very important that the tooling is easy to set up , and that it ’ s going to be stable to allow consistent crimping quality .
Another point to mention with high-quality tooling is you will typically get much more durable and longer lasting wear parts . As you can imagine wear parts for these very large crimp applicators are quite expensive . The longer they last , the better the economies in the production cycle .
Also , the applicator has to be set up correctly . You have to use a skilled operator who understands how the applicator needs to be adjusted . It ’ s very important this operator follows the manufacturer ’ s recommendations for the correct crimp height to avoid the issue of cracking .
And then , as a follow on to highquality tooling and correct set up , we do absolutely recommend you use a good CQM ( crimp quality monitor ). Given the safety critical nature of high-voltage assemblies within the vehicle , as well as the cost of that assembly , it ’ s very important to ensure that you are crimping correctly and consistently . As a complement to the CQM system , we at TE are also able to offer a vision control which is integrated into the press ( Figure 4 ). It scans the terminal , the wire and the applicator . It basically ensures that everything is in the correct position
Figure 4 . TE ’ s Integrated Vision System .
before the crimp is carried out . It will also allow you to visually inspect the crimp terminal once the crimp cycle has been completed , verifying that both the terminal and all the other components are in the correct angle and in the proper position .
Next , we would strongly recommend harness manufacturers equip themselves with a high-quality cable prep machine . It doesn ’ t really make sense to economize there because you ’ re going to end up with a high scrap rate . High-voltage cables and terminals are extremely expensive compared to low-voltage . You will
definitely benefit by reducing the scrap level to an absolute minimum .
And then the last comment that I would like to make here is that a high-voltage cable assembly is made up of multiple different components , many more so than a low-voltage connector and cable . So , you really need to think about the order that you ’ re going to assemble these parts and ensure the assembly area is well prepared and has the right tooling for each individual operation . And if you do that , you ’ ll certainly find that you will be able to make significant improvements in the speed of production of these cable harnesses .
* Martin mentioned it would be quite complex to explain exactly how TE does that in this article . He did mention that the patented technology TE has developed for their HV-CP cable prep machines ensures that the cables are returned to a round shape before the final incision is made . We will explore further in a future article .
Many thanks to Martin Rosten , and also to Michael DiLeva , Director of Communications – Technical Transport Solutions , for facilitating the interview . Special thanks to Deanna Mccoy , External Communications Consultant at TE who always comes through in connecting us with awesome experts at TE !