How manufacturers of wire harnesses can be the big winners in CASE trends
The revolutionary changes in the automotive branch are threatening the livelihood of many companies in the supply segment. However, according to DIIT, manufacturers of wire harnesses can be the big winners – provided they do their homework.
Connected, Autonomous, Shared+Services, Electrified – or for short: CASE. These four trends are turning everything upside down in the automotive branch and will fundamentally change it forever. As a result, many traditional players in the supply industry are now in difficulties. Indeed, the long-term existence of manufacturers of mechanical parts such as components for petrol motors or assemblies is even under threat.
This is not the case for manufacturers of wire harnesses. Their products will play a key role in electrified, driverless, networked cars that support comprehensive mobility services through digital services. They are used for running all energy, signal and communication flows that make the new functions possible in the first place. “Wire harnesses are turning from a purely price-driven commodity product into a safety-critical, quality-driven strategic purchased part,” says Bernd Jost, Managing Director of DIIT GmbH – a specialist for integrated software systems used in wiring harness production.
For the manufacturers of wire harnesses, this means a paradigm shift with enormous potential. They now have a huge chance to benefit from these global developments through completely new business opportunities. However, these opportunities will not simply fall into their laps. “With the current, largely manual manufacturing processes and the many inconsistencies between the systems seen in production control, manufacturers of wire harnesses will no longer be able to cope with future challenges,” says Jost. “Due to the strategic importance of the wire harnesses the manufacturers will be faced with very different requirements from OEMs in terms of traceability and quality.”
They will only be able to meet these requirements through an increasing focus on digitisation. Only then will the manufacturers be able to supply the OEMs with the necessary data and be able to continually monitor and optimise the quality of their products by capturing and evaluating the production data. However, the further automation of the manufacturing processes is absolutely essential for this digitisation. Otherwise, reliable data collection and processing would not be possible. In turn, design for manufacturing forms the fundamental basis for automation. In the long term, the wire harnesses must be designed so that they can be manufactured using automation in the first place.
“Digitisation, automation and design for manufacturing are the core competencies of the future for manufacturers of wire harnesses,” comments Jost. “Of course, digitised, automated manufacturing is not something that can be achieved overnight. It requires a smooth transition that will take several years to implement. However, manufacturers of wire harnesses should already begin to establish the necessary skills for this right away. Otherwise, someone else will simply jump in and take their place.”
German DIIT GmbH is a leading provider of integrated software solutions for engineering, manufacturing execution (MES), customised wire harness production and logistics. DIIT’s competencies are bundled in the “4Wire Solutions” software suite, which is primarily used for the production of wire harnesses and wiring systems in the automotive industry and other industrial sectors. By digitalizing the value chains, the company‘s innovative software optimises and controls complex development, manufacturing and logistics processes and supports quality assurance and traceability. DIIT was founded in 1990 and has a subsidiary in Berlin/Germany, and is also represented in the key markets Mexico and China. The company offers a comprehensive services package to both large and small customers which covers consulting, project management and customised implementation and training. The support line is available during 24 hours and 365 days. DIIT is a wholly-owned, independently managed company of the Schleuniger Group. Schleuniger is a globally active technology company and a leading solution supplier in the wire processing industry.
Tel.: +49 89 893250-0
Contact person is Bernd Jost