Service Electric Supply, Inc., builds custom wire harnesses for a variety of industries. Wire processing, the cutting and striping of wire, is a major component in SES's manufacturing process. We were recently employed by SES to help streamline this process.
Wire harness manufacturing begins with a bill of material which lists the components required by the job. All wire required by the job is pulled from stock then run through a wire cutting machine. This machine cuts the wire to the required length as specified by the operator. These pieces of wire are then run through a wire stripping machine. This machine strips a portion of the outer jacket from the wire to a length specified by the operator. The striping process is done twice, once on each end of the wire.
Streamlining this process began by installing a new wire processing machine. We chose the Schleuniger PowerStrip 9500 BF. This machine is capable of cutting and striping a wire in a single pass. Obviously, this alone was a huge improvement. It completely eliminated the most labor intensive component of wire processing, feeding each cut wire through the striping machine.
Programming the Schleuniger PowerStrip 9500 BF became the most labor intensive part of the process. Every time a wire was processed, the machine had to be programmed, describing things like the wire's gauge, the type of blade required to cut its jacket and the pressure required for stripping. For a given type of wire, these settings never change.
We attached a PC running Cayman wire processing software to the Schleuniger PowerStrip 9500 BF to simplify programming. The Cayman wire processing software allows the user to build a library which describes each type of wire, including the type of blade required to cut its jacket and the pressure required for stripping. With this software, the user only needs to select a wire from the library then specify the cut and strip lengths.
Creating a Cayman instruction file for each job was the last step in the streamlining process. These instruction files contain the cut and strip lengths for every wire required by a job. Collecting this information required a custom program which was written using Synergy/DE. Essentially the program read the bill of material from SES's engineering system, parsed out each wire and exported the cut and strip information to an instruction file.
Now to process wire for a job, all the user needs to do is open the Cayman instruction file and load wire as prompted. They no longer need to search the bill of material for the wires needed by the job. This information is contained in the Cayman instruction file. They no longer need to program the cut and strip lengths. This information is contained in the Cayman instruction file. They no longer need to enter the type of blade required or strip pressure. This information is stored in the Cayman wire library. They no longer need to run each cut wire through a stripping machine. The wire is now cut and stripped in a single pass by Schleuniger PowerStrip 9500 BF. We estimate that these improvements have reduced wire processing labor by approximately 90%.