Gate 4: Bissell PowerForce® Bagless Upright Vacuum 6579-2 Product Explanation

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Cause for Corrective Action

Gate 4 went quite smoothly for the group as there were no real conflicts that arose during the process of completing the gate. Like gate 3, to improve the report quality, we have made a much stronger effort to complete all aspects of the gate a few days before the deadline. To do this we planned everything before Thanksgiving Day and our group leader sent a message to everyone about their assigned part and this allowed us to go back into the Wiki and make sure we have enough time to upload or add missing information. The reassembly of the vacuum cleaner was already completed before the due date on the gate 2. It just seemed feasible to do the reassembly after we had completed the disassembly. This gave the group members plenty of time to complete their respective parts before the gate 4 due date. We had a meeting about our presentation format on November 28th, and we will have our final meeting for the technical report, between December 5th to 10th, depending on everyone’s final exam schedule and availability.

Product Archaeology: Product Explanation

The table below shows all part's names and number for better understanding when listing parts to be reassembled in table 2.

Table 1: Individual part's number and name.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part8
Upper handle
Cord release
Cyclone Assembly
Upper filter case
Dirt cup
Pleated circular filter
Lower filter case
Filter, lever power-force bagless
Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 Part 14 Part 15 Part16
N’seal lever
Filter grille
Light bulb -12V
Wire harness – thermo
Motor cushion - large
Part 17 Part 18 Part 19 Part 20 Part 21 Part 22 Part 23 Part24
Motor support
Motor cushion - small
Motor front case
Power cord
Switch button
Main switch
Switch cap
Body back cover
Part 25 Part 26 Part 27 Part 28 Part 29 Part 30 Part 31 Part32
Vacuum nozzle
Case drum body
Case drum wrinkled hose
Case drum connector
Real wheel axle
Real wheel
Neck brush
Part 33 Part 34 Part 35 Part 36 Part 37 Part 38 Part 39 Part40
Lever Release
Top cover
Front wheel axle
Front wheel
Front wheel carriage
Height adjustment knob
Part 41 Part 42 Part 43 Part 44 Part 45 Part 46 Part 47 Part 48
Bottom plate
Wire reinforced twist
vacuum hose
Wire connector
Extension Wand
Crevice attachment
Upholstery/dusting brush

Product Reassembly

Original Assembly:

The vacuum was most likely manufactured by many workers on an assembly line. This can be inferred by the numerous amount of small plastic parts. On the surfaces of the assembled products, Acrylic paints were used which in general do not adhere well to smooth plastic surfaces; however, they are relatively cheap.

The motor was made from the process of investment casting and was only assembled by machines. Most of the other plastic parts were made by the process of injection molding. The last step of assembly most likely included three parts: the handle, the body, and the top cover. These were assembled by workers on an assembly line and the product was shipped out to the consumer.

Ease of Reassembly:

For the most part, the assembly of this vacuum was the same as the disassembly just in reverse order. Most steps only involved putting the components back where they were with little effort. So we used the same tools and the same forces to put them back to the original assembly. However, step at 6 was different. For disassembly, we took off switch button by hands, but when we put it back together, we used Pliers holding the button and a hammer to insert switch button in the hole of the body back cover because the hole was not large enough to insert the button by hand alone.

Difficulty scale

The level of difficulty is based on the amount of time it took for the individual step and how much force is needed to put the parts together. The scale was divided into three simple levels: Easy, Moderate, and Hard.
1= Easy: Does not necessarily require the use of tools in order to put the components back into their original assembly. Also, putting them back is done in under a minute and requires only human force to put the parts together with a little effort (i.e. The amount of force when you open a soda bottle cap).
2= Moderate: This step may contain the use of tools and require moderate human force. Usually associated with components’ that have complex shapes. Also, the step should be able to be completed in around a minute or a little bit more (i.e. The amount of force used when lifting a student desk).
3= Hard: Steps with this rating are the most difficult to put back together and may require more than one minute to assemble. Also it is necessary to use tools and in most cases apply a considerable amount of human force (i.e. The amount of force used to push something very heavy).

Table 2: Product Reassembly Process

Step# Instructions Tool Required Time(s) Difficulty Level Image
1 Mount large motor cushion (part 15) and small motor cushion (part 18) on the motor (part 16) with a mount support (part 17). No equipment 0:05 1
2 Connect wire harness-thermo (part 14) with the assembled motor from step 1. No equipment 0:10 1
Wire harness
3 Mount the assembled motor and vacuum nozzle (part 25) onto the body back cover (part 24) and assemble the main switch (part 22) with wire harness-thermo and power cord (part 20), then cover the switch cover with (part 23). No equipment 0:45 1
Body back cover
4 Pull out the wire harness-thermo through the hole in the motor’s front cover (part 19) and connect black part of the wire with the light bulb (part 13), then cover the motor with the front cover. No equipment 0:15 1
Motor front cover
5 Cover the lens (part 12) on the motor front cover (part 19). Then assemble the front motor cover (part 19) onto the body back cover (part 24) with one screw on the top and two screws on the bottom. #4 Philips head screwdriver 0:50 2
body back cover
6 Insert switch button (part 21) and lever release (part 34) into the hole of the body back cover (part 24). Because the tolerance between the switch button and the body back cover is small, switch button could not be inserted easily. Therefore, this procedure is the most difficult thus far. But the lever release (part 34) has enough tolerance within the hole so that it can be easily installed. Flathead screwdriver 6:20 3
Top cover
7 Assemble the upper handle (part 1) on the body back cover with two screws on the top and then insert cord release (part 2) to complete the power cord (part 20) setup. #4 Philips head screwdriver 0:15 1
Upper handle
8 Assemble the filter-lever pore-force bagless (part 8) with the lock N’ seal lever and then attach it to the top of the motor front cover with two screws. #4 Philips head screwdriver 0:20 1
Filter lever
9 Put the upper filter case (part 4) in the front side of body back cover with one screw in the center of the upper filter case. And then attach the cyclone assembly (part 3) inside the upper filter case (also considered part 3). #4 Philips head screwdriver 0:40 2
Upper Filter Case
10 Assemble the pleated circular filter (part 6) with lower filter case (part 7) and then assemble them with upper filter case (part 4). No equipment 0:05 1
Pleated circular Filter
11 Mount filter (part 11) on the motor front cover (part 19) and then cover the filter grille (part 10). No equipment 0:05 1
12 Assemble the bumper (part 39) with the top cover (part 33). Then twist the height adjustment knob (part 37) into the front side of the top cover (part 33). No equipment 0:10 1
13 Insert front wheel axles (part 35) into the front wheel (part 36) and then put them in the front wheel carriage (part 37) together. Mount the assembled carriage on the backside of the top cover. Pliers 1:00 2
Front Wheels
14 Insert rear wheel axles (part 29) into the rear wheel (part 31) and then put them in the both side of top cover with e-ring (part 31) with pliers Pliers 1:40 2
Rear Wheel
15 Connect the assembled body parts from step 1 to 11 with assembled top cover from steps 12 to 14. During this procedure, shaft of the motor and bottom side knobs of the body back cover should be fit on the top cover. And then connect them with the neck brush (part 33) using two screws per brush. #4 Philips head screwdriver 1:20 2
Assembled body
16 Assemble the case drum body (part 26), case drum wrinkled hose (part 27), and case drum connector (part 28) with no tools. Then Insert case drum wrinkled hose (part 27) in the hole of the top cover (part 34) and push the case drum body on the top cover until hear a clicking sound. No equipment 1:40 2
case Drum Wrinkled hose
17 Connect the case drum (part 26) onto the backside of the body back cover (part 24) with one screw. #4 Philips head screwdriver 0:30 1
Case Drum Connector
18 Insert belt (part 42) in the back side of top cover and connect motor shaft that is sticking out from the hole of the top cover and connect rubber coating side of the brush (part 41) with inside of belt (part 41). For safety, the brush should fit the shape of the shaft on both ends when going into the corresponding shapes in the top cover. This procedure requires adequate human force to stretch the belt. Then cover the bottom plate on the bottom side of the top cover with four screws. #4 Philips head screwdriver 1:50 2
Wire reinforced twist
19 Connect the reinforced wire twist (part 43) with wire connector (part 45). Then attach and twist the wire connector (part 45) in the hole of the topside of the body back cover (part 24). Mount the extension wand (part 46), crevice attachment (part 47), and upholstery/dusting brush (part 48) on the backside of the body back cover (part 24). No equipment 0:30 1
Vacuum Hose

As we assembled the vacuum we concluded that all steps were simple enough that we assumed that for a mass production of this product due to the high demand of vacuum cleaners the assembly process was automated. Simple robots were probably used in the assembly process. No machines are required in the assembly except to apply low forces to snap pieces together which a simple assembly robot can do.

Design Revisions

For group 12’s product revision we proposed that if the Bissell 6579-2 was still in production we would have made 2 upgrades made to a slightly more expensive model.

First, the new model would include a spring influenced retractable cord system.
Figure 1:Retractable cord
  • This system would be mounted via a small design change on the exterior of the vacuum where the current hand wound cord is.
  • This simple design revision adds an extra amount of convenience for the user and makes the product slightly stand out from the others in its class.
  • In addition cost is not affected much by this change seeing as how the old cord is still used in this system and plastic is cheap. Most cost will be seen in new design and production machinery.

Second change would be a light metal chain to replace the current rubber belt brush to motor driven system.
Figure 2:light metal chain
  • This design revision on the proposed upgraded model will be slightly more costly than the last revision.
  • However, a chain belt would likely last the lifetime of the vacuum cleaner and if properly lightly greased, the user would not hear much of a noise difference. Less affected by conventional wear and tear.
  • Most of the price increase comes from the parts needed to this revision would include a the chain, most likely made from steel, teethed gears to replace the plastic wheels used for the rubber belt, and a chain guard mounted near the brush to avoid chain contact outside the vacuum cleaner.

Overall, we would expect to see a 15% increase to the overall cost for the consumer for this higher model.

Advantages/Disadvantages of making this modifications.


  • With the use of a chain rather than a rubber belt the higher initial cost outweighs the life time maintenance of the rubber belt.
  • Bissell could also use recycled metal to save on material cost and to appeal to the consumer in today’s highly environmentally concerned market.
  • And of course, the majority of product sales revolve around which one is going to save the user time and effort.


  • There will be a slight increase in production cost and in turn the actual product cost but it should be limited to around a 15% price increase, about $10.
  • Additionally there are new environmental concerns surrounding the use of chain grease and metals.
  • There will also have to be new design processes that will have to be used to make the new gears, chains, mounting materials, simple windup technologies, ect...

Factors influenced by these design revisions

  • Societal appeal to added connivance, less economical investment over the lifetime of the product, and even environmental concerns dealing with recycled materials and harmful waste of the product on the environment when the user discards of it.
  • Additional information will need to be gathered concerning the overall development cost of these two design changes.
  • Additionally Bissell might want to weigh out the benefits of outsourcing and purchasing some materials rather than creating all new manufacturing machinery and buying materials they didn’t have before.
  • Possibility buying from a bike manufacture for gears and small chains could be a possible consideration.
  • Also, additional marketing research will be needed to see if the customer is willing to pay an extra $10 for added convenience and reduced lifetime maintenance costs.

Other suggestions to make the product more friendly user, these are not system level changes. These are improvements to the aesthetic looks of the product to attract more customers.

Better grip
Figure 3:Vacuum Handle
When the consumer uses the Bissell 6579-2 vacuum cleaner to clean their house, at first, everything is good, but after few minutes, their hands begin to sweat. When your hand is wet, the vacuum cleaner handle is slippery because it is made of smooth plastic. To operate the vacuum cleaner better, the consumer may need a grip for the handle. However, most grips move forward and backward constantly making the grip unsecure with this plastic handle. In order to improve the grip, we propose covering the handle with sponge grip. A sponge grip can absorb sweat and increase the friction against the handle for better grip.

Figure 4:Sponge Grip
Environmental - the sponge material is made from foamed plastic polymers, so it is not very environmentally friendly but it can be recycled with other body parts or made from other recycled plastic materials.
Economical – 2 pieces of anti-slip sponge grip is sold for $4.31 with included shipping at which means $2.15 for each. $2.15 is the retail price, so it will be much cheaper to add onto the design with factory pricing. So, adding the grips would only affect the retail value of the vacuum cleaner by a minimum amount.
Societal - This change would attract more customers since it will be easier to handle and is more aesthetically looking.

Operation able angle
Figure 5:Frame's Angle of Operation
The handle assembly of the vacuum cleaner folds and stretches with the body assembly to fit varying heights of consumers and to allow for easier movement. The 90° angle minimum allows for the vacuum to be locked in a steady position for secure storage. About 160° from its upright position is the maximum angle the vacuum can be rotated freely. The angle between the two parts is usually between 110° and 120°. In normal conditions the operating angles are totally fine, but sometimes, when the consumer wants to vacuum spaces under the bed or desk, it would help if the vacuum could extend to almost 180°. In order to change the maximum degree angle, a very simple modification can be made to the body back cover.


Societal – Wider angle will be able to fit more areas according to a variety life style accommodations, such as height or types of beds or desks.

Filter indicator light
Figure 6:Filter Indicator Light
There multiple filters in this vacuum cleaner. Among then, the pleated circular filter (no. 6), is hard to notice if the filter is clean or not. Adding a filter indicator light can be an easily indication of when the user should replace or clean the filter. Due to economical factors, an indicator that doesn’t have to operate with a sensor is suggested. The indicator simply calculates operating time and a light turns on when operating time reaches a suggested time for replacement or cleaning. When the filter is replaced or cleaned, consumer simply clicks a button to reset the indicator. The indicator in the figure is on the Honey well hfd-139 air purifier. A Timer, led light, circuit, and energy source, such as a small battery are required to add the indicator.


Environmental - Few of the new materials need for the new indicator feature are not environmentally friendly, especially the battery.
Economical- The indicator does not require a sensor, so there are no major modifications to make. So only a small price increase to vacuum cleaner is required.