Group 21-Gate 1

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Figure 1


I. Introduction

The purpose of Gate 1 is to establish our strategy for the course project. Our group is tasked with reverse engineering the Michley Lil' Sew & Sew LSS-202 Mini Sewing Machine. This gate allows us to reflect on our group’s varying abilities and utilize them to successfully analyze the product. The first phase of Gate 1 (Sec. 2- Project Management: Request for Proposal) involves two subsections describing how the group plans to disassemble and reassemble the product as well as how the work load will be organized within the group. The second phase of this gate (Sec. 3- Product Archaeology: Preparation and Initial Assessment) details our first impressions of the product and provides research material on its historical background, technical complexities, and market alternatives.

II. Project Management: Request for Proposal

This section provides an overview of how we plan to manage the project throughout the semester. The Work Proposal subsection lists the tools necessary for its disassembly and reassembly. The group self-evaluates their current capabilities in alignment with the challenges they perceive throughout the project. This allows us to better understand how to develop skills necessary to overcome those challenges. The Management Proposal subsection states the roles and responsibilities of each member. We framed a timeline for the project and a briefing of conflict resolutions and group accountability.

Work Proposal

Product Disassembly


  • Phillips and flat head screwdrivers
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle Threader
  • Measuring Tape
  • Laptops
  • Cameras

Our group will dissect the machine in an organized and efficient manner. The machine does not look overly complicated in its assembly, but we aim to uncover its mechanisms sensitively. The maximum dimensions are 7.7 x 4.5 x 8.3 inches and weighs about two pounds. We believe that it would take approximately between one to 2 hours to anatomize the product into its essential components. We identified 8 screws in total from our initial observations but expect to discover more once the product is pried open. The screwdrivers will be used to remove the screws. Knife and scissors will help in cutting threads. Tweezers are used to carefully pick apart complicated sections of the machine. Measuring tape is used to quantify the dimensions of its components. Group members record the analysis and procedures using laptops and cameras.

Current Capabilities

  • Zhan Wang has experience with applying few types of welding guns, such as carbon-dioxide arc welding, manual metal-arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and simple operations of basic lathe.
  • Juncelucan Lagda has a passion for problem solving. Proficient in Excel. Competent writing skills
  • Hongyu Hu has disassembled a complex model car before. Strong interest in tinkering with complicated machinery and equipment.
  • Zhuangcheng Zheng has experience of repealing housing iron and hair drier. Some experience with electrical work.
  • Yuxi Lin is experienced in the repair of home applicants and many kinds of bikes.

Challenges Ahead

It is said that to be a car mechanic, it would help to have a driver's license. To relate this statement with our project, we discovered that none of our members have ever used a sewing machine before. Historically, there have been many who consider sewing as a skill. Although the product is developed to be a simpler, more portable version of the $100+ type, we would not only need to understand the technological basis encompassing all sewing machines but also begin learning how to sow.

Upon our first observations, we realized that the machine is made mostly of delicate plastic. It is not developed to be a versatile sewing machine so it is important to approach dissection with care and patience.

Another challenge for our group is time management. Three members have classes after 5 PM and most of us work in the university. The challenge is also evident in the fact that we acquired our product just a few days before this assignment is due. In general, all members have poor time management skills. It is truly unacceptable for this scenario to happen, and we have placed strict reformations in our priorities to prevent this from happening again.

As a group comprised of mostly international students, it often becomes difficult for us to collectively present our deliverables in a more formal language. Communication within the group is not the problem, but having to format individual assignments of varying clarity together is proving to be troublesome. We have problems not entirely in translation but in simplicity and professional vernacular. Juncelucan Lagda is the only member who speaks English firsthand but does not know how to speak Chinese.

Overall, we are inexperienced in configuring Wiki pages. None of us have contributed to or edited material on Wikipedia. The programming medium, however, is familiar to everyone.

Capabilities to develop

  • Time management
  • Formal communication and presentation
  • Skills in Wiki
  • Public speaking
  • Group organization

The following subsection details our management strategy defining member roles, meeting schedules and conflict resolution agreements.

Management Proposal

Our group consists of five sophomore students. We developed a five man rotation on who gets to keep the product overnight until the next meeting. Roles and responsibilities of members are presented below.

Member Roles and Responsibilities

Title Member Names Email Role Description
Research Analyst Yuxi Lin (Lin) For this position, Lin will be responsible for accumulating and verifying information about the product. Along with online research and other outside sources, he will provide empirical observations of the product during dissection and track the progress of our analysis.
Technician Zhuangcheng Zheng (Ric) This role will mostly be handling the product during meetings and makes sure that the all group members are safe in the laboratory. Ric will be leading the physical disassembly and reassembly of the product as well making sure that tools are used and stored properly.
Engineer Zhan Whang (Zhan) The engineers analyze laboratory results during the dissection of the product. Zhan and Hu will provide their notes and observations in accessible format for the Wiki page. Technical drawings, graphs, and diagrams are used by engineers to further compliment their information.
Hongyu Hu (Hu)
Project Manager Juncelucan Lagda (Jun) The project manager is responsible for leading the group throughout the semester. Jun will ensure that the deliverables are submitted timely, properly, and collaboratively. He is the last person to revise the Wiki page. This position is also responsible for setting up meeting dates and contacting TA's and professors of concerns.

Meeting Plans

All members are continually in communication with one another through email, text messaging, and social media. The project manager finalizes meeting dates according to the availability of every member each week. These meetings are mainly focused on understanding which sections of the gate each member will be responsible for. Outside the meetings, the majority of the material will be done by each person’s own time.

The project manager will send out notification texts every other day at 5 PM reminding members of their assignments. Any concerns or questions about the assignment will first be brought to the attention of the project manager. If proven unresolved by the entire group, the project manager will forward the concerns to superiors.

After gathering everyone's academic schedules and discussing each member's availability outside of work, we decided to have meetings at least twice a week.

Day and Time Location Meeting Requirements
Tuesdays, 5 – 7 PM 621 Furnas or Capen Library Atleast three members present. Laboratory procedures primarily performed at this time. Members share product analysis with the group.
Saturdays, 2 - 4 PM Capen Library All members present. Day to finalize gate material on Wiki. Identify tasks and responsibilities for the following gate.

Here is the projected schedule for the upcoming weeks:

Week of Oct. 6th
Sunday- Finalize Gate 1 deliverables.
Monday- Gate 1 Due
Tuesday- Review Gate 2 requirements with TA. Members assigned with specific tasks.
Week of Oct. 13th
Tuesday- Technician leads the dissection of product. Group records laboratory results. Evaluate team effectiveness.
Saturday- Further elaborate on the arrangement of subsystems. Refine team organization to improve effectiveness.
Week of Oct. 20th
Tuesday- Finalize Gate 2 Deliverables.
Wednesday Oct 23- Gate 2 Due
Saturday- Review Gate 3 requirements. Members assigned with specific tasks.
Week of Oct. 27th
Tuesday- Analyze laboratory results (I). Technican continue Component Summary Document. Engineers continue Component Form document.
Saturday- Analyze laboratory results (II). Research Analyst and Project Manager continue Manufacturing Methods Document.
Week of Nov. 3rd
Tuesday- Gain TA perspective on Gate 3.
Saturday- Verify documents. Format material on Wiki page.
Week of Nov. 10th
Tuesday- Finalize Gate 3 deliverables
Friday Nov 15- Gate 3 due
Saturday- Review Gate 4 requirements. Members assigned with specific tasks.
Week of Nov. 17th
Tuesday- Technician leads the reassembly of product. Group records laboratory procedures and outline challenges met.
Saturday- Verify mechanisms and design revisions. Format material on Wiki page.
Week of Nov. 24th
Tuesday- Gain TA perspective on Gate 4.
Saturday- Finalize Gate 4 deliverables.
Week of Dec. 1st
Monday Dec 2- Gate 4 due
Tuesday- Gain TA perspective on overall project. Finalize Wiki page. Complete assessment form.
Saturday- Develop oral presentation. Practice for 3 days straight
Week of De. 8th
Tuesday- Finalize presentation and technical report.
Friday Dec 13- Gate 5 due

Conflict Resolutions

Each member of the group are responsible for delivering their

Juncelucan Lagda, Hongyu Hu, Zhan Wang, Zhuangcheng Zheng, Yuxi Lin