Boeing uses Google Glass to assist in wire harness assembly guidance

May 24, 2018 | Case Study

Boeing, the largest aerospace manufacturer in the world, manufactures aircrafts for various entities in more than 150 countries. In each airplane, thousands of connections are made with cables that are bundled to form wire harness assemblies. These assemblies can amass to as long as 320 miles of cables peppered with multiple connectors that have as many as 50 terminal pins per connector. Each wire harness requires manual assembly for cutting the appropriate length, connecting the right wire to pin, and choosing the right materials and components – all without room for error.

In the past, Boeing relied on a paper diagram for all wire harness assembly guidance. Eventually, the paper evolved into a digital copy on a laptop, where technicians could use the "search" function to locate parts in the diagram. Still, the physical motion of moving back and forth between the wire harness and the laptop made it hard for workers to maintain the accuracy of cable-to-pin connections because both visual focus and hands needed to move between the diagram on the laptop and the actual wire harness being assembled.