Group 33 - Black & Decker TR116 16 Inch Hedge Trimmer

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GATE 1

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Electric trimmer.

INTRO

The purpose of this gate is to outline the process of the project and plan ahead.The assembly process needs to be planned out in advance to minimize potential surprises. We are documenting our planned meeting time, individual responsibilities and how we will deal with problems in advance to solve arguments more easily in the future.The bulk of the gate is to do an initial analysis of our product before dissection. A profile of the Development, Usage, Energy, Complexity, User Interaction and Alternative Products is created initially. After the dissection is completed we can look back and compare our findings to our assumptions and previous understandings.The process starts with Product Management below.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

  1. Intro
    1. The product management section contains a work proposal that plans out our disassembly, lists the anticipated tools needed for disassembly and an overview of our ability to complete this project and some expected challenges.
  2. Work Proposal
    1. Plan for disassembly
      1. Remove outer screws that hold outer shell on system using Philips screwdriver
      2. Remove trigger release and trigger from shell/motor (still unsure how they are internally connected to one another). This may require any form of screw, nut, Alan screw/nut etc.
      3. If there is an internal frame that holds the motor, separate the motor and any other attached components from the frame.
      4. If possible, separate internal power cord from motor.
      5. If the connection between the motor and RLPC (rotary to linear power converter) is external, we will separate them.
      6. Separate RLPC from blade(s).
      7. Remove hexagonal nuts to separate blades from arm using socket wrench
    2. Tools required for Disassembly/Assembly
      1. Standard size screwdriver (Phillips)
      2. Socket wrench set
      3. Alan key set
      4. Pliers
    3. Anticipated challenges
      1. Separating motor from internal frame
      2. Separating motor from RLPC
      3. Separating RLPC from arm/blades
      4. Separating switch, and switch release from motor
      5. Separating internal power cord from motor
      6. It will be difficult to make instructions for to put the product back together. RE-assembling the product may be more difficult then the disassembly.
    4. Current Estimated Abilities
      1. We are confident that we have the ability to disassemble all of the larger components from each other. We understand how to use the previously listed tools and will not damage the product.
    5. Areas For Improvement
      1. We will need some help dealing the electric motor and the RLPC. This will either come from a TA or an online source. Our current understanding of its working, orientation and structure are very limited. This will be a learning process for us. Our ability to accurately dictate our disassembly process will be extremely important. We will need to focus on being accurate and clear when dictating.
  3. Management Proposal
    1. Roles and Responsibility
      1. Steven Pilat
        • Scheduling
        • Main Disassembler
      2. Sam Odulaja
        • Wiki Expert
        • Photographer
      3. Kyle Brennan
        • Communication Liaison, point of contact (kylebren@buffalo.edu)
        • Product Storage
        • Security
        • Data/Analysis Recorder
    2. Meeting Plan
      1. When:
        Saturdays after 12pm
        Wednesday after 6pm
      2. Where:
        Ground floor Capen (group study)
        Furnas 621 (lab)
      3. Goals:
        Typically the bulk of our work will be done on Saturdays, however lab is only open during week and we will have to adjust when the lab is needed. Wednesdays will be used as planning days or revision days. Ideally, Wednesday meetings will not be long. (Conservation of Sleep)
      4. Group conflicts
        It is our understanding that all group members will contribute equally. If the group feels that one of the members isn’t preforming up to standards, the problem will first be solved internally. If the problem cannot be solved internally, at a last resort we will contact the professors and request a meeting to discuss the issue.
We now move to Prep and Initial Assessment where we will document our initial understanding of the product.
  1. Prep and Initial Assessment:
    The point of documenting our initial assessment is to be able to compare our data to our original assumptions.
    1. Development Profile
      1. Product Development
        1. 2011 (according to box)
      2. GSEE Factors
        1. Global-American Culture favors a well-kept landscape. Most suburban and rural areas have various types of plants, bushes, shrubs and trees that need to be properly maintained. The most common use of this product is for Hedge trimming. Hedges are a thick shrub/tree that is used as an unofficial property barrier; they can be trimmed to mimic a “wall”. This trimmer provides the ability for homeowners to achieve the desired shape of the hedge.
        2. Societal-Safety features are incorporated such as; safety lock to prevent unintentional starts, and the power cord is directed away from the blade to prevent cutting of the wire. The product is relatively small and lightweight compared to other models. Sleek design and soft corners make the product less intimidating. Product claims to have 40% less vibration then other models and noise is considerably low. Over the phone assistance is offered for installation and use. The average homeowner wants to have the confidence that they can use the power tool safely and effectively.
        3. Economic-Designed to be cheap for the “do it yourself” homeowner. 2-year warranty is standard. Cost efficiency is very high for a thin branch trimmer. Gas powered models far exceed 3x the cost. Extension cords are required as the power receiver is <12”. Batteries are not required.
        4. Environmental-Disposable batteries are not required therefore are battery waste is not a factor. The product does not require much power over long periods of time as it is used infrequently. However this trimmers uses an electric motor and other electric components. It is likely the average homeowner will not disassemble the product and properly recycle plastic and metal components. This product will be harmful to the environment after its usage life has ended.
    2. Usage Profile
      1. Intended use of the product
        1. Efficiently trim branches up to 5/8 inch
        2. Pruning hedges, shrubs, bushes, trees etc.
      2. Intended users
        1. Product is mainly designed for home owners
        2. Can also be used by small business owners
        3. Women can use product with relative ease
      3. Required tasks
        1. Use of a ladder may be necessary for trimming tall plants.
    3. Energy Profile
      1. Electrical Energy is brought into the system at least a 16-gauge extension cord. The 3.0 amp motor converts the electrical energy to mechanical energy.
    4. Complexity Profile
      1. Product components and complexity
        1. Stationary Blade
          1. Not very complex
          2. Does not move
          3. Fixed to Arm
          4. Has large sharp V shape grooves
        2. Oscillating blades
          1. Semi complex
          2. Oscillates linearly
          3. Attached to RLPC
          4. Has smaller sharp V shape grooves
        3. Arm
          1. Not complex
          2. Holds stationary blade
          3. Supports oscillating blade
        4. Guard
          1. Not complex
          2. Provides a barrier between hand and blades
          3. Slightly curved to allow for hand to fit better
        5. Bail Handle
          1. Not complex
          2. Provides support for hand
          3. Shaped to fit both right and left hands
        6. Trigger release
          1. Semi complex (our assumption)
          2. Lever system allowing trigger to be activated (our assumption)
        7. Trigger switch
          1. Semi complex (our assumption)
          2. Lever system to active electrical switch
        8. Electronic motor switch
          1. Indeterminate complexity, but assumed to be complex
          2. (We do not understand the electrical working of the switch,switch is internal and also electronic)
        9. Switch handle
          1. Not complex
          2. Handle shaped for hand to fit comfortably
        10. Cord retainer
          1. Not complex
          2. Groove for cord to rest in
        11. Power prongs
          1. Complex
          2. Electrical component to transfer power to the motor
        12. Motor
          1. Complex
          2. Entire subsystem of trimmer
          3. Converts electrical energy to mechanical energy
        13. RLPC (Rotary to Linear Power Converter)
          1. Semi complex (not determined yet)
          2. Multiple possible workings, more then one way to convert rotational power to linear power.
      2. Complexity of component interactions
        1. Complex interactions
          1. Although there are some complex components, there aren't any complex interactions between components
        2. Semi Complex Interactions
          1. Arm-Oscillating Blade Interaction
            1. Blade is kept tightly enough in contact with the arm to remain stable but loose enough to slide
            2. Arm is grooved to blade and slides in a straight linear direction
          2. Trigger Release-Trigger Switch Interaction
            1. The trigger release needs to be suppressed in order to allow the Trigger switch to be suppressed.
            2. The assumed system of levers is fairly complex, yet still unknown
          3. Motor-RLPC Interaction
            1. Assumed to be semi complex
            2. Expected that there is a mechanical connection between the motor and the RLPC
        3. Non complex systems
          1. Due to time constraints, we've decided it is not worth it to go into depth of the non-complex system interaction.
          2. These systems are all either physical connections or slots created where other components can be inserted
    5. Material profile
      1. External Materials
        1. Hardened Steel
        2. Plastics
      2. Internal Material
        1. Wires
        2. Circuits
        3. Other small percentage of other metals plastic, and rubber, etc.
    6. User interaction profile
      1. User interface
        1. User interfaces with the product physically by grabbing it with both hands. They place one hand on the bail handle and another on the trigger handle. The user must simultaneously hold the trigger handle, press the trigger release and press the trigger in order to trim efficiently.
        2. The user also interfaces with the extension cord by plugging it into the wall as well as the trimmer
      2. Degree of Intuitiveness
        1. The trigger handle is fairly intuitive; it makes it easy to hold the trimmer, while pressing both triggers. The trigger can be suppressed by squeezing the trigger handle. This makes the trigger system easy to use. The entire trigger system is very well thought out, it gives the user the ability to still use the trimmer with one hand if you are strong enough and need to reach into a tough space. The added safety created from removing the possibility of an accidental start is extremely important in itself.
        2. The bail handle is also fairly intuitive as well, it allows the user to hold it from different angles and still control the trimmer easily.
      3. Maintenance
        1. The Product manual states that the blades will not need re-sharpening, due to the hardened steel. If the blade is nicked from making accidental contact with a fence for example, the blade will not need to be replaced so long as the motion of the blade is unaffected.
        2. Do not store within close range of fertilizers or other chemicals as they will greatly increase the rate of metal corrosion
        3. Clean trimmer with minimally concentrated soaps that are not abrasive.
        4. To prolong rusting, add light film of machine oil to the blade.
    7. Product Alternative Profile
      1. Different Alternatives
        1. Black and Decker 18 inch hedge trimmer
        2. Black and Decker 18 inch hedge trimmer
      2. Advantages of different models
        1. Longer reach and cutting path
        2. Larger motor/more power
      3. Disadvantages
        1. Heavier
        2. More expensive
        3. Less maneuverability
        4. More power consumed
Model Price Motor Amperage Weight Extension Cord Rating Corded Max Cutting Radius
16 Inch $29.99 3.0 A 4.2 lb 16> No 5/8 inch
18 Inch $41.99 3.5 A 4.7 lb 16> No 5/8 inch
22 Inch $49.99 4.0 A 7.5 lb 14> Yes 5/8 inch