Throughout the course of this semester, our group has worked tirelessly to make sure that we could get the most out of our experience with this project, as it is not everyday that someone hands you an engine to take apart. Given our limited knowledge of the inner workings of an internal combustion engine, we feel that we were able to accomplish our task efficiently, all the while learning enough to intelligently present the subject matter. This project is something that will help us better understand the course material in other classes, and also provide us with extra knowledge in our every day lives. The following highlights what we found in the disassembly and assembly processes, and how we came about these findings.
Going into this part of the project, a few of our group members were relatively naive as to how we would approach this, and those who did have prior knowledge did not have tangible experience working on an engine. When we were paired with the other group, our manpower and knowledge was effectively doubled, which allowed us to focus more on what was being done. With that aid of the manual, we efficiently disassembled the engine, and noticed a few key things that would help us complete the rest of our project. First of all, we all quickly realized that taking apart an engine such as this is a demanding process, as it is engineered to not come apart under the normal usage conditions of high temperature and pressure. Not all the components are meant to be disassembled, but are usually just replaced if broken, shown in gate 2. Also, a key point of this project was to take into account what revisions could be made to past or present products, as we develop our skills of innovation. We noticed that a different system using 5 valves in the cylinder could be used, a catalytic converter could be added, and most importantly, how the use of fuel injectors as opposed to carburetors would greatly improve the engine. The implementation of fuel injectors was highlighted in our presentation, describing how they would make the engine more fuel efficient. These findings were crucial in providing us the knowledge we needed to complete this course.
When we began the assembly process, the general consensus was that this would go much quicker then the disassembly, as we had already seen where everything is placed, and that it would all go on very easy. However, we were quickly proven wrong when we noticed that putting the engine together may have even been more difficult then taking it apart, as every component needs to be just so to ensure it functions properly. This was maybe our most important discovery for this process, the importance of accuracy when it comes to manufacturing, as a non functioning product does not sell. Also, when we began to put all the components back together, we were really able to get a sense of all the different manufacturing processes use for seemingly simple parts, and also how so many different parts can be made with one process. For instance, die casting can be used to create a simple oil pan, but can also be used to manufacture and entire engine block. For this reason, it is necessary for us to be able to recognize the signs of what process was used, as we will be expected to know it in the future.
Overall, this course's project proved to be very beneficial, for many different reasons. It gave us experience working with what will become familiar material, but also gave us the oppuritunity to work in groups, just as we would in the workplace, showing us what to expect down the road.