Wiring Harness News WHN Sep-Oct 2017

• Wire Wisdom • A Primer on Small Wire Crimping • Summer in the Rear View Mirror • Do You Own or Do You Labor? • The Power Women of the Wire Harness Industry • Connect the Shop Floor to the Top Floor for Wire Harness Companies • Air Force Research Labs Paves the Way to Lower Cost on Wire Harness Assembly September October 2017 No Harness Too Complex for SemahTronix By Joe Tito Wiring Harness News _____________________________ S ince 1977, the company that is now SemahTronix has been producing high com- plexity harnesses and subassemblies in Flippin, AR. Originally specializing in Military applications, the company builds assemblies to exacting stan- dards in Medical, Security & Defense, Communications, Industrial and Spe- cialized Industries. They are certified to ISO 9001 and AS9100 C. WHN had a recent conversation with Alex Stubenfoll, Director of Marketing and Sales and Travis At- kinson, Vice President of Business Development – Engineer, about the company’s history and unique abili- ties. Alex began noting the company was formed in 1977 in Flippin as a division of LaBarge Electronics. At the time, she revealed, there were some complimentary industrial incentives, and a high-quality workforce was available at favorable rates. The com- pany was acquired by Avnet, Inc. in 1995 and became Avnet Cable Tech- nologies (ACT). Then in 2000, a group of private investors purchased ACT and changed the name to Actronix. In 2006, the company began a partnership with the Arkansas De- partment of Corrections under the Prison Industry Enhancement (PIE) program that allows the company to employ offenders who have volun- teered to be a part of the initiative, Alex described. Through this part- nership, Actronix opened a second facility in Newport, Arkansas on the grounds of the McPherson Women’s Unit. In April of this year, as Alex cited, the company came under the new ownership of Rusty Hames, and be- came SemahTronix. Rusty is an entre- preneur with a plethora of success stories across many industries. Travis talked about the develop- A Primer on Small Wire Crimping By Matt Houser Manager, R&D Development Engineering TE Connectivity, Application Tooling ______________________________ Introduction rends toward miniaturiza- tion and electronification, especially in the automo- tive industry, are driving increased demand for small wire terminations. TE Connectivity (TE) defines small wires as anything that has a wire cross sectional area of 0.35 mm 2 (22 AWG) and smaller. This article will focus on open-barrel F-crimps. Ap- T proximately 45% of wires in a typical mid-size car are 0.35 mm2 or smaller, and that percentage is expected to increase to 72% in the near future. Harness makers must be prepared to crimp higher volumes of small wires to keep up with these trends (See Fig 1 page 22). Small wire terminations present unique quality challenges due to their sizes. This article will describe some of these challenges, list com- mon ways to inspect for quality, and outline how to overcome the chal- lenges of small wire terminations. _____________ Continued on page 22 Complex wire assembly on the board at SemahTronix. ment of the company over the years, standards. “All of our engineering de- saying, “Traditionally our business is velopment and test capabilities are in harness and subassembly manu- done in-house with no external de- facture for medical and military & pendencies,” he noted, “so not only aerospace markets.” He noted their does that make us resourceful, we expertise has always been in low- are also fast to deliver small volumes volume, high-complexity assemblies that hold high quality and reliability _____________ Continued on page 18 Employing Disabled Workers: A Discussion with the Experts at Chinook Enterprises By Joe Tito Wiring Harness News _____________________________ E arlier this year, I intercepted an email from Steve Pilip- chuck, Vice President and General Manager at Wallace Elec- tronics, on the WHMA Yahoo group listserv (if you’re not on it, ask the folks at WHMA if you can be a part of it). Steve asked, “Does anyone have experience working with Disadvan- taged Workforce Programs?” Steve had some basic kitting operations he thought would be a great fit for such an organization, but he didn’t know where to start. I followed up with Steve. He got some input from the group, but hit some brick walls. I dug into this as a research project for Wiring Harness News. Towards the end of this article, I outline some specific resources you might use to find such organizations. Should you wish to consider bringing disabled workers onboard (and I hope you do), there is also plenty of useful in- formation in that regard. But first, I wanted to introduce you to a won- derful gem of an operation I discov- ered along the way. Chinook Enterprises Chinook is a social enterprise, meaning they are a non-profit de- signed to operate as a business, but with a very specific social mission. Chinook’s goal is to support full par- ticipation in community life for peo- ple with disabilities. They feel strong- ly that full participation begins with successful employment. There are many different facets to Chinook Enterprises. They work to find employment for disabled work- _____________ Continued on page 14