Wiring Harness News WHN Sep-Oct 2014

Wiring Harness News NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 1 INDUSTRIAL INFO-TAINMENT s • Value Check i : e Th su res • Solution Technologies Is tu • Unions in Wire Harness Plants a • Understanding Cable Assembly Molding e F • Wire Wisdom - Control Cables Color Codes • Cloud Based CAD Target Trends in the Wiring Harness Market SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2014 Solution Technologies By Fred Noer _________________________________ ocation, location, loca- tion” is the well-known mantra driving the real estate industry. Similarly, location is a sig- nificant reason why Solution Technolo- gies has experienced growth since start- ing in 2008 and is primed for more. The wiring harness and cable assem- bly manufacturer in Dallas, Texas, is located within five miles of five major suppliers of wiring and components. The firms provide next-day delivery, and under a tight deadline Solution Tech- nologies (ST) can pick up items from the companies. “Our location in the Dallas-Fort Worth “L Metroplex means that our lead times average one to two weeks,” said Carlos Cardenas, 52, ST general manager. “Lead time for buyers is really important, and we’re trying to be a company that is quick and responsive. That gets you in the door as a company that buyers are interested in. “More than 90 percent of the time our turnaround time is quicker than any other company’s,” Cardenas said. “Having local suppliers is a big advantage because big customers are very demand- ing. If I can’t get material on time, then I could lose an opportunity.” The three component suppliers are Mouser Electronics, Mansfield; Heilind Electronics, Plano; and Graybar, Dallas. The two wire suppliers are Interstate Understanding Cable Assembly Molding By Mike Levesque, Shawn Young & Brock Richard, C&M Corporation _________________________________ hile a molded cable assembly can offer signifi- cant advantages over a similar product of a mechanical con- struction, the art of insert molding remains somewhat of a mystery to cable assembly consumers. While attracted by the potential for a more aesthetically pleasing product that can be sealed from the environment and rendered ‘tamper proof’, the complexity of the insert molding manufacturing process is often over looked. Many cable assembly engineers who are consumers – but not producers – of molded assemblies are familiar to some degree with conventional molding. In W this environment, the goal is the maxi- mization of process speed which trans- lates directly to bottom line financial performance. Manufacturing lot sizes are often characterized by long runs, where the same part is produced continuously over a considerable amount of time. The molding machines are usually horizontal in construction, use a closed cavity approach with auto-ejection of the fin- ished parts, and operate at much higher injection pressures and speeds than an insert molding process. Additionally, the often uniform nature of the parts rela- tive to wall thickness, balanced runner systems, and sufficient draft on the molded parts being produced serve to support consistent quality in the face of ________________Continued on page 14 Solution Technologies staff members work four 10-hour days either Monday- Thursday or Tuesday-Friday to save on gas for commuting and allows for a weekday off. Wire Co., Dallas, and Industrial Electric Wire & Cable, Plano. ST uses a total of 25 suppliers. Cardenas works at fostering strong supplier relationships. Rather than ordering on-line, he contacts inside sales reps. “They give me different pricing than on-line,” he said. “The formal quote and paperwork are time-consuming but help to keep cost down and make sure you get what you need. And, there’s no extra cost for shipping because we’re local.” Another benefit of the relationships is that Cardenas accompanies supplier sales reps on calls to their customers needing contract manufacturing. “Being in the same meeting is good,” he said. “It has produced a lot of business. It also is good for my distributors because it gives them the value-add they need and solid- ifies the volumes they have in stock for me. “My suppliers are exceptional,” Carde- nas said. “They go above and beyond and will do anything to get me what I need. We have very close partnerships with them.” Location also is important once prod- ucts have been manufactured. Many of ST’s 13 customers are in the Metroplex, so delivery by ST is easy, a selling point because of cost savings. Other cus- tomers are in Houston and other parts of Texas as well as the northeastern U.S. “Our trademark is our cost-out approach,” Cardenas said. “We want to be a world-class provider. To get our foot in ________________Continued on page 33 Cloud based CAD Target Trends in the Wiring Harness Market By Fergus Kendall CTO, Cadonix Ltd. _________________________________ he three irresistible forces of Competition, Globalisation and Regulation are addressed by new cloud-based design-for-manufac- ture tools Recent years have seen major upheavals right across the wire harness industry. A market once dominated by a few large players has perhaps been slow in responding to globalisation and com- petition. Major players have been stung by massive penalties for breaching rules on price fixing and competition. Poor financial performance of these large manufacturers has been overshadowed by the excellent performance of medi- um and small manufacturers. Across the board, harness makers need to control costs evermore strictly. At the same time T Fergus Kendall CTO, Cadonix Ltd. as demanding cost reductions, cus- tomers are looking for increasingly com- plex harnesses to meet the require- ________________Continued on page 54