Wiring Harness News Sep-Oct 2022 - Page 48

Driving Innovation in Aerospace : Adapting High-Speed Automotive Technologies for Aerospace Wire Harness Testing With Ultrasonics Continued from page 47 ____________ tering out into aerospace companies . [ These companies ] are more receptive to learn from automotive suppliers because many aerospace engineers have seen automotive automation in action , and we offer them a different view on things .” ( Schoenberger , 2014 ).
As a technology business predominantly working with aerospace customers , MK Test Systems turned to auto for inspiration with their latest round of R & D ; a high-speed test system named RTS ( Real Time Scanning ). A major aerospace OEM customer approached MK seeking ways to improve upon the current method of wire harness testing at their FAL ( final assembly line ) stage , with the
Example of the system at wire harness build stage , using around 90 % fewer interface cables . goal of improving aircraft manufacturing speed .
Heading up the RTS project team was Nick Baker , New Product Development Manager at MK Test . He summarized the adaptation by saying “ Automotive is very much a pass-fail industry . The wiring either works or it doesn ’ t . In aerospace , you ’ re testing for resistances and taking measurements much more accurately . The RTS system is designed for that kind of pass-fail testing , but with vastly improved accuracy . Not only are we saying ‘ yes , it ’ s passed ’ but we were also able to provide a resistance measurement to within ± 0.5Ω .” Using real-time scanning technology for aircraft testing meant adapting several elements . The project was a significant R & D investment for MK Test Systems and took two years from initial concept to the first customer signing off the system .
RTS began by looking at the drawbacks of the current system . Of key concern were length and number of interface cables , hook-up time , and the fact that testing could only take place at the end of the final assembly .
The ongoing headache of cable maintenance , and testing hook-up time is a stand-out bottleneck in the production process – testing comes at the end of manufacturing and can take 3 full shifts .
Simplified diagram of the RTS system .