Group 5 - Kawasaki Compressor 2

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Group Members

1. Donald Pangrazio
2. Donovan Southwell
3. Maxwell Urban
4. Sourobh Ghosh
5. Tara Harten


Our group was assigned one of the Kawasaki Air Compressors. Our main goals were to understand how this product works as a whole system and how each individual component works. We did this by disassembling the entire product, doing detailed analysis, and then reassembling the product after all of our assessments were made. Our plans, time management, and individual roles are explained in further detail on our Gate 1 page. To see our detailed findings please refer to each individual gate page.


Executive Summary

The purpose of this section is to give a summarization of the key processes utilized throughout the project and their findings. These descriptions will include the purpose of each process and what we learned from them.

Management Process

Initially a GANTT chart was constructed. It became inaccurate as its rigid structuring implied that the group as a whole would complete each gate in its entirety before progressing to the next gate. However, we found a more effective method was to divide the gates into multiple parts and distribute the responsibility of finishing those sections to each group member according to their strengths(roles). Group meetings were not carried out according to a regular schedule, but rather unanimously agreed upon on a weekly basis via e-mail so as to accommodate those with busy and varying schedules. Our conflict resolution plan was fairly formal in its approach, and no group member's performance ever became such that it necessitated implementation of the proposed disciplinary steps. All minor issues were able to be rectified internally. An active part of the management process was to consistently make amendment in a cause for corrective action. We found that this was an effective way of evaluating the work and management proposals of gate one and addressing any new issues within the group. We learned that even the most thoughtfully constructed plans can not account for every variable, and it is only once you face an unexpected issue that you can begin to account for its presence.

Dissection Process

We dissected our product according to the work proposal from gate one, and in doing so we were able to deconstruct the entire compressor with the exception of the crankshaft. The only addition to the work proposal's outline was the use of two flat-head screwdrivers to pry off the motor housing cover. We made a detailed record of each step of disassembly and attributed a subjective difficulty rating to each step. We later found this rating system to be a poor or incomplete metric for actual perceived difficulty. This process overall proved to reveal the largest amount of previously unknown information about the product in comparison to all other steps.

Analysis Process

This process was one of the most important to the project. A great deal of documentation and analysis was performed including a component list summary, examination of subsystem connections and their relation to the four design factors, and a novel assessment and analysis of a function of our product and how that analysis would be used in the design and testing phase of the design process. We learned why each component is necessary to the function of the product and how the product's success relies upon the the various interactions of the components.

Product Revision Process

This was by far the most creative of all the processes. We were tasked with finding fault or room for improvement in the compressor's design. This took the form of a collaborative brainstorming session in conjunction with comparative research of air compressors of alternative design. In every possible revision upon which unanimous agreement could be reached, consideration of the four factors was a chief concern. We learned that even though the design could almost always be improved, it more often than not has far reaching effects on other design aspects of the product, be they negative or positive.

Reassembly Process

The initial idea for reassembly was to treat it as the reverse process of disassembly. This was at best a close approximation of the demands of reassembly. It proved to be conceptually easier than disassembly given that we were now cognizant of the nature of the various component connections. There were only minor differences in tool selection and execution of reassembly for a few components. The major change was made to the difficulty rating scheme using the knowledge gained from gate two's scale.

Overall Project Assessment

Though there was certainly structure to our procedure, the nature of all final adopted approaches was highly adaptive. Such a project yielded invaluable information on technical writing procedures, factors impacting design considerations, and the mechanics of successful group management. A recurring theme of this project is best illustrated in the caveat that the best laid plans are likely to change.

Gate 1: Project Planning

Gate 1 is the planning stage of our project. The planning stage includes our:

-Work Proposal
-Management Proposal
-Preparation and Initial Assessment

Our Work Proposal has an overview of how our group plans to disassemble the compressor, what tools we will need, an estimate of how long it will take, and challenges we might face. Our Management Proposal has our list of our member's jobs and capabilities. The Preparation and Initial Assessment includes all of our profiles of our product without any dissection of the product itself. Click the link below for our Gate 1.
"Gate 1"

Gate 2: Product Dissection

Gate 2 is about our product dissection and preliminary project review.

-Our product dissection is outlined by a detailed step-by-step process which included what tools we used, how difficult the step was, and if faced any challenges during the dissection. It also includes all of the subsystems of the compressor, how they are connected, why they are connected, and the arrangement of the connections.
-Our preliminary project review included our cause for corrective action, which explains how our plan for dissection worked out and how it did not. It also outlines how our group would handle hypothetical issues together.

Click for "Gate 2"

Gate 3: Product Analysis

Gate 3 is about our product evaluation and our coordination review.

-Our product evaluation contains our component summary, our product analysis, our solid modeled assembly, engineering analysis, and our subsystem design revisions. The component summary documents all of the components with their functions, materials used to produce, manufacturing processes, along with any other important details. The product analysis covers five component's individual function, form, manufacturing method, and complexity in detail. The solid modeled assembly is a sequence of components being assembled. The engineering analysis focuses on an individual component and how the engineering analysis affects its design and testing. The three design revisions of subsystems explains an additional feature revision or an elimination feature revision.
-Our coordination review includes our cause for corrective action. For this gate we evaluated how we dealt with group problems as well as hypothetical issues again.

Click for "Gate 3"

Gate 4: Product Explanation

Gate 4 is about our product explanation and critical project review.

-Our product explanation includes our product reassembly and system design revisions. The product reassembly describes our progressive process of reassembling our air compressor. Each step was detailed with which tool was used, how difficult it was, and if there were any challenges. The three design revisions explain an additional feature revision or an elimination feature revision on the system level.
-Our critical project review is our cause for corrective action. This section resolves all of our group issues throughout the semester and how we solved them and how we are going to solve our unresolved problems at the present.

Click for "Gate 4"