custom wire harnesses

Designing a custom wire harness requires attention to detail, meticulous planning, extensive electrical know-how, and a sharp mind for creating solutions. Building a custom wire harness from the ground up is hard work and requires prodigious skill to get it just right. Every connection, conductor, and molded component must be precisely crafted to properly ensure the wire harness functions. 


With so much riding on the little details, it’s essential to have expert help with the design portion of a custom wire harness. Whether you’ve never ordered a custom wire harness or are a repeat customer, our expert cable and wire engineers have the tools to make your ordering process smooth and straightforward. Here’s their advice on the top 10 tips for designing custom wire harness assemblies.

  1. Know What Your Wire Harness Needs

Understanding the project is critical to creating a custom wire harness that suits your needs. As you work with our team to design your wiring solution, knowing what you need is the best place to begin. While our team can help create a completely customized solution for your equipment, we first must understand your connection needs. 


Before diving into the extensive design process, understanding the applications of your wire harness gives you a head start on the progress of your project. Before you begin, you’ll need to know the specifics of:


  • Voltage
  • Current
  • Environment
  • Transfer capacity
  • Ports and connections to include
  • Docking elements


Understanding the necessities of your wire harness gives your design a solid foundation. Once our design engineers have a thorough grasp of the application particulars of your wire harness, we can begin designing a customized solution to meet your specific performance requirements. 

  1. Select the Optimal Elements

The materials within your wire harness can make or break your performance levels, functionality, and optimization. Components for your wire harness are essential for creating a project that will stand the test of time and function adequately to meet your needs. A custom wire harness is more than just thrown-together conductors and connectors; it is a precise science of curated elements explicitly chosen for a distinct purpose. 


Everything from the conductor size to the molded components has a specific purpose for optimal performance. While you make it by with some wiggle room, most custom wire harnesses are created for exact purposes. Selecting the right components is a critical portion of the design process. Plus, with over 5,000 options in our inventory, we ensure the design is just right. 


Choosing the proper elements optimizes your write harness’ performance, ensures functionality, and aids in longevity. On the other hand, the wrong element could damage your equipment, costing you way more than you bargained for. 


If you’re not sure what your wire harness needs, our team can help. We’ve created countless custom wire harnesses for industries around the globe, so our experts can help guide you to the optimal performance elements.

  1. Strategically Plan Routing and Layout

Custom wire harnesses often require strategic thought when designing the layout and routing. Depending on your equipment, you may need a conglomeration of multiple components, types of wires, conductors, or terminals. Designing a wire harness that runs efficiently and integrates seamlessly can be one of the most challenging steps in the design process. Every piece of equipment is unique and presents its challenges to overcome. That’s when working with expert engineers comes in handy. Our team is hardwired to solve problems, no matter how tricky they may be.


As you consider the layout and routing of your wire harness, consider what your equipment requires and how integrating your new wire harness can simplify your connection process. Strategically planning your layout will save you countless headaches and frustrating situations. Instead of forcing something to work, your connection solution will be intentionally designed to integrate with your equipment and current system intuitively. 

  1. Incorporate Future Expandability

As your industry grows, you may need new components or elements—plan for these advancements at the onset of your project. Naturally, no one can predict the future, but you can leave space to expand with new equipment, additional systems, or further technological advancements. 


Designing a custom wire harness with Meridian Cable is an ideal way to plan for future expansion and connection needs. Once you’ve ordered a custom wire harness through our experts, we will keep your design on file so we can easily replicate it in the future. Reordering or bulk ordering is a breeze for industries that use multiple applications of similar equipment. 

Planning for future expansion is a great way to ensure you’re not caught off guard when your connection capabilities grow. Meridian scales with your business, enabling you to reach for the stars and grow as you go. 

  1. Consider Protection

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI) can cause significant data loss or transference issues for your wiring. These pesky hazards can degrade signal and integrity, impact performance capabilities, and potentially damage your equipment if left free reign. Consider protecting your wiring harness with shielding materials, such as foil braiding or conductive coating, to minimize the impact of EMI or RFI.


While not every wire harness needs protection, heavily noisy electrical environments may need an additional layer of security to keep your data and current safe. Tech Industries, telecommunications, manufacturing facilities, or medical arenas could all potentially be risky environments for EMI or RFI hazards. These types of work environments could benefit significantly from protective coating or shielding on their wiring solutions. 


As you design your custom wire harness, consider the protection it may need to perform at its best without interference. 

  1. Consider Integration

Integrating into your system is one of the most essential elements of the design process. Your equipment, environment, connections, and terminals all play a part in the integration process. It’s critical to design your wire harness for seamless integration into your existing system. Creating a custom wire harness involves planning strategically to make integration simple and nearly effortless. Your wire harness should be completely compatible between the ports and connections of your current system. 


As you create your design, pay close attention to every detail of your system to optimize your performance and simplify your integration. Consider elements such as: 


  • Wire length
  • Flexibility 
  • Spatial limitations 
  • Polarization 
  • Connector orientation
  • Proximity to heat sources 


Each of these elements can make or break your integration process. When designing your custom wire harness, be certain you’ve considered every angle. 

  1. Prototyping Makes a Difference

Designing a custom wire harness with Meridian’s team gives you the full benefit of prototyping and extensive testing. Once we have the necessary technical information, we will create a digital rendering of your design. A non-physical version of your wire harness enables our team to circumnavigate design flaws before they impact your equipment on a physical product. Our engineers create a digital blueprint of your wire harness to examine every inch and ensure basic functionality thoroughly. 


Once satisfied with the digital version, we can create a prototype before moving to full-scale production. 

  1. Plan for the Environment 

The environment in which a wire harness operates can significantly impact its effectiveness, performance capabilities, and potential limitations. Consider where your wire harness will manage to incorporate the necessary elements into its design. For example, your wire harness may need additional rugged environment capabilities if you are performing military operations (MILSPEC). On the other hand, if you’re in the medical field, ultra-precision and rapid integration may be your top priorities. 


Consider your everyday work environment and design your wire harness accordingly to protect against potential hazards and risky situations. Remember, it’s better to prepare for a possible problem than to be caught off guard by a sudden issue. 

  1. Labeling and Organization

Order and organization are the keys to smooth integration and operations. Taking the extra step of labeling and organizing your wires into groups can save you the hassle and frustration of trying to place each wire with the appropriate connection. Although it may seem like an insignificant element, maintaining an organized wiring solution can be critical when integrating or operating your system. 


We offer multiple conductor color options to keep your wires organized and easy to install. Integration becomes foolproof whenever wire has a distinct color, pattern, or label, and costly errors can become much less frequent. When you consider labeling and organizing your custom wire harness, you prevent your wires from getting crossed in the future. 

  1. Let Our Experts Help 

There’s a lot to remember when creating a custom wire harness, and it can be easy to get bogged down in the details. That’s why our wiring experts are here to help. Our design engineers can fabricate the ideal custom wire harness for your business. Our team will build your custom product literally from the wire out. We pay attention to the small details to get every custom wire harness just right. With our staff in your corner, you can rest easy knowing your wire harness will be built to the highest quality standards in the industry. 


Contact our team to get started on a custom wire harness project of your own. 

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