Assembly in Action / Aerospace Assembly / Columns / Wire Processing Assembly

Aerospace Company Lands the Right Wire-Protection System

June 4, 2013
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Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. is a major player in the global business-aviation market due to its well-respected G series of aircraft (G150, G200, G450, G550 and G650). So it’s no surprise that the company operates manufacturing and maintenance facilities around the world, including several in the United States and one each in London and Mexico.

Wire and cable harnesses used in the G series are made at the company’s manufacturing plants in Savannah, GA, and Mexicali, Mexico. Harness installation for all five models is done at the Savannah plant, but not all harnesses are treated equally.

For example, harnesses installed in the airframe (fuselage, wings and undercarriage) of the G650 are protected by grommets and have been since the jet’s introduction in 2008. There are two reasons for this. First, the harnesses are tightly packed in the airframe because space is limited. Second, the G650 is subjected to much greater aerodynamic loads because it flies faster and farther than the other G jets.

Initially, Gulfstream installed nylon grommets around structural openings to cushion the wires and cables in contact with the G650 airframe. However, within a short time the nylon grommets cracked and fell off, exposing wires and cables to sharp-edged metal surfaces.

Next, Gulfstream tried polyolefin-based grommets. They performed better, but required significant assembly time.

Then in early 2010, the company decided to try Spring-Fast SL Aero grommet edging from Device Technologies Inc. The edging is made from spring-loaded stainless steel, which can withstand high levels of vibration and shock for long periods of time.

The edging also has a smooth polymer coating that resists most hydrocarbons, aviation hydraulic fluid and salt spray. More importantly, this coating offers multiaxis flexibility, enabling the edging to be secured to single- and multiplane surfaces, as well as rounded inside and outside corners.

Gulfstream likes that the edging installs quickly and increases worker productivity. Assemblers simply apply pressure to the edging with their fingers to snap it into place.

The company also likes that the edging is a green product. It requires no adhesives, minimizing worker exposure to hazardous materials and volatile organic compounds.

The edging comes in thicknesses from 0.02 to 0.145 inch, widths of 0.19 or 0.23 inch and 25-, 100- or 500-foot reels. It is cut to length onsite prior to installation. The edging is approved for use by the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Defense.

 For more information on grommet edging, call 866-770-4066 or visit www.devicetech.com.  

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