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You have to know what you want

John Day

John Day

Posted Jul 27, 2012

Tom Lefler, manager of commercial vehicle engineering business development at LEONI Wiring Systems, had good advice for attendees at IESF Detroit. His topic: how to successfully integrate electrical distribution design tools (like Mentor Graphics Capital Harness) between an OEM and a wire harness manufacturer (like LEONI). He based his presentation on LEONI’s experience with an OEM customer currently using manual processes for wire harness design.

Lefler began by stressing the importance of establishing clear expectations. Research must be done, questions must be asked, throughout the OEM enterprise, and decisions must be made, such as, what data format and what level of intelligence is required, what level of database management is desirable, how much simulation and virtual validation should be done, and what resources are available and economical. In short, what are the goals, and how valuable will it be to achieve them?

Software tools can help reduce harness design and manufacturing costs but thought and effort is needed to make the tools effective. Harness manufacturers benefit from receiving accurate electronic documentation from customers, but the validity of that data depends entirely on the accuracy of customers’ database libraries. “What you put in your database is what’s going to be reality on your vehicle,” Lefler said. Presuming the data is accurate, the resulting benefits include reduced RFQ turnaround and reduced production time.

As a global organization LEONI has a full set of software tools that it puts to use 24 hours a day. Lefler stressed that the firm’s libraries are always up to date based on close relationships with suppliers. He advised IESF attendees to ask questions and learn from development partners. “It’s important to understand the workflow you want to use before you select your software,” he said.

Lefler gave the IESF audience detailed tips on simulation, validation, and best practices. Check out the video here:

IESF, LEONI Wiring Systems, Capital Harness, Mentor Graphics

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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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