4 ways wire harness manufacturers overcome complexity with Siemens

By Sarah Bartash

Wire harness manufacturing is a low-margin business challenged with creating complex products amid evolving electrical innovations and design uncertainty. Let’s examine 4 additional challenges wire manufacturers face as they strive to innovate at the speed of business and outpace their competitors:

Going global

Electrification can’t happen in isolation – it involves the seamless collaboration with multiple stakeholders across various geographic boundaries, necessitating a “design anywhere, manufacture anywhere” approach. This not only requires effective and efficient data sharing, but manufacturers must build in time to accommodate offshore manufacturing and shipping schedules, because parts may travel overseas by boat, which can take months.

Rising material costs

The price of copper – the primary component in wire harnesses – has risen 125% since March, 2020, reaching $5.02 per pound on March 6, 2022 – the highest price recorded in history. This is one variable that’s beyond the wire harness manufacturer’s control. 

Labor shortage

As they grapple with tight budgets, manufactuers may find it increasingly difficult to bring skilled engineers on board. Regardless of the availability of skilled labor, they must still meet time-to-market objectives. This also has implications for change management – the ability to quickly implement changes throughout the design lifecycle, verify design iterations, and get the final design to manufacturing quickly requires a high degree of automation, which, for many OEMs, doesn’t exist.

Integration and standardization

As new tools become available, they must integrate seamlessly with the existing technology stack. Additionally, manufacturers must accommodate various inputs from multiple OEMs, or risk missing the mark.

Granted, these challenges are enough to overwhelm most wire harness manufacturers – but the implementation of a “digital twin” can make them a little less daunting. Siemens CapitalTM software leverages a digital twin to optimize the flow of data and the relationships between the various disciplines involved in wire harness design and manufacturing, and thereby improve quality, reduce costs, and accelerate time to market with innovative products. Watch our webinar to find out exactly how!

Watch the Webinar→ Opportunities and Challenges for Wire Harness Manufacturers

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at