The standard definition of the term Wire Harness Assembly (and therefore the plural Wire Harness Assemblies) that is most commonly given is that they are a string of wires and, or, cables which are used to transmit information and signals (as well as energy in the form of operating currents). These cables are most often tied or bound together by cable ties, clamps, electrical tape, cable lacing, conduit (a specialist electrical piping system), a weave of extruded string or even a combination of any of the aforementioned means of binding.
Wire harness assemblies are arguably most commonly used in automobiles and also in construction machinery as such harnesses provide several essential and ultimately beneficial advantages over the use of loose cables and wires. In the case of aircraft, spacecraft and automobiles, for example, there are several masses of wires exceeding several kilometres in length when fully extended. However, when these large collections of wires are bound together into a single wire harness, the cables and wires can be effectively secured against any adverse potential effects of abrasions, vibrations and moisture. Apart from protecting the wires and cable from these threats, the collecting of wires into a single non-flexing bundle, the use of space is thereby optimized and the risk of an electrical short occurring is thereby considerably reduced.
The use of a wire harness also considerably reduces the installation time as the installer is only required to install a single harness and collection of wires as opposed to multiple individual wires, thereby making the entire process easily standardized. Also, if the wires are bound into a single sleeve which is fire resistant, the risk of electrical fires occurring is also greatly reduced.
When producing a single wire harness assembly, the finished product is typically designed according to specific electrical and geometric requirements requested and required by the customer. A finished diagram is then provided (either on paper or on a monitor) so that the assembly preparation and the final assembly processes can occur. Despite the fact that many industrial processes in this technological age are automated, wire harness assemblies are still most often manufactured by hand and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future due to the many different and intricate processes that are involved in the construction of these harnesses. These processes include the routing of wires through sleeves, inserting a single sleeve into another and fastening any loose strands with cable ties, clamps and tape.