Six Essential Factors In Qualifying a Custom Wire Harness Manufacturer
There are myriad advantages to working with a custom wire harness manufacturer. The right manufacturing partner will design and manufacture harnesses for very specific applications, giving you optimum quality at competitive prices with unparalleled service.
But how do you know if you’ve found the right fit? Here are six factors to consider:
The last two years have highlighted the importance of working with an experienced manufacturer.
Well-financed, stable organizations with a history of quality production, reliable raw material and component sources, and skilled labor retention are crucial to meeting your delivery targets and revenue goals. With a formal factory audit, you will see their commitment to quality on the production floor with investments made in new technologies, proper maintenance of all equipment, and efficient manual assembly processes.
Established manufacturers will also have solid business continuity plans with the ability to quickly duplicate production at another location (even across the globe) to keep your supply chain moving.
2.) Testing and Quality Control
A properly managed production line will have formal quality assurance and testing processes to ensure the quality of all manufactured harnesses. Failures can be costly, time consuming and, in some cases, life threatening.
A good manufacturer will demonstrate an ability for and commitment to maintaining a quality management system.
Quality controls should include a combination of visual and equipment tests for accurate labeling, continuity, crimping, wire gauge, insulation, pull tests, and electrical tests, plus any testing needed to conform to the customer’s specific requirement. The best manufacturers invest heavily in test labs and skilled personnel to run them.
3.) Customization Capabilities
It’s important to find a manufacturer with the capabilities to meet your specific requirements.
Considerations include component sourcing, final product assembly, testing, and even design support. A manufacturing partner who can work with your design team in all production phases is key to customization.
The right partner will have an engineering team that is invaluable when choosing manufacturing techniques, raw materials, and components to meet your specs and reduce manufacturing costs.
Since lead time is always an issue, how much can your manufacturer do in house? Is cable extrusion, soldering, termination, wrapping, and testing done on site? Can they provide rapid samples or short runs prior to mass production?
Answering these questions will give you a sense of how capable a potential partner is of customization.
4.) Volume Capability That Meets Your Needs
Are you looking for a high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) or low-mix, high-volume (LMHV) manufacturer? Your volume estimates and unique and complex product requirements are critical to choosing the right production partner.
Electronics manufacturing involves different levels of automation:
- Manufacturers that produce large runs of products typically use heavily-automated manufacturing.
- Manufacturers specializing in small production runs typically employ manual assembly to save the time and cost involved in setting up automated assembly equipment.
5.) Certifications and Standards
Experienced electronics manufacturers maintain a comprehensive set of registrations and compliances in accordance with the required quality standards, regulatory requirements, industrial and environmental compliances of the markets and geographies they serve.
By receiving accreditations from different certifying bodies, they assure their customers that their products are in compliance with international standards. Compliance results in safe and reliable products that allow electronics manufacturers to uphold the quality of their brands.
When choosing an electronics manufacturer, consider:
- Do they have the regulatory compliances your production requires (UL, CE, CSA, TUV)?
- Are they ISO certified?
- Are they ROHS, REACH and Conflict Minerals Compliant?
6.) Excellent Communication
You need a manufacturer that will be responsive.
Nothing can put a wrench in a project like poor communication. Miscommunication can result in design and quality issues, as well as lost time and money.
Your manufacturing partner should not only offer the highest quality wire harnesses, but the highest quality customer service. If you are working with an offshore manufacturer, do they have the capability to communicate with you in your language and on your time? You want to establish a relationship with a company that listens to you and responds promptly.
Why Make Macrotech Your Custom Wire Harness Manufacturer?
At Macrotech, we offer all of the above and more. Our clients choose us because:
We have 40 years of experience. Macrotech is an established wire harness manufacturer with a 40-year history. In addition to domestic production in California, the majority of our wire harness production is offshore in Taiwan, China, Indonesia, and Thailand. Over our decades in business, we have worked to build fruitful relationships with all of our clients and manufacturing partners.
70% of our business is related to interconnect products, such as cables, wire harnesses, power cords, PCBAs, and connectors. Of that, about half can be classified as wire harnesses. We know our industry well.
We offer a wide range of capabilities. We have thousands of individual part numbers across our customer base, from simple harnesses with a few unique components on the BOM to complex harnesses with over 100 unique components on the BOM. We offer some high-volume assembly (tens of thousands of pieces per month of single part numbers). But the vast majority of our production is high mix/low volume (HMLV), with hundreds of pieces per production run of each of dozens of different harness configurations for a single customer.
We manufacture our own bulk wire, something most wire harness assembly houses do not do.
The harnesses we manufacture cover myriad industries, including computer, networking, mobile devices, automotive, exercise/fitness, instrumentation and controls, oil and gas, med-tech, and so on. Many of these industries are spread throughout the American heartland, not just in major tech hubs on the coast. The products and services we offer truly reach every corner of the country.
The additional services we offer, such as custom sourcing and stocking programs, design engineering services, kitting, hubbing, and so forth.
Macrotech truly has everything needed to make your product a success. If you are searching for a custom wire harness manufacturer, look no further. Schedule a call with us to talk more about how Macrotech can meet your needs in this arena.