The increasing electrical and electronic content of today’s aircraft is shifting the responsibility for critical functions to the wiring harness and other electrical systems. This shift from mechanical to electronic enablement, coupled with more and more sophisticated electronic systems, has drastically increased the risk for harness manufacturers. In order to survive and grow in this challenging environment, harness manufacturers must significantly change their methods. A digital model-based flow unifies the previously fragmented domains of design and manufacturing and captures tribal knowledge held by experienced engineers through integrated design rules.
Impacts of current trends to on the electrical wiring interconnect system
In the last 5 decades, power demands have increased more than tenfold. The aircraft electrical distribution system (Electrical Wiring Interconnect System or “EWIS”) has also become far more complex. Today’s aircraft commonly contain electrical systems with more than 500 km of cables, over 100,000 wires and more than 40,000 connectors. All told, these added electrical components now represent a significant portion of the total aircraft weight, which can add up to more than 7,000 kg of wire on larger aircraft. Growing EWIS complexity has substantially increased the risk aircraft programs face, especially as they transition to production.
Aerospace wire harness manufacturers plan for production ramp and profitability
Growing EWIS complexity has substantially increased the risk aircraft programs face, especially as they transition to production. At the same time, platform OEM’s are required to implement more variants on the EWIS than ever before and regulatory flight certification is more stringent than ever. And both aircraft OEMs and harness suppliers must integrate changes as they arise from improvements to electrical system designs that reduce costs and improve manufacturability, reliability and performance.
Harness manufacturers not only must respond to these demands, but must seek to differentiate themselves through responsiveness to gain competitive advantage. They can do this by bringing harness manufacturing into the digital age and thrive in this ever changing industry.