US 3633096 A
An apparatus comprising a panel and a plurality of pins inserted through selected openings therein to define an outline of a wire harness to be formed. The panel includes a first metallic screen element and a second metallic screen element parallel to and spaced apart from the first element. A penetrable core material is positioned intermediate the first and second screen elements to increase structural rigidity. Each pin is positioned through and held by the first and second screen elements for purposes of harness assembly. The pins may be removed easily for purposes of changing a wire harness assembly pattern.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Clifford .1. Bellman Cypress, Calif.
[211 App]. No. 838,244
 Filed .lluly 1, 1969  Patented Jan. 41, 1972  Assignee McDonnell Douglas Corporation FOREIGN PATENTS 924,432 4/1963 Great Britain................
Primary ExaminerGerard R. Strecker yer and Ming Y.
 WllRE HARNESS JIGBOARD HAVING A PUURALITY 0F WIRE RETAINING PINS AttorneysWalter J. Jason, Donald L. R0 DETACHABLY EMBEDDED 1N SPACE!) WOVEN Moy SCREEN ELEMENTS 3 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.  11.8..
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 Int. G011 31/02, H01r 43/00, B21f27/00  Field of 324/51, 66; 29/203 MW, 203 B; 317/122; 174/72 A; 339/96;
and second screen elements to increase structural rigidity.
Each pin is positioned through and held by the first and second screen elements for purposes of harness assembly. The pins may be removed easily for purposes of changing a wire harness assembly pattern.
MEMEB m: we
SHEET 1 BF 2 INVENTOR, [M 0101 Emmi/1M FATENTED JAN 41972 .Snm 2 [1F 2 I N VENTOR. flaw/ 020 J. 1504 AMA/V BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the field of wire harness production, an apparatus defining the desired wire harness pattern is frequently employed. Such an apparatus is generally known as a jigboard and includes a substantially planer base panel having a layout drawing or guide sheet placed thereon and secured thereto by a series of pins of the like. The individual wires of the harness are then placed along the various paths defined by the pins according the pattern shown in the layout drawing.
Conventional panels used for this purpose are generally of wooden construction and the pattern defining pins are driven into and permanently affixed to the panel. Such wooden panels are generally not reusable since the labor required to remove the pins therefrom is relatively expensive and offsets justification for salvaging the panel material. Therefore, when a revision of a wire harness pattern is needed, a new panel is usually required.
Due to the permanent nature of the jigboards used heretofore, they must be stored when not is used, procured when needed, and restored when necessary. In addition to the cost of storage and handling, delays in production often occur when needed jigboards are not readily available or when a waiting period exists for new or revised jigboard fabrications. Thus, it is a direct improvement upon the state of the art to provide an advanced form of jigboard construction which incorporates a reusable panel through which pattern defining pins may be inserted for removable retention therein for purposes of wire harness assembly but can be easily removed for purposes of changing a wire harness pattern.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In carrying out the principles of this invention according to one embodiment thereof, there is provided an apparatus useful for assembly of wire harnesses. The apparatus includes a panel and a plurality of pins inserted into and extending from a surface of the panel to define an outline of a wire harness. The panel includes a first screen element and a second screen element substantially parallel to and spaced apart from the first element. The pins are inserted through selected openings in the first and second screen elements and are thereby detachably embedded therein for purposes of harness assembly but can easily be removed for purposes of changing the wire harness assembly pattern. The screen elements provide the necessary gripping and wedging action for removably retaining the pins therein. A penetrable core element, such as paper honeycomb, is positioned intermediate the screen elements to provide increased structural rigidity and to assist in maintaining the relative spacing of the screen elements.
The panel construction of this invention enables immediate fabrication of any particular outline of harness desired. A guide sheet or outline drawing, having the positions at which pins are to be placed marked thereon, may be positioned on the top surface of the panel, and the pins may be inserted through the openings in the screen elements and the honeycomb core material to complete a harness outline.
The panel construction of this invention is such that the pins defining a harness pattern are removably retained therein and are easily removable for purposes of changing the wire harness pattern. If the screen elements of the panel are made of a metallic material, the panel may be conveniently used as a common ground for checking the continuity of electrical wires. These two features enable substantial cost savings in wire harness production.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of the wire harness assembling apparatus including a partially cut away portion showing the specific construction of the apparatus;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of an edge portion of the panel showing a modified construction;
FIG. 3A is a sectional view of a panel showing a further modified core arrangement;
FIG. 3B is a sectional view of a still further modified panel having a core element of a different material;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a continuity checking device which may be used in combination with the present panel;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a power supply unit which may be used in conjunction with the present panel; and
FIG. 6 is a diagram of a circuit employing the checker and power supply of FIGS. 4 and 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOWN EMBODIMENTS There is shown in FIGS. 1 through 38, an apparatus for assembling wire harnesses comprising a panel 12 and a plurality of pins 114 inserted into and extending from the panel 12 to define an outline of a wire harness to be formed. The panel 12 has a substantially flat surface and a plurality of openings formed throughout its entire surface area. The pins 14 or the like, are inserted through the openings and are releasably held in the panel 12 for purposes of wire harness assembly but can be easily removed for purposes of changing the wire harness assembly pattern.
The panel l2 comprises a first element 16, a second element 18 substantially parallel to and spaced apart from the first element l6, and a third element 20 positioned apart from and intermediate the first element 16 and the second element 18. Positioned on opposite sides of the third element 20 and intermediate the first element 16 and the second element 18 are core elements 22 and 24. The various elements of the panel 12 are held together by a frame 28 and fastening means 26.
Each of the three screen elements 16, 18 and 20 has a substantially flat surface and a plurality of openings formed throughout its entire surface. The size of each of these openings is usually made slightly smaller than the cross sectional area of each of the pins 14 so that when a pin is inserted into the screen elements it is resiliently held therein, with the screen elements providing the necessary gripping and wedging action. The openings formed in the screen elements 16, I8 and 20 must be of such large numbers formed throughout the entire surface of the screen elements to enable insertion of a pin 14 into the panel 12 at any random given point without the necessity to search for such an opening on the surface of the screen element. Additionally, the screen elements 16, 18 and 20 are preferably made from materials having sufficient structural strength to protect the core elements 22 and 24 from unneccessary damage.
It has been found to be of advantage to construct the screen elements l6, l8 and 20 made from a metallic material. However, any material having high strength characteristics and capable of releasably holding pins inserted therein by providing the necessary gripping and wedging; action is satisfactory. The openings in each of the three metallic screen elements l6, l8 and 20 are oriented randomly relative to the openings in the adjacent screen elements to provide increased frictional contact with the pins 14 inserted therethrough.
The core elements 22 and 24 are provided to maintain the relative spacing between the screen elements 16, 18 and 20 and to increase the structural strength and rigidity of the panel 12. The core elements are made from a penetrable material whereby to permit the pins 141 to be disposed manually therethrough. In one form of the invention it has been found to be of advantage to construct the core elements from a paper material formed in a honeycomb pattern as at 32 (FIG. ll) since such a structure is penetrable, lightweight and possesses high structural strength. However, other materials such as foam rubber as at 34 in FIG. 2, cork, shown at 36 FIG. 3A, or particulate materials 38, FIG. 3B, which may be penetrated easily by an instrumentality such as pins 14 are satisfactory.
Each pin 14 is adapted to be inserted. substantially through the panel 12 with each pin 14 having a length greater than the spacing between the screen elements 16 and I8, and a crosssectional area slightly larger than the size of the openings whereby each of the pins is releasably held by the screen elements. The pins 14 are constructed preferably from a metallic material to permit repeated use; however, other materials having high-strength characteristics may be used. In addition to receiving the pins 14, the panel 12 is also capable of releasably retaining auxiliary devices such as a harness clamp 40, used to retain wires therein during the assembly procedure.
In addition to increasing the structural rigidity of the panel 12 and to protect the panel from unnecessary damage, the frame 28 serves to eliminate any sharp elements which may be presented by edges of the metallic screen elements l6, l8 and 20. The frame 28 is secured to the screen elements by fasteners 30; the frame 28 serves to confine the peripheral portions of the screen and core elements. The frame 28 is also preferably made from a metallic or any other suitable high strength material.
As shown in FIGS. 1 through 38, the fastener 26, employed as a means for maintaining the relative positioning of the screen elements l6, l8 and 20, includes a relatively thin head portion 42 and a threaded body portion 44. The thin head portion 42 enables the screen surface to be substantially fiat to prevent damage to a layout drawing or guide sheet 46 on which the exact contour of the desired cable harness is depicted and having the positions in which pins 14 are to be placed indicated thereon. The fastener 26 may be inserted through the openings in the screen elements l6, l8 and 20, and thereby secured therein without other structure. The threaded portion 44 of the fastener is adapted to engage sides of the openings in the screen members 14, 16 and 18. It has been found that the fastener 26 is a convenient means for securing and positioning the screen elements; however, other techniques such as spot welding, sewing, adhesive bonding and the like, may be employed to accomplish substantially the same result.
There is shown in FIGS. 1, 4, and 6 a continuity checker 48 for testing the continuity of a test specimen such as an electrical wire 50. Since the panel 12 includes the metallic screen elements, it has the capability to serve as a common ground for the continuity checker 48 and the electrical wire 50. The continuity checker 48 comprises a power supply 52 and an indicator 54. The power supply 52 includes a plurality of batteries 56 contained in a holder 58. The batteries 56 are electrically connected to an attachment pin 60 made from a suitable conductive material and adapted for insertion through the screen element 16. The batteries 56 are also connected to a suitable test lead 62 to provide an electrical attachment to one end of the test specimen 50. The indicator 54 includes a plurality of indicators in the form of light bulbs 64 mounted in a holder 66. Each of the light bulbs 64 is connected electrically to a pin in a connector 68. The indicator casing 66 has an identification 70 marked thereon adjacent each light bulb for relating each bulb to a pin in the connector 68. The indicator 54 is electrically connected to an attachment pin 72 made from a suitable conductive material and adapted for insertion through the screen element 16. Therefore with the power supply 52 and the indicator 54 secured to the panel 12 by insertion of the pins 62 and 72 respectively, one can easily check the continuity of the electrical wire 50 by merely connecting one end of wire 50 to the lead wire 62 and the other end of the wire 50 to one of the pins in the connector 68. If continuity exists in the test specimen, one of the light bulbs will provide a signal to indicate the existence of continuity.
1. A wire harness jigboard comprising:
a first woven screen element having a plurality of openings;
a second woven screen element having a plurality of openings, said second woven screen element being spaced apart from said first woven screen element;
a third woven screen element having a plurality of openings, said third woven screen element being spaced apart from and intermediate said first and second woven screen elements, said third woven screen element having a plurality of openings out of alignment with said openings in said first and second woven screen elements; securing means for maintaining the relative posrtronrng of said first, second and third woven screen elements;
a plurality of wire retaining pins detachably embedded in selected openings in said first, second and third woven screen elements, said pins defining an outline of the wire harness to be formed, each of said pins having a length greater than the spacing between said first and second woven screen elements whereby each of said pins is releasably held by the out of alignment holes in said first, second and third woven screen elements for purposes of harness assembly;
a first penetrable core material positioned intermediate said first and third woven screen elements; and
a second penetrable core positioned intermediate said second and third woven screen elements, said penetrable core materials being formed from expanded honeycomb structure with the holes defined therethrough extending from screen element to screen element, said pins when inserted through said screen elements tending to pass through the holes in said honeycomb structures so said honeycomb structures are not damaged thereby.
2. The jigboard of claim 1 wherein:
said first, second and third woven elements are metallic screens in electrical communication with each other so that said pins embedded therein are assured to be electrically common.
3. The jigboard of claim 2 further comprising:
continuity checking means for checking the continuity of electrical conductors in the wire harness constructed on said jigboard, said continuity checking means including means to supply electric potential between said jigboard and one end of said electrical conductors and means to indicate current flow when the opposite end of a conductor is connected to said jigboard thus indicating electrical continuity of the conductor.