GATE 1: Product Archaeology

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Preparation and Initial Assessment

Development Profile

When was the product developed?

The Honda motor company opened in 1948 in Japan. The 600 cc F2 motor was first developed in 1989 and sold in 1991. They put the motor into the 600cc Honda CBR.

What were the key economic and global concerns at the time of development?

At the time of development there economic concerns about fuel economy and cost. The reason that many people ride a motorcycle is because of the great gas mileage that the motor can get. With this engine and an average weight rider the motor could get upwards of 50 mpg. With a 4.2 gallon tank this could get you approximately 200 miles on a single tank. Another economic factor was the cost of the motorcycle. Although this report is specifically on the motor, we have to take in account that the main purpose was to be used in a motorcycle. Brand new this 600cc F2 Honda engineered motorcycle was much cheaper than buying a car to drive around. This made it very appealing to the consumer when purchasing. During this time of development there were not as many global concerns with air pollution and global warming as we hear about today. But there were definitely some concerns with the amount of pollution that this engine outputted when engineers developed this engine. For one this it is a four stroke engine that doesn’t require the mixture of oil in the gas therefore making it easier and better for the environment. This is because two stroke engines tend to run more “rich” and create more air pollution and smog.

In what countries or regions is the product intended to be sold?

Honda motor company started off in Japan in 1948. It came to the United States in 1959 and then soon after was introduced to Europe and the rest of the world. So when this 600cc motor was developed it was intended to be sold all over the world. Where there are roads and streets we can expect that Honda intended their motor to be there. We can assume that this motor can be found worldwide.

What was the intended impact on the consumer? When this motor was developed engineers tried making it small enough to fit into a motorcycles frame, but also with the high performance for the consumer. People are always trying to get the most power out of whatever kind of motor they have. So when engineers made the 600cc F2 Honda engine they had all intentions of it having high performance. The motor has a hundred horsepower, and when put into a motorcycle frame has the combined weight of 407.9 pounds. This is just shy of a quarter horsepower per pound. The motor was made to enthuse the thrill seekers and I believe that is exactly what it did.

Usage Profile

Honda used this 600cc F2 engine, in its own motorcycles in 1993. It has very high horse power, high speed and is a production of Japan technology. In 1993, this engine was produced for drag races; however, nowadays with the new technology there is no difference between regular 4 strokes engine. Generally, it is used in high capacity motorcycles such as 500cc because of piston dimensions and high complexity. With this engine in the motorcycle, a driver can reach high speed and accelerate in a short time. It is good for the driver who likes semi-race motorcycles.

What types of energy are used?

In a motor like the 600cc Honda engine there are several types of energy used. The most obvious source of energy in the motor is gasoline. The only way that a motor will run is with the consumption of gasoline (This of course neglecting the temporary running of the motor when ether is sprayed directly into the carburetor or air filter.) Chemical energy from gas combined with oxygen is converted in the engine into mechanical energy which creates torque in the output shaft.

How is energy imported into the system(s)?

Energy is imported into the Honda engine when the fuel is gravity fed into the carburetor. Here it is mixed with oxygen to create a combustible mixture that is drawn into the engine by a vacuum and ignited with an electronic spark in an enclosed space. This ignition expands causing the piston to move and rotate the crank shaft, therefore powering the motor.

How are different types of energy transformed and modified?

The way that the energy is transformed and modified has been stated a little bit in the afore mentioned questions. It is a simple transformation when the air and fuel mixture ignite and therefore exploding and expanding and moving the pistons. The four cycle motor energy transformation and use is known as the Otto cycle which has been around since 1861.

Complexity Profile

There are many components in a motorcycle engine. The engine is composed of mostly steel, which has a high conductivity, stiffness and ductility. The upper part of the engine has cables, which are covered by plastic. As we know plastic has little to no conductivity and prevents short circuit therefore protects the engine. The strokes, oil filter, pistons and gear are the main components of the engine. Without these, the motorcycle would not run. Most of the components are attached onto the body with screws. There are components, which are attached onto other components such as a non-return valve. Power cables and pipes transport heat, oil and water to the engine. The engine has a very complex interaction among its components. Oil circulation is just a simple example to illustrate its complexity, which is shown in figure 1. There are a lot of examples such as heat transfer, water cycle etc.

Figure 1: Oil circulation


Material Profile

Materials that are clearly visible on the Honda 600cc F2 engine are a cast iron body, rubber hoses for air/fuel intake, rubber engine gasket (used to create a seal between the two pieces of cast iron body,) and a plastic air intake which sits on top of the motor. The moving parts inside the motor are made of stainless steel (pistons, crankshaft, transmission, and alternator.) The spark plugs are typically made of a porcelain insulator, aluminum metal casing, and typically a combination of copper, nickel-iron, chromium combination. The spark plugs usually connect to copper wiring which connects to the alternator and battery.) The more the engine is taken apart the more that the group will be able to see the many different parts that make up a complicated 600cc Honda motor.

User Interaction Profile

How does the user interface with the product?

The user interfaces with the Honda F2 engine through the ignition system and throttle. To start the engine, the cyclist puts the key in the ignition and turns the key, which starts a cycle of activity. The ignition turns on the starter motor and turns the crankshaft, which gets the piston moving. This is the start of the engine cycle. When the throttle is pushed, the engine accelerates causing the motorcycle to speed up.

How intuitive are the interfaces?

The engine can be traced back to the 1700s with James Watt and the steam engine, and in Germany during the 1800s with the internal combustion engine. These early engines were not as powerful as current engines and did not use gasoline as fuel. The current 1993 Honda F2 engine is very intuitive. It is a 600 cubic centimeter four stroke engine supported by a torque of 63.7 Nm and 100 horsepower.

Is the product easy to use?

Initially the Honda engine is not easy to use but with practice it can become easy. Before you even start to learn to drive and use the engine you have to be a certain age, usually 16 years old, and train with an experienced rider. One would also have to learn manual transmission and how and when to change gears. Especially since this motor is made for a motorcycle makes it more dangerous causing people to stay away from them.

Is regular maintenance required? If so, how easy is the maintenance?

Regular maintenance is required, but the ease of the maintenance depends on the user and what the problem is. The engine requires gasoline to run and regular oil changes, which most users would be able to access easily. For more complex problems, the user can take the motorcycle to a garage where a trained mechanic will fix whatever problem the engine is experiencing.

Product Alternative Profile

What product alternatives exist?

The Engine is a sophisticated piece of machinery. Although we first think about the combustion engine being related to automobiles, the engine is a very common machine used in many everyday jobs, landscape tools, as well as for recreation. For example, construction vehicles such as the tractor, excavator, and dump truck all use the modern day engine to move earth and erect buildings. In terms of recreation, the motorcycle, the water jet ski, ATV’s all use the engine as a power source. Before the engine came about, human manpower was a source the source of energy, moving heavy objects and walking from place to place. Although there are some alternatives to the combustion engine, nothing would be as efficient as it. The electric engine is an alternative, which mainly run on chemical potential energy. Another futuristic alternative might be a solar engine, which we might be feasible in a couple years.

What are the advantages?

The advantages of the combustion engine is one, there is a lot of potential energy produced within. Two, the engine has allowed us to travel longer distances benefiting many companies for globalization. Three, it has allowed us to increase our agriculture production. For example, we are able to harvest a crop the size of a football field in less time, than in the past, where we had to manually harvest the crops. The motorcycle engine, which is a four stroke and puts out 600c, is very eco-friendly. In general motorcycles tend to receive higher gas mileage compared to cars due to the fact that it’s simply lighter.

What are the disadvantages?

The disadvantage of a combustion engine is that, the byproduct consists of CO2, which today is increasing very rapidly due to all the vehicles on the road. CO2 is considered a greenhouse gas, which means that more infrared rays from the sun are being reflected back on to Earth’s surface rather than being reflected into space, evidently, increasing the average global temperature. This is causing a major increase in weather related issues such as drought, floods and hurricanes as well as increase in ocean levels from glacial melt.

How do these alternatives compare in performance?

As stated the combustion engine is at the top of its league. The electrical engine will eventually attain the ability to putout close to the amount of potential energy as a combustion engine could but would never reach its potential. Today many engineers are trying to maximize the performance of the combustion engine. Cars are acquiring higher horsepower and increase in torque.