Laselec Modernizes Wiring Processing

Date: Issue 74 - May 2017

Founded in 2001, LASELEC designs and manufactures cutting-edge electrical wire processing equipment: UV laser wire markers, laser wire strippers, interactive harness assembly boards and harness braiding machines. 

This wide range of products demonstrates the company’s willingness for continuous innovation and leadership in the latest trends in aircraft electrical harness manufacturing – And that latest trend is automation. 

Over the next decade, the landscape of the factory will change dramatically. Challenges for factories of the future will not so much consist in their ability to produce, but to produce with the most flexibility. 

LASELEC will present its automated solutions in a special presentation at the SIAE 2017 show, in Paris (Le Bourget), from the 19th through 23rd of June, 2017.

Automation of Wire Marking Process

Until recently, the most common method for wire marking was hot stamping; a technique used since World War II. This aggressive and outdated method put the wire at risk of being damaged or burned. 

For the past 20 years UV laser marking technology has been utilized as the primary solution for wire identification in aerospace harnesses. LASELEC had first developed the laser wire marker to meet the specific needs of the aeronautical field. Now, its many benefits are attracting lead actors in the railway field. By marking the wire directly, as compared to heat shrinkable sleeving that must be manually attached to each wire, wire shops equipped with a UV laser wire marker can considerably reduce their production times. 

This non-aggressive UV laser marking technique ensures the electrical integrity of wiring subject to the most extreme conditions. UV laser wire markers are PC based, fully automated and range from low to high volume production. They offer a safe, permanent and highly legible mark resistant to light exposure, solvents, etc.

LASELEC’s new ULTIMA laser wire marker is ideal for the laser marking of electrical cables and fiber optics on the production line. ULTIMA allows for “on the fly” marking of alphanumeric characters or bar codes of different sizes.

The RapidShare Automated Wire Processing Line 

RapidShare is a solution designed to automate wire processing production. Prior to RapidShare being launched, the first step in the manufacturing process of an aerospace electrical harness started with the marking and cutting of wires. Next the operator had to manually group the batch of wires. Then the operator would 

label and sort those batches for production processing before sending them to the shop floor for assembly on a form board. 

RapidShare, attached to the ULYS Modena laser wire marker, is able to perform automatic tasks such as:  labeling, stripping, crimping, bundling and kitting processes.  The operator is now free to handle multiple tasks/machines instead of operating a single marking machine for an entire shift. RapidShare’s compatibility with the ULYS Modena line of laser wire markers has allowed companies, such as the Airbus Group, which owns several LASELEC markers, to  upgrade to the automated production system that has increased their competitiveness. More and more customers are experiencing an unprecedented level of automation. Among them are the Airbus Group (mentioned above), GE Aviation, and Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing.

Laser Stripping Becomes a Reference in the Field of Cabling

Over the last two decades the aerospace industrial landscape has seen a tremendous surge in laser processing solutions (cutting, welding, marking, etc.).  Electrical harness manufacturing is a booming sector driven by the strong growth of aircraft production and the race for autonomous cars which includes the multiplication of sensors/multimedia systems and the ever increasing complexity of the harnesses. The use of high-precision laser solutions for marking or stripping of a lighter, technical and sensitive electric cable is constantly increasing.

In recent years, cable laser stripping machines have followed a trend of sophistication, increased power, size and capacity to try to penetrate new markets in the industry. LASELEC has chosen to work against the flow by relying on innovation, miniaturization, ergonomics and ease of use. LASELEC has developed Sylade, a patented technology for contactless cable stripping based on laser diodes. Sylade technology has been qualified and approved by AIRBUS and AIRBUS Group has recommended the use of this system for stripping their wires and cables according to AIRBUS AIPI standards. Sylade is integrated in the field of aerospace cabling and offers a level of precision, quality and consistency far superior than that of traditional tools. 

Laser stripping is establishing itself as the best solution for the stripping of shielded, twisted and multi-filament cables and meets the new requirements of the aerospace standards ASD EN2812, SAE AIR6894 updated and published in recent months.

The Sylade products are available as a stand-alone or can be integrated in an automated harness manufacturing solution.  Sylade perfectly meets the need for stripping aluminum cables used in the transport sectors as well. Laser technology safeguards the ultra-sensitive strands of these new families of technical cables.

Interactive Harness Assembly Board Brings Wire Harness Manufacturing to the Digital age

Planes, trains, cars and ships contain thousands of wires that connect their various electrical systems through an electrical wire harness. The manufacturing of this wire harness is a monumental and complex task. Technicians have to deal with a plethora of assembly instructions that help aid in locating the appropriate wires, cutting them to size and connecting them to the proper components. Currently, in the electrical harness building process, technicians typically use wooden nail boards and large paper drawings. In many cases mistakes are made due to wrong information, a misunderstanding of instructions, improper training and the human error that accompanies any manual process. A double-quality check is required to root out potential errors.  Unfortunately this adds to the time and productivity lost along the way. 

Electrical harness manufacturers have been searching for solutions to reduce production time and related errors. LASELEC has developed an alternative to the traditional harness building method: EasyWiring interactive harness assembly boards. This innovative solution brings modernization to electrical harness building through the use of software that guides the operator through the entire harness assembly process. Benefits of this system are readily realized and include increased productivity, reduction in training time and best yet, traceability.   EasyWiring even reduces the risk of an error and trims the time spent on prototyping.

The Easywiring system itself is composed of HD Display modules (available in size 65”, 75” or 82”). Each system can consist of up to 6 modules; which represents a 1.015m x 11m table with 82” modules.  One EasyWiring system can replace numerous boards and increase shop floor space. 

The key feature of this product relies on the full guidance from the software during the harness assembly. The operator has direct access to all the information that is required for the harness building process and proper tool selection.  Pictures, videos and PDF files can be accessed at any moment to save time during production.

Technicians that are equipped with the bar-code reader (optional) can scan the wires to be connected and the tools utilized in the harness building process thus allowing for full traceability of the harness assembly.

“The wire harness dynamic display and mobile wire supports allows our team to build as many electric harnesses as we need with a single production device.” Says Bretagne Atelier’s CEO. “This acquisition allows Bretagne Ateliers to build more complex harnesses and train their employees faster on electrical harness assembly.”

While prototyping, technicians are able to make real-time modifications on a harness without changing out an entire paper drawing.  Add, delete or modify any information directly through the EasyWiring software.  

Today, more and more companies are looking for flexible solutions to boost their productivity, improve quality and optimize their shop floor layout. Through Laselec’s innovations in wire processing equipment these solutions can be easily realized