What Are Wiring Harness Manufacturing Specifications?

For aircraft platforms that are designed and developed by an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) like Lockheed Martin or Boeing, there are many manufacturing specifications for their aircraft. For example, popular aircraft designations like F-15, F-16, F-35, KC-46, P-8, 787, and many others require specifications for their landing gear, fuel, and lighting systems. Even the EWIS (Electrical Wiring Interconnect System) which is composed of wires, connectors, backshells, wire splices, and electrical wiring harnesses must be specified.

Manufacturing specifications for wiring harnesses, in particular, are enclosed in an engineering document that provides details and processes for assembling a wiring harness for a given aircraft. Generally, they consist of over 50 documents with a wide range of assembly information. Some of the most common questions can be easily answered by looking at this packet of data for reference.

Within these documents, you can find how shields from field wires must be attached to connectors, backshells, and terminals. You may want to know whether you can install spare contacts and filler plugs into empty contact clearances, or how much to torque backshells to connectors. Furthermore, you may want to familiarize yourself with the proper way to clock connectors to right angle backshells, and how to cover a wiring harness with braid, shrink tubing, or string ties.

Most importantly, this packet will aid users in testing a wiring harness for proper functionality after they have been assembled. Wire harnesses, if you are unfamiliar, are an assembly of electrical cables or wires that transmit signals or electrical power throughout the various systems found in aircraft. While this normally varies across aircraft, wiring harnesses used in aircraft are always made of durable materials. Moreover, certain specifications delineate how parts are produced, where they are used, and how to install them.

If a wiring harness is developed according to military specifications, this means that they adhere to part standards established by the United States military, those of which are called MIL-SPEC (MS) parts for short. Such item specifications are common across many aerospace platforms, making them interchangeable and functional for many aircraft types. For example, in the 1970s, the most common wire for a majority of aircraft was Kapton-insulated wire. Today, Teflon, Tefzel, Cross Link Tefzel, and Teflon-Kapton-Teflon (TKT) are popular options.

Narrowing down specifications for a particular wiring harness largely depends on what you need for your aircraft model. One must know the type of signals that will be carried, the amount of current in the circuit, and the recommended insulation. When you need to source top-quality wiring harnesses that standard part, nonstandard part, or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) part specifications, connect with the experts at NSN Fulfillment to meet any one of your operational needs.


August 13, 2020

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