LiveWire Behind the Scenes: Who Makes Custom Wiring Harnesses?

how custom wire harnesses are made

Custom wire harnesses are seen in so many different applications we all use every day that it can be easy to gloss over their vital utility. From global telecommunications to advanced manufacturing facilities, our connected world relies on high-quality wire harnesses to function. But who’s behind these custom solutions making the modern world possible? 

Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know to partner with a wire harness manufacturer to get the perfect solution for even the most demanding applications.

How to Spot a Custom Wire Harness Manufacturer

Behind even the most complex wire harness designs are the skilled men and women that make up the workforce of the wire harness manufacturer. When you have superior talent and you arm them with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment available, you get a powerful combination of professional capability. 

What sets custom wire harness manufacturers apart from universal manufacturers mainly revolves around capabilities across the organization including areas such as:

  • Customization: being able to custom create the solution that fits the situation perfectly makes for more efficient and more resilient systems. Wire harnesses often have to meet strict geometric guidelines, as well as a specific threshold for the transmission of data, power, and signal. On top of the specs, there are myriad environmental variables that must be mitigated. That’s why the ability to customize conductor sizes and colors, stranding sizes, wraps, shields, jackets, and more, gets you a solution specifically engineered to satisfy the application’s requirements. 
  • Advanced Manufacturing Capabilities: customization is meaningless without the ability to manufacture each product to perfection. With full-scale design and engineering services to small batch and up to volume production, we have invested heavily in making our talent and tool crib extensive enough to handle any wire harness design project that comes through our doors. Being a UL-approved manufacturing facility with both our US and China locations means we’ve met the high thresholds of quality and capability required of the distinction. All of this translates into being able to produce the best possible custom wire harnesses for our clients.
  • Testing: having the excellent capability and executing well is still without the weight if you can’t tell for a fact that every product that rolls off your line has been 100% tested for continuity, integrity, polarity, and functionality before making its way to our clients. Whether it’s life-saving medical technology or a mission-critical municipal control system, dependability matters. In addition to a variety of high-tech testing machines that can spot even the tiniest imperfections, we created our own in-house Advanced Life Testing Lab. Here, custom wire harnesses are put through a variety of harsh real-world conditions to see how the materials and design hold up. 

Custom wire harnesses hold capabilities that off-the-shelf wire harnesses simply don’t have. That’s because a wire harness engineer creates a solution to the task at hand using the right materials for the specific application.  

Industries Where Custom Wiring Harness Solutions Matter

Custom wire harnesses are seen across so many different industries because our connected world relies on these humble workhorses to work behind the scenes to power how we live, work, and play. Some of the many industries we’re proud to lend our expertise include:

Industrial Control Systems

Wire harnesses provide the crucial infrastructure within some of the most advanced industrial control systems on the planet. From a high-volume bottling facility to a city’s wastewater treatment systems, Meridian’s custom wire harnesses bring it all together in some very demanding situations. 

Medical Technology

Medical diagnostic equipment, ultrasound wands, medical imaging equipment, patient monitoring equipment—the list goes on with the many different systems in hospitals and other care facilities that rely on custom wire harnesses to function. Reusability and sterilization matter greatly with such advanced technology, while precision and reliability are simply expected. At its core, we create custom solutions in the medical field that allows for better patient care.

Military Wire Harnesses

The Department of Defense (DoD) helps create military specifications (MILSPEC) to make sure that each component in, for example, a state-of-the-art weapons guidance system, can be depended on in some of the toughest situations imaginable. We can incorporate a wide variety of different protections like overmolds and Kevlar sheathing to make sure that the custom wire harness for the military we engineer is as tough as the men and women in uniform that are depending on it.

Additional Industries 

From automotive to consumer electronics, Meridian is proud to create custom wire harnesses that deliver the perfect blend of components and expertise to get the job done. Automotive OEMs depend on custom wire harness manufacturers to produce exact specs, which is something an off-the-shelf harness typically can’t provide.

Custom Solutions Produce a Better Return on Investment

The main aspect of why it matters who makes a wiring harness lies in the simple fact that a custom wire harness has been made for a specific purpose. There’s a clear-cut set of specifications and project parameters that require sophisticated engineering to deliver a solution that works on time and on budget. Aligning the product with the client’s specifications means our project managers are able to deliver just what’s required to accomplish the task at hand in the most efficient way possible. 

A huge capability advantage Meridian holds lies in our ability to prototype. We may look at several different iterations of the same product all at once to see how everything from material sourcing to checking out tools from the tool crib come together under real-world conditions. In a world where logistics is so crucial to keeping industries running smoothly, having two Meridian facilities in different corners of the globe means we’re able to provide consistently high levels of quality delivered just when it’s needed. We also input sound operational management strategies like Kanban and Just-in-Time ordering in order to eliminate waste throughout the process. 

After decades of instilling quality at every single touchpoint in a wire harness journey from conception to volume manufacturing, we are able to deliver the high level of quality our clients have come to depend on us for. All of this effort translates into a better return on the investment made with a higher quality product and specifically for the industry and the application. Our wire harnesses are made to be seamlessly integrated within the existing system with whatever criteria are required to ensure long-term viability and also ease of future maintenance. 

Certifications to Look for with Wire Harness Manufacturers

Wire harness assemblies truly are integral to our way of life. That’s why the quality of the custom wire harness manufacturer matters so greatly when it comes to the quality of the solution they are able to deliver. 

Three globally-recognized certifications to look for as your compare manufacturers include:

  • IATF 16949: the absolute gold standard for automotive quality management systems is only met when you hit all of the stringent requirements set forth by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). This sought-after certification is one of the most widely used and recognized international standards specific to the automotive industry and brings together all aspects of the global automotive supply chain. We’re proud to have earned and maintain our IATF 16949 certification, especially as we produce custom wire harnesses to spec for automotive OEMs.
  • ISO 9001:2015: another globally-recognized certification you should definitely see with a custom wire harness manufacturer is the ISO 9001:2015. We’re proud to have met the rigorous standards for this certification as it pertains to quality at every single level in the organization. From customer experience to product quality, the standard also calls for continuous improvement. Never staying stagnant, our team looks to do that much better with each and every project we undertake. With decades under our belt, we can still learn, grow, and do better as we seek to represent the honor of holding this advanced certification for manufacturers. 
  • UL-Approved Manufacturers: as a UL-approved manufacturing facility and in using UL-certified wires and cables in so many of the solutions we provide, we are able to showcase quality in a tangible way every day. We are also able to help our clients get their products certified through any number of different certifying agencies. In a competitive marketplace, standing out with such a high mark of quality is crucial to our success. 

When you first compare wire harness manufacturers, one of the main differentiating factors can be certifications like these which show demonstrable experience and a continued commitment to quality. 

Talk to the Custom Wire Harness Experts

When answering the question of who makes custom wiring harnesses, you really need to answer who makes custom wire harnesses well. The team at Meridian is made up of brilliant designers, engineers, project managers, and production staff that bring together a diverse group of talents under one roof. With advanced capabilities and technology at our fingertips, we can deliver exactly what’s required and what can be depended on. Contact our team to review your custom wire harness specs and get started today.