"We Produced More in a Day than All of Last Week!"

Recently a quality engineer at a company that produces automotive ignition harnesses contacted CAM. He had been challenged to double his company's harness production within six months without lowering quality or increasing the plant's labor force.

We proposed that he use a CAM RHT Automatic Spiral Taping machine to tape his harnesses. But it wasn't that simple, he needed convincing.

The video and pictures he sent of his taping cell showed us what we needed to do!

Some of his harnesses had many breakouts with large connectors, others were 30 feet long and were heavy. The harnesses were mounted on large peg boards with each breakout stretched out across many pegs. In front of the board were a haft dozen people hand taping with small tape rolls. Winding the roll of tape around the harness over, and over again while pulling the tape taught and holding the harness so it didn't come off the board.

As our RHT Taping Machine is a tabletop machine we knew he couldn't use it to tape the harnesses on his peg board. The harness would need to be fed into the machine, taped and then placed on the peg board for final assembly. So after getting sample harnesses and rolls of tape from the customer, CAM's engineers began a series of taping tests using our RHT machine here at CAM.

This internal testing of the customers harness, and tape is done free of charge by CAM engineers in order to ensure that the machine we are recommending is the right machine for the customer's application. It helps us identify any modifications that may be required to enable the machine to better wrap the work piece. It also confirms that the customer's tape selection will work well in the machine. Tapes have different adhesive, flexibility and strength characteristics that may make one work better than another when applied by machine.

Some customers have applications requiring the use of non adhesive tape, paper, film or tape that requires a backing material to be removed to expose the adhesive side of the tape. There are machine modifications available to accommodate all of these different variables.

In the case of our automotive cable customer, our testing showed that the hole on our taping machine's plastic guards through which the harness would past needed to be increased in size to allow the large connectors to past through. A second modification was needed to increase the size of the drive rollers that pull the harness through the tape head. These larger rollers added a few hundred dollars to the cost of the machine but they allowed the entire 30 foot long harness to be easily moved past the taping head without jamming. A third modification was suggested to the customer to increase the O.D. and reduce the I.D. of his tape rolls in order to provide additional tape on each roll. This would reduce the number of tape roll changes needed during the course of the day and increase productivity of the cell.

The engineer was convinced and took our proposal and recommendations to senior management who in turn ordered a single machine to do what traditionally had been done by hand.

A few weeks after shipping the machine the customer called asking how fast he could get three more RHT machines. He proudly exclaimed, "we produced more harnesses in a single day using the RHT machine that we did in an entire week taping by hand." 

DMC Firewall is developed by Dean Marshall Consultancy Ltd