Group 3 - Kawasaki Compressor - Gate 2

From GICL Wiki
Revision as of 22:10, 19 December 2010 by MAE 277 2010 Group 3 (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Main Page:
Gate 1:
Gate 3:
Gate 4:
Gate 5:


Project Management Review

Figure 1: Working Hard

Thus far, Group 3 has worked fairly well in following their time management proposal as previously determined in the gannt chart created for Gate 1. We followed our plan to meet briefly after each MAE 277 class and discuss upcoming times to work on the project and what was next to . Shortly after the first Gate was completed, we transported our Kawasaki Compressor to one of our group members garages in effort to have a larger and more comfortable space for disassembly. On Saturday October 16th, we met at our group members house and spent the day disassembling the compressor, having two or three people do the disassembly, while another person documented the disassembly and another person took pictures throughout the disassembly. The day went by fairly smoothly, as we only ran into a few minor problems that we were able to solve fairly quickly.

As a group we work well together. There were no disputes during the disassembly or other aspects of the gate. Our ability to communicate effectively has prevented any major disputes and challenges between group members. During the beginning of the project, cell phone numbers were exchanged between members, so that easy and instant communication was possible . While we may possibly run into issues into the further gates of this project concerning the splitting up duties, we are confident that we will be able to make it through such problems quickly and efficiently. To correct any problems within the group, a warning could be issued to conflicting members and the instructor notified of possible issues. Overall, the second gate went very smoothly, and there is no need for any sort of corrective action at this point of the project.

Product Dissection


During the Dissection, most of the tools needed were commonly available commercial tool. multiple variations of a couple tools were required ( such as different sizes). All fasteners were standard sizes, for which we had a tool to fit them.

Table 1: Tools
Tools Variations

-Phillips head screwdriver - #2 Phillips head bit, #0 and #1 Philip's head screw drivers
-Allen wrenches - 4mm
-Adjustable wrench - 8"
-Open-Closed ended wrench - 17mm
-Socket wrench - 8mm, 12mm and 13mm
-Needle nose pliers - NA
-Scissors - NA
-Power drill - Dewalt power drill


During the disassembly, some parts of the procedure were more difficult to preform than other parts. A scale can be defined to describe this difficulty. This scale is based on how many tools were needed to take the component off or apart. this also included the amount of people needed for the step and how much physical force had to be applied to perform the task along with the time it required to remove the component

  • Time: most of the components took a few seconds to a couple of minutes to remove
  • Number of people: most parts required one person to remove, this factor shows if something is significantly more difficult to remove.
  • Force: this factor is based on the strength needed to perform the removal of a part. Force is divided into 3 levels; little, moderate and considerable. little force meaning the individual could easily remove it, without hardly trying. Moderate force is used meaning the individual has to apply a large fraction of their strength in order to remove the part. Considerable strength used in the table implies all of the individuals strength may be needed to remove the part, possibly 2 people are needed.
  • Number of tools: This shows how many different fasteners may be used in the assembly, if there are more fasteners used, it requires more effort to remove the part.

Table 2 below shows the rating system used during disassembly:

Table 2: Scale of Difficulty
Number Number of Tools Required Time Individuals Required Force Needed
1 0-1 tools needed Between a few seconds and a couple of minutes Only one person needed to disassemble Little to no force needed to disassemble
2 1-2 tools needed A couple of minutes 1-2 individuals needed to disassemble A moderate amount of force is required
3 1-2 tools needed, possibly a power tool A couple of minutes 1-2 individuals needed to disassemble Considerable force

Disassembly Process

Overall, the disassembly process went very smoothly and we did not encounter many challenges. At some points we needed to use more force to remove a part or fastener, but it did not hold us up much in the flow of our disassembly. Other than that, there were no parts or components that gave us much difficulty in removing or taking apart. Here is a table describing the disassembly process:

Table 3: Disassembly Procedure
Step Component Removed Difficulty Level Procedure Image
Step 1 Quick Coupler Air Hose 1 out of 3 Push in the push-lock release mechanism and pull outward on the hose. This part was removed by hand, no tool was necessary to remove. Since no tool was needed, this part is clearly meant to be removed by the user.
Step 2 Handle 1 out of 3 Remove 4x4mm hex screws. A 4 mm Allen wrench was used to remove these screws. Pull outward on the handle. Since a common sized fastener was used, this is most likely designed so the user can disassemble this portion of the product.
Step 3 Plastic Motor Housing Cover 1 out of 3 Remove 4 Phillips head screws using a #1 Phillips head screwdriver. This part is most likely designed to be disassembled, regularly commercially available tools can be used to remove the component with relative ease.
Step 4 Air Filter and Housing 1 out of 3 Unscrew the air filter assembly by hand. To separate and remove the air filter, hold both sides and twist each end counter-clockwise. This component is clearly made for the user to interact with. This part can be done without tools and a reasonable level of force is only needed to take the housing apart.
Step 5 Fill line 2 out of 3 Disconnect each end of the air fill line (compressor side and tank side) using an adjustable wrench. Place the wrench on the compression nut, adjust until tight, and turn counter-clockwise. Removal of this component only required an adjustable wrench, which is a common tool. This part was most likely designed to be removed if needed by the user.
Step 6 Zip-ties 1 out of 3 Remove any visible zip-tie using scissors. Caution: as most zip-ties are wound around electrical lines, be sure not to splice or gash any electrical lines. Standard plastic zip ties were used, which can be easily removed by the user, but because they wrap around electrical lines which needed to be held together, these were most likely not intended to be removed unless absolutely necessary.
Step 7 Manual/Pressure Controlled Power Switch 3 out of 3 Remove the Manual/Pressure Controlled Power Switch from the air tank using an adjustable wrench. Place the wrench on the compression nut, adjust until tight, and turn counter-clockwise. This step was especially difficult because the nut was originally threaded over a painted portion of the tank, making it extremely tight. Two sets of hands were needed.
Disclaimer: A Non-commercial tool is needed to completely disassemble the contents of the switch, hence this specific part is not meant to be completely disassembled and may break if doing so improperly.
Step 8 Bleeder Valve 1 out of 3 Unscrew the Bleeder Valve by hand. Grasp and turn counter-clockwise. This component was removed by hand, or an adjustable wrench could be used. This was most likely designed to be replaced or maintained by the user if necessary.
Step 9 Rubber Feet from Tank 1 out of 3 To remove each foot, the user unscrews the bolt on each foot with a 3/8 drive socket wrench and 14 mm socket. There is also a nut and two washers on each of the rubber feet. These components are easily removed using common tools, the user could take this apart if needed.
Step 10 Wheels 1 out of 3 Remove each wheel by unscrewing the 17mm nut and 17mm hex bolt with a sleeve using a 3/8 drive socket wrench and a 17 mm socket. Each wheel has a washer and lock washer. This component was most likely designed to be removed by the user if necessary.
Step 11 Intake Manifold Assembly 2 out of 3 Remove 4x12 mm bolts, 4.5" in length using 3/8 drive Socket Wrench and 12 mm Socket. 2 people were needed two disassemble; one to hold it the piston/motor assembly and the other to use the tool. This part was removed using commonly available tools, therefore this part is most likely designed to be taken apart, whether by the user or a technician.
Step 12 Capacitor 2 out of 3 To remove the capacitor, unscrew the 14 mm nut from the bracket on the cylinder housing using 3/8 drive socket wrench and 14 mm socket. Two Philips head screws were then removed with a #0 Phillips head screwdriver from the electrical lines to disconnect the wires from the capacitor. These screws had lock washers and a nut on each screw. One clip on the capacitor needed to be bent outward in order to be accessed with a screwdriver. Extreme caution was needed in order to avoid breaking the clip. Because of the geometry of how the parts fitted together, this is most likely not intended to be disassembled.
Step 13 Black Plastic Guard 1 out of 3 This part was wedged between the capacitor and the cylinder housing. One the capacitor was removed, this was easily pulled away using only hands. Providing one removed the capacitor, this part was designed to be easily removed.
Step 14 Circuit Breaker 1 out of 3 Remove the circuit breaker from the side of cylinder housing by unscrewing the 14mm nut using a 3/8 drive Socket Wrench and 14 mm Socket. Unclip the electrical wires by pulling outward from the prongs using a tight grip with hands. This component is located in a easily accessible location and uses standard tools. This provides evidence that this component was designed to be removed or manipulated.
Step 15 Oil Fill Plug 1 out of 3 Remove the red oil fill plug using an upward force and tight grip with hands. This part is designed to be removed. The part is red in color to attract the users attention and is ergonomically designed to be removed by hand.
Step 16 Valve Plate 3 out of 3 Remove two screws removed using power drill and #1 Phillips head bit. These screws held on the valve plate with a washer and lock washer. This step was especially difficult due the high torque on the screws holding the valve plate together. A second set of hands and power tools were needed. Another set of standard tools were used to remove this part. There was a large amount of torque needed for this step, which was likely implemented to prevent manipulation. This part was most likely designed to not be removed or disassembled.
Step 17 Cylinder Head 1 out of 3 After step 12, this became free. Pull upward and remove. Most likely designed to be disassembled, providing step 12 is completed.
Step 18 Piston/Motor Assembly from Tank 1 out of 3 Remove the Piston/Electric Motor Assembly from the Tank by unscrewing the 4x13mm nuts and 4x12mm bolts using 3/8 drive socket wrench and 13 mm socket and 12 mm socket. Lift the assembly to separate. This procedure was designed to be taken apart, as it only requires a wrench and sockets.
Step 19 Expansion Ring from Piston 1 out of 3 Remove the expansion ring by grasping it with needle nose pliers and squeezing inward. Once there is enough clearance, pull the ring out of the piston.
Step 20 Piston 1 out of 3 Slide the pin out of the piston by hand. Afterward, the piston will be completely disconnected from the connecting rod. Remove by hand. This was designed to be removed in the possible case of failure.
Step 21 Crankcase Cover and Crankcase Gasket 2 out of 3 Remove the casing by unscrewing the 6x4mm hex screws using a 4mm allen wrench. Once removed, the crankcase gasket will simply peel off using your hand. Some difficulty occurred due to an over-torquing once of the hex screws. To remove it, it took two people and a considerable amount of force. This force does not imply that it was not meant to be taken apart, but the application requires a high torque to be applied. The gasket was meant to be removed, as gaskets will eventually wear out.
Step 22 Connecting Rod 1 out of 3 Once the piston and crankcase cover are both removed, the rod can be easily slid out by hand. To our surprise, there was nothing keeping the rod connected to the crank other than the force transferred from piston being in line with the cylinder head. Along with the piston, the connecting rod is designed to be removed from the assembly, in the possible case of failure.
Step 23 Oil Drain Plug 1 out of 3 Remove the oil drain plug using a 17 mm open/closed ended wrench. This component is meant to be removed, this is how the user drains and changes the oil in the crank case.
Step 24 Motor Cooling Fan 1 out of 3 First, the expansion ring on the fan was removed using need nose pliers. A 5 mm allen wrench was used to loosen the hex bolt until the fan slid off the motor by hand. This part is fastened using common tools, This leads us to believe that it was intended to be disassembled.
Step 25 Electric Motor from the Piston/Cylinder Assembly 1 out of 3 Remove the motor by unscrewing 4x8mm bolts, 4(5/8) in length using a 3/8 drive Socket Wrench and 8 mm Socket, along with a washer on each bolt. Then loosen the screw in order to disconnect a ground wire using a #1 Phillips head screwdriver. The motor will then slide free from the crankcase. The use of common fasteners would allow most people to disassemble this portion of the air compressor, perhaps implying that it was intended to be taken apart in case of failure or maintenance.
Step 26 Pressure Safety Release Valve 1 out of 3 Remove the pressure safety release valve using a 15mm wrench(open/closed). This part was easy to disassemble meaning that it could be taken apart easily, but because of important safety aspect of the part, it was most likely not intended to be removed.
Step 27 Air Line from Pressure Output Valve/Pressure Controlled Power Switch 1 out of 3 Remove the air line by placing an adjustable wrench on the fitting, tightening appropriately, and turning counter-clockwise. For maintenance reasons, this part was most likely designed to be taken apart. All that was needed to remove the part was an adjustable wrench which is a fairly common tool.
Step 28 Pressure Gauges 1 out of 3 To remove the gauges, place an adjustable wrench on the fittings, tighten appropriately, and turn counter-clockwise. The gauges are simply attached using a threaded connection. Their removal may have been intended as to replace them as needed. However, the gauges themselves are press fit and appear to not be intended for disassembly.

Exploded View

Additionally, in contacting the manufacturer, we were able to obtain the following image, which demonstrates a complete complex breakdown of the entire compressor system and its components:

Figure 45: Exploded View Diagram [1]

Connection of Subsystems

On/off switch and electric motor connection

Figure 46: On/Off Switch
  • How Subsystems are Connected:
The on/off switch is physically connected to the motor through electrical wiring which was designed to send electrical energy from the power source through the switch and then into the motor. The copper wire is what connects the two subsystems and allows the user to send energy through the switch using a signal to turn it on. The wire is connected by simply using a rubber coating to safely transfer the wire from the switch to the motor and then using electrical connections so that the wire is connected to both the switch and motor.
  • Why Subsystems are Connected:
These two systems are connected because there needs to be a way to channel the power from the source, through the switch and into the motor so it can start receiving electrical energy to help run the other functions in the compressor.
  • How Connections were Implemented:
There were not many factors that went into deciding to use this connection type. Copper wiring was used to transmit the signal because it is the cheapest and most efficient material which can be used to transmit electricity. Using this connection does not necessarily effect the performance as the focus of this connection was just to transmit a signal.
  • Arrangement of Subsystems:
The switch was located on the front end of the compressor closer to the handle and outside of the plastic shroud so that it can be easily accessible to the user. The switch was then connected to the motor which was found under the shroud through the use of electrical wiring.

Electric motor and capacitor/circuit breaker connection

Figure 47: Capacitor
Figure 48: Circuit Breaker

  • How Subsystems are Connected:
The motor is connected to the capacitor and circuit breaker by using copper wiring to make a circuit with both components. The wiring is connected to each component using screws to hold the wires in their respective places.
  • Why Subsystems are Connected:
The motor is connected to the capacitor so that the capacitor can take in power so that the motor can receive a constant amount of power by storing it until the power is used by the motor. This is to ensure that the motor is always receiving a constant amount of power without possibly harming the motor by receiving to much or too little power. The circuit breaker is connected for a similar reason, so that in case there is a malfunction in compressor, the user can turn off the compressor by using the circuit breaker and stopping the motor from receiving power.
  • How Connections were Implemented:
Because this is an electrical connection, there were not many factors to influence this connection type. Copper wire is the most efficient way to transfer energy and it was the easiest way to connect the capacitor and circuit breaker with the motor.
  • Arrangement of Subsystems:
The capacitor is connected to the power source which then connects to the motor. The capacitor sits on top of the motor, connected to the crank case and to the motor with wiring. The circuit breaker was placed on the side of the compressor so that it was more accessible to the user.

Electric motor and shaft/crank assembly connection

Figure 49: Motor and Shaft
  • How Subsystems are Connected:
The electrical motor was connected to the shaft by transferring energy from the motor to the shaft. The electrical energy is converted into mechanical energy through the use of the the magnetic field which is created by the current through the wire. The shaft is held in the middle of the motor through its connection with the crankcase so that it can spin freely. The shaft is connected to the crankcase by being pressed through a bearing to connect it to the crank inside the case.
  • Why Subsystems are Connected:
This is a very important connection because it helps to convert the electrical energy from the power source into rotational energy which is of greater use because that mechanical energy is then transferred to other components to compress the air.
  • How Connections were Implemented:
This connection was influenced greatly by environmental and societal concerns. By using an electric motor instead of a combustion engine, there are more positive environmental aspects because the compressor is not created harmful exhaust fumes like a gas engine would. This is also a societal factor because more people would be willing to use this because it is easy to connect to a power source as well as its positive effects for the environment. This connection type effects the performance of the compressor in several ways. The gas motors will give more power output than an electrical motor, but the electric motor is more reliable in that the compressor can be run at a constant rpm for longer and there is less maintenance for it compared to the gas motor.
  • Arrangement of Subsystems:
The arrangement of these subsystems is also very important in completing their function. In order to properly transfer the electrical energy into rotational energy, the shaft had to fit inside of the electric motor so that they were positioned in the same axis. This also meant that the shaft had to be able to run straight and level from the motor to its connection on the crank case. This is a very important arrangement because of how these subsystems have to be placed in the same axis so they complete their functions correctly and efficiently.

Crank and piston connection

Figure 50: Connecting Rod; Piston-Crank Connection
  • How Subsystems are Connected:
The crank and the piston are connected through the use of a connecting rod. The connecting rod was fashioned so that it would sit inside the piston and the wrist pin would be able to slide through, so the piston and rod and not be taken apart without taking out the pin. The rod then simply slides onto the crank and there is an oil groove inside the rod hole to assure that the rod moves smoothly around the crank.
Figure 51: Connection Rod
  • Why Subsystems are Connected:
These subsystems are connected because the rotational energy of the shaft needs to then be turned into linear motion in the piston moving up and down. This energy transfer is important because the piston is what compresses the surrounding air into the tank so that it can be utilized by the user.
  • How Connections were Implemented:
This is a very simple connection considering how important it is to the compressors functionality. By using aluminum for the connecting rod, they were able to cut down on costs for material, helping the economic value of the compressor. They also used oil because it was the cheapest kind of piston set up they could use instead of using an oil-less piston set up which would increase the price of the compressor. While oil is not as environmentally friendly as other options, there is not much oil needed for its desired function and it does not need to be replaced very often at all, so it does not necessarily harm the environment very much.
  • Arrangement of Subsystems:
These subsystems also have to be arranged in a specific way as to assure the functionality of the connecting rod. Because there needs to be a linear connection between the crank and the piston, the piston cylinder has to sit on the crank case, directly above the crank so that the connecting rod can connect to both components in the proper fashion.

Piston cylinder and tank connection

Figure 52: Air Feed Line
  • How Subsystems are Connected:
These two subsystems are physically connected through the copper fill line that connects the intake manifold which lays on top of the piston cylinder, to the tank. This fill line is connected by nuts which are already pressed onto the fill line. These nuts are attached to the line, and very easily screw on to their respective positions on the intake manifold and tank. This provides a solid connection which does not allow for any air to be released during transportation from the manifold to the tank.
  • Why Subsystems are Connected:
These subsystems are connected by the fill line because there needs to be some way for the air compressed by the piston to be transported over to the tank. This is a very simple design but a very important one all the same.
  • How Connections were Implemented:
This was a very simple design, so there was not as many factors that went into deciding to use this kind of line. The copper was used because it was cheaper than other materials like steel, as well as the fact that steel would have heated up more than copper which could potentially be more dangerous for the user. The material needed to be able to transfer the compressed air is important because it needs to be a material that is strong enough to withstand the highly pressurized air which is being pumped through, while also being able to withstand the heat the compressed air will transfer to the line.
  • Arrangement of Subsystems:
The intake manifold sits on top of the piston cylinder assembly which is very important because that is where the air is being compressed. There then needs to be an immediate way for the compressed air to be transferred into the tank because of the high pressure that would be building up, so the copper fill line was implemented to move the air into the tank. This is a simple connection that only stretched from the manifold, to a intake valve on the compressor which sat further up towards the front of the tank, but still guarded by other components around it. This placement is not necessarily position specific, as the line could stretch to any place on the tank, but this was the simplest way to place the line as it required less material, helping to reduce the cost.

Tank and pressure line/gauges connection

Figure 53:Air Line
  • How Subsystems are Connected:
The tank is connected to the pressure gauges with another copper line, but this line is much smaller than the one connecting the intake manifold and tank. This is a smaller line because it allows the air to be pushed out at a higher pressure than with a larger line. When the air reaches the gauges, it sends a signal out to the user to let them know at what pressure the tank is currently expelling air, letting them know if the tank is at a high enough pressure to start using their tools. The connection between the gauges and the tools is through a quick release rubber air tube which stretches from the pressure gauge box to whichever tool the user as making use of.
  • Why Subsystems are Connected:
These subsystems are connected because there needs to be a way for the user to be able to utilize the compressed air while also letting them know if the air is at a great enough pressure to be utilized. This is an important connection because it what completes the function of the compressor, which is to compress air to power tools.
  • How Connections were Implemented:
This connection was influenced greatly by cost, as there was a small, copper line to connect the tank to the gauges, which would not be very expensive, as well as the rubber tubing which is not expensive and can be manufactured very easily. The material used did have to be strong enough to withstand the pressure of the air, but there are plenty of cheap materials which can be used to complete such a function. Therefore performance was not hindered at all by using copper and rubber for the connections.
  • Arrangement of Subsystems:
This is a very simple arrangement, as there is no specific way that the subsystems need to be arranged. In order to reduce cost then, the copper line connecting the tank to the gauges was made as short as possible to reduce the amount of material being used, as well as using rubber for the hose connecting the gauges to the tool. The line connecting the tank and the gauges could be shaped into any form that was needed, so there was no specific way that the two had to be arranged on the tank. The hose is also very flexible so it can be stretched to whatever position may be necessary, allowing the user a lot of flexibility with the product itself.


[1]. Air Plus 10 Gal Air Compressor - 540025 (n.d.). User manuals . Retrieved October 26, 2010, from