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Typical Wire Harness Testing and Validation Testing for Automotive Applications

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Trusted Information Resource
#1
Hi To All,
Does anyone know or have experience regarding "what tests comprise typical wire harness validation" for harnesses used in an automotive application?
Thank you....
Optomist1
 
Last edited:
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#2
Re: Wire Harness Testing/Validation

Tests I have seen include:

1) Layout against a template or board - I have seen them using pins where terminals are positioned. This is used to confirm the lengths are correct.

2) Electrical continuity. When using a test jig the harness can be confirmed to have the correct terminals and that no cross-wiring has been done, also that the terminals have been attached so as to allow proper conductivity. It could be argued that this functional test is done after assembly, but if the harnesses are shipped off to be installed it becomes final testing for you.
 

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Trusted Information Resource
#3
Re: Wire Harness Testing/Validation

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for the response, this helps....any insight regarding any environmental tests temp/humidity, vibration tests or test plans etc??

Regards,
Optomist1
 

AgnieszkaSz

Involved In Discussions
#4
Re: Wire Harness Testing/Validation

If you make harnesses by the print, there should be indications regarding such conditions on harness specification - quite often international / national standards or manufacturer's standards.
As for dimensional testing, I came across a requirement that all dimensions from specifications must be checked for 5 pieces and the results were sent to the customer (sometimes accompanied by the sample). You could use this method internally too when starting a new product.
 

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Trusted Information Resource
#5
Re: Wire Harness Testing/Validation

Thank you for the response, this helps. Do you know of a set of standard envrionemental test that are used to vlaidation or approve the final harness assembly prior to installation into a vehicle/platform?

Regards,
optomist1
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#7
Re: Wire Harness Testing/Validation

Thank you for the response, this helps. Do you know of a set of standard envrionemental test that are used to vlaidation or approve the final harness assembly prior to installation into a vehicle/platform?

Regards,
optomist1
Environmental and vibration tests are types of reliability testing aren't they? Tests of such kind, tending to be destructive, might be done on a sample and not as validation of what ships.

SAE International has published a set of standards for automotive. I found the section on wiring harnesses on page 11. The IHS Standards Store is one source for these standards.

Do your customer requirements include "Conformance to ____" and mention standards?
 

AgnieszkaSz

Involved In Discussions
#8
As Jennifer wrote, such tests are the type tests and are used generally when a new type of harness is released into production. You can browse the SAE site for the topic "wiring". When serial production starts, the visual control, layout control and electrical connection test for each harness are generally good enough for the customers. Validation of manual assembly is a tricky subject and as such is seldom required by customers. Unless, of course, yours is the case of automated harness assembly - here validation would be both possible and sensible. I don't have experience in automated assembly, unfortunately.
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#9
In high volume production of cable assemblies, it is common to have computerized testing devices that allow you to plug in each connector to each cable assembly and then check both continuity with little or no voltage and then to load check with working voltages. The tester stores the information for each cable assembly. In aircraft applications, it is common for each assembly to be serialized, so the test data is stored for each serial number.

Again, in high volume production, crimping is often validated with a test piece (coupon)at the beginning of each run using a sample and a destructive pull test. On large runs, coupons are taken and tested at regular intervals.

It is not uncommon to "calibrate" the crimping equipment. That is to use dowel pins to check the choke points of the crimping tool.

In low volume production where it is not cost effective to build a dedicated testing device, continuity is checked by performing a manual pin-out test with an OHM meter. This is very time consuming, as every pin must be checked against every other pin in the assembly.

Some uses will also dictate using a Hi-Pot tester to test the assembly under load.

Figure out how the assembly is to be used and what specifications the customer has for testing before you determine your test plan.
 
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