Automotive

Another Automotive Supplier Chooses E3.series for Harness Design and Manufacture

HCI race car

Topi Heikkinen celebrates victory at the World Rallycross races at Mettet in Belgium on July 13th

Hot on the heels of Racetech and Teepee Electrical, another autosport supplier has recently opted for E3.series to design their harnesses. I’d like to introduce HCI Systems and the man behind the operation, Mike Tickner. Why E3.series… and why now, was the basis of our chat last week.

You might have figured by now that the automotive industry one that we at Zuken can safely say we are strong in. In fact a more in-your-face company might even say dominant; but at Zuken we like to pride ourselves on facts over hype. Yes we do work with many of the big car manufacturers in Germany, India, Japan and America, not to mention leaders in coaches, fire engines and specialist off-road vehicles etc – even cranes if you want to stretch the industry that far. The autosport industry is another automotive niche that we’re becoming widely used in, spanning the OEMs and suppliers such as harness specialist HCI Systems.

What made you choose E3.series?

HCI Systems workerMike:  I’d been looking for a software package that can do everything we needed for years, and I wanted it to be as professional as possible. So I got in touch with High Peak Systems (UK E3.series distributor).

What really made me buy? This is why…

  • The database for the autosport industry is far bigger than any other in the market.
  • The package is flexible, I can start where I want.
    Different customers provide different levels and types of information at the beginning of a project. Some know the components they are using, others don’t. While another company may know the layout of the car, another might not.  The way E3.series is structured with its database means that I can start the project either at the schematic phase or at the formboard.
  • The high level of software support.
    David and Tim at High Peak Systems have been willing to work with me flexibly to offer excellent support in making E3.series work for us. This was an important factor for me.

What next with E3.series?

Mike: Last week I started the first half of my initial training on E3.schematic and E3.cable, then in a couple of week’s I’m returning for the second half that looks at E3.formboad and the database. I’ve got two projects in mind to be my first for E3.series: updating the harness design for the Vuhl lightweight supercar (check out the website here), so that we can easily track ongoing changes and bills of materials. Then we’re also working on a high performance electric car – but I can’t say the name I’m afraid.

I know that the design is going to take longer in the beginning, but over the entire product development and fabrication process we’re going to save time. The complete bill of materials, and the repeatable formboard information will speed up the manufacturing bit.

Tell me more about HCI Systems, Mike

HCI engine harnessMike: I started the company back in September 2012, which means that we’ve been going for nearly four years. My background is that I began my career as an apprentice helicopter avionics technician, then quickly moved into Formula One as an electronics technician and track support etc. From there I went into defence and wiring projects working on the likes of the BAE Terrier Vehicles and Royal Naval ship projects. With a passion for the autosport industry, I’d always thought there had to be a better way of doing the electrical design. Although, I should add, we are not just restricted to autosport, there are many similarities of harness design with the defence industry, so we do harness design and manufacturing for companies in that sector too.

Our current customers are operating in FIA Formula 1, FIA World Rallycross with teams typically from the UK and Sweden. But also include companies like Vuhl in Mexico.

Case study presentation at Zuken Innovation World UK event on 5th October

At the end of our call, never one to miss an opportunity to convince a customer to share their experience with the community, I asked HCI if they would be willing to share their experience of getting to grips with E3.series, and designing the harnesses for these two projects, at our annual Zuken Innovation World UK conference on 5th October – Mike agreed.

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