Avionics News June 2019 - 79

Industry Standards
"We started our harness shop in efforts to put simple,
experimental products we were selling and putting a harness
together, whether that be a custom or a stock 4-footer," he
recalled. "Because it was all geared to the homebuilt market, we
didn't have to have any certification, at that time. But we wanted
to build to a Part 145 standard.
"We had all Mil-Spec parts - everything we were using had
a C of C or some kind of conformance. So we started building
and doing our own drawings and providing this service to the
homebuilder. It just started to take off, because we could easily
say, 'Here's a unit, plus a unit with harness,' and the price was
nominal, and the homebuilder would just select that every
time and word of mouth got around. Once we got to the point
where we started getting certified-aircraft customers asking
for harnesses, what we didn't want to do is just do this without
certification."
So Aircraft Spruce has implemented an accepted industry
standard maintained as a joint project of the Institute of Printed
Circuits and the Wire Harness Manufacturers Association.
The standard is known as IPC/WHMA-A-620, Requirements
and Acceptance for Cable/Wire Harness Assemblies, and was
originally released in 2002.
"It's a bible," Deck related. "Hundreds of pages of every little
procedure you do to a pin, to a ring terminal, to stripping back
your wire, to doing grounding. Some manufacturers use IPC
standards for their board manufacturing, so they were actually
familiar with the harness side.
"Nothing against the FARs, but there's not a detailed standard
the F-A-R provides for how to build this," he pointed out. Now,
under the IPC 620 standard, all of his harness shop work has to
conform. "Every time a tool is used, we have a picture-guide
and a standard to go by."
The Future
Right now, Aircraft Spruce's harness-fabrication service is
suffering from its success, with two-to-three-month turnaround
times, Deck told us. That's just because of the looming Jan. 1,
2020, ADS-B deadline.
"People are not only doing ADS-B, they're opening up the
aircraft and doing a lot more," he observed. "There's so much
more I want to add, but I need to be focused for this mandate."
When asked why avionics shops accustomed to building
their own harnesses should use his company's service, Deck
had a ready response.
"If it was just putting a pin on one wire, putting a pin on
another wire and plugging it in - and some manufacturers
have done their electrical drawings so that it is that simple,"
he told us. "But as soon as you start getting into shielded wire,
like audio panels ... audio panels are wonderful, but they're a

pain because of all the looping that's required ... and keeping it
grounded properly.
"No one wants to build a harness, everybody wants to get
the install done, finish that and get the airplane flying," Deck
summed up, giving away some clues to his elevator pitch.
"That harness is just a byproduct that takes a lot of time, so by
expediting that little byproduct, I'm filling a need and a niche
for that."
Speaking of the typical avionics shop and how his harness
fabrication service might complement their business, he drove
home his point: "I'm not trying to take away their business;
I'm just trying to do something that's become almost a hassle
- who has time to send their high-dollar technician to build a
harness to put in the aircraft?"
The future?
"Right now, the plan is to get past 2020, to get that mandate
done, and just serve customers for that," he said. "Then
expand to ELTs - there are so many other avionics categories
that we're not wiring, not providing a service. The beautiful
thing is I walk down the aisles of Aircraft Spruce and I'm like
'I don't do a harness for that, I don't do a harness for that,' so
there's so much more I want to add.
"The AEA has been a real help to me with what kind of
verbiage and terminology I need to use to set myself up as an
outsource provider that's looking for an outside design from
somebody so that I can help them provide this service." q

To learn more about Aircraft Spruce, visit aircraftspruce.com.
avionics news

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http://aircraftspruce.com

Avionics News June 2019

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