Suitablility of wire harness components for automated production


Stephan Fahrnbauer


Mr. Fahrnbauer is active in the field of Electrology and Configuration

Automation index

Creation of a user manual for designers

Sub-project 4 (SP4) is developing a universally applicable evaluation methodology that will support predictions of the automation effort required for the assembly of components in wire harness manufacturing. The result of the method will be a key figure that characterises the technical automation effort of a given assembly step and is referred to below as the automation index. In order to identify the product- and process-specific criteria relevant for an assessment, SP4 follows an interdisciplinary approach and includes the design guidelines from SP1 and SP2 at an early stage.

Starting point and motivation

In the field of wire harness manufacturing, in particular, which is largely characterised by manual value creation, the automation of production offers great potential. The right choice of components suitable for automation or the early evaluation of the automation feasibility of a new development are decisive for a high degree of automation in wire harness production. The automation index developed in this SP is intended to support the selection process for the user in a comprehensible and reproducible manner.

Current working focuses

In order to ensure broad acceptance of the results developed in this SP, it is of particular importance to take important cause-effect relationships into account and to integrate the know-how available in the sector into the assessment method. The process model being followed here is described in [1].

The current focus of the work is to develop a detailed approach for the method by comparing it with the approach for an FMEA using selected product groups as examples.

[1] Article ATZproduktion 3-4/2020 – Stefan Olbrich, Lab Hang Ren: Determination of the technical automation effort


The next steps are to further validate the process model for the evaluation of an automation index by addressing additional components from different component classes. Due to the high complexity of the process model and the resulting considerable expenditure of time, the assessment process needs to be streamlined to a minimum.

The knowledge gained through this procedure will then be recorded in a user manual for designers. This manual will describe the methodology in detail. It should be possible for manufacturers to determine the automation index for their products voluntarily so that they can be made aware at an early stage of the effects of their technical solutions with regard to the technical automation effort in wire harness production.