Home » Probe IMT: Solving lead time and cost challenges when replacing wiring harnesses

Probe IMT: Solving lead time and cost challenges when replacing wiring harnesses

by Tia

From the simplest lead wire to the most complex vehicle cabin wiring harnesses, electrical faults and damage can bring mine production to a standstill and need rapid resolution. Unfortunately, customers can often face unavailable stock, long lead times, discontinued products and huge costs when dealing with the complex challenges of replacing damaged or faulty harnesses, says Probe IMT CEO Gert Roselt. Together with delivery partner Harntech, Probe IMT has found ways to counteract these issues and improve harness designs, helping companies to reduce the need to frequently replace wiring harnesses, while providing cost-effective solutions.

“Whether you opt for custom-designed OEM replacement harnesses or even electrical rebuild kits, establishing an effective harness solution and taking steps upfront to maximise harness life is a critical part of maintaining maximum productivity in a mine,” says Roselt. “With an experienced partner and improved designs, clients can reap the benefits of longer lasting and more robust harnesses.”

Roselt says that the high cost of OEM wiring harness assemblies can be reduced substantially by using LEAN manufacturing principles and maintaining an extensive database of parts. “We are able to offer more competitive pricing by carrying a large inventory of raw materials for different equipment manufacturers and by using interchangeable components, such as industry-proven Deutsch Connectors, Automotive Cross Linked wire and PVC Yarn for braiding.”

When it comes to heavy mining vehicles and equipment, harnesses must be built to specifications and be able to withstand harsh conditions. As a specialist manufacturer in this field, Harntech has successfully improved on many harness designs and selected suitable components to prolong the service life of wiring harnesses that are exposed to extreme heat, dust, corrosion and mechanical damage.

Harnesses are manufactured from drawings provided, working closely with clients on developing and designing the most suitable harness assembly for various applications. “We are able to upload complex harness designs from industry standard software packages directly into custom designed software. In this way, we can ensure harnesses are built efficiently and according to specifications.” All harnesses are manufactured in accordance with an ISO9001 QMS system and IPC/WHMA-A-620A Standards. Assemblies are thoroughly tested for continuity, short circuits and insulation breakdown before final inspection and packaging.

The Harntech team has found a number of ways to test and ensure that harnesses are ready to withstand conditions on a mine, plugging any gaps. For example, new OEM equipment harnesses are typically supplied without connector back shells and boots. The moisture and dirt from pressure washing can then lead to harness failure, and more equipment downtime. Waterproof boots and matching back shells are added by Harntech, providing a more durable harness assembly.

According to Roselt, long lead times from OEMs can often be countered before machinery goes into production by working with Probe IMT and Harntech to earmark harnesses that are prone to failure, such as engine, transmission and rear frame harnesses. “Working with sample harnesses, we use reverse engineering skills to add improvements. Specialised electronic drawing and design services and effective cost analysis enable us to ensure much shorter lead times and stock availability when needed.”

Production lead times can be further eased by electrical rebuild kits, which typically contain all wiring harness assemblies, battery cables, lighting, dash panels, switches supplied in one kit. “Clients are looking to minimize their supplier bases and inventory holdings and therefore realise the value of completed electrical assembly kits,” says Roselt. “We source various product kits for clients opting for this solution.”

“At Probe IMT, we’re focused on optimising safety and maintaining productivity for our clients,” says Roselt. “Finding world-class solutions from specialist suppliers like Harntech and partnering with clients to build these into their operations is an essential part of this.”

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