An In-depth Look at Zuken’s New Harness Builder 2018 for E3.series
Note: This initially appeared in the July/August 2018 edition of Wiring Harness News.
Zuken is introducing its new release of Harness Builder for E3.series. This E3.series module is designed to be used by harness manufacturers for the accurate generation of quotations and estimates plus the full creation of nailboard/pegboard documentation.
Harness Builder 2018 for E3.series is packed with new features and customer-driven enhancements with a focus on the manufacturing side of the process with the addition of new direct driving exports and documentation. New enhancements include an innovative way to display the wires on front or back images of connectors and within the tables located next to connectors on the formboard drawings. This assists the assembler with visualizing which colored wires go into the designated connector cavities and can greatly increase harness build speed while limiting errors.
Additional examples have been added to the embedded database to support the selection of wire seals. Seals and terminal crimps are now automatically added into the harness, increasing the time savings by building the complete bill of materials (BOM) along with the correct pieces that fit the connector assembly. Those very same terminals are also linked to PDF documentation that shows details and instructions on how the terminal is crimped or assembled. Manufacturers and assemblers have the option to link their own manufacturing documentation to the parts and drawings, providing detailed information such as the stock room location of crimp tools, or an assembly note for complicated items.
Partnering to Drive Manufacturing
In a newly formed partnership with Komax, Zuken will now be able to directly drive the Komax high-end harness manufacturing equipment. Harness Builder for E3.series now provides a link to the Komax Zeta and Omega machines, providing a direct connection from the design to the manufacturing machine. Once a design has been created, detailed instructions are sent directly to the machine to set up seals, wire terminals and cut wire detail, bypassing the need to program the machine.
With Harness Builder for E3.series, an electrical harness can be accurately quoted and then sent directly to manufacturing once the order has been released. Wire lengths, strip lengths and jacket strip lengths can be altered for any revisions, and the changes are sent to the Komax machines. Whether the customer owns a small Komax Kappa machine or one of the new Omega or Zeta machines, Harness Builder for E3.series will drive it.
“We are pleased to be working with Zuken and their Harness Builder for E3.series product. There has been a strong relationship for many years in Europe between our companies, so it only makes sense to expand that partnership to North America,” said Patrick Moroney, Komax product marketing manager.
Testing the Harness
Harness Builder for E3.series customers have expressed the need to create an interface to the DIT-MCO harness test equipment. They stressed the importance of being able to rely on the integrity of the harness by using the DIT-MCO testers. The Zuken team worked with the skilled staff at DIT-MCO to create the right level of integration to their tools. Passing pin, connector and netlist information necessary for the machine to generate test files.
“In collaboration with Zuken we hope to greatly simplify the process for DIT-MCO customers of creating test programs utilizing an Automatic Program Generator (APG) that takes the output straightaway from Zuken’s Harness Builder for E3.series to create DIT-MCO test programs,” said Brent Stringham, DIT-MCO director of sales, marketing and service.
Another integration unique to Harness Builder for E3.series is splice barcode naming. This is particularly useful for directly selecting from an ultrasonic library of splicing models and should prove to be a time saver for companies using ultrasonic welders.
“It was exciting and challenging to manipulate apparent manufacturing quoting tools to be used in all sections of the engineering and manufacturing process – from the initial quoting stage right through to the final output on a formboard 1:1 drawing that can be printed directly from the applications,” Paul Harvell, director or E3.series for Zuken USA, said.
Harness Builder 2018
Zuken studied a great deal of feedback from harness manufacturers in the development of the new release. There was a general realization that the harness manufacturing teams might not necessarily have the same skill sets as the engineering companies (OEMs) that were designing the products. It’s also likely that they might not be afforded the time to learn and train for the complicated interfaces. For these reasons, emphasis was placed one ease of use. The tool was created with concise easy-to-locate functions with pictures and videos for online help. That, coupled with Zuken’s hotline support and online user community, make for a quick startup with a short learning curve.
The software does not require the harness manufacturer to create a schematic in order to create a harness. It does, however, offer a schematic that is dynamically created from the harness after it has been drawn. The single-object technology of E3.series makes it flexible enough for a design engineer or harness manufacturer to detail the same drawing sets and be confident that all views of those drawings sets are updated automatically. For example, when a connector is added on a schematic, it will also be present on the formboard. If a wire is added into the harness, it will appear in the schematic. This single-object approach means that the BOM and detailed wire cutting information are always in synch.