Q: Harness Design and Documentation

My company is looking into better harness design and documentation over what
we currently do in 2d. So be prepared for a load of questions... especially
if it works well with SW04. I know I could call my VAR (and I will) but I
want to solicit some responses here so I can be better informed before I
face the salesmen.
I'm wondering how many people use EMbassyWorks with SW?
How common is it in the automotive or industrial equipment industries?
How easy it is to constrain the created cables to the assembly model?
Are harness models in-context assemblies?
How well does the auto-route feature work?
How well does NailboardWorks perform?
How industry standard are the drawing outputs from NailboardWorks?
How well does ReportWorks perform?
Does ReportWorks rely on Excel, and what version?
For alternatives, how many are out there? I found a program from Tyco that
looks promising, as long as you don't mind specifying "Tyco only"
components. It's called Harnware
formatting link
. Has anyone used this?
And, on a related issue for those that create products that require
harnesses and the like, do you ever run into the situation where you are
forced to compromise drafting standards in order to cater to the in-house
department that is creating your harnesses? It seems my company has done
this "for ages", but now I am in the position to enforce drafting standards
and create real harness assembly drawings and wiring diagrams. We've had a
bastardized drawing format, a hybrid between an assembly drawing and wiring
Reply to
Ray Reynolds
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EmbassyWorks has been bought by Autodesk, and the plug in for SolidWorks is no longer offered. I believe the standalone version is still available, but this will not work within the SW window, and the data will not be native SW data.
I wouldn't call it an "industry standard". It was mainly used by mechanical engineers who were forced to do harness design. If you are looking for "industry standards", what industry are you talking about? Mechanical drafting standards or wireharness drafting standards?
If you wind up doing wiring in a 3D modeler, it will not be easy no matter where you do it. It definitely takes some good spacial skills to run splines in 3D. Some people can develop the knack and some just get frustrated with it.
more below...
"Ray Reynolds" wrote in news:q9R7b.30143$ snipped-for-privacy@rwcrnsc51.ops.asp.att.net:
I don't think it was a best seller, seeing that they sold out to A-desk.
I wouldn't venture a guess other than "not very"
not easy, in fact, the spline is not costrained at all
short answer is yes, full answer a bit more complicated than that
I found this to work well
This worked ok by my judgment.
I wouldn't use the words "industry standard" and "NailboardWorks" so close to one another like that. "Quirky" might be more accurate.
Never really used it, but it looked simple enough.
Text file, if I remember right.
I don't know of any alternatives. SolidWorks seems to be toying with the idea of developing the Piping (renamed "routing" for sw04) into something you might run wires with, but I doubt they'd go the whole harness and nailboard route.
Definite weakness in all of this is ribbon cable. It couldn't be done in Linius (Embassy), although they talked about it for years. In SW the only way I ever did it was to use sketched bends on sheetmetal parts (eek! scary!!)
all the time. I've forgotten what an "industry standard nailboard drawing" would look like.
It seems my
What are you using the drawings for? Do you build your harnesses from the nailboard print or do it like most companies, build the nailboard from a handmade prototype harness? Does an outside company make the harness, and if so is it based on a print or a sample you provided?
Are you using the drawings for mfg/assembly people to know how to put together the mechanical parts with the wires?
These two are separate functions, and in my mind require separate drawings.
Having been in the CAD Admin spot, I might recommend taking a step back to see if its really necessary to get a religious gleam in your eye about "industry standards". No one really follows "standards" very closely anyway (except mil spec). "Industry standard" turns out to be an "average" of common practice. I would recommend establishing a "company standard" that represents what you need drawings to do and the way your vendors work most efficiently. Remember that you are allowed to require your vendors to make changes or to change vendors if the existing ones won't work with you. There's nothing like a backwards and unyielding vendor driving your internal design process.
Anyway. Good luck with what you're trying to do.
Reply to
Matt, thanks for taking the time to respond to this. Some comments embedded below...
This I didn't know. Think this fact alone will dictate that we will not use EMbassyWorks. :-(
I was hoping to conform to "wire harness" drafting standards.
What do these industries use then, instead of EMbassyWorks?
I never was allowed to download SW04. How well is this Routing in SW04, and is it an add-on or does it come with the base product?
Normally, we create the prototype harness first, then reverse engineer it and document the harness on our assy-wiring diagram. Sometimes though, we will design the harness in the top-level assy model, then create a drawing for the prototype to be made... after that it's trial & error untill we've tweaked the harness enough to work in th eapplication. We have an in-house Electrical department that makes all our harnesses, and assembles all our P/C boards. The drawings are for "mfg/assembly people to know how to put together the mechanical parts with the wires".
I agree with you, and that's why I do say "industry standard" and not reference any standards like Mil Spec. A recent problem came about where our Electrical department was over capacity, and we had to send a drawing out to be made. The vendors (2 of them) said they could not understand our "custom" drawings. Hence the drive now to create "industry standard" drawings.
This is what we have now, but as mentioned above our company standard is apparently no where near industry standard for them to make sense of. Thanks for the comments again.
Reply to
Ray Reynolds
solidworks piping will be changing to solidworks routing this month. i think sp2 is when a wire harnesses will be avalible. my var told me that solidworks routing will have 99% of what embasyworks had. thats why solidworks did not buy embasyworks and autodesk did. if you buy solidworks pipeing now at its cheap rate. then you will be upgraded to solidworks routing when it is realesed. save your self more then a grand. act quick.
hope this helps
Reply to
Sean Phillips
From what I heard from my VAR, SW Piping is $995 USD ... SW Routing will cost $2495. Those with SW Piping now will get upgraded to SW Routing for free. Sounds like if you can swing it, the best thing to do is purchase SW Piping now for the $995, and save yourself the $1500.
Hmm, $1500 could upgrade a lot of hardware where I work...
Reply to
Ray Reynolds

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