Gate 1 Content

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Figure 2 CCR 1000 Snow Thrower [1]

Contents

Project Management: Request for Proposal

Work Proposal

Reverse Engineering Profile

From of initial inspection of the snow thrower, our groups proposed plan is the disassembly the snow thrower in three different sections. The sections will include the Chute System, Crank System, and Auger System. This will provide our group with a means of deadline driven work, and efficient use of time in the lab. This will also provide for an ease of documentation and reassembly of the product.

Tools

The tools for disassembly will be a basic socket set, and driver set, at first glance all external components are held together either by carriage bolts, or self tapping steel screws, which are hex head in some cases. These can easy be done with the earlier explained tools. The internals of the snow blower cannot be seen at this point due to the nature of the gate, which states disassembly is not an option.

Problems

From the initial reviewing of the product, and basic research we as a group figured we will run into conflicts surrounding the worm gearbox. Due to the nature of our group never experiencing this component system. It has been address and added to Gate 2 as a sub-task of research to study upon. We do not know if any form of piston popper, or decompression tool is required for removal of this component.

Capabilities of the group

In our original group meeting we had discussed to what level of experience and capabilities we hold as individuals, and the census states that three of the members have former experience with disassembly of engine machines. But none hold any direct experience with snow blowers, we have looked into further individuals who hold experience with the machine for guidance, and problems in which we can run into.

Our group leader is Eric Bailen. He will be the brains of the operation. He has had numerous internships and has the most experience in the work field of the group. He also has a strong knowledge of engines. Our next group member is Josh Ulrich. He has experience with machining and disassembling engines as well. He also will be the group member that does all the 3D modeling. He has experience with the software Autodesk Inventor. Chris Chase is our Wiki designer. Although he has no experience, he has volunteered to learn it. He has construction experience and is proficient with hand tools as well. Our last group member is Ryan Scall. He also will be helping with the dissection because he has experience and knowledge of small engines.

Conflicts

Due to the nature of our group all being full time students and living up to 45 minutes from campus organization is a major conflict which we are constantly dealing with. We have gone as far as doing a group class schedule and having subsection group meeting where two or three group members can meet to work on the project. This schedule will be attached as part of the Project Management Proposal. And finally with the hours of the lab being open we are under further discussion as a group and with the instructor to remove the machine from campus to one of the individuals houses to be stored and worked on, where they have the required tools, and time restraint would not be an issue. We have made initial contact with the instructor if permission to do so is allowed, and have received notice stating removal of the machine is allowed with consequences if not returned the The University at Buffalo by the competition of project.

Management Proposal

Table 1
Group member E-mail Phone Project Role
Chris Chase cdchase@buffalo.edu (585)-813-7758 Documentation/Wiki Developer
Cormac Canales Dropped class
Eric Bailen (main source of communication) ericbail@buffalo.edu (716)-969-4790 Project Manager
Josh Ulrich joshuaul@buffalo.edu (716)-706-9342 3D Modeling/Disassembly
Ryan Scall ryanscal@buffalo.edu (631)-525-6616 Assembly/Disassembly
Tom Oates dropped class

Group Meetings

Our group has decided to meet on a weekly basis according to each member’s school, work, and social schedule. Our main meeting location will be third floor in Capen library but that is not set in stone. We will determine the meeting place and time via email, phone or in person after class.

During our meetings we will be dividing work up for each gate or simply getting a progress report on how each persons section is going. At this time we will be able to determine difficulties individuals are having and talk about them as a group. Meeting minutes will be kept and signed by every member at the end of each meeting so there is no question of individual responsibility.

Disciplinary Actions

We base our attendance strict, but allow members to miss meetings if they have an upcoming exam, but still much present their data for the team to move forward on the project even with their absence. At the same time if a member does not give proper notice in his absence, or lacks in providing their contribution to the group’s efforts in achieving good academic standing we have established a two strike policy, with the third offense resulting in disciplinary action with involving the professor.

Scheduling

With having access to Microsoft Project from an outside source we will be planning, scheduling, and documenting the projects process and achievements in the Project format. An updated copy will be provided at the end of the predecessor’s activity completion. The roles of each member were established by the group, and documented in the table at the top of this page, although roles may change or overlap according to the projects obstacles and deadlines.

Professionalism

To attempt to run our project as professional as possible Meeting Minutes will be provided at the end of each Gate to document the thought process and established agreements which occurred. These Meeting Minutes will be typed by a selected individual and signed upon by each group member at the beginning of the following meeting to ensure all documentation is accurate and professional.

Gantt Chart

Figure 3 Gantt Chart

Initial Assessment

Development Profile

Toro developed the first snow blower (also known as a snow thrower) in 1951. The model that is the subject of this report, the Toro CCR 1000, was developed at the end of 1999 and early 2000. Economically, a major concern at the time was finding a balance between affordability and reliability; globally, a major concern was the impact of the gas engine and the pollutants it released on the environment. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“[T]he typical two-cycle snow blower can expel nearly a pound of carbon monoxide for every hour it runs.”[2]

By comparison, the source continues to state that a car would have to be driven about 70 miles to match that.[2]

Although they had these concerns and shocking statistics they still had to make the machine affordable for the intended buyers so there was not much of anything they could do about it. Along the same lines they picked the metal types they did to keep the price down.

Toro sells the CCR1000 in many countries. Their main distributors are in the U.S., but their products are also sold in about 140 countries worldwide including Australia, Belgium, China and Japan.


The intended impact was to provide a more efficient means of removing snow from areas. The CCR 1000 clears snow in a fraction of the time while using a fraction of the human energy versus simple shoveling.

Usage Profile

The CCR is intended to be used to remove snow from surfaces; this is its sole intended use. It was designed with the home user in mind; however, it can also be used in a professional setting (e.g., clearing snow from a small business walkway). The job of the product is to hurl snow from underneath the device to several feel alongside it.

Energy Profile

The single stage engine of the snow blower uses a mixture of gasoline and oil in a 16:1 ratio.[4] Gasoline is the initial source of energy for the snow blower. The gasoline’s energy is released when it is mixed with oxygen and ignited. The energy released drives the crankshaft, compressing a gas/air mixture which ignites inside the cylinders, thereby driving the pistons which cause the crankshaft to spin. This process then starts the transfer of the mechanical energy created by the burning of the gasoline. The crankshaft is connected to the output from the motor (driveshaft), which turns the blades of the snow blower, allowing it to jettison the snow up through the discharge chute. Human energy is also utilized to operate the snow blower. The human energy is utilized when the person operating the snow blower pushes the machine forward to clear a path in the snow.

Complexity Profile

Complexity: In general complexity tends to be defined as characterizing something with many parts in intricate arrangement.


Based on visual inspection, the CCR contains roughly 25 main components: the chassis, the grip bar, wheels, the exhaust chute (which expels snow from beneath the device), and various buttons to start and refuel the device. The individual components listed are very simple; most are clearly labeled by purpose. The external component interactions appear very basic again.[4]

Motor:

The motor is what drives the impeller. The motor you find in a snow blower is no bigger than a motor in a lawn mower, sometimes even smaller. It is attached to the impeller with a belt to make it spin. With the motor being smaller it is less complex compared to a larger motor such as one of a car.[4]

Impeller:

The snow blower engine moves the impeller. The impeller is found at the front of the blower, it is the first thing the snow hits. The impeller is formed so that when it spins, the snow will go out a chute. Again this system is that complex. It simply breaks up the snow and sends it up the chute. [4]

Material Profile

External

    • Handle – metal tubing
    • Shell – plastic
    • Blade/scraper - rubber
    • Blade/scraper Shaft – metal round stock with plate metal attached
    • Wheels – hard plastic rim with hard rubber tire
    • Fasteners – metal nuts and bolts, some twist ties
    • Shute - plastic
    • Muffler – metal, probably steel

Internal From past experience, we know there is a gas engine which drives the blades. We also assume the following:

    • The engine is made out of Cast Aluminum
    • A plastic gas tank is present
    • Rubber hoses to transfer fluids are present
    • Rubber gaskets are present
    • Rubber drive belts around metal pulleys are present

[7]

User Interaction Profile

The user interacts with the product in two main ways. First, he turns the ignition knob from the “STOP” position to “START”, after which he pulls the started chord to start the product. Once the device is on, the user moves it around by gripping the bar that protrudes up at an angle from the device and pushing the device forward, pulling it backward, or steering it from side-to-side.

The user also has to direct the way it wants to throw the snow. This is done by manually directing the chute with the handle.

The interfaces are very intuitive; the handle bar extends to what would be the abdominal area of the average user. The button functions are clearly labeled. A user should feel very comfortable operating the machine.

The labeled buttons make this product very easy to use; the average user, without consulting the product manual, would probably require less than five minutes of inspection to learn how to start the device. Moving the product is merely a matter of pushing.

Regular maintenance is required, and amounts to little more than keeping the tank filled with enough gasoline to operate the product, as well as ensuring the external orifices (vents, discharge chute, etc.) remain unobstructed. Occasional cleaning of the external surfaces should remedy most maintenance issues. As such, they can be considered easy.

Product Alternatives

Several alternatives of various sizes, sophistication, and cost exist. They are listed below:

Table 2
Alternative Advantages Disadvantages cost
Snow-blower
  • High performance per cost
  • Multi-surface snow removal combined with the use of interchangeable blades
  • Excels in low-to-upper mid-range snow depth
  • Marginal storage space required
  • Ability to control where snow is thrown
  • Can clear narrow paths if required
  • Time consuming
  • Physically demanding
  • Depending on operator ease of use in marginal at best
  • Requires winterization and annual maintenance
  • Ineffective in high snow depth areas
  • Doesn’t shield operator from environment
  • Pollution
any where between 100-1000 depending on the make, model and size



Snow shovel
[9]
  • Low cost
  • Minimal storage space required
  • Portable
  • Low maintenance
  • Agile
  • Can clear narrow paths if required
  • Therapeutic effects of physical exercise
  • No pollution
  • High physical demand
  • Time consuming
  • Doesn’t excel in mid to high range snow depth
  • Doesn’t protect user form environment
less then 50$
Bobcat (front loader)
[5]
  • Minimizes physical work
  • Minimal time required to complete task
  • Lucrative
  • Excels in high snow depths
  • Protects operator from the environment
  • Expensive
  • Expensive Maintenance
  • Improper operation can inflict property damage
  • Cannot clear sidewalks and walkways
  • Pollution
very expensive. New Bobcats can be north of 25000$
ATV with plow
[6]
  • Marginal time required to complete task
  • Multipurpose
  • Excels in low to midrange snow depth
  • Minimal physical activity required
  • Can clear narrow paths if required
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t excel in high range snow depth
  • Doesn’t shield operator from environment
  • Semi-annual maintenance required
  • Requires skill to operate
  • Pollution
If the owner already has an ATV the cost is relatively close to the snow blower
Truck with plow
[3]
  • Multipurpose
  • Lucrative
  • Shells operator from environment
  • Minimal physical activity required
  • Minimal time required to complete task
  • Excels in low to high range snow depth
  • Street legal
  • May require insurance, registration and license to operate
  • Expensive
  • Frequent maintenance required
  • Demanding on vehicles suspension and body
  • Requires skill to operate efficiently
  • Cannot clear sidewalks and walkways
  • Pollution
Again if the truck is already owned the plow is a couple grand but the truck is the expensive part

Tractor with plow

[8]
  • Multipurpose
  • Minimal time required to complete task
  • Excels in low to high range snow depth
  • Minimal physical activity required
  • Expensive
  • Frequent maintenance required
  • Requires skill to operate
  • Cannot clear sidewalks and walkways
  • Doesn’t protect operator from the environment
  • Pollution
Same as the truck



Comparative Analysis of Alternatives Unless an individual has a large piece of land or already owns the equipment because of other needs, a front loader, tractor, truck, or ATV with a plow are not a realistic way of moving snow. The high price, minimal use, and skill required to operate such alternatives makes them unappealing to most. Therefore, residential or small commercial snow clearing is best done with either a shovel or snow blower. While a shovel emits no pollution from hydrocarbons and is the cheapest among all the options, the physical labor required to move the snow can be overbearing for the average homeowner. The question of which product is optimal is answered largely based on geographical location: If an individual lives in the city, a snow blower might not be necessary; however, if the individual resides in the suburbs or country a shovel might be too inefficient.

References

  1. "Cheapest Price For Snow Joe SJ620 20-Inch 13.5-Amp." Best Cheap Snow Blowers 2010. Web. 01 Oct. 2010. <http://www.cheapsnowblowers.net/cheapest-price-for-snow-joe-sj620-18-inch-135-amp.html>.
  2. Foren, John. "Snowblowers Are Great after Big Storm but Continue to Be Environmental Headache | MLive.com." Michigan Blogs & RSS Feeds - MLive.com. 02 Jan. 2008. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <http://blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/newsnow/2008/01/snowblowers_are_great_after_bi.html>.
  3. High Output Alternators and Accessories | PowerBastards.com. Web. 01 Oct. 2010. <http://www.powerbastards.com/>.
  4. "How Does a Snow Blower Work? | EHow.com." EHow | How To Do Just About Everything! | How To Videos & Articles. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4587491_snow-blower-work.html>.
  5. Learning Curve: Parents' Trusted Source for Care and Play Products That Help Families Grow. Web. 01 Oct. 2010. <http://www.learningcurve.com/britains?icid=ddmenu&locale=en_GB>.
  6. "Rakes & Levelers - ATV Attachments - Lawn & Garden - BobVila.com." Home Improvement - DIY - Home Remodeling | BobVila.com. Web. 01 Oct. 2010. <http://www.bobvila.com/SmartBuys/Rakes_and_Levelers-ATV_Attachments-Lawn_and_Garden-1.html>.
  7. "SINGLE STAGE SNOWTHROWER SERVICE MANUAL." Ourfamilys.deandrea.net. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. <http://ourfamilys.deandrea.net/BobKitt/User%20Guides/tosnowss.pdf>.
  8. "Store | Farmall Tractor." Farmall.us The Best Blog for Farmall Tractors. Web. 01 Oct. 2010. <http://farmall.us/farmall-store/>.
  9. "Tonneau Covers." ITruckAccessories.Com. Web. 01 Oct. 2010. <http://www.itruckaccessories.com/tag/tonneau-covers/>.