Business Challenge: The case of retrofitting a new device onto a legacy harness.
A major engineering firm approached Mueller Electric to help engineer a solution to their customer’s problem of installing new fleet intercoms into their current vehicles. The vehicles already had a wire harness accessible through the dashboard which was installed during the initial assembly process at the factory. This harness accommodated the docking station for the original intercoms which have now become obsolete. Since intercoms are a necessity for the fleet, new intercoms were purchased but they were not compatible with the original harness. One option would have been to replace the original harness in the vehicle, but this would have been very expensive and time consuming.
The engineering firm’s customer wanted to have a short, light-weight solution as space on the cab was limited. It also needed to be easy to install as there were several thousand cabs that needed to be retrofitted with the new intercom. Additionally, the solution had to provide a seamless functionality so there were no interruptions to service in the cab.
Result: A custom solution was built, tested and placed into service.
The engineering firm provided drawings of the initial harness, the new intercom and a sample of the new docking station. After careful consideration, a conceptual drawing was created and prototypes were assembled. The prototypes had a modular connector on one end which mated with the original harness and a DC plug on the other which mated with the new docking station and were joined by an 18 AWG 2 conductor cable 18 inches in length. It was short, light weight and successfully mated with both the original harness and new docking station. The prototypes were installed in test cabs and they worked perfectly. An order was placed too retrofit the remaining cabs.
Future: Custom answers to transportation challenges
Many times, a component or system becomes obsolete forcing a company to replace it. This can also result in needing to replace much more than the one component to keep everything compatible and in working order. In the transportation industry, this has a very costly outcome as it also leads to downtime as well as hours of labor in the replacement. Mueller Electric is able to provide a solution for companies to bridge the old and the new, through cost effective solutions. A company can bring the fleet up to date quickly while saving money in the process.
This is just one example of the capability that Mueller Electric’s custom assembly program can deliver. Whether it’s an application of retrofitting, grounding, connecting equipment, test and measurement, maintenance, or any other custom application Mueller can provide a solution specific to your requirements. Mueller Electric has provided high quality, long lasting and cost effective solutions to the power generation and distribution, oil & gas, automotive, manufacturing and medical industries and more for generations.
For more information on our custom capabilities, check out our page here.