Suitablility of wire harness components for automated production

Automation index

Creation of a user manual for designers

Sub-project 4 (SP4) is developing a universally applicable evaluation methodology that will make it possible to make a statement about 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 clothing 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 is to identify individual product groups and the associated assessment criteria. New product groups are accompanied by a product group-specific adaptation of the process model. This takes special features of the individual product groups into account.

[1] ATZ article: Determination of the technical automation effort


The next steps for SP4 will be to validate the evaluation criteria of a product group using a demonstrator as an example and with the agreement of third parties. To make the automation index more interpretable for the user, a market analysis will be carried out which will use a threshold value to enable a statement to be made as to whether automation potential exists for the assembly of the component under consideration.

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.