Improving the Wire Harness Manufacturing Process
Boeing planes comprise more than half of the entire world’s air fleet, and the growing demand requires faster, more efficient production. In modern airplanes, there are miles of wiring that supply power, run communication, and ensure safe operation and flight in exceptionally harsh conditions. These wire assemblies, which are largely assembled by hand, represent some of the most intricate and difficult operations in the entire manufacturing process. Thus, finding ways to support assembly technicians to increase their efficiency of fabricating these wire bundles is a key area of interest.
Over the past several years, Boeing has been systematically investigating the use of reelettes, small plastic disks that hold cut wires, for storing, sorting, and moving wire around the manufacturing floor. This year’s Boeing SCOPE team was tasked with creating a reelette sorting device. The final product is a design that efficiently sorts stacks of randomly ordered reelettes into the desired order for a given wire bundle. Once implemented on the manufacturing floor, it will be part of overall improvements to the wire bundle production process.