Convert, the UK’s leading manufacturer of cable looms and harnesses, and Wipac are celebrating their 15th year of a partnership which has delivered over half a million harnesses for a wide range of high end cars.
The harnesses are for external lighting – head lights, rear lights including the centre high mount stop lights (CHMSL, the third brake lights) – and a range of printed circuit boards (PCB). In the past, lights were fairly straightforward to power, typically comprising two connecting wires, one carrying the earth, the other the current.
However, lights are now much more complicated as more functionality has been added, such as directional control of headlight beams, and the need to carry much more information. Modern cars can need up to 70 individual connections & terminations and up to 30 wires.
And with the introduction of communications and the flow of large amounts of data, they need to be able to withstand magnetic or electromagnetic interference. This is on top of different braiding to protect against extremes of temperature and ISO/TS standards to ensure chemical protection.
The PCBs have also brought a new level of complexity and handling, with connecting wires being as short as 20mm.
The partnership with Wipac, which designs and manufactures bespoke exterior lighting for the world’s leading performance and luxury automotive brands, has also benefitted Convert as a business, helping them to improve their own systems, with a continual focus on engineering excellence and customer service.
For example they designed a miniature, stand-alone waterproof grommet which forms an integral part of the cable harness for lamp enclosures.
The grommet uses tunnel guides to allow cable to pass through, creating a waterproof seal once fixed to the cable harness, which in turn remains stable and secure when fitted to a finished lamp.
The grommet meets waterproofing standard IP66K and is used in Wipac’s exterior lamps for British luxury and high performance sports car manufacturers.
Dave Lord, Convert’s managing director said: “Working with Wipac for the 15th year is a very different proposition from our early days, when all that was needed was the simplest of harnesses. Since then we have produced more complicated wiring sets for some of the biggest names in quality cars. And as we have grown, we have improved our systems and processes, with these best practice methodologies now standard across the board, driving improvement throughout the business.”
Georgina Westrope of Wipac added: “Convert is a fantastic example of a small UK company with excellence in electronics and engineering. Their technical know-how and customer service is second to none and we regularly involve the team in the design and development stages of our production.”
Convert supplies many advanced engineering industries, including automotive, public transport, medical and scientific equipment. It can produce all harness types, from multi-branch looms, interconnect harnesses and wire and cable sets, as well as more bespoke assemblies.