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November December 2017
Western Wire Harness
A New Company Sharpens its Focus
By Joe Tito Wiring Harness News ______________________________
Crimp Hand Tool Calibration
By Tom Andrasek General Sales Manager Pressmaster AB
A very common question posed by hand crimp tool users is : Do I need to calibrate my crimp tool ? What they may not realize is that they really should be asking : Does my crimp tool perform properly ?
High quality hand crimp tools
The Harness Manufacturer Profiles have been a favorite among readers for years . They usually follow a similar theme . Through the humble beginnings , companies focus on their strengths and find various way to differentiate themselves . In this issue , we take a snapshot of a company that has only been in existence a few months , and is just beginning to sharpen that focus .
Western Wire Harness was formed in June of 2016 by Steve Jeffers , P . E ., General Manager , Jeff Gordon , P . E ., Production Manager , and Ryan Wetherall , P . E . Manufacturing Engineer . WHN recently chatted with Steve Jeffers about some of the young company ’ s challenges and successes .
Steve left his W2 job in April of 2012 and formed Feat Engineering , an electrical engineering and control systems design company . He had a fair amount of success , but grew frustrated with periods of too much work , then not enough . “ I came to the conclusion that a purely electrical engineering company was going to suffer from ‘ feast or famine ,’” he lamented .
Steve had once been an employee at Caterpillar in the Electrical Systems Integration Group and had worked with harness suppliers . “ We were the guys who took everybody else ’ s designs and pulled them together for the wiring systems ; and I was just so impressed and in awe watching these guys put these harnesses together ,” he recalled . He always held Caterpillar in the highest regard , and knew he was seeing first-in-class in his first experiences with harness design .
Wanting to be closer to family , Steve made a couple of career changes , but his skill set in harness design always brought him back to that table whenever he showed up at a company . At Caterpillar , he was taught
sold by connector manufacturers are highly engineered devices that have been designed to terminate the specified connectors to their crimp specifications . As with any mechanical device , they are subject to wear
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Western Wire Harness owners , ( from left ) Ryan Wetherall , Steve Jeffers , and Jeff Gordon .
what he is convinced is the right way to design electrical systems so they don ’ t fail in the field . Owning his own harness manufacturing company had always been a desire , waiting to be acted upon .
Back to the ‘ feast or famine ’ world of Feat Engineering , Steve was interviewing some prospective sales folks . One of the guys he spoke with had been affiliated with a harness manufacturer . He candidly told Steve that the company was really a circuit board manufacturer , but provided the harness service merely as a value-added process for their larger customers . This awakened the desire . He began doing some research in his area and found that the potential competition tended to cherry pick opportunities . “ They seemed kind of particular about what they do and they just weren ’ t customer service oriented ,” he mentioned .
It ’ s hard to raise capital for a harness business , so Steve thought about forming a partnership . He had just the guys in mind , too . He knew two top-notch engineers he had worked with in the past , and thought they would make a great team . He presented his business plan to them , and they put together the capital to get things rolling .
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The Bottom Line is More Than Money
By Wes Garner SureTech Assembly ______________________________
Internal combustion engines have always intrigued me . The ability to extract raw power from a chemical reaction and convert it to motion is a process with profound implications . Do we not live in a world addicted to petrol propulsion ? At the heart of this exothermic wonder is the combination of three essential elements : atomized fuel , compressed oxygen , and electrical spark . When timed and mixed correctly , the results are explosive ! However , take any ingredient away and the diseased engine can only cough . It is no wonder that the carburetor has been replaced with injectors , sensors and a power control module at the helm . Precision is paramount .
I believe there is something to be learned here for wire and cable manufacturers . There is a parallel we should not miss . The corresponding truth is there are certain essentials for a company to be successful . When present , companies are propelled with explosive force . When absent , they sputter along gaining no new ground .
The first essential element in successful manufacturing is managing people with dignity . Too often companies adopt a utilitarian approach to business . They do whatever is possible to make the largest financial profit . As such , people are sometimes seen as commodities and little distinction is made between humanity and machinery . Years ago , while working for another company , I heard a manager make the following comment , “ I wished we could invent a food that was completely ingested by the body . That way our employees would never have to go to the bathroom .” This view relegates people as a disposable commodity .
However , I submit that people are the most valuable asset of every company . The things that matter most reside in the hearts and minds of people . No machine can produce ideas . No PC can display courage , diligence , or perseverance . Companies who value their employees tap into a resource that has endless dividends . Or as one wise person said , “ If you will be a servant to these people today … they will be your servants forever .” So don ’ t wish for a “ snack that can be completely ingested ” but for an employee who is fully invested . In the end it will prove to be the better choice .
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