Group 20 - Ford Mustang Power Wheels - Gate 4

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Group 20 - Ford Mustang Power WheelsGroup 20 - Ford Mustang Power Wheels - Gate 4
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G20 fordmustang main edited.jpg {{#if:Figure 1: Fully assembled product. Photo courtesy of Zach Wilson. |
Figure 1: Fully assembled product. Photo courtesy of Zach Wilson. }}
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Author [[User:|{{#if:||}}]]
Organization
Name of Artifact Ford Mustang Power Wheels
Manufacturer Fisher Price
Built in {{#if: |{{#if: |, }}|}}{{#if: |{{#if: |, }}|}}{{#if: ||}}
Assembled in {{#if: Monterrey|Monterrey{{#if: Mexico|, }}|}}{{#if: |{{#if: Mexico|, }}|}}{{#if: Mexico|Mexico|}}
Cost $300.00 USD
Number of Parts
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Contents

Introduction

In Gate 4 Group 20 will reassemble the Ford Mustang Power Wheels and document the process. The reassembly may not just be the reverse process of dissection due to certain part attributes or limitations. Once Group 20 completes documenting this reassembly, the Group will analyze the data collected over the project and develop conclusions. These conclusions will be about design choices as well as what possible system level revisions could be made.

Cause for Corrective Action

As stated in Gate 3, the group planned to finish more of the assigned work at an earlier date than the actual due date of Gate 4. With the completion of each gate, the group has become increasingly proficient at accomplishing this task; however there is still room for improvement. Each group member has attempted to complete their assigned workload earlier however, due to the combination of other assignments and responsibilities, this was difficult to accomplish at times. This problem is something that Group 20 experienced with Gate 3 and thus the group was able to learn from past failures and develop a better plan for finishing the individual components of Gate 4 sooner. While not all of the work was completed in advance, a good portion was finished at an earlier time than projected by the original Gantt chart. The Group met earlier to reassemble the Ford Mustang Power Wheels and more importantly, assigned three group members to the reassembly and documentation of the vehicle as opposed to the five used in the dissection. This division of tasks allowed for these other two group members to work on completing other aspects of the report such as the design revisions. This proved extremely useful because by the time the car was fully reassembled, several of the other portions of the gate had already been finished and only needed to be proofread and revised. This relieved some stress involved in finishing the gate before the due date and allowed group members to work more efficiently because they were not under a short time constraint. Ultimately, although everything was not done early with respect to the due date for this Gate, more was done than in previous gates, which reduced the stress of compiling and finishing the tasks.

Challenges

Although Group 20 was successful in its timely completion of Gate 4 and avoided any major group conflicts, the group was faced with some challenges. As previously stated, one of the major challenges the group experienced was the sheer volume of assignments and exams from other courses as well as those associated with MAE 277. This made it more difficult for group members to find time to work on parts of the Gate prior to the due date. In addition to this, the last week of November was a school break and thus group members returned home for the holiday. This meant that Group 20 was unable to meet for a full week. To overcome this issue, the Project Managers allocated tasks for each group member to work on over break. This allowed for the group to return from break and have some parts of the Gate started.

Likewise, the only other challenge Group 20 faced in this portion of the project was ironically a self-imposed problem. Group 20 elected to present the Ford Mustang Power Wheels and proposed design revisions earlier than the originally planned time. Taking this initiative proved to create a challenge for the group because it added the task of creating, revising, and practicing the presentation in addition to completing Gate 4. The first issue this presented was determining which group members would present to the class. Upon review of the group’s capabilities, Group 20 decided to have the Project Managers, Mike Rossi and Zack Wilson give the presentation due to their comfort with presenting and knowledge of the material. Once this decision was made, the group needed to figure out a way to complete the presentation while working on the gate. Since the Group 20 presented on Wednesday December 8, 2010 and the due date for Gate 4 was moved to Friday December 10, 2010 the group, particularly Mike and Zack, elected to focus on completing the presentation before finalizing the gate. This decision was made because much of the gate was already finished and could be managed by the remaining group members. While working on the gate did not present any major challenges other than those already mentioned, one challenge did occur with the development of the presentation. Initially, Zack and Mike disagreed on the necessity of including a cushion on the Steering Wheel. However, upon much discussion, both managers agreed that, given the revision specifications for the improved Steering Wheel (See design revisions below), this design revision would be an effective way to increase the safety and marketability of the Ford Mustang Power Wheels. In addition, by discussing the revision in detail, both presenters became more familiar with the design revision and thus this challenge actually aided the Group once it was overcome.

Product Reassembly

Reassembly Process

After analyzing its Dissection process, Group 20 then developed a plan for reassembly based on challenges and experiences during the dissection. The Group then completely dissected the Ford Mustang Power Wheels. The purpose of this reassembly was to provide the group with a better understanding of how the product was intended to be assembled and therefore can draw better conclusions about the products design. The entire process was documented and recorded and reproduced in both the overview as well as the detailed step by step procedure as shown below. At any time a part can be referenced in both the Parts List in Gate 2 as well as in Table 10 of the Component Summary section within Gate 3.

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Reassembly Overview

The reassembly of Group 20's Ford Mustang Power Wheels went relatively smoothly. The plan to reassemble was to start with the subsystems and then move on to connecting them to the car frame.

Group 20 began the reassembly by attaching the radio cover to its housing, which was then set aside to be further assembled later. Next the group moved on to speed selector assembly. Both switches were inserted into the speed selector housing along with the selector knob. The speed selector cover was then attached to the speed selector housing, which was also set aside to be further assembled later. The pedal assembly was next with the insertion of the pedal support into the pedal support. Then the gas pedal was attached. Group 20 then moved onto the reassembly of the electrical components. Molex connectors were connected to the pedal switch and to both speed selector switches which were assembled earlier. Both gearboxes were next, each of which were assembled the same way. The 1st stage reduction gear was placed into the gearbox housing then the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th all meshed together, and it was completed by attaching the cover to the housing. The electrical assembly was completed when a Johnson motor was attached to each of the gearboxes. This was set aside to be further assembled later. Now our goal was to assemble the steering system. Both halves of the steering wheel were reattached, but then it was realized that other components were needed besides those of the steering system in order to complete the assembly. So the steering wheel was set aside until it was needed later. The dashboard assembly was our next subassembly. Both the right and left mirrors were attached to the dashboard along with the key. Next the windshield was attached to its frame and then that was further assembled to the dashboard. This assembly was now set aside. All of the major subassemblies were now completed.

Group 20 then moved onto assembling individual components to the car frame. The left and right interior door trim pieces were first attached to the car frame. Then the previously joined electrical assembly was attached, first by inserting the pedal support and then the speed selector. The wire cover was then placed over the wires. With the speed selector in place the center console could now be attached. Next both gearboxes were placed into their respective openings in the car frame. The back axle was then inserted through the gearboxes and the car frame, further securing the gearboxes. The lower left and right body panels were assembled to car frame. The group then moved on to attaching the rear tires, each of which was assembled with the same procedure. The sprocket was placed onto the axle then the tire and then the hub cap. Next Shane inserted the slip ring onto the axle. Because the slip rings were damaged from the removal process they slip onto the axle with ease, serving no purpose for the car. In order to solve this issue the group decided to bend the teeth of the slip rings into a better position. This way the rings could be placed onto the axle, securing the tires. Next both the retainer cap and the center cap were attached to axle and hub cap respectively. The group now decided to assemble the steering assembly. First, the steering support bar was slid through the front support then the steering linkage was placed onto the steering support bar. Then the front axle was inserted through the linkage, support bar, and the front support. Slip rings were then placed on the front axle. The same problem was encountered as when attaching the slip rings to the rear axle. This issue was solved the same way. Retainer caps were pressed onto the non-threaded portion of the axle. Then the front bumper support was slid into the front support and was further attached with screws. The steering column was inserted into the front support, rotated and inserted into the steering linkage. The steering column retainer was then attached to the steering column. Now the entire front support assembly could be attached to the car frame. The front bumper was placed onto the car frame. Both the lower and upper grille were then attached to the front bumper. Next both the right and left headlights were assembled and then attached to the front bumper. The exhaust pipes were then attached to the car frame. The rear light panel was attached. The spoiler then got attached to the trunk lid which was then attached to the car frame. The group then inserted the battery holder into the car frame. Now the windshield-dashboard assembly which was joined together earlier was attached to the car frame. With that in place, the steering wheel could be attached. This required some force in order for it to “click” into place. The steering wheel pin was then placed in the center of the steering wheel in order to keep the steering wheel and steering column from rotating freely. With the steering system completely assembled Group 20 could now move onto the assembly of the front tires. Starting out, one washer was placed onto the axle, followed by a bushing, then the tire and the hub cap. Once those were in place a locknut was fastened to the axle to secure the tire. Then the center cap could be attached to the hub cap to hide the nut. This process was repeated for the other side as well. With the wheels in place Group 20 then moved onto the assembly of the seats to the car frame. The pretend radio was then attached to the dashboard. Lastly, the battery was placed into its holder and the windshield was attached to the car frame completeing the reassembly of the vehicle.

Upon the completion of reassembly, Group 20 proceeded to connect the battery and make sure that everything functioned properly. Once that was confirmed Group 20 decided to use the stickers that originally came with the product and place them according to the manual. Thus making the Ford Mustang completed in its entirety.

Reassembly Step by Step Process

Throughout the reassembly process Group 20 compiled an extensive step by step process for the reassembly of the Ford Mustang which consists of the step number, description, tools used, time required for each step, the difficulty levels and any notable comments for any step. Since the Ford Mustang Power Wheels is a relatively simple product, a small amount of tools were required for the complete reassembly of the vehicle. Group 20 utilized the same tools in the reassembly of the Ford Mustang as was used in the disassembly. This list of tools can be seen in the Tools List (Table 7) from Gate 2 shown below. In addition, the detailed step-by-step reassembly procedure (Table 12) can be found below.


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Ease of Reassembly

In order to for an individual to be able to completely, safely, and correctly reassemble the Ford Mustang Power Wheels, Group 20 documented each step of the reassembly process in Table 12. Table 12 details the reassembly procedure, the approximate time and tools needed for each step, and the difficulty of each portion of the reassembly process. Based on the reassembly, the group was able to measure the difficulty of the procedure and determine an appropriate scale to accurately measure each step. The difficulty is broken down into three criteria each rated on a scale of one to three: Connections, Force Required, and Tools Required. It should be noted that upon recommendation, Group 20 decided that it would be best to use three scales to define the ease of reassembly for each step. This is mainly due to the fact that the ease of disassembly scale used in Gate 2 was not adequately defined for the more difficult steps.

In order to define a meaningful scale to measure the difficulty of each step, Group 20 incorporated the following standards into the dissection procedure:
Connection Complexity

  1. The step required a one to three connections*.
  2. The step required four to six multiple connections.
  3. The step required seven or more connections.

*A connection is defined as the interfacing between two or more components.
Force Required

  1. The step required very little force when interfacing the connections.
  2. The step required moderate fore when interfacing the connections.
  3. The step required excessive force when interfacing the connections.

Tools Required

  1. The step required one tool to accomplish.
  2. The step required two tools to accomplish.
  3. The step required three or more tools to accomplish.

It should be noted that steps designated with a difficulty level of a 3 for any criteria are most likely assembly steps that are not meant to be performed by the user. These steps are both exceedingly difficult to perform and may cause some damage to the product. Since these dissection steps are not meant to be performed, if one chooses to attempt these steps, all safety precautions and procedures outlined in Group 20’s Work Proposal should be implemented.

Challenges

Figure 62: Deformation of Slip Ring

While the reassembly process went well for the Group and was completed much faster than disassembly there were still some challenges encountered. The challenges the group faced were the slip rings, washers, and the bushings.

Slip Rings

As in the disassembly, the slip rings proved to be as much of a challenge to put back on as they were to remove. These pieces of hardware had become partially deformed from during disassembly due to excessive force using pliers and is shown in Figure 62. When the group attempted to reattach the slip rings they slid on and off too easily to preform their function of retaining the wheels. After examining the teeth of the slip ring, the group decided to try and use pliers to bend the teeth back to the original position in order to engage the shaft when pressed on. This tactic worked well in keeping the slip rings from coming back off however it was difficult to press them on. In order to press the rings back on the group needed to use the pliers, a large amount of force, and a fair amount of time.

Washers and Bushings

Another challenge faced by the group was keeping track of all the hardware involved. There was one instance when the group lost track of the washers and bushings used in the steering assembly. When the group went to attach the front tires to the steering assembly it was noticed that there were washers and bushings missing. One member recalled that there had been washers and bushings used earlier in the reassembly on the rear axle. After looking back to the disassembly procedure the group realized that there needed to be a washer and bushing on the front axles prior to sliding on the tire. Once this was established the group decided to remove one slip ring from the rear axle to slide the it out and reclaim the washers and bushings. The removal of the slip ring was again very difficult and the process mentioned above needed to performed once again to reattach the rear axle. Once the washers and bushings were obtained the the assembly of the front tires could be completed easily.

Original Assembly

When Fisher-Price assembles the Ford Mustang Power Wheels in Mexico there are various features that provide evidence on the assembly processes used. By using this evidence, Group 20 has developed a probable assembly process for the Ford Mustang Power Wheels.

Due to the modular nature of the product's components there is a high likelihood that the product was assembled on an assembly line. After assembling ourselves, it seems to make sense that subsystems were assembled separately and then brought together for final assembly. An example of how an assembly line works is show in Figure 63. In terms of fasteners, there are some systems that are connected with phillips head screws which indicates that human workers are used for some assembly. It is much more difficult to automate assembly with phillips head screws as opposed to torx or hex head screws due to limitations on manipulation of the phillips head tool. This means that there will be workers along the line performing a single step of the assembly repeatedly as the product moves forward from worker to worker. The steering portion of the vehicle is quite the opposite consisting of many pressed connections as well as inserted components. This leads the Group to believe that some automation was utilized in the production of this product. This system could have been assembled by automated machines that press linearly or slide components linearly to interface them. Once some of the subsystems are assembled they are attached to the car frame while the remaining parts are placed in the box, to be put together by the consumer later. The remaining assembly includes the front wheels, steering wheel front bumper, windshield assembly, seats and trunk area. This is completed by the user and is detailed in the instructions. Once this assembly is complete the product is ready to be used by the consumer.


Figure 63: Example of an Assembly Line [1]

Assembly and Disassembly Differences

For the most part, the reassembly of the Ford Mustang Power Wheels was similar to the disassembly of the vehicle, using the same tools, the same parts, and a similar level of difficulty with the corresponding parts, however, when reassembling the Ford Mustang the group noticed that there were some differences between the disassembly and assembly procedures. Most notably the reassembly was much quicker than dissection. This is due to a combination of factors. Not only was it easier but also the method was much more organized. After fully understanding how the components went together after dissection, the group developed a much better strategy to reassemble the product. Rather than assembling each subsystem and promptly attaching it to the car frame, the group decided to set each subsystem aside after it was completed. The number of members involved was different as well, rather than five members used, the group only had three members working on the reassembly. This streamlined the process providing defined roles and responsibilities for each member involved. Rather than documenting each part the group decided to only take pictures of the individual steps.

Although the reassembly of the Ford Mustang was quicker and more organized than the dissection, ultimately, both processes were very similar to each other, which allowed the group to head off the major issues that were experienced during the disection in Gate 2.

Design Revisions

Similarly to component revisions Group 20 has also developed revisions on a system level after further analyzing the Ford Mustang Power Wheels. In order to increase utility, performance, safety, and longevity for the product, features must be added, changed, or combined with economic, societal, global, and environmental concerns in mind. The three design revisions Group 20 proposes are the addition of waterproof electrical connections, removal of the pretend radio system, and improved traction for the wheel system. These design revisions are outlined below.

Waterproof Electrical Connections

Figure 64: Electrical Connections

There are multiple methods to waterproof the electrical connections of the Ford Mustang, however, as decided by group 20, the best method would be to use heat shrink tubing on the wire terminals (see figure 64) and heat shrink them after the connections are made. This was the chosen method as it would provide a cheap method to water proof the connections, add only a small cost (around $45 for 100 ft of tubing) and because the heat shrinking adds very little volume to the wires or the connectors, neither the electrical system itself, nor any connecting systems will have to be altered to include this design change. The molex connectors would be removed and the tubing would be placed directly over the connections between the different electrical components and then heated to shrink wrap the tubing and make the connections water tight. By waterproofing the connections within the electrical system, societal concerns would be addressed for this product. The Ford Mustang Power Wheels will, by nature of the product, be used outdoors by the user. By being used outside there runs the risk of the product being left out overnight, possibly continually, or used in various weather conditions. Because the contacts of the electrical system are exposed to the open air, water can easily reach the contacts which could cause the connections to become corroded. Over time this corrosion may increase and possibly impact the safety and overall usability of the product. When corrosion is developed between contacts in an electrical system, the connections are compromised because this thin coat of corrosion is nonconductive. This extra material breaks the connection between the contacts very slightly. If the connector is moved, the connection may become active again but is very unstable. This instability could become a safety hazard for the user. When operating the car, the gas pedal could become dysfunctional and move the car erratically posing possible injury. While also being a safety concern, the usability of the product could be compromised as well. If the corrosion was bad enough on any electrical connection, the product could cease to function. Without the entire electrical system in operation the whole product will be unusable and could be viewed as a inferior product by consumers hurting sales as well as the Fisher-Price brand. By taking these societal concerns into consideration, Group 20 believes that waterproofing the connections of the electrical system would be a beneficial design revision.

Optional Pretend Radio

Figure 65: Radio location
Figure 66:Electronic internals of pretend radio
Figure 67: The three different options of radios under the proposed design revision [2]

In order to address some economic concerns for the Ford Mustang Power Wheels, the pretend radio on the vehicle would become an option based on three different models.

The first option would be to completely remove the radio system. Group 20 believes that the removal of the pretend radio system, or the electrical portions of this particular system (leaving only the shell of the radio for appearance), would not have a large impact on the user experience. While the user operates the car, it is unlikely that they would utilize the pretend radio functions very often. For the most part this is due to the fact it is on the opposite side of the car from the user, putting it out of reach and also is not imperative to the main function of the car, to move the user from Point A to Point B. The removal of the printed radio would not impact the design of the product itself much. As seen in Figure 65 the removal would only impact the dashboard which could be a modification to the mold as opposed to reworking various parts of the vehicle. The mold could be changed to contain the shell of the radio, so instead of empty space, there still is a plastic radio for asthetic reasons. Once the pretend radio system is removed, each part associated with this system would be removed as well cutting costs on materials. Other than plastic components this system also contains various electrical components as shown in Figure 66. By removing all of these extraneous components production costs could be cut for Fisher-Price and therefore addresses an economic concern, making the Ford Mustang a cheaper option.

The second option would be to keep the radio system as it currently is. While the first option focuses mostly on the economic aspect of the Ford Mustang, this second option is the in between of economic and societal factors of the car. This obviously would cause no changes to the design or effect the cost in any way, because this is how the vehicle is currently made and sold. The radio for this option has two pre-recorded tunes and a horn noise that increases the realism of the car, however also adds more electronics, needs batteries, and therefore increases the cost of production, and cost of purchase/upkeep for the user. This would be a good choice for a person who wants to have some functionality to the radio, and more realism, however, does not want to spend the maximum amount of money for the vehicle.

The third and last option would be to upgrade the radio system to a full functioning radio, able to receive FM signals. This option is focused more on the societal factors of the Ford Mustang, as it will make the car itself increase in price, making it the least economic of the three options. The radio dimensions would be the same as the above options, which allows the same chassis to be used for all three radios. The radio would be battery powered, and have a self-contained antenna so no wire would have to run under or into the car frame. This would increase the cost of materials, as more internal components are needed, however, as the pretend radio would have a similar assembly, the upgraded radio would only have a slight increase in manufacturing costs. Because of these increases in costs, and the high functionality of the radio, this option would be the most expensive of the cars. This would be an option for someone who wants to have the the most realism in the Power Wheels Ford Mustang, and doesn't mind spending extra money in order to receive it.

By giving different radio options to the consumer, Fisher-Price would give the user the choice between a more economic vehicle with less realism, or a more functional car, but more expensive. As shown in Figure 67, all three choices will change the actual layout of the vehicle very little, but give the car a larger target market, for those looking for realism, and others looking for a good buy.

Padded Steering Wheel

While the Ford Mustang Power Wheels is a toy whose main purpose is to provide the user with entertainment, the fact that this product is marketed and used by young children means that safety is a very important factor. With this in mind, Group 20 proposes to alter the design of the Steering Wheel System, namely the Steering Wheel and Steering Wheel Cap in order to increase the safety of the system and ultimately, the product as a whole.

In accordance with this idea, Group 20 decided to go about this in a two-pronged manner. First the group would add a thin layer of rubber to the steering wheel. Applying a thin layer of rubber coating to the steering wheel increases the resemblance to the steering wheel of an actual Ford Mustang while giving the driver a better grip and thus more control of the wheel. This also allows the steering wheel to still be made mostly out of plastic which is useful because in order to make the wheel, Fisher Price can use bulk purchased ABS plastic as they do for several other Power Wheels parts. In addition, having a rubber coated steering wheel would lessen the blow to a child’s head or chest in the event of an accidental crash.

Although adding a thin layer of rubber to the steering wheel would definitely increase the Power Wheels’ safety, the main focus of this design revision would be the implementation of a polyurethane foam cushion (Figure 68) on the steering wheel cap. Attaching a removable cushion to the steering wheel cap would greatly increase the safety rating of the vehicle because, in the event of a crash, the user would not hit their head on a hard plastic surface but rather a softer cushion. This is extremely marketable to parents who will see this added safety feature as a way to ensure that their child can have fun with the Ford Mustang yet still be safe. Group 20 felt this design revision would be useful due to the inexperience of the young children operating the vehicle. In order to ensure that the majority of the steering wheel system is cushioned, the group suggests covering more of the area than simply that of the steering wheel cap. Due to the expected impact area in the event of a crash, each cushion will be shaped as a foam disk approximately 5 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. This provides for the optimal amount of cushion because it provides enough area of impact resistance, yet minimizes cost and retains functionality of the steering wheel (the user still has enough room to hold and turn the steering wheel). The price of such a cushion is approximately $0.86 per cushion (5 for $4.32) and would most likely be even cheaper in bulk. In addition, polyurethane foam is weather, impact, and tear resistant which are ideal properties for this specific use [3].

Figure 68: The polyurethane foam cushion and its proposed location on the Steering Wheel

Ideally, one would “upholster” the steering wheel cap with the polyurethane foam material; however, in order to do so, the design of the steering wheel cap (and potentially the steering wheel system in its entirety) would need to be altered to accommodate this revision. Since this would result in a series of changes to the Power Wheels Steering system and vehicle as a whole, Group 20 does not believe that it would not be a good idea to do so. Alternatively, one could add an adhesive to the steering wheel cap and have the user attach the cushion to the cap upon assembly. Instead Group 20 proposes to attach Velcro to the steering wheel cap and the foam cushion as a means to hold the two together. This would securely attach the cushion to the steering wheel without altering the current design of the system. However, using Velcro would allow for removal of the cushion if the user decided they did not wish to use it (however this would be against recommendation). Ultimately, it would be up to the parents to supervise their children and ensure that the cushion is adequately secured in order to increase safety in the event of a crash.

Economically, this revision would increase the cost of production minimally yet, with this added safety device, the appeal to worrisome parents increases drastically. The market price of the Ford Mustang could increase slightly per unit due to this revision; however, even if price stayed constant, sales would most likely increase due to the fact that Power Wheels would include the only “safety cushion” on their ride-on toys. From a societal standpoint, consumers would see that Fisher Price has the safest ride-on vehicle for their child, while still offering a realistic model of the Ford Mustang at a comparable price. In fact, unlike many other plastics, polyurethane foam has no adverse effects to an individual if it is ingested [4]. This is important because many toddlers like to put foreign objects in their mouth. Also, Fisher Price could use this “air bag” cushion as a means to make the car more like an actual Ford Mustang. By supplying a sticker of the Ford logo (or even a Fisher Price logo) in the original kit, the user could place the sticker on the cushion thus making it look more like an actual Ford Steering wheel and thus improving realism.

Finally, potential lawsuits from Power Wheels crashes would decrease due to the increase in the vehicle’s safety. Not only does this revision decrease the likelihood that a child would be injured in the event of a crash, but it also decreases that potential for lawsuits filed by parents of these children. Also, since the cushion is removable, Fisher Price could include a statement in the owner’s manual stating that “removal of the cushion from the Ford Mustang constitutes as a voiding of Fisher Price’s liability in the event of an accident with this product.”

Ultimately, adding a cushion and a rubber coating to the Steering System makes the user and consumer feel better and safer about purchasing the toy while not increasing the cost of production by much or altering the vehicle drastically. This provides Fisher Price with a better and more marketable product and the consumer with a safer ride-on vehicle.

Improved Wheel Traction

Figure 69: Wheel Revision

To improve the wheel traction, the wheel system would have rubber added to the material of the system. The plastic part of the wheel would remain the same; however, there would no longer be any treading, but a smooth surface along the perimeter of the wheel, as seen in Figure 69. The rubber material would be made into a ring, an inch thick and with an inner diameter of 4.5 inches with treading along the perimeter of the outer surface and a groove cut into the inner surface. The plastic part of the wheel would have its outer diameter decreased by one inch bringing the total O.D. to 4.5 inches. This will allow the inner diameter of the rubber ring to fit over the outer diameter of the plastic tire, and due to the diameters being the same and the groove cut into the rubber, the rubber will not be able to be removed from the plastic part of the wheel. This would improve the performance of the vehicle by allowing it to be driven on harsher terrains, and because the rubber will have a higher coefficient of friction than the bare plastic, the wheels will have less slippage, which means that over the same distance, the rubber tires will use less energy than the plastic. Because the plastic diameter is decreased, with the addition of the rubber, the total diameter does not change from this design improvement and the original design, allowing the same set up to be used in connecting the tires to the other systems. This affects the societal concerns, giving a better experience to the user, given them more terrains to drive over, which would improve the capabilities of what the Ford Mustang could now handle. Also, the rubber around the tires will provide a more realistic feel, giving the Ford Mustang greater appeal to a user who wants as close a resemblance to the actual Mustang as possible. The addition of the rubber would increase the overall cost of the vehicle, however, because injection molding would be able to still be used on the plastic part of the wheel, the economy of the car would not change large enough to be of concern.

Ultimately, with the incorporation of these revisions, Group 20 believes that the Ford Mustang Power Wheels will be a more successful and more marketable product for Fisher Price.

References

[1] Ziddu.com . Industrial Automation Assembly Line, Retrieved December 7, 2010, http://www.ziddu.com/download/5669915/Industrial_Automation_Assembly_Line.gif.html

[2] Overstock.com . Sirius InV2 Satellite Radio , Retrieved December 6, 2010, http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Sirius-InV2-Satellite-Radio-Refurbished/5565967/product.html

[3] McMaster.com . Rubber and Foam, Retrieved December 5, 2010, http://www.mcmaster.com/#foam/=a2wnnw

[4] Demilecusa.com . Polyurethane Foam MSDS, Retrieved December 7, 2010, http://www.demilecusa.com/Repository/File/MSDS%20Heatlok%20Soy%20_Foam_.pdf

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