INDUSTRIAL INFO-TAINMENT Wiring Harness News SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2022 47
Driving Innovation in Aerospace : Adapting High-Speed Automotive Technologies for Aerospace Wire Harness Testing With Ultrasonics
By Sally Antilles MK Test Systems ________________________
This article looks at the heritage of real-time testing in the automotive sector , and how the R & D team at MK Test have succeeded in adapting this technology to meet the demands of testing wire harnesses for the aerospace manufacturing industry .
There are numerous examples of the automotive sector being ahead of aerospace when it comes to new manufacturing technologies or processes . The concept of the production line itself is an obvious example ; we all know the story of Ford . Lean production , 3D printing , and even augmented reality were all widely implemented within car manufacturing before being adopted by countless other sectors including A & D .
Another recent technology to be adopted by aerospace is e-vehicles . In 2021 , battery-powered cars have become mainstream , with charging points commonplace at motorway services and garage forecourts . Meanwhile , the first commercial all-electric aircraft are not planned for flight until 2026 .
Through history , as cars became more driven ( pun very much intended ) by electronics , so too did aircraft with the first ‘ fly-by-wire ’ airliner launched by Concorde in 1969 .
Why is this ? Automotive R & D and methods teams are focused on faster and cheaper manufacturing and are also racing to implement new technologies for the end-user before their competition does . In contrast , aviation tends to focus on implementing process or technology associated with safety and quality . A report on quality management notes that “ Aerospace has adopted many well-established ideas , practices and … solutions from the automotive industry , borrowing from those lessons to drive future progress as the aerospace industry goes through it ’ s own era of rapid technological advancement .” ( EASE , 2016 .)
Methods engineers in the large aerospace OEMs - Airbus and The Boeing Company - are increasingly crossing over from the automotive sector . Time and cost savings are evergreen KPIs within manufacturing , and for these , automotive beats aerospace . Experts from the
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DON ’ T LET YOUR CABLES DOWN automotive sector are bringing their knowledge of technological gains and systemic improvement methods – such as highspeed testing – to aerospace . Paul Meloche is VP Sales for Fori Automation , a Michigan-based business who have successfully transitioned from the automotive sector to also supplying support vehicles for aerospace assembly . In a 2014 interview , he said “ During the downturn of the economy , a lot of automotive engineers started fil-
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Strong , reliable and without any loss of conductivity : Connect your wire and terminal applications in the shortest time possible and with little energy – all thanks to the power of ultrasonics !
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