Group 3 - Kawasaki Compressor - Gate 1

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Figure 1: Kawasaki Compressor


Project Management

Management Proposal

Group 1 consists of the following members:

Bob Neuman (Project Leader, Disassembly Aide, Co-Wiki Designer, Photographer):

Bob is an engineering student at University at Buffalo expected to graduate in 2013. He recently transferred from Sacramento State college in Sacramento, CA to his hometown of Buffalo to attend UB. Bob has been doing his own work in the automotive area as a hobby for several years, and currently owns a nitrous enhanced 4-cylinder vehicle. He has access to a number of useful tools ranging from sockets, screwdrivers and torque wrenches to power drills and compression testers. After graduating, Bob plans to work his way into the automotive field designing aftermarket parts; specifically suspension and engine strengthening components.

Bob's project responsibilities are:
• Provide tools for product disassembly/reassembly
• Assist the Disassembly/Reassembly Lead
• Produce an organized and complete Wiki page
• Manage members, time schedules, and meetings
• Photograph all system components

William Sassenhausen (Co-3D Modeler, Co-Wiki Designer, Disassembly/Reassembly Aide):

This is William’s second year at the University at Buffalo as a mechanical engineering student, and he is expected to graduate in 2013. William grew up in Webster, NY where he became interested in several hobbies including swimming, water polo, and playing guitar. He has worked as a lifeguard for several years and just this past summer started an apprenticeship in the masonry trade which has furthered his interest in engineering because of the skills and knowledge he gained. Upon graduating, William hopes to someday be able to utilize his engineering skills in building roller coasters.

William's project responsibilities are:
• Asssist the Disassembly/Reassembly Lead
• Provide 3D Models of Significant Components
• Produce an organized and complete Wiki page

Tyler Morris (Disassembly/Reassembly Documenter, Co-Wiki Designer):

Tyler is in his sophomore year of engineering at University at Buffalo. His current major is mechanical engineering and he expects to graduate in 2013. Tyler is from Phoenix, NY, where he played paint-ball at local tournaments and worked for P&C foods for two years. Tyler hopes to graduate from UB and enter the automotive engineering field.

Tyler's project responsibilities are:
• Document and evaluate dissection process
• Inventory product components
• Produce an organized and complete Wiki page

Brian Webb (Disassembly/Reassembly Documenter, Class Presenter, Co-3D Modeler):

Brian recently transferred to University at Buffalo after completing the first two years of his mechanical engineering degree at Erie Community College and plans to graduate in the Spring 2012. He enjoys playing sports, specifically basketball, and has been a contestant in the Gus Macker for many years. Aside from having a great attitude which is contagious amongst the group, Brian has previous experience in AutoDesk Inventor and is an excellent public speaker. After he graduates, Brian aspires to be a creative inventor and hopes to make a significant amount of money.

Brian's project responsibilities are:
• Document and evaluate dissection process
• Inventory product components
• Provide 3D-models of significant components
• Present final assessment to the class

Joe Bruzgul (Class Presenter, Disassembly/Reassembly Lead)

Joe Bruzgul is in his third year as a mechanical engineering student. He transfered here from Kettering University (aka GMI) this year, his expected graduation is 2013. His hobbies are mountain biking, jet skiing, modifying jet skis, working on cars, and snowboarding. With his four years working as a mechanic at a local garage, he can bring lots of assembly/disassembly skills along with a fair amount of knowledge about compressors and the tools they power. Upon graduation he hopes to continue his job at Robert Bosch Rexroth, working on Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicles. He further hopes to help his current company by providing knowledge and consultations to people about how to make their home a more environmentally friendly place.

Joe's project responsibilities are:
• Lead in Disassembly/Reassembly Process
• Present final assessment to the class
• Inventory product components

Project Management

Our group, although all harnessing complex and time intensive schedules, plan to meet as often as possible to keep a steady forward progress on our project. Fortunately, most members of the group have several classes with each other, which will provide an easy way to discuss and remind group members of upcoming plans. In addition, we all have exchanged phone numbers and emails in order to instantly share information in the event of a short notice change in our schedule.

We plan to meet at school a majority of the time while working on this project. We plan to meet every Monday and Friday after class to discuss upcoming gates, meetings, and dissection days. Four out of five members have class on campus every weekday, and two out of five live on campus. As far as disassembly and reassembly goes, we plan to do almost all of our work in the dissection lab. We will bring our own tools for dissection and plastic baggies to ensure our smaller parts are kept separate. All smaller components will be labeled via sharpie marker on the baggies they are stored in. Updating the wiki will likely be done at school and at home, depending on the current schedule of the wiki designers.

For any further information not provided in the wiki, or any questions needing answered about our project, please contact the project leader, Bob Neuman:

• Email:

Chart 1: Time Management Chart

Figure 2: Gantt Chart

Work Proposal

Group Analysis

Group 3 is slowly becoming a productive and close group of friends. Although we have strengths and weaknesses in different areas, we feel that by combining and distributing our strengths amongst the various tasks of the project we will be able to successfully accomplish all that is needed. In an initial effort to determine the positions and tasks required of each individual, we have listed each members best strengths and worst weaknesses in Table 1 below. We were happy to discover that, as a group, we will have all the skills required:

• Previous Experience with Product
• Strong Writing Skills
• 3D Modeling Experience
• Strong Experience Working with Tools
• Good Public Speaking Skills
• Experience working with Webpage Design

Even though many strengths are listed, one our group's biggest downfalls is going to be revolved around time management. We are each currently taking at least 17 units and seem to be very pressed for time even within the first few weeks of school. It is not unjust to assume that personal schedules and class requirements are going to become more involved as the semester goes on. In an attempt to counteract this, we are going to do our best as a team to follow the time management proposal we have listed above. Creating a consistently scheduled meeting arrangement will be our best bet towards proper organization and preparation throughout the semester.

Member Strengths Weaknesses
Bob Neuman •Access/Experience with All Required Tools
•Good Writer
•Experience in Organized Web-page Design
•Takes a Leadership Role
•Not Comfortable with Public Speaking
•Problems with Time Management
Will Sassenhausen •Prior Experience in 3D Modeling
•Quick Learner
•Experience with Tools
•Not Comfortable with Public Speaking
Tyler Morris •Organization
•Team Player
•Good Writing Skills
•No Prior Tool Experience
•Poor Public Speaker
Brian Webb •Experience in Autodesk Inventor
•Good Public Speaker
•Contagious Positive Attitude
•No Prior Web Development Experience
Joe Bruzgul •Experience with Tools
•Good public Speaker
•Prior Product Knowledge
•No Prior Web Development Experience
•Poor Communication
Table 1: Strengths and Weaknesses

Disassembly/Reassembly Plan

In order to disassemble and then reassemble our air compressor, we are making a plan of action as to how the process will go. Most work on the compressor will be done in the dissection laboratory which will have most of the tools we need and we will bring in more tools as needed. As we take apart our compressor, we will use small plastic baggies and a sharpie to label and keep track of each part we remove. We will also be documenting how all of the parts fit into each other so that when we reassemble the compressor, it is easier to find which parts fit with each other. We must disassemble the air compressor systematically and with care as to make sure that no parts are damaged or lost in the process. We will start by disassembling the compressor into smaller sub-systems which we can then take down further into the smaller components. Removing the compressor/motor assembly from the tank will likely be out first step, then breaking the motor down into its smaller components such as the piston, rod, crank, fan and coils. There will need to be several different types of tools necessary for this process. Table 2 shows which tools will be needed for the assembly and disassembly, as well as the specific purpose each tool holds.

Tool Function
12mm Socket Wrench Removing and Reattaching Bolts for Cylinder Housing
17mm Socket Wrench Removing and Reattaching Various Bolts Around the Motor
Flathead Screwdriver Removing and Reattaching the Power Housing
Phillips Head Screwdriver Removing and Reattaching Various Screws for Electrical Components and Plastic Motor Cover
Various Allen Wrenches Removing and Reattaching Several Components on the Motor, Electrical Coil, Fan and Certain Fittings
Needlenose Pliers For use in Hard to Reach Areas and Removing and Reattaching Fan Components
Adjustable Wrench Removing and Reattaching Several Fittings around the Motor and Air Tank
Scissors Removing Various Zipties
Table 2: Tools and Functions

Problems which might arise: Due to the fact that we have currently not opened the motor housing, it is beyond our complete knowledge as for what tools and actions will be required to disassemble the motor. We plan on using the available resources in the campus machine shop for any process which is beyond the abilities of our self-provided tools. We will be sure to document any usage of machine shop tools throughout the semester.

Pre-Dissection Analysis

Development Profile

We are assuming that this air compressor has been developed fairly recently considering that there seems to be a very limited availability of the product. When searching for this product online, there are few results given except for some Canadian websites which are selling the product for a reduced price from the retail. This lets us assume that this specific air compressor may not be readily available to the general public yet. Kawasaki has been making air compressors for several years though, coming out with several models spanning from 5-gallon twin tanks to an air cage compressor. This newer model is of a different design though, implementing the horizontal tank, which then shows that Kawasaki has continued to change their designs and continues to release new products.

The recent recession spanning over the last couple of years has deterred people from buying products like air compressors because it is not necessarily a product that people truly need. Kawasaki may have then tried to cut down on development spending in order to make this product more available to consumers. It is a cheaper product than some of its predecessors like the twin tank compressor which has a list price of $279.99 compared to the price of this model which has a list price of $198.00 [1][2]. It is important to try and make a product that can perform its main function well, while also being affordable for the consumer. Kawasaki most likely addressed the issue of global warming as well because of the fact that this product uses electrical power instead of gas. In order to lower emissions of harmful gasses into the air, implementing electrical power for this compressor is essentially better for the environment than gas powered compressors.

We can assume that this product is meant to be sold in Japan because Kawasaki is located in a Japanese country, as well as other countries like the United States, Canada, and several countries in Europe. Because of the nature of this product, we can infer that the types of people who will be using this product are “do-it-yourself” people who like to do jobs around the home. The product is meant to provide the consumer with a portable, easy to use air compressor. It is used for small jobs around the house that would be made easier through the use of an air compressor, implementing tools such as nail guns, drills, or impact wrenches [3]. It is not necessarily meant to replace any tool, but more likely to improve and make the task easier and faster to do with the capabilities of the air compressor and the specialized tools used with it.

Usage Profile

The Kawasaki Air Compressor is intended for use with air powered tools. Some common examples of such tools would could be a nail gun, staple gun, drill or impact wrench. A user could also use the supplied sprayer to release high pressured air in an effort to blow off dust, debris, or remnants of sanding. Using an air compressor along with air powered tools allows for the elimination of human force for the tools is being used. For example, instead of a user supplying the force needed to turn a wrench to tighten a bolt while working on a car, the air compressor uses pressure from the tank and transfers it to the connected impact wrench, thus powering the wrench and tightening the bolt much faster and easier than one could do on their own.

This product is mainly designed for home use, but could also be found in the professional atmosphere for small projects. The limited tank size, power output, and cost is what makes this air compressor perfect for use at home. The tank size is big enough to take care of projects such as nailing shingles to a roof or quickly drilling out holes needed in home supports, but also small and light enough to be portable manually. Portability is also one of the main factors that an air compressor such as this could be spotted in certain workplace environments. On a construction site, it would be difficult to haul numerous 30 gallon compressors around the base of a building and up several floors, but with a smaller, yet still powerful compressor, the task can be done quickly and efficiently.

Energy Profile

The Kawasaki Air Compressor has a few different types of energies associated with its use. Initially, we must focus on the electric motor. The electric motor takes electrical energy and converts it to mechanical energy. It does this by using electricity from an outlet in order to mechanically move the internal piston up and down. A small amount of energy will be lost during the process in the form of heat. This mechanical movement then outputs internal energy in the form of pressurized air. The internal energy is stored in the provided tank until it is released by the user while using an air powered tool. Upon release of this air, internal energy is converted to kinetic energy and work is done by the tool being used.

Complexity Profile

It is hard to determine the exact number of components because many of the components are covered or contained inside the separate casings and these components are therefore not currently visible. Just giving the compressor a quick analysis though, it is possible to estimate the amount of components to be approximately 70-80, when accounting for smaller components like screws and bolts, to bigger components like valves, coils, tubes, pistons, covers, and gauges. Most of these individual components are not very complex themselves. These mostly work to create a more complicated system, connecting the engine and piston which helps to compress the air, to the sub-system which then helps to release that air. While we still cannot determine the true complexity of these sub-systems, we can look at some systems which we can infer are fairly complex, for example the piston and motor sub-system or the sub-system connecting the compressed air from the tank, through the gauges, and out of the tubes. These sub-systems require for the components to be tight and fit so that there are not leaks, ruptures, or other problems which lead to a decreased functioning in the air compressor. So while each individual component is not necessarily very complex, the interactions they have with other components create fairly complex sub-systems which require to work well in order for the compressor to function the way it was designed to.

Material Profile

Many components of the Kawasaki air compressor are visible without the need to disassemble the product. The pressure tank is made from steel. while the cylinders are cast from aluminum and have a cast iron component for added strength. The piston is not visible and its material is unknown to us at this time. This is the same case with the piston linkages and other internal components of the cylinder. the pressure lines are copper with brass fittings. some of the lines appear to have a basic heat sink built around them, they are made of aluminum. the pressure line that connects to the air tools has an ID of .25" and is made of a plastic. Some additional materials that are present but not visible may include copper wiring, contained within the electrical motor and inside the power switch.

User Interaction Profile

The eight gallon three horsepower Kawasaki air compressor is not meant to be used alone, but with other products. The user may use the air compressor with tools such as nail guns, impact guns, valve stem attachment, air grinder or drills. The interfaces in which the user interacts with are fairly intuitive. The only main components in which the user must interact with are the bleed down valve, the pressure gauge and a power switch.

To operate the product, there are a few simple steps. First the user plugs in the air compressor. Then the operator checks to make sure the bleed down valve is in the closed position. Then the operator can turn on the switch which is located on the pressure switch. Depending on how the user intends to use the product a regulator may be needed to regulate pressure, some accessories require higher constant pressure more than others. The user attaches the component they wish to use. After use, the switch is moved to the closed position, then it is unplugged and the bleed down valve is opened to allow accumulated water to escape.

The regular maintenance required is fairly simple and can be performed quickly and easily by the operator. The regular maintenance required is to check the oil level for the compressor, drain the tank after use and drain accumulated water. Heat exchange coils and o-rings.

Product Alternative Profile

Many other similar products exist that are comparable to the Kawasaki air compressor. One alternative is a gasoline powered air compressor. DC powered compressors are also available.

The advantages of the AC powered air compressor are numerous. This particular compressor has a larger tank, which supplies a higher volume of air. The tank is semi portable and suitable for operations that are longer than that of a more portable smaller compressor. A DC powered compressor may be more suitable if portability is the more important factor. It may be mounted in a vehicle used my a professional such as a contractor.

All the other alternatives have comparable disadvantages. DC powered air compressors need a DC source which comes from a car battery or similar source. They are not designed for continual use and have a much slower fill rate. The main disadvantage of an AC powered air compressor is the need for commercial AC power. If AC power is not available, then a generator is needed to power it. Gasoline powered air compressors are significantly noisier, cannot be used indoors and have a much higher cost.

In comparison, The AC powered Kawasaki air compressor is more portable than larger compressors [5], but has better capacity than smaller compressors [4]. The DC powered compressors are more expensive, needs a battery source and have a slower fill rate. The gasoline powered compressor is comparable to the AC version, but is more expensive and cannot be used indoors[6].

The three types of compressors are priced differently. AC powered models have a wide variety of costs [5]. Depending on the use, the compressor may be more expensive. DC powered compressors are expensive considering costs, and output of the machines [4]. Gasoline powered compressors are initially more expensive and are expensive to power [6].

Table 3: Compressor Comparisons
Compressor Cower source Cost Performance Image
VIAIR Compressor
DC electric $198.95 2 gallon tank
12 volt
0-145 psi
Figure 3: VIAIR Air Compressor
Central Pneumatic Portable Air Compressor
AC electric $79.99 8 gallon tank
2 hp
120 volt
0-115 psi
Figure 4: Central Pneumatic Air Compressor
Bosch CGT8-65W 8 Gallon Gas Compressor
Gasoline $1,099.99 8 gallon tank
6.5 hp
Gasoline Powered
0-100 psi
Figure 5: Bosch Air Compressor


[1]. Kawasaki 840703 5-Gallon 3HP Twin Tank Air Compressor. (n.d.). Power Tool Reviews. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from
[2]. Kawasaki 8 Gallon Air Compressor with Nailer and Muffle. (n.d.). Used Calgary. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from
[3]. Air Compressors Buyer's Guide. (n.d.). Northern Tool and Equipment. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from
[4]. VIAIR (n.d.). VIAIR Corporation. Retrieved September 30, 2010, from
[5]. Central Pneumatic 2 HP, 8 Gallon, 115 PSI Portable Air Compressor. (n.d.). Harbor Freight Tools. Retrieved September 30, 2010, from
[6]. Bosch CGT8-65W 8 Gallon Gas Compressor. (n.d.). International Tool. Retrieved September 30, 2010 from