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Estimating wiring harness costs in seconds

John Day

John Day

Posted May 9, 2013

Compared with, say, microcontrollers, there’s relatively little cutting-edge innovation in wiring harnesses, as indispensable as they may be. The wiring harness business, as Rick Burns describes it, is highly competitive and very cost-sensitive, with tight margins. Submit a quote a tad too high and you’ll likely lose the business, says Burns, Mentor Graphics’ product line director, System Integration and Harnessing. Submit a quote too low and you’ll likely lose your shirt. Submit a quote too late and you’re toast.

Considering all that, Mentor’s recently launched Capital Harness TVM software sounds like a no-brainer. Burns says it allows wiring harness manufacturers to respond in seconds with accurate quotes that would otherwise take days if not weeks to prepare. Manufacturers who use it can respond immediately to myriad design changes.

The newest addition to Mentor’s Capital® software suite, Capital Harness TVM automatically generates detailed harness manufacturing process and cost data  specific to each harness design, each factory, and each company’s cost models. It adds rapid and accurate harness manufacturing process modeling and cost calculation capabilities to the Capital “Define-Design-Build-Service” flow.

TVM supports “what-if” calculations, assessing the pros and cons of deploying different machines and different factories, among other variables. It can act directly on design data generated by other Capital tools and can also read data in several standard formats, including the KBL standard, Mentor’s VeSys,® or other industry tools. TVM can be implemented as a standalone system or as part of an extended Capital flow.

“Accurate, fast and repeatable cost calculations are a key to any harness manufacturer’s competitive capability,” says Jeremy Tibbett, director of engineering for LEONI Region Americas. “Capital Harness TVM not only helps harness manufacturers win business profitably, it is also a platform for other activities such as value engineering and process optimization. I am particularly impressed that Mentor Graphics has created a standard product that is, nevertheless, highly flexible and able to protect company IP in this critical area.”

Having the right tools (and knowing how to use them) is critical in almost every business. For wiring harness manufacturers TVM looks like a sure bet.

Capital software suite, Mentor Graphics, Capital Harness TVM, Wiring Harness

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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