Project Details

Aircraft Cable Harness  |  Scalable Manufacturing

OVERVIEW

This valued Compass Electronics Solutions (CES) customer came to us for production of their intricate aircraft cable harnesses for military applications. With reliability essential, our team prioritized quality and regulatory compliance. When the customer required rapid increase of production volumes, our team leveraged our scalable manufacturing model to successfully deliver additional units on schedule.

CUSTOMER PROFILE

This customer is a staple of the US aerospace industry that has been trusted for decades to provide electrical instrumentation at the highest level of reliability. They supply aircraft components and equipment for commercial, military, and business aircraft ranging from complex integrated electronics systems to complete engine turbines.

CHALLENGE

Electrical equipment for the aerospace and defense industry must meet stringent regulatory and reliability requirements. Our customer came to Compass Electronics Solutions (CES) for the assembly of their complex cable harnesses that would be incorporated into their electrical generators. These generators and the cables they rely on are integral parts of US military aircraft including F18 Naval Aircraft, Apache Helicopters, and UAVs.

Our team implemented thorough testing and quality assurance processes to achieve the unwavering reliability required for the cable and wire harness’ end application. To meet project requirements, our Dayton, OH cable and wire harness manufacturing facility is compliant with both ITAR and AS9100D regulations for aerospace and defense manufacturing. With diligent teams and comprehensive testing processes, CES ensured each harness exceeded specification requirements.

SOLUTION

CES’ reliable delivery of high-quality harnesses fostered a business relationship that led the customer to request that we rapidly ramp up production. We set out to double production levels in a tight five-month timeline. To achieve the ambitious capacity increase on the desired timeline, our approach would have to be methodical and well thought out. We began by crafting a plan for scalable manufacturing and conducting capacity studies on all lines of harnesses produced for the customer.

Meeting production goals would require an increase in both efficiency and staff. CES quickly invested in the necessary facility improvements. Improved assembly and testing stations were installed, station capacity was increased nearly 30%, and staff were brought on and given quality assurance training. We had our cable assembly tables custom designed to maximize efficiency for the customer’s unique harnesses. Our new, optimized cable assembly tables were installed in accordance with a carefully planned manufacturing floor layout to increase capacity and reduce down time.

To ensure these improvements delivered the exceptional quality our customer had come to expect from CES, we further installed in-process testing stations. With expanded in-process testing capabilities our team was positioned to preempt defects and ensure unwavering reliability in complete assemblies. The revamped production floor brought us closer to achieving our goal of doubling production in five months, but unit production still depended on component availability schedules.

Having implemented concrete procedures to reach production goals, our team set to work ensuring component availability. Key components of the customer’s cable and wire harness assemblies were subject to long lead times prior to order fulfillment, often exceeding 12 months. With production increase imminent, we leveraged strategic supplier relationships to subvert long lead times and obtain the required components on schedule.

RESULTS

Through dedication to supporting the customer, our team succeeded in doubling production volume while maintaining exceptional quality and reliability. In addition to increased station capacity, we successfully improved our efficiency, reducing unit production time by over 18%. The overwhelming success of the production ramp up inspired the customer to request an additional 20% increase in production volume in the following three months. Supported by improving efficiency and our scalable manufacturing model, our team achieved the additional production increase.

The success of this project was facilitated by regular communication with the customer on multiple levels. From validation of specifications to fulfillment through the customer’s established purchasing portal, each step of the process was collaboratively tailored to exceed customer needs. The successful delivery of high-quality aircraft cable harnesses with scalable manufacturing capacity has laid the groundwork for an ongoing business relationship between CES and the customer.

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  • Project Name Cable Harnesses for Military Aircraft
  • Client AEROSPACE & DEFENSE