Group 14 - 2013 Initial Assessment

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Contents

Development

The Hitachi Drill was developed in 1979 [1], and sold in the United States and the world market. The Owner's manual is written in English, French and Spanish, suggesting that Countries whose main language is either English, French or Spanish would have been target markets.

The main global considerations for Hitachi appear to be language accessibility and user interface. The owner's manual is written in three languages so that there is a good chance that the owner will know how to operate the drill. Additionally, the drill itself is rather intuitive to use, the direction switches are marked with symbols which indicate the direction of rotation, the battery charger is a simple drop-and-charge design, and the battery clips directly into the drill.

Usage

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The various tool bits increase the range of application of the power drill.

The drill is designed to make it easy to drive screws and drill holes. The function changes depending on which tool bit is inserted into the drill chuck. The drill makes it easier to do simple construction projects around the house such as assembling a baby's crib or a backyard swing-set. However, the drill can also be used on a construction site for general contracting or in factories/large businesses for packaging of large shipments, fixing factory equipment, assembly/disassembly of factory equipment, etc.


Aside from being used to drive screws, the drill is also useful for other tasks depending on which tool-bit is used. Screwdriver bits are available for every type of screw, no matter the shape or size of the head of the screw. The Brad Point(Dowell), Auger, and Wood Spade(Paddle) drill bits allow the drill to bore holes of different size in wood and even hole saws that saw holes ranging from 1.5" to >6" in a wide range of materials. There are also bits that allow for drilling holes in metal(High Speed Steel bits) and concrete(Masonry bits). A flexible bit allows the drill to be used in otherwise inaccessible places. Hardware stores sell speciality mixing bits for mixing multiple cans of paint for consistent color, much like a hand mixer. They also make egg beater-style mixers for concrete, mortar, thinset, and grout. With a sanding drum, the power drill can even be used to sand irregular surfaces.

Energy Profile

The drill operates on two major forms of energy -

  • Electrical Energy
  • Mechanical Energy

In order to operate the drill, electrical energy is imported into a battery through the battery charger connected to a power outlet. During charging, the drill's battery converts the electrical energy from the power outlet into a chemical potential. When the battery is attached to the drill after charging, the Nickel&Cadmium(the plate materials used in the battery of this particular drill) have a chemical reaction which converts the stored potential energy back into electricity. This electrical energy is then converted into torque by the motor through the Lorentz force. This torque is then multiplied to a variable extent by the 2 stage speed adjustment and 22 stage chuck.

Complexity

Material Profile

Visible Materials

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Inferred Internal Materials

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User Interaction

Most uses of the drill need no explanation. A trigger activates the drill, which is located directly where the user holds the drill. The direction the drill spins which is clearly labeled just above the handle. The battery will release by push tabs, which are also labeled directly on the battery. The only use of the drill that may not be intuitive to a new user is changing a bit. This process is also very simple, however if the operator has never used a power drill before it may not be as straightforward as the rest of the drill. To change bits the user must put the drill in the reverse position, grab the plastic piece at the end of the drill, known as the keyless chuck, where the bit is held in place. While holding that keyless chuck in place, the user activates the drill by pulling the trigger. This will loosen the chuck and the bit will easily pull out of the drill. Putting in a new bit follows the same process with the drill in the forward position. Simply put the new bit in the end of the drill, hold the chuck in place and squeeze trigger until the chuck tightens around the bit.

The drill has other features, however the processes above are all the necessary functions needed to successfully operate the drill. The remaining functions are features that can make using the drill easier in certain situations or for certain materials. Finding the appropriate settings for different tasks is as easy as reading the user manual, or simply experiment with the different settings.

Product Alternatives

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Black & Decker SS18C
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SKIL 2898Li-02
Many different models of power drills have been developed by different companies. There are pros and cons for every model that is produced, and comparing each model is based on customer specifications related to the GSEE factors.


  • Black and Decker SS18C[2] model drill would be geared toward a person whose uses for a drill are minimal. One benefit of this drill is that the battery has a meter on it that shows its charge level. This would be useful for someone who may not be able to notice when the drill starts to lose its charge. This drill , however, is only capable of producing 175 in-lb of torque. As a result it probably wouldn't be useful on a job site where the operator has to deal with hard materials, such as metal. On the other hand Black and Decker SS18C does satisfy an economic factor. If the customer has a low budget or just needs a simple drill, the Black and Decker runs about $20 dollars cheaper than the Hitachi.


  • SKIL 2898LI-02 [3] is a drill very similar to the Hitachi DS18DVF3 and differ only in minor aspects. For example with the SKIL power drill, you would be sacrificing the belt hook that the Hitachi is equipped with, for a leverage handle. These two features will appeal to different customers, satisfying a societal factor. The Hitachi will appeal to a user who will need to become hands free from the drill to accomplish other tasks. The belt hook allows that customer to do that easily. However if a customer will need to drill constantly, and hold the drill for extended periods of time, then the leverage handle will make that job easier on the operator. These two drills are in the same price range of between $90-100 dollars.


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