Standardization vs. Individuality

Why not both?

Cost savings in purchasing and logistics, as well as cooperative working from development to operation – standardizations have several advantages. Nevertheless, vehicle suppliers also want to offer their customers the option to configure their vehicles individually. There are also framework conditions that require very specific adaptations. Be it special customer requests in public transport buses – because every transport association has its own payment system, or special requirements for special trucks.

However, developing cable sets completely individually for each vehicle would be expensive and also time-consuming. A versatile wiring harness that is equipped for all individualities, so to speak, would in turn mean high cable set costs and take up far too much space in the vehicle body. The combination of individual and standardized seems impossible – but not with Engineering Base (EB).

Variants on variants

With a customized vehicle, customers choose the equipment that suits them.  These selectable modifications and the technical interdependencies between them determine the number of variants of a cable set. But that's not all: variable wheelbases result in additional length variants. And components can also be installed in different places.

With simple cable sets, such as in the door cable set, this leads to few different variants. However, these can then be used in a comparably high number of pieces as they are found in many vehicles. At this point, manufacturers and planners benefit from a high degree of standardization.

For more complex cable sets, however, the customized wiring harness (KSK) approach is often taken.  The cable sets are partly manufactured in a batch size of one. This is a major logistical challenge, but offers advantages from standardization via module definitions.

A science in itself

In order to master the complexity of a cable set, it is divided into individual modules in EB. Depending on the job, these modules are combined so that they finally result in a 100 per cent cable set when the delivery is called off. Behind each of the modules is a detailed BOM and information about interdependencies.

The logical composition of the modules so that a functioning cable set is created is a science in itself – in which EB is a great help. The digital twin defined with EB knows all the definitions and dependencies and can visualise them for the designer.

Special customer requests

However, platform development can only take the individuality of customer requirements into account so far in a meaningful way. Therefore, special customer requests are implemented individually on the basis of a standard configuration selected for the job in question.

Thanks to the data model, each vehicle does not have to be planned afresh with pencil and paper, but enables automated configuration. And not only that: EB is an open system with integrations and interfaces to numerous other corporate divisions and platforms. Because planning alone is not enough, production requires exact data – for every vehicle, every wiring harness and every connector. Standardized and individual with high data quality, that is Engineering Base.