TP7 –

Data profiles

Standardization and expansion of data profiles


Johannes Becker

4Soft GmbH

Mr. Becker is Head of the Wiring Systems Division and IT Consultant at 4Soft GmbH.


Standardization and expansion of data profiles

TP7 defines requirements for the digital product description of wire harnesses from the perspective of automated production. Essentially, the sub-project aims to define the framework so that the defined design rules for wire harness design can be checked digitally. The KBL (wire harness list) and VEC (Vehicle Electric Container) data standards established in the industry form the basis for this.


Initial situation and motivation

Wire harness production in the automotive industry is still largely carried out by hand. Technical approaches to automate the manufacturing process, at least in part or even completely, have been known for several years. There are also specialized companies that offer corresponding machines and systems commercially. Nevertheless, the proportion of value added by automated production in the industry has remained at a consistently low level. The trend towards the automation of wire harness production is currently increasing, but there is still a long way to go to achieve full automation.

A decisive cause of this situation is that the current design of wire harnesses is generally not suitable for automation. This is also due to the fact that the complexity of vehicle networking has been increasing for years due to new functions, electric and autonomous driving, and the wire harnesses primarily follow the requirements of the vehicle and the product function to be achieved. Although the aim is to design for automation, this cannot be implemented cost-effectively due to the lack of overarching standards such as DIN 72036.


Current focus of work

Against this background, the aim of the sub-project is to establish requirements and recommendations for the digital product description based on known barriers to automation and associated design rules for the wire harness definition. This is done by standardizing data profiles for the digital component and wire harness description based on the standard data formats KBL (wire harness list) and VEC (Vehicle Electric Container).

For DIN 72036, which is currently being published, data format-independent requirements for the digital product description in the form of data requirements were derived from the design rules listed in the standard. These requirements were then projected onto the KBL and VEC data formats and three data profiles were finally defined in this way:

  • A VEC-based data profile for wire harness components
  • A VEC-based data profile for wire harnesses
  • A KBL-based data profile for wire harnesses

The intended benefits of the data profiles defined in the standard basically extend to all stakeholders involved in development and production. This is because the data profiles make it clear in an unambiguous way which data is required in the process in the context of automated wire harness production and how it is to be mapped digitally. This creates orientation for all stakeholders, prevents unnecessary iteration loops and can promote the development of tool solutions that can be used throughout the industry.

In the course of defining the above-mentioned data profiles, expansion requirements were submitted to the responsible standardization bodies in order to close existing gaps in the data formats with regard to the digital product description.

In SILS, the data profiles are maintained and expanded in line with the other sub-projects. This is based on all activities for the provision of a new version of DIN 72036 as part of the planned scope extension, e.g. to the high-voltage and high-frequency application area. Furthermore, the VEC and KBL data profiles are to be published in PROSTEP using corresponding XML schemes.



The aim is to standardize data profiles for the digital component and wire harness description based on the standard data formats KBL (wire harness list) and VEC (Vehicle Electric Container). The background to this is that the aforementioned standard data formats tend to avoid imposing strict minimum filling requirements. This applies in particular to the VEC data format, which, in contrast to the KBL, is explicitly not only focused on the application of wire harness mapping, but also wants to be able to serve an indefinite number of other conceivable usage scenarios. However, if the goal of being able to check compliance with design rules based on digital data is to be achieved, dedicated requirements for the content and scope of the digital product description must be met. The purpose of the data profiles is to make this transparent.

As a secondary result, the sub-project is working on expanding the above-mentioned data standards in order to close existing gaps that are relevant for assessing the suitability of the wire harness with regard to automated production. Corresponding tickets will be submitted to the relevant standardization committees.