Although cable assemblies are a crucial part of your project, their design is often left until late in the development process. This usually leads to negative effects because the end stage of development is when decisions are rushed, deadlines are looming and costs quickly pile up.
Once you’ve finalized your design, you also need to know that your cable harness design partner can scale production to meet an often uncertain demand forecast. The right partner will help you navigate these challenges. Choose the wrong one, and you’ll fall victim to the seven risks of cable assembly.
1. Light Inventory
If your vendor partner doesn’t have ready access to a broad range of connector components, you’ll face longer lead times and higher costs as they scramble to source parts. The best option is a partner with a deep inventory for rapid prototyping and consistent, reliable turnaround on production-scale quantities.
2. Little Design Direction
Your partner needs to be able to address your toughest design challenges, and not everyone can. Many engineers with design challenges simply use the internet to research parts to fit their requirements. However, it sometimes leads them to pick one part from one company and another part from another company, hoping they work.” The right partner becomes an extension of your product development team and collaborates fully on a solution from design to delivery.
3. Poor Quality
The last factor you can't afford is unreliable cable assemblies. You need consistent quality from the components to the final product in the field. Look for companies that stock and assemble component parts to order, so quality assurance is end-to-end.
4. High Costs
Cost is a major factor. It may not seem so at the beginning, but as production ramps up, cost accumulates quickly – unless you find a partner who works with you early on to put in place a cost-down strategy, allowing you to reduce overall costs as market demand increases. To do this, your partner needs to be agile enough to scale with you from early “soft” forecasts through peak production demand.
5. Financial Instability
If you choose a small wire harness house, you risk your vendor facing stability issues. You don’t want to be well into the production phase only to find that your supplier has to close their doors, or is having supply chain issues due to financial constraints. Unfortunately, it does happen. When looking for a vendor, partner with a company that has a long-standing in the industry and a proven business with supply chain solutions available.
6. Long Lead Times
When your customers are waiting on you, you can’t wait on long lead times. This is especially true when you can’t predict demand and need to react quickly. It’s critical to find a partner who has the processes and automation in place to turn out high-quality assemblies at a rapid rate.
7. No Support
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting little support from a vendor. The right partner has local, readily accessible sales and customer service. Their design engineers are there when you need them - in many ways, acting as a co-developer/partner, scaling with you, and investing in your growth.
The New Ideal
Cable harness design and assembly is not a simple transaction or commodity purchase. Each system has unique requirements and needs a tailored design. The right strategy is to find a partner that has made significant investments in inventory, assembly processes, tooling and an expert engineering staff, and is flexible and responsive to support you from design to delivery.
“We see ourselves as integral part of our customer's development team and a key component in the long-term success of their final product.” said John Hufnagle, VP of North America Sales & Engineered Solutions at PEI-Genesis. “Our ability to provide application expertise, in conjunction with our inventory and production capabilities removes the “worry” so that our customers can focus on what they do best.”
PEI-Genesis has spent more than four decades assembling custom connectors, assembly and holds an inventory of over $100M in component parts from industry-leading manufacturers like Amphenol, ITT Cannon, TE Connectivity/DEUTSCH, LEMO, and more.
Whatever your design and assembly requires, the PEI-Genesis team knows what is readily available, what needs to be custom-built, what will work, and what is going to be the best quality and value for each customer and project.