High-mix production is a way of life at most harness assembly shops. Even operations that only serve a few high-volume customers still have to deal with product variation that challenges efficient operations. As product mix increases, you increase the instances for inefficiency and production errors. Fortunately, with good shop-floor organization, wise technology choices, and a disciplined adherence to standard work, harness assemblers can handle high-mix production without compromising the bottom line.

One of the areas where a wire harness manufacturer can help lean its organization and obtain cost efficiencies is to use a rapid pre-print service to manage both the print and distribution of labels needed to identify the various wire harness elements. Besides the capital investment of a marking system, the biggest challenges of high-mix production are managing changeovers and maintaining consistency. By linking the wire diagram version control to an external expert in identification marking, you can reduce scrap and the chances of having a bin full of wasted markers. More importantly, you can reduce the chances of mis-labeling an important component of the wire harness.

When you’re doing small jobs, sometimes the setup can be longer than the build time. Linking demand needs with pre-print provider eliminates production bottlenecks and frees resources to move product out the door. Labels can be packaged per job and delivered directly to the appropriate work stations. Also the process can be optimized to ensure standardization and adherence to documentation and industry standards, like SAE/AS9100C, the quality management system standard for aerospace manufacturing. These lean processes help to eliminate waste and increase throughput.

SEA Wire and Cable, Inc. specializes in offering custom pre-marked labels for demanding military and aerospace applications. All that is needed is Excel spreadsheet of needed markers. Markers can be custom packaged as well as custom graphics added for customer marketing. Please view video for more detail on how the system works.

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