Trends that will dominate the wiring harness sector in 2021
Krailling, January 28, 2021 – Not only Corona. DiIT describes the specific developments that will be of concern to the wiring harness sector this year.
Producers in the wiring harness sector are facing a challenging year – and not only due to the Covid-19 pandemic. DiIT, a specialist in integrated software systems used in wiring harness production, explains – from the view of a software manufacturer – five trends that will occupy wiring harness producers in 2021.
- The rapid growth in electric cars is increasing pressure for automation. Experts assume that around 250,000 electric cars were sold in Germany in 2020. If this rapid growth continues, the objective stipulated by some manufacturers of achieving an electric market share of 30 to 40 percent of the entire market by 2030 is suddenly, contrary to expectations, realistic. For wiring harness manufacturers this means that, faster than imagined, the production of high-voltage wires will reach a level that cannot be achieved profitably without further automation and the deployment of special machines. This is the only way of meeting OEM requirements for quality assurance, documentation and traceability.
- Corona is imposing travel restrictions and limitations on contacts. Wiring harness manufacturers have comparatively many production plants spread across the entire world. In the past there was extremely intense travel by employees from head offices to these plants. The prolonged Corona-crisis is now forcing wiring harness manufacturers to restrict these travel trips to a minimum and hugely reduce on-site activities. This requires systems to be set up which make production data available online or enable quality inspections to be performed online.
- Increasingly complex systems require remote monitoring and parametrization. Ever more complex systems are being used in the manufacture of special wires. These transfer lines consist of up to 50 stations. The first setup is generally performed by the manufacturer as it requires the relevant know-how and in-depth experience. In order to guarantee a high throughput over the long term and ensure compliance with the high quality requirements, these systems must be permanently monitored and potentially readjusted. Therefore, the possibilities for remote monitoring and remote parametrization should be created and these can be used either by the manufacturers themselves or by internal experts.
- New plants must commit from the outset to best practice processes and parameters. In order to fulfil the increasing quality requirements of OEMs, wiring harness manufacturers must support newly commissioned plants from the outset with systems which ensure that best practice processes and best practice parameters are used. Manufacturing Execution Systems for the wiring harness sector which support or even enforce this may help you in this regard. The corresponding flexible parameterizable mechanisms must be available to achieve this. Then a wiring harness producer can specify, for example, which parameters must be used if for OEM X a connector Y is crimped onto wire Z.
- Volatile capacities are making software for rent attractive. In spring 2020 wiring harness manufacturers had to shut down entire plants because OEMs temporarily cut back on production due to Corona. In such situations software rental would be a better alternative economically than a purchase as it enables a short-term response to a lower capacity utilization. Software providers for the sector will therefore be expanding their offers in this area. Wiring harness manufacturers will then pay a monthly rental price based on the number of machines or workstations with maintenance costs also included.
“The economic strains of the Corona year have made investments in production modernization a big challenge for many wiring harness manufacturers,” explains Bernd Jost, managing director of DiIT. “However, it is absolutely essential to proceed with them and they will pay off over the long-term. They not only lay the foundation for future technologies such as electric drives and autonomous vehicles, they also help wiring harness producers expedite the automation of their production and improve quality assurance. Lower costs whilst simultaneously increasing quality are a huge competitive advantage.”
DiIT GmbH, based in Krailling near Munich, is the world’s leading provider of integrated software solutions for manufacturing execution (MES), customized wire harness production and logistics. DiIT‘s competencies are bundled in the “4Wire Solutions” software suite, which is primarily used for the production of wire harnesses and wiring systems in the automotive industry and other industrial sectors. By digitalizing the value chains, the company‘s innovative software optimizes and controls complex manufacturing and logistics processes and supports quality assurance and traceability. DiIT was founded in 1990 and has a subsidiary in Berlin. DiIT is also represented in the key markets Mexico and China. The company offers a comprehensive services package to both large and small customers which covers consulting, project management and customized implementation and training. The DiIT support line is available during 24 hours and 365 days. DiIT is a wholly-owned, independently managed company of the Schleuniger Group. Schleuniger is a globally active technology company and a leading solution supplier in the wire processing industry.
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