Request for Proposal - Gate 1

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Contents

Work Proposal

Disassembly Process

Procedure 1

To begin our disassembly process we will remove the seat, main body, brush guard, and steering column. Since the seat and body are the most basic and least mechanically involved parts on this vehicle they will be removed first. The steering column to be dissected in Procedure 4 will be removed simultaneously with the body, since it uses a hole in the body as a bearing. All of these parts are secured to the chassis using clips and Phillips head screws.

  • Tooling Requirement:

- Phillips head screwdriver
- Flat head screwdriver

  • Time Requirement:

- 20-25 minutes

  • Documentation Requirement:

-Mark placement/orientation of all clips and screws
-Photograph procedure
-Masking tape/marker
-Camera

Procedure 2

To further the dissection of this vehicle, we will remove the rear wheel assembly’s. This assembly includes a hubcap, wheel cover, cotter pin, wheel, wheel bushing, driver, and rear axle respectively. This process will be repeated for the opposite wheel on the rear of the vehicle. To remove the front wheels, we must again remove the hubcap, wheel cover, cotter pin, wheel, wheel bushing, and front axle. By removing the wheel components at this point in the disassembly, the only remaining components are the chassis, which will be holding the motor, gearbox, and wiring harness, parts which will be removed in the following procedures.

  • Tooling Requirement:

-Flat head screw driver
-3/8” Socket Wrench

  • Time Requirement:

-25-30 minutes

  • Documentation Requirement:

-Mark placement/orientation of all nuts, screws
-Indicate whether parts belong on front, back, left or right of vehicle
-Photograph procedure
-Masking tape/marker
-Camera

Procedure 3

To remove the remaining components from the chassis, we must determine the most effecting method of removing the motor/ gearbox assembly, to be dissected in Procedure 4. It is important that we do not break any clips, wiring connectors, and soldering connections, so as to preserve the original nature of the vehicle. One of the proposed methods of removing the motor/gearbox assembly is use the split in the chassis which is held together by screws. Proceeding with splinting this component means that we are assuming no glue, or sealant is holding the halves together. If there is in fact something securing these parts other than screws, we must be wary of fractures in the plastic. Upon removal of this assembly, we will proceed to take out the wiring harness, which connects a direction switch, speed control, dual user activated throttles, motor, foot board, and charger. The most important task in the removal of the wiring harness is to ensure proper documentation, to minimize the difficulty of analyzing the vehicles various systems.

  • Tooling Requirement:

-Flat hear screw driver
-Putty knife

  • Time Requirement:

-45-60minutes

  • Documentation Requirement:

-Mark placement/orientation of all clips and screws
-Photograph procedure
-Masking tape/marker
-Camera

Procedure 4

After complete disassembly of the vehicle, we are left with a few components which can be further dissected. The steering column, which has a throttle on the handle bars, is the first component to be disassembled. This will simply involve the removal of the hand throttle from the handle bars. Disassembly of the motor/gear box will be further analyzed, and documented upon removal from the chassis, as dissection information is not readily available through a visual analysis of the unassembled vehicle.

  • Proposed Tooling Requirements:

-Flat head screw driver
-Phillips head screw driver
-Pliers
-Vice
-Torch

  • Time Requirement:

-45-75 minutes

  • Documentation Requirement:

-Mark placement/orientation of all clips and screws
-Photograph procedure
-Masking tape/marker
-Camera

Total Time Requirements

Procedure 1: 20-25 minutes
Procedure 2: 25-30 minutes
Procedure 3: 45-60 minutes
Procedure 4: 45-75 minutes

Total: 135-190 minutes

Capabilities Assessment

Ensuring that we understand each others strongest and weakest characteristics is one of the most important parts of organizing this project. The table below exemplifies each individual's positive and negative qualities. This information helps us to select each persons role in the group, as presented in the management proposal.

Table 1. Capabilities Assessment


Management Proposal

In order for this group project to be as productive and successful as possible, everyone will not only have individual jobs, but will have jobs that overlap in some areas to insure that the best possible work is done. Each group member has a main role, which they are responsible for based on skills and interests. These group members are all supported by an assistant, who will be there to relieve the pressures as different parts of the projects naturally produce different strains on the group. By creating some overlap from the start, the group will learn to work together to produce an ideal output, with no one person being too overexerted. This setup creates both group flexibility as well as safety valves. The physical labor will be most efficient by creating two sub groups. One group will have the Lead Documenter and the second group will contain the Lead Parts Technician. Each of these groups will be provided a partner fulfilling their secondary duties. These groups will split the dissection duties, with the Project Manager attending as many lab sessions as possible to assist as needed. Because no one in our group has experience using the wiki, we are each going to put our own work on the wiki (with the help of others if needed) so we can each develope the computer skills needed to be successful on this project.

Group Meetings

Group meetings will occur biweekly, unless there is a need to meet more often on occasion. Everyone is available after six o’clock on weeknights and as needed on weekends. The location of meetings will be determined based on the major tasks to be covered at the meeting, most likely occurring in the lab or at the location of the group member with the most prominent issue. All group members will attend the large group meeting each week, and the second meeting will involve which ever members are needed for the task. The large group meeting will be for bigger picture issues, such as conflicts, large group tasks, and assignment of the weeks tasks. The large group meeting will be about an hour. The second meeting will be held for smaller issues, such as discussions for the report, and will last about half an hour. Group conflicts will be dissolved by the Project Manager if the group members cannot resolve the problem on their own. If the problem is beyond the Project Manager, then the situation will be presented to the teaching assistants or the Professor. The consequences of not completing work up to standard will be a discussion with the Project Manager, a discussion in the large group meeting, and then an email to the professor. The Project Manager will be the group contact, with contact information listed below.

Team Roles

Project Manager- Matt Schwenzfeier mdschwen@buffalo.edu
Matt will be primarily responsible for keeping everyone on track. He will provide reminders of deadlines and assist wherever needed to keep the project running smooth. He will also serve as conflict resolver and task delegator. The Project Manager is responsible for making sure everyone is completing their tasks on time and up to standard. Matt will be responsible for the final adjustments in the project.

Lead Parts Technician- Cory Bunnell corybunn@buffalo.edu
This job is reserved for the team member with the most hands on technical experience. Cory will be responsible for heading up the physical dissection of the product, using proper tools and techniques for safety. He will ensure all parts are disassembled with no damage to the parts. He will be responsible for staying in contact with the Lead Documenter to insure that all information recorded accurately represents the product. Much of his work will be done in the lab.

Media Development and Wiki Developer– Lawrence Ma lmma@buffalo.edu
This job is reserved for a responsible team member capable of putting in the extra effort not only to make the information presentable but to make it professional and easy to follow as well. Lawrence needs to be in constant communication with every other member of the group to ensure he receives all portions of the project on time to display on the Wiki page. Lawrence will also assist in the lab as needed.

Modeling Technician- Alex Grenning agrenning91@gmail.com
Alex will function as the modeling technician because of his extreme competence with solid modeling using solid works and inventor. He needs to work well with the other members to have access to the product parts. Alex will also aid with the Wiki page and be present as needed in the lab.

Lead Documenter and Communication Liaison– Jason Kress jasonkre@buffalo.edu
Jason will serve as the lead documenter, managing the pictures and detailed recordings. He will also be the communication liaison based on his communication skills. He will stay in contact with the Parts Technician to ensure accurate information is being recorded and pictures are accurately representing what we want to present. Jason will spend a lot of time in the lab and assist in other areas as needed.


Time Management


Table. 2 Time Management

Product Archaeology: Initial Product Assessment

Development Profile

The product was developed in 2008 by Fisher-Price. Some of the economical and societal concerns during the design process were to create a fun product for a child that wasn’t expensive, while still being safe. The global concerns during the design of this product is that it be produced in such a way that it could be marketed world wide. An example of this is not incorporating english words on the vehicle describing the component's function but instead using universal symbols. The product is sold outside of the United States, although it is mainly an American targeted product; we know this because the tag mentions “300 Service Centers Nationwide.” The intended impact on the customer is to provide children with hours of enjoyment on a safe, yet still fun kid-sized vehicle.

Usage Profile

The intended use of the Barbie Kawasaki KFX is to provide young children with hours of fun. It is supposed to provide a safe way for kids to feel like grownups by using a vehicle that looks like an ATV and has been powered down and sized down so that it is safe for child use. This product is intended mainly for home use. The vehicle is intended for children ages 3 and up and is meant to be used around the yard or in the driveway. The jobs that this product is designed to perform is essentially for the entertainment of children. The children get the experience of driving their own vehicle in a safe environment.

Energy Profile

The Barbie Kawasaki KFX uses electrical, mechanical; which consists of rotational energy on the wheels and the wheel axles which is caused by torque generated by the electric motor gearbox inside the Barbie Kawasaki and human energy. Electrical energy is imported into the system through a rechargeable Power Wheels® 12 volt battery. The battery is charged with electrical energy using a Power Wheels® 12 volt charger that plugs into an outlet and into the battery. The charger has an “input of 120 VAC, 60 Hz with an output of 12 VDC, 1200 mA” according the Barbie Kawasaki manual. This implies the Barbie Kawasaki KFX vehicle uses alternating current and direct current. The battery then uses the electrical energy stored in it and uses it to supply the two motors. The electrical energy is used to charged a coil inside the motor which creates a magnetic field causes a magnetized rod to spin thus there the electrical energy is transformed into mechanical energy. The rod spins a gear which produces a torque force on the axle that connects the wheel to the gear thus creating rotational energy which is what causes the Barbie Kawasaki to move forward. Electrical energy in the battery is activated when the foot pedal is pressed and by doing so completes the circuit in the wires allowing electricity to flow between the battery and motor. The Barbie Kawasaki KFX can also move backwards by pressing the reverse direction switch located at the front of the vehicle which is done by having the gears spin the opposite direction which is caused by reversing the magnetic field which causes the rod to spin the other direction. Human energy is inputted to the steering handle which converts that energy into rotational energy and is transmitted to the steering linkage which is then transmitted to the front wheels creating rotation of the wheels about an axis perpendicular to the horizontal plane allowing the vehicle to change direction of motion(left or right).

Complexity Profile

Based on our observations of the Barbie Kawasaki KFX as well as the product’s manual we concluded that there are at least forty components used in the construction of this vehicle. Overall the majority of the components are fairly simple. Two of the most complex components are the plastic polypropylene body frame and the electric motor. The body frame consists of two separately molded pieces each representing half of the total vehicle. These two pieces come together and are fastened together by steel Phillips head screws. The plastic body frame is complex because of its intricate replications of an actual Kawasaki KFX all-terrain vehicle. The plastic is molded to show details such as the engine, exhaust pipes, shocks and spring coils, the steel frame, and the gear box. The electric motor system is the other complex component but with complex interactions as well (shown in Figure 1). The motor uses electrical energy provided by the 12V rechargeable battery and turns that energy into rotational mechanical energy. This rotational energy is transmitted to a driveshaft probably through a gear reduction layout system due to the high RPM of the electric motor and the desired slower rotational speed that is suitable for a three year old.

There are also numerous less complex components that make up the Barbie Kawasaki KFX. Components such as the removable seat, brush guard, wheels, handlebars, and grill are all molded from polypropylene type plastics with little or no significant detail, and come already manufactured and ready to assemble. The seat attaches by a simple plastic molded clip system. This provides easy access to the 12V battery that is located in the center of the body frame. The brush guard, and grill are attached to the front of the body frame by four #8 x 3/4” screws and two #8 x 2” screws. The handlebars are attached to a steel rod that passes through a premade hole through the body frame to the underside of the vehicle where it enters a hole in the steel steering column and is fastened by a plastic cap and a #8 x 3/4” screw. The wheels follow the same simple procedures. They, along with a steel 7/16” washer and bushing, slide onto the front and rear steel shafts and are fastened by 3/8”-16 hex nuts.

Overall the component interactions throughout the vehicle are fairly simple. They include connections with plastic clips and with various screw sizes depending on the thickness of the plastic. The most complex component interactions are between the motor and the gearbox. This is where the electric motor converts electrical energy from the battery into mechanical (rotational) energy. This energy is transferred to the gear reduction box through a 19T pinion gear that interlocks with the gear within the gear box. This connection needs to be precise or the gears will grind and not provide rotation of the gears within the gearbox. To make this connection there are two 2” fine threaded screws to ensure that they do not vibrate apart and break the gears. The gearbox then reduces the RPMs from the motor through the reduction of gear tooth number and gear radii. These gears need to be positioned precisely as well to minimize gear slippage within the gearbox. To do this they are pressed onto steel rods that are imbedded into the gearbox to ensure no irregularities of the rotational motion of the gears occur.

Materials Profile

Table 3. List of visible materials

Table. 3shows a list of the visible components and what material the components are made of. Based on the previous profiles, materials that are not visible but present in the product are rubber insulators for the copper wiring that connects the battery to the motors and the pedal, sulfuric acid inside the 12volt battery and a magnet inside the motor that is either magnetized iron, nickel or cobalt.

User Interaction

The user interacts with the Barbie Kawasaki KFX on several levels. The twist grip throttle is how the user moves the vehicle forwards/reverse. There is also a battery that can be charged for continuous use. The interface of the machine is quite intuitive for the child. The foot petal and the steering column are the only parts that relate to the movement of the machine. The steering column resembles that of a tricycle's that most three to six year olds know how to operate. The foot petal is placed right were the child's foot rests so the child will have little difficulty finding and using it. The interface explains the simplicity of operating the machine, as it is quite easy and since it is meant for children, it must be. The only maintenance required for the product is the charging of the battery when it dies. This is done as easily as plugging the battery to charger and into a regular home outlet. Almost the entire product is made of plastic so the cleaning of the exterior is as simple as using some soap and a sponge, the interior on the other hand would require disassembly of the body, brushguard, wheels, and chassis.

Product Alternative Profile

The two most practical alternatives to the Barbie Kawasaki KFX Power Wheels vehicle are the human power vehicles such as the tricycle and the mini 110cc gas-powered ATV.

The major advantages of the Barbie Kawasaki KFX are the simplicity and ease of use factor. It is a very user-friendly product. There are two push buttons near the handle bars that function for the forward and reverse directions, a one speed acceleration foot petal, and a high speed boost acceleration that is activated by the rotation of the handlebar grip. These are the only devises needed that make the vehicle operate. The advantage of a tricycle is that its operation time latest as long as the child has energy to provide. There is no downtime waiting for a battery to charge. The advantage of the mini gas-powered ATV is that it too has a relatively low waiting time between operations. The only time to wait is to refill the gas tank.

The major disadvantage of the Barbie Kawasaki KFX is the time between operations. Due to the fact that the vehicle is battery powered, the battery needs to be charged for 14 hours after each use. Compared to the on average 10 minute riding time, there is a lot of downtime for this vehicle. A disadvantage of the tricycle is that it does not achieve the speed that a Power Wheels can, which is a popular characteristic that most children want and enjoy. A disadvantage of the mini gas-powered ATV is the amount of maintenance that is needed to keep the ATV in operating condition. Some examples of maintenance on the ATV include routine oil changes as well as replacement of dirty filters. This also increases the cost of possessing a gas-powered ATV.

Comparing theses alternatives to the Barbie Kawasaki KFX, the Barbie Kawasaki KFX is a more economically suitable, and entertaining vehicle than that of the tricycle and the mini 110cc gas-powered ATV. It creates more excitement for the child, due to the speeds of up to 5 mph, than that of a tricycle, and is very cheep to possess and maintain compared to the mini 110cc gas-powered ATV. The cost of a tricycle can range from $50 to $60. The cost of the mini gas-powered ATV can be as much as $1000, which is a big investment for the average family. In between these values is the Barbie Kawasaki KFX at a price of $168.00 - $278.99 depending on the store, which is a fair price for the average family.

Main Page

Main Page

Resources

[1]"Barbie™ Kawasaki® KFX with Monster Traction™." Fisher-price.com 27 SEPT 2010 <http://www.fisher-price.com/us/powerwheels/product.aspx?pid=47340>
[2]"Power Wheels Parts Diagrams." mendingshed.com 13 OCT 2010 <http://powerwheels.mendingshed.com/P5066.pdf>