Cutting and Stripping UL1015 Hook Up Wire for Harnesses
Table of Contents
Making a Ferrule Wire Harness with UL1015 16 AWG Hook Up Wire
Making a ferrule wire harness with UL1015 16 AWG hook up wire starts with using an automated wire processing machine to cut and strip the wires. UL1015 wire is a common 600-volt wire used in devices and appliances after being put together into a wire harness. Ferrules are used together with the connector that connects the wires either to another cable or to a transmitter or receiver. The ferrule keeps the fibers accurately aligned within the connector. The copper from the wires connect to the ferrule and the ferrule connects to the screw in the plastic house. The plastic house is plugged into the application and the connectivity is sent from one end to the other, generating less than 600 volts of electricity.
Copper is one of the best conductors of electricity and measured by the diameter to determine the amount of current that can travel through it. In this case, UL1015 16 AWG wire uses a copper diameter of 0.051” without including the insulation. It doesn’t make a difference if the diameter of 0.051” is solid copper or multiple strands wound together, however, stranded copper is more flexible and easier to install into devices and appliances. UL1015 16 AWG is commonly designed and manufactured with 26 strands of 30 AWG copper rather than a single solid strand of 16 AWG.
Once the copper diameter is determined, the strands are coated with tin and known as “tinned copper” in the industry. Tinned copper strands are easier to work with in the field. The layer of tin creates a better connection to the screw within the house for this wire harness and help adhere to other metals in the soldering process. Finally, the PVC insulation covers the copper to protect it from heat, voltage overheating and outside environmental conditions that can harm copper, including water.
Cutting and Stripping UL1015 16 AWG Wire
Once all the materials are gathered for the job and put into a traveler bin, the operator will start to cut the wire on the automated wire processing machine. A few samples will determine if the overall length and strip length are accurate, and the operator will sign the quality sheet once they take all the measurements. The specification sheet doesn’t always specify the insulation strip length on both ends, but this assembly will have crimped ferrules on both ends, so it’s easy to figure out the strip length appropriate for the ferrules. There are 3 UL1015 wires that need to be cut for this job including black, brown and blue. After this step is complete the ferrules will be crimped to the wires and prepared for the plastic house with metal screws.
Crimping Ferrules to UL1015 16 AWG Wire
We’ll be using a hand tool to crimp the ferrules to the wires. An order for 100 pieces will require 600 hand crimps because there are 3 wires and both sides are crimped. Circle connectors that are crimped with a hand tool can be pressed from a North-South position, whereby clamping the ferrule to the copper strands and creating noticeable marks on the top and bottom. There are also hand tools, in this video, that crimp down from all four directions and leave four marks on it. This is something that the customer or user would have to decide based on their preference and the preference of the application itself. Both hand tools are sold and used effectively in the industry.
Once the operator is comfortable using the ferrule hand tool it just a matter of time before they complete all the wires and prepare for the next step of the process. The quality process during this stage will include an inspection of the crimp and the position of the ferrule to the copper wire. If the crimp is set too close to the edge of the wire it may not pass a pull test. If the crimp is too far in it could be crimped on the wire insulation. The last thing to check for is a tight and secure crimp that cannot be pull off by hand.
Screwing Down the Ferrules into the Housing
Each of the three wires with ferrules crimped on each end will have to be inserted into the house and manually screwed down. Using a drill will increase the speed of this job. Some customers will require a specific amount of torque when applying pressure to the screw which creates a consistent connection that the electricity can travel through evenly. The operator can get tired after screwing down 600 wires in a few hours, so without a specific amount of pressure notifying the operator of a minimum clamp, the consistency will vary. Without the special torque wrench the operator can simple tug on both ends to assure that the crimp is secured.
The operator will have to be careful about the “pinout” or color code when inserting each of the wires. The connectors are both labeled with “U V W” and they reside in distinct positions from left to right. The detailed specification sheet shows which color wire goes into which letter designation. The operator will have to sign the quality inspection report after checking to be sure that each color is in the designated spot in comparison to the data sheet. When the colors are in the wrong spot the connection will be completely broken within the application, so it’s important to be careful when assembling every wire harness.
Tie Wrapping the Wire Harness
Many times, a tie wrap is used to unify the wires into a bundle and to make the harness look neat and complete. Tie wrapping can be done manually, as most do, or automated with tie wraps on a reel and a foot pedal to tighten them and cut the excess away. The specification sheet simply says to place the tie wrap into the middle of the assembly without much of a tolerance. This tells the operator that it’s used for looks rather than fit, form and function. Nonetheless, the customer requested it and the contract manufacturer must provide a quality product consistently, so it should be checked and signed on the quality inspection report that it’s completed and in the center of the harness.
The final inspection is conducted by the shift supervisor to be sure that the entire wire harness is cut to the right length, crimped correctly, secure in the housing and meets all the specifications and measurements mentioned on the customer supplied data sheet. By the time the wire harness is ready for shipment, the quality inspection report has been signed numerous times, even for the easiest of jobs. Nothing can ship out the door with only one signature which guarantees that at least two people have checked the major materials and measurements of the harness.