Standardisation Initiative Wiring Harness

Impetus for standardising automation


Georg Schnauffer

ARENA2036 e.V.

About the Standardization Initiative for Wire Harnesses (SILS)

Automation in the development, production and assembly of wire harnesses requires, above all, the ability to cope with complexity and a wealth of variants. Standardization is a key element here. ARENA2036 is launching a new project with SILS to develop proposals for standardization.

Today, the wiring harness in the vehicle is one of the last components that is predominantly produced manually, i.e. by hand. Due to the complexity and extreme diversity of variants (several million possibilities), this leads to the need for "mass production in batch size one" - each wire harness is unique. This type of production is currently only possible, both technically and economically, with a large proportion of manual labor. The prerequisite is that there are countries that can provide sufficient manpower for these production activities despite low wage levels. Due to numerous influencing factors such as autonomous driving, increasing safety, comfort and communication features, electrification of the powertrain, etc., the complexity of the wiring harness continues to increase. In combination with the miniaturization of components such as connectors, increasing documentation and traceability requirements in production, the limits of manual production of the wire harness are becoming apparent.

The automation of wire harness production has the potential to meet these challenges. As things stand today, automation of wire harnesses is technically possible in theory, but too expensive due to the many different components (each component requires its own tools) and the size and complexity of the product. At the same time, the lack of corresponding standards is blocking the technological development of automation. The key to automation is therefore overarching standards, along which the wire harness can be reduced to an automatable level of complexity through modularization, leading to the interoperable production of wire harnesses.

The Wire Harness Standardization Initiative is a cooperation of companies from all stages of the wire harness value chain. It brings together all the key parties in the industry, from automotive manufacturers and assemblers to component, machine and software manufacturers. The aim of the cooperation is to develop proposals for the standardization of the automated production of wire harnesses within the framework of DIN 72036.

The consortium is open to all interested companies that can and would like to contribute to the standardization of the automation of wire harness production. Please get in touch with us!