17 Replies Latest reply on May 30, 2012 2:42 PM by Maxim Teleguz

    Wire Harness modeling

    Maxim Teleguz

      Hi everybody,

       

      Im not feeling that great.

       

      I was told to Create the following with no experience and not a single clue of how to do it. I only have a 2 year degree from a tech school with only 6 months of training in modeling and annotations in Solidworks.

       

      1. 1.     Electrical wiring            
        1. 1.1 Full ‘Hardware’ location and identification
        2. 1.2 Full, assembled (actually fully pre-assembled and bundled) wiring harness(es) with wire type and insulation, wire gauge and type of terminals with specific details to crimping or soldering
        3. 1.3 Main Power supply to MCC
        4. 1.4 Power supply cables and terminals from MCC to each jack terminal box
        5. 1.5 Cables from MCC to Terminal box at jack(s) with connector, not hard wired to box terminals
      2. 2.     Limit Switches
        1. 2.1 Limit or Proximity Switches. Type, location and adjustment method to be determined.

       

      i can do dimensioning and modeling but when a boss askes for a time schedule to do this...i don't know what to tell him and what really i should know before undertaking this project. I don't want to BS myself that i can do it with no training whatsoever in this particular Project.

       

      From the audience could you please tell me how i should proceed about doing this the right way? If you think i can do this can please tell me what you think the time scheduling of this should be from a beginer?

       

      I really don't want to screw this up, but worst of all i don't want to BS my boss, i want to be honest with him about this topic.

       

      company website: www.intertranusa.com go to bottom of page and click on mobile jacks and see this project. which needs to be done right this time.

       

      Thank you,

      Max

        • Re: Wire Harness modeling
          Tim Cochrane

          Maxim,

           

           

          Are you planning on using routing?

           

          My take on it is if you are going to use routing you need to initially dedicate the time into training and then spend the time setting up your work environment. Doing the actual routing seems to be fast once you have done the training and setup.

           

          Tim

          • Re: Wire Harness modeling
            Maxim Teleguz

            how easy would it be to model a complete harness with specification of type of wire and comlete length, but no connectors?

            • Re: Wire Harness modeling
              Charles Culp

              Max,

               

              We model wires, wire harnesses, and connectors here all the time, and we do not use routing. We just use splines for the path, then you can sketch a profile for the wire diameter, and use the sweep tool. If you have a limited amount of wiring, this is the easiest way to go. Especially if the overall assembly is simple, and there aren't hundreds of wires.

               

              I could model what you described fairly quickly (hours), however that does not include any design work. If I was to copy an existing design, I would guess for me three hours. You should at least double that if you feel inexperienced, possibly triple that.

               

              But really, that isn't the most time consuming part of my designs. Measuring, remeasuring, and evaluating the models to optimize the design for the end requirements takes much more time than the actual initial modeling. That would take me a couple days to do, at minimum. Probably even more depending on how standardized the existing design is. Again, if you don't feel comfortable with that part, I would double any estimate you come up with, and tell your boss it's because you haven't had enough training, and want to make sure you cover all the details. Then you just have to make sure you have properly covered all the details.

               

              It is always better to overestimate and deliver early.

                • Re: Wire Harness modeling
                  Maxim Teleguz

                  Charles,

                   

                  For using spline do i draw in assembly without editing a specific part?

                   

                  Max

                    • Re: Wire Harness modeling
                      Charles Culp

                      you must draw the spline in a part file. if you are in an assembly, use the "edit part" function to edit the part while in the context of the assembly.

                        • Re: Wire Harness modeling
                          Maxim Teleguz

                          Charles,

                           

                          But how can i draw the full harness in an assembly. I want the harness to connect all parts in the assembly?

                           

                          my definition of a harness: A harness is a set of wires going to and from a control box to all electrical parts; including limit switches, motor, and sensors.

                           

                          I really appreciate your help.

                           

                          thanks!

                          Max

                            • Re: Wire Harness modeling
                              Charles Culp

                              Max,

                               

                              You will have to create a part to model a shape. If that part doesn't actually exist in the Bill of Material, you can make it a virtual component.

                               

                              Edit Part in Context:

                              http://help.solidworks.com/2011/English/solidworks/sldworks/legacyhelp/sldworks/assembly2/Editing_a_Part_in_an_Assembly.htm

                               

                              Virtual Components:

                              http://help.solidworks.com/2011/English/solidworks/sldworks/allcontent/solidworks/core/assemblies/c_vc_virtual_components_overview.htm

                              • Re: Wire Harness modeling
                                Jerry Steiger

                                Maxim,

                                 

                                Just to clarify a little bit, or expand on what Charles told you. I assume that you have a larger assembly in which you want to build your wire harness. You would make a new assembly for the wire harness itself and place it in the larger assembly. You would then create your wires as part of the wire harness subassembly, built in the context of the larger assembly.

                                 

                                Assuming that your wires are going to be routed in three dimensions, allow quite a bit of time for learning how to deal with 3D Sketches. Some folks have so much trouble with 3D Sketches that they add a whole lot of planes and use a series of 2D Sketches to make the path, but if you are going to be doing much of this type of work, then you need to get comfortable with 3D Sketches.

                                 

                                You'll need to learn how to work with splines and configurations because you will want the wire lengths to stay constant as you move between the 3D assembly and the 2D layout and drawings. SW doesn't have a way of keeping the length consistent automatically.

                                 

                                Listen to Charles and the others who actually deal with this type of design more than I do.

                                 

                                Jerry Steiger

                                  • Re: Wire Harness modeling
                                    Maxim Teleguz

                                    Jerry,

                                     

                                    First off you made my life a little easier, I have however did not start this project yet to which i am very grateful. Thanks for bringing up 3d sketches.

                                     

                                    3d sketches are useful because i can calculate the lengths of wire harnesses and to know ahead of time how much money we will spend. But then came the pre-fabrication of wire harnesses at our company and now i have to create drawings for them.

                                     

                                    So thinking through this quickly, I'm able to create a 3d sketch and extrude the wire? I don't know how to expain my thoughtfulness(thinking) so please work with me. So to clarify again im able to create a 3d harness within a 3d sketch parameter?

                                     

                                    Lets take this one step at a time please.

                                     

                                    Thanks!!!

                                     

                                    you have no idea at how much help you guys already provided, but i don't want to close this thread just yet. I want to be 100% sure of my actions.

                                      • Re: Wire Harness modeling
                                        Jerry Steiger

                                        Maxim,

                                         

                                        Yes, you can use a 3D sketch for the path and Sweep a wire. What I usually do is generate the two ends of the wire with a short Extrude. This gives me cylindrical sections that I can mate to the connectors. Then I Sweep the center section of the wire for the in-place configuration of the wire along the 3D sketch. I measure the length of the spline and make a configuration of the wire with a straight Sweep of the same length to be used in the drawing. (Depending on the shape of your wire harness when it is built, that Sweep may have bends in it to fan out your connectors.) Other people, who do this more often, may have a better method.

                                         

                                        Jerry Steiger

                            • Re: Wire Harness modeling
                              Chris Kamery

                              Max,

                               

                              Going along with what Charles said, underpromise and over deliver.

                               

                              If you are looking at using Routing and have access to it (routing requires SW Premium License), it is a big learning curve. Aside from learning how to use routing and working with it correctly, there is a fair amount of front end time when starting to use routing for the first time. This includes configuring wire and part libraries to properly use the routing addin. There are a few videos on using routing on www.rickyjordan.com which are really good intros.

                               

                              Depending on the amount of wires / harnesses that need to be created, I would suggest to try and create 1 or 2 to get a feel for how long it takes per harness. Once you get a time for running the harnesses, add a few more hours for messing up, reroutes, unexpected SolidWorks errors, etc.

                               

                              Chris

                              • Re: Wire Harness modeling
                                Mike Agan

                                Could your company pay the VAR (reseller), to walk you through it (on site)?