Group 10 - Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Espresso Machine

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Gate 1 - Project Planning

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Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Espresso Machine

To practice our mechanical engineering skills and the steps taken, we as a group are physically dissecting a mass produced espresso machine and analyzing its components. The Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Espresso Machine already has a usable system for the consumer, although our goal is to better various aspects of the product. We will examine the manufacturing processes utilized to produce the components, the factors that were addressed in designing the product, and hopefully devise various possible revisions to the product based on our findings.

Project Management

Work Proposal

In order to break down and analyze our product mechanically, we need to disassemble our espresso maker piece by piece. Prior to disassembling our product, we will research the various components that the product contains so we do not break anything, such as a permanent seal. To set up for the process, we will find a large table with good lighting possibly on an upper floor of Lockwood Library. While we disassemble, we will take pictures of each component we discover with a camera. We will also have labeled plastic bags to separate the components of our product. A knife, able to cut through plastic and a few sizes of screw drivers will also be needed. Currently, the tools required to disassemble each part of the espresso machine are, but will not be limited to:

  • Multiple length, and size, Philips head and flat-head screwdrivers
  • Plastic Bags
  • Boxes
  • Camera
  • Knife

The estimated time that it will take to fully disassemble the espresso machine is 2-4 hours, depending on what complications we run in to. One challenges we may encounter stripped screws. We do not plan on disassembling any parts that have a permanent seal as we may not be able to seal it once again.

Our group, has at least the basic skill necessary to interact with the espresso machine. This includes knowledge of technical aspects such as disassembling the machine and identifying the functions of parts.

Management Proposal

Project work is to be split up as evenly as possible between the five members of our group, ensuring that everyone contributes. Taking in consideration the specific skill sets of the individuals of the group, we will assign certain duties to certain individuals. Based on these skills, we generated titles for each member within our group:

  • Project Manager , Eric Leach ( Responsible for the successful planning, execution, oversight, and completion of the project. This includes coordinating information across the group, setting up team meetings, ensuring Gates are completed in a timely manner, and regularly assessing the collective productivity of the group. Strengths include consistent punctuality, effective written and oral communication, and strong organizational skills.
  • Technical Expert , Brian Pilski ( Responsible for overseeing of disassembly of lawnmower, as well as analysis of the different components and access to necessary tools. Strengths include several years' experience working with mechanical systems and good group collaboration; skill with computers (solid modeling, Wiki, etc.) are basic.
  • Communication Liason , Brendan Kisselback ( Responsible for coordination of communication between our group and the professors. Will keep track of any question that the group has and address it to a professor while making sure that everyone in the group are aware of their tasks. Strengths include good organizational skills, public speaking, while time management is a weakness.
  • Solid Modeler , Deniz Guven ( Responsible for computer-generated models of espresso machine components. Strengths include proficiency in Autodesk AutoCad and Autodesk Inventor, good collaboration skills, and solid problem-solving; writing skills are limited.
  • Group Reporter , Hector Medrano ( Responsible for editing and combining different pieces of each Gate from each member and posting them to the group Wiki page. Strengths include strong writing skills and efficient use of keyboard hotkeys; time-management and hands-on skills are somewhat lacking.

Group meetings will be held weekly at 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays in Lockwood Library. These meetings will include:

  • discussion of upcoming tasks (assigning specific tasks to group members that must be completed in a timely manner)
  • check on the statuses of the current tasks
  • working to solve any problems concerning the project that a member may be struggling with
  • the addressing of any group member concerns

Any meetings that require work with the espresso machine (disassembly, photography, component documentation...) will be held at Lockwood Library also; dates and times will be decided at the preceding Thursday meeting based on the schedule of the group members.

Important: Any conflicts will be addressed through the use of group communication. Small conflicts will remain within the group while we work to solve it. If the group members cannot not solve the problem, or the problem is too overwhelming for the group to handle, it will be discussed with either professor Phillip Cormier or professor Andrew Olewnik .

Product Archaeology

Based on our observations, there are a few screws on the espresso machine. As long as those can be removed, there should be no problem disassembling the espresso maker.

Development Profile

During the mid 19th century, the espresso machine was introduced. The original design of the espresso machine would burn the coffee due to the steam; however, later on an improved model was innovated by Luigi Bezzerra and Desiderio Pavoni. They constructed the new version of the machine for the purpose of serving caffè espresso at the 1906 Milan Fair. The espresso machine that we are dissecting is a modern representation of this original design. Economically, this machine is a worthy bang-for-your-buck at a mere $40, considerably inexpensive when compared to other espresso machines on the market. Its ease of use and 4 cup brewing capability makes it ideal for the global area its intended reach of sale is set for, which is used for quick, simple and abundant production. The affordability of this product is due to the increase of consumer demand of high-end coffee alternatives and the recovering economy. This product was designed to simplify and encourage the gourmet production of in home espresso coffee. Thanks to is quick and simple use, it meets with the demands of the average American.

Usage Profile

As stated before, this product was designed to make espresso in a simple and average user friendly interface. With minimalistic nature, the Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker was intended for a grab and go state of mind, for personal in home use. This machine is for the production of espresso only and comes with a steamer on the side for the use of espresso making. The notch on the side is the only control, designed to change between the brewing option and steaming option.

Energy Profile

There is thermal and electrical energy being utilized by this espresso machine. When the espresso machine is plugged into electricity, also providing that it is turned on, it converts electrical energy from an outlet to thermal energy, heating the water in the machine to produce a refreshing, hot beverage. The electricity flows through a resistive component, most likely a coiled wire like that in a toaster to produce thermal energy, which boils water in the resevoir. Once the water is boiled, the machine is ready to produce espresso.

Complexity Profile