Group 10 - Kodak Flash Camera
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The purpose of the Kodak disposable camera is to capture photographs in a cheap, convenient, and affordable way for both the consumer and manufacturer. The camera has a flash feature so photographs can be taken in low light situations and zoom for pictures taken at a distance. The technology that a one time use camera possesses is quite remarkable. The benefit of a disposable camera is the consumer never has to deal with film- only the preloaded, ready to use lightweight and hand held device. When it comes time to develop the film, the consumer simply drops off the entire camera. The consumer in return receives their photographs while the manufacturer receives reusable materials which can be made into new disposable cameras. A quick and inexpensive one use camera offers everyone the opportunity to capture new memories.
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Research Group Members
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The purpose of the Kodak Flash Camera is to offer a simple, recyclable, and inexpensive product that offers a quality product in return. The Kodak disposable camera uses multiple forms of energy for it to work. Chemical energy from the battery is transformed to electrical when the capacitor is charged to illuminate the flash. The user of the camera supplies mechanical energy- by pushing buttons, flipping switches, and winding knobs.
Prior to disassembly, the Kodak Flash Camera worked properly. The capacitor charged when the flash button was held, the flash illuminated when the shutter button was pressed, the film advanced the correct distance, and the zoom lens magnified clearly. Although the product was in proper working order, there were many loud sounds that the device made. The wheel to advance the film made a loud clicking noise, the capacitor charging for the flash sounded like a high whining, and when the shutter button was pressed the quick motion of the shutter inside the camera could be heard snapping back into place. We assumed that these noises were due to the camera being manufactured mostly out of plastic and that the inexpensive manufacturing process wasn't meant to make the product operate silently- but to deliver a decent end product.
Other initial assumptions our group made was that the camera was composed of at least 25 parts. We also guessed that the materials used in the camera would be mostly different colors of plastic with small amounts of metal and electronics for the flash. We were unsure how the pieces were held together inside the camera but guessed that there would be some sort of connecting devices or small fasteners.
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The step by step procedure for disassembling the Kodak Flash one time use camera with zoom feature is as follows:
1. First, the stickers located on the back cover were removed using our fingernails.
2. The back cover was then pried off with a small screwdriver and a pocket knife.
3. The battery was the next component removed.
4. The rolled up film and winding spool were then taken out.
5. We then began working on the front of the camera. The front cover was pried off with the small screwdriver.
6. The next piece removed was the flat metal spring that holds in the double lens toggle. The double lens toggle was then removed.
7. We then popped off the small coil spring that hooks the plate that the double lens toggle mounts on (part 9), to a black connecting piece (part 1).
8. Once the spring was off the black connecting piece (part 1) the connecting rod (part 12) fell off.
9. The tiny copper spring that connects the shutter to a fixed point on the circuit board was then taken off.
10. Dissection then began on the top of the camera. We took off a clear plastic piece (part 9), and then took off a gray plastic part (part 16).
11. Then we took the "number of pictures remaining" wheel off, the winding wheel, the winding cam, and part 32- the piece that connects the cam to the winding wheel.
12. Next we took the copper brace that holds the viewing lens in place (part 4). The viewing lens was then removed.
13. We then took off a blue plastic piece (part 9), which was located below the viewing lens.
14. We then went back to the front of the camera and pried off the toggle zoom plate (also labeled part 9) using a small screwdriver and pocket knife.
15. Then the large gray zoom lever arm (part 2) was removed and the shutter simply fell off.
16. We then removed the shutter lever (part 1) which is composed of blue plastic, as well as the spring that holds it in place.
17. Part 101, the small winding gear then fell out. This piece is simply held in place by the winding cam.
18. The circuit board was then pried off using again, the small screwdriver and pocket knife.
19. The plastic insert in the back of the camera, which is responsible for holding many of the camera’s inner components, was then removed.
20. Next, a small metal lever located in the front was removed.
21. The only component remaining was the plastic shell of the camera. The camera is completely disassembled.
Group 10 met in Furnas 621 at 11:00 AM on Friday, October 12, 2007.
During disassembly we noticed that some of the larger pieces were already numbered. This is a useful feature in the manufacturing facility so the camera can be properly assembled. In our disassembly procedure, the part numbers provided in parenthesis are the manufacturer’s part numbers- we later returned to our disassembly procedure and added in the part names that we used in our bill of materials.
The only tools used were our hands, a small screw driver, and a pocket knife. The tools were only used when a component had to be pried off.
The complete disassembly process took approximately one hour. We took extra time to study the internal components and observe how the parts fit together because the process didn't require much force. Disassembly was very simple because we found many of the components were simply held together by gravity, and the compression of the camera's shell; for most of the disassembly components were simply falling off.
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Post Disassembly- Component Analysis
(Click on images to enlarge view.)
(Parts with * next to their names are shown in a 3D exploded assembly drawing in the following section.)
Our group estimated the approximate cost to manufacture the Kodak one time use flash camera with zoom to be $3.36.
The prices of each component were calculated based on the size, complexity, manufacturing process, and material used. We assumed that the most expensive parts were the film and electronic components- such as the flash, circuit board, battery, and capacitor. Using plastics as the major material is a wise choice for a one time use camera because it is a cheap but sturdy material and the majority of the camera can be easily recycled and reused to create new one time use cameras. The approximate manufacturing cost that we calculated is below what a disposable camera would be sold for in a store. We concluded this is a logical situation because the manufacturer would be seeking making a profit from their product.
More disassembly photographs:
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3D CAD Exploded Assembly Diagram
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The following is our step by step procedure for reassembling the Kodak flash disposable camera:
1. The inner shell of the camera is the first piece we began reassembly with so the many smaller camera components could be properly placed.
2. The metal advance arm was slid back into place.
3. The circuit board was firmly pressed and snapped back into the retaining clips at its original location on the right side. We only needed to use our hands to reinsert the circuit board.
4. The winding cam was then inserted on the left side, and the winding gear was put into place right after near the metal advance arm. These parts rest on each other.
5. The spring that is responsible for holding the shutter lever in place was difficult to maneuver. We used the pocket knife and our hands, to put these components back into the camera. Reinserting the spring took us several attempts.
6. The components of the shutter were laid into position.
7. The copper spring that attaches the shutter to a fixed point of the circuit board was reattached after several attempts. We used our hands, knife, and screwdriver for reassembly of this piece.
8. Next, the viewing lens, viewing lens brace, and the zoom toggle for the viewing lens were all aligned and set into place on the top of the inner shell.
9. The winding wheel, number of pictures remaining wheel, and the piece which connects it to the winding cam were reinserted and connected together.
10. The zoom and standard lens housing and face plate was reassembled with each lens in its respective place. The lens housing was not yet inserted into the camera.
11. The clear piece that covers the remaining pictures wheel on the top of the camera, and the shutter button were reinstalled.
12. The zoom lever arm, brace, toggle connecting piece, and zoom connecting arm were the first pieces of the zoom system to be reinserted into the camera shell. They loosely sit into place for now; once the lens housing is in place the pieces will create a firmer connection together.
13. The lens housing is now inserted onto the front of the inner shell. The previously inserted levers and toggle pieces now connect with the lens housing to allow movement between the standard and zoom lens.
14. The coil spring connecting to the zoom toggle connecting piece and the lens housing plate was reconnected. Again, our hands, pocket knife, and the small screwdriver were used to reconnect the spring. This reassembly step also took several attempts.
15. The zoom toggle switch and flatter spring which connects it was also reinserted. This spring was very difficult to reconnect because of its small size. Again, all of our tools were used as well as multiple attempts.
16. The film, winding spool, and battery were reinserted to their proper places.
17. The rear and front camera covers were then pressed together around the inner shell.
18. Stickers were reapplied to camera to insure firm connection between rear and front shells.
19. The Kodak disposable camera with flash and zoom feature is completely reassembled.
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Post Reassembly Observations
Reassembly was difficult because some of the plastic pieces were warped from the initial disassembly. Many of the pieces simply connected to each other, so assembling them in the proper order was frustrating at times. The springs were difficult to keep track of and very difficult to reinsert. The majority of our reassembly time was spent reconnecting the springs to their proper places.
After reassembly, our Kodak disposable camera seemed to be in working order. The warped pieces from disassembly seemed to slightly hinder the performance, but overall the components worked properly. The image quality might be questionable if we were to develop our film because our film was exposed.
The reassembly was almost the exact opposite of the disassembly. A few steps were different because during disassembly components sometimes just fell off. During reassembly these pieces needed to be reinserted at specific times. The same tools we used for disassembly were used for our reassembly. A pair of needle nose pliers or tweezers would have been a valuable tool in reinserting the springs, but we did not have access to either during our reassembly phase.
In engineering this product, precise models would probably be used. The parts are so small that a minor miscalculation or manufacturing mistake would probably greatly alter or completely disrupt the performance of the device.
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During our disassembly process we noted that the Kodak disposable camera did not have very many complex fasteners and was largely composed of affordable and recyclable plastics. The camera also offered simple ergonomic features for the users such as hand grips and was the perfect size and weight to be a handheld device. Because it is a one time use camera, the consumer simply sends the entire device when they are ready to have their photographs developed.
Some negative aspects of the camera that we discovered were that because most pieces were made of a cheap plastic, the pieces were easily warped and reassembly and product performance was altered. Also because the lenses were made of plastic, the offer a very low resolution and do not offer the best possible picture clarity.
Our group’s overall improvements to the camera would include offering more photographs (currently only 27 frames are offered in this model of disposable camera), a higher resolution lens to increase clarity and photo sharpness, a more compact or slimmer design for easy transportation, a safety device for discharging the capacitor for workers disassembling the camera to develop the film, and an automatic film advance or flash would be a great feature as well. We also realized that with these improvements, the cost of production will likely rise, thus reducing the manufacturer’s profit. However, if the improvements increase sales of their devices, spending a little more on what technology the camera offers will be worth it for both the producer and consumer.
Below is a link to our group's Kodak flash disposable camera analysis Power Point presentation. Group members Brian Hamilton and Alex Finkel presented to the University at Buffalo MAE277 class on Monday November 26, 2007.
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Refrences and Outside Links
"KODAK Zoom Single Use Camera" November 22, 2007, KODAK Zoom Single Use Camera
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