Group 17 - For Kawasaki® KFX® Power Wheels: Gate 2
Project Management: Preliminary Project Review
As our group finishes the second gate, it is important to assess how the group has worked together. At the beginning of the project the group created a management plan to follow. Thus far the plan was worked well, with only one minor setback. Changes needed to be made to account for the loss of our group leader, who resigned the course.
The group was able to meet its expectations, which were set up in the management plan. The group members used their strengths to complete the tasks. Our meeting plan has also worked out well, and because of this, there will be no need to add extra meetings. The group has not had to use the conflict resolution plan, as the group members have not had conflicts. To make up for the loss of a member, the remaining members will need to step up and take on a greater work load. This will not be a problem because each member is capable of doing so. The reason the management plan has worked so far is because an problem that could arise is addressed in the original plan.
There have been no unresolved challenges facing our group, since we have been able to successfully coordinate with each other to meet the gate deadlines and requirements. The challenge of making up for the loss of our group leader has been met with a slight change in group roles. Sam has taken on the role of leader and communication liaison, and Parth has a familiarization with the wiki format so he is able to upload the gates.
The work proposal has also worked very well. Parth and Dhruv were able to successfully go to the lab and work on the product dissection. The dissection took the time anticipated, and each step was followed in the order proposed. The tools that were needed were very simple and easily available in the lab. In the future we may run into the challenge of 3D modeling, since the group member who resigned was the only one familiar with Imagination and 3D modeling. Isaac will work to become familiar with 3D modeling so we can graph the necessary components of our product.
Product Dissection Plan
- 9/16" socket wrench
- 3/8" drive 3" long Socket extension
- P1 Philips Head Screw Driver
- 1/8" Flat head screw driver
Basic Parts of Kawasaki KFX
|Parts of Kawasaki KFX|
|Item#||Description||QTY (EA)||Item#||Description||QTY (EA)|
|2||Battery Retainer||1||20||Turbo Wire Harness||1|
|3||Left Spring Cover||1||21||Rear Axle||1|
|4||Right Spring Cover||1||22||Rear Wheel||2|
|7||Harness Assy.||1||25||Hand Grip||2|
|8||Control Switch F/R||1||26||12V Charger||1|
|9||Motor Gearbox Assy.||1||27||Wheel Cover||4|
|10||Motor Pinion||2||28||7/16 Flat Washer||7|
|12||Foot board Assy.||1||30||Steering Column Cap||1|
|14||Front Clip||1||32||Cotter Pin||4|
|15||Steering Linkage||1||33||Brush Guard||1|
|16||Front Axle||2||34||Steering Column Plate||1|
|17||Battery Retainer||2||35||12V Battery||1|
|18||Handlebar Assy.||1||36||8 X 3/4" Screw||4|
|-||-||-||37||8 X 2" Screw||2|
Procedure of Dissection
The table below describes the step-by-step process of disassembling the Kawasaki KFX. Along with the procedure, the table also has a photograph for each component of the procedure, and the tools used to dissect that component. Moreover, there is also a column that dictates if a part is intended to be disassembled or not.
|Process of Disassembly|
|Step No.||Procedure||Tools||Time Required (min)||Difficulty||Intended to Disassemble?||Picture|
|1||The seat was removed from the bike by snapping the tab (on the back of the seat) out of the slot near the rear of the vehicle.||Hand||00.10||1||Yes|
|2||Removed the Brush Guard, located on the front of the vehicle.||P1 Philips head screwdriver.||01.00||2||Yes|
|3||Removed the front clip behind the brush guard, located on the front of the vehicle.||Hand||00.30||1||Yes|
|4||Removed the left foot-rest with support rods.||P1 Philips head screwdriver||01.00||2||No|
|5||Removed the right foot-rest with the brake pedal. Once your foot is lifted from the brake pedal, the vehicle stops moving.||P1 Philips head screwdriver||02.00||2||No|
|6||Removed the two white bumper caps, located on the front of the vehicle.||Hand||00.50||1||No|
|7||Removed the four hubcaps, from the center of each of the four wheels. This was done by placing the vehicle in an upright position.||Hand||01.00||1||Yes||Picture|
|8||Removed the four wheel caps, one from each of the four wheels.||Flathead Screwdriver||02.00||2||Yes|
|9||Removed the front wheels, using a wrench along the front axle.||9/16" Socket Wrench and Hammer||05.00||3||Yes|
|10||Removed the plate from the bottom of the vehicle, under the steering column.||1/8" flathead screwdriver||01.00||2||Yes||Picture|
|11||Removed the steering column cap, using a 1/8" Flat head screwdriver to remove the steering column itself.||1/8" Flathead screwdriver||01.00||2||Yes|
|12||The steering column is removed from the vehicle very carefully, using a P1 Philips screwdriver.||P1 Philips screwdriver||03.00||3||Yes|
|13||The hand grips are removed from the steering column (from the handlebar segment). The hand grips are adjusted by the rider to act as an accelerator for the vehicle.||Hand||01.00||2||No|
|14||Removed the rear wheels using a socket wrench (which could only be done after removing the wheel caps in step 8).||9/16" Socket Wrench with a 3/8" drive 3" long Socket extension.||05.00||3||Yes|
|15||The rear wheel driver is removed (which could only be done after removing the rear wheels of the vehicle in step 14).||Hand||00.40||1||Yes||Picture|
|16||Removed the steering linkage (which could only be done after removing the front axles).||1/8" Flathead screwdriver||02.00||2||Yes|
|17||The chassis is then taken from the body of the vehicle and separated from all of the other vehicle components.||P1 Philips head screwdriver||03.00||2||No|
|18||The body component is separated.||None||00.20||1||Yes|
|19||Removed the cover from the body component with the switch. The switch limits the speed of the vehicle.||P1 Philips Screwdriver||01.00||2||No|
|20||Removed the Motor from the gearbox. (This was difficult to take out)||1/8" Flathead screwdriver||03.00||3||No|
|21||The chassis was separated into two segments.||P1 Philips Screwdriver||03.00||2||No||Picture|
Ease of Disassembly
The level of each step was defined on a scale ranging from 1 to 3 where 1 is the easiest, and 3 is the hardest. A step receiving a 2 means it is in between hard and easy. The three levels were calculated keeping different factors in mind. Some of the factors which we kept in mind were:
- Time needed to disassemble the component
- Difficulty handling the product
- Number of tools needed
- Complexity of the component
The most important factor we considered while calculating the difficulty level of each step was the time factor. The components which took the longest time to disassemble received a 3 as the difficulty level. The components that did not require a long duration of time to disassemble received a 1. A difficulty level near 3 was also given to steps with components that required careful handling once taken out of the product, or those steps that required more than one tool. Steps the received a 1 had components that were easy to take apart from the product, only requiring one tool (or no tools at all).
No challenges arose during the dissection.
Intention of Disassembly
Most of the components of the product are located on the outside, since this is child's bike that is intended to be used as so. For instance, the seat and handlebars were located on the outside and were relatively easy to disassemble. In general, the components that were easy to disassemble were also located on the outside and were held together by simple bolts and screws. The parts of the bike that were not intended for dissection were less visibly obvious to the user. As we were dissecting the Kawasaki KFX, there were some components of the product like the Front Axle Motor, Steering Column, and 12V battery, which were clearly not intended for the user to disassemble (or re-assemble). These components were intended to remain fixed on the KFX by the company and manufacturers. We have made a definitive effort to disassemble as many components of the product as possible in order to provide a detailed dissection analysis. However, the following components were not intended to be dissembled further, as it would have taken a lot of work to do so.
Steering Column :
The Steering column is soldered to the steering. If it is separated from it, then it would have altered the shape of the steering component. To re-assemble the steering column to the steering component we would have needed a soldering machine (along with a soldering wire). Re-soldering the steering column would have also degraded the shape further.
Rear Axle motor:
The rear axle motor was also not intended to be dissected. It is a highly complex system that would require additional knowledge of engines and circuits to break it apart. The manufacturer clearly warns the users not to tamper with the motor because it might disrupt the functionality of the vehicle. If the motor is dissected without any knowledge of engine systems and circuits, it would be extremely difficult to put back together and form a functioning product. Since the motor is the main aspect of the vehicle's acceleration, damaging the motor would render the product essentially useless.
Battery is made up of harmful chemicals and metals. It requires an expertise handling of chemicals, because most chemicals found in batters are highly hazardous if handled incorrectly. Similar to the real axle motor component, the manufacture placed a warning on the battery stating that no one should ever try to tamper with it, since the results could be fatal. During the dissection process the battery was separated from the product but not broken down further. The sub chemical components of the battery are purposefully concealed so that the average user cannot gain access to them.
The front axle comes fixed to the chassis, but we were able to separate it. The front axle was probably not intended to be dissected further, but we carefully removed the axle in an effort to better describe the relationship of the components of the KFX. The front axle was also separated to add to the detail and depth of the overall product breakdown.
Connection of Subsystems
There are seven total sub-systems in the Kawasaki KFX. They include the 12V battery, control switch, steering column, motor, accelerator (speed controller), wheels and the brake pedal. Each part has its own separate function and is connected to the other components in one or more ways.
Energy is initially introduced to the system in the form of human energy input, when the rider sends a signal to the batter via the handlebars. By twisting the grip of the handlebars, the vehicle speeds up. The battery then transmits a signal in the form of electrical energy to the motor (located in the gearbox). The electrical energy is converted into mechanical energy, which in turn rotates the gearbox. Through generated translational energy, the rotating gearbox allows the vehicle to accelerate and gain kinetic energy as it moves forward.
The handlebars and front wheels are internally connected. The steering column gives us the ability to control the direction of the vehicle. After the rider applies pressure to the handlebars to steer the KFX, the steering column sends a signal the front wheels. The front wheels use the rider's applied pressure signal to turn in the indicated direction, creating translational motion.
The motor will rotate the rear wheels, and the front wheels are specifically used for controlling the direction of the vehicle. The motor is only responsible for rotating the rear wheels; the front wheels are controlled via pressure signals from the rider (directed from the handlebars and steering column). The vehicle is further controlled via the break pedal. When the rider's foot is lifted from the break pedal the vehicle is brought to a stop. The pedal is located on the right foot-rest on the body component of the bike. Once the rider releases their foot from the pedal, the kinetic energy accelerating the vehicle is lowered and potential energy increases as the bike comes to a stop.
All of these subsystems are connected by a piece of plastic or metal. The steering column enters from the top of the vehicle and goes through the body component, it reaches the bottom of the body and is connected to the front wheels. A steering linkage connects the steering column to the front wheels, and it is locked in place by the steering column cap. This security of the steering column helps the rider have more control over the front wheels to accelerate in the desired direction. The battery is connected to a wire (for signal transmission) which connects to the handlebars. The battery-handlebar wire connection words as the accelerator of the vehicle. Additionally, the batter is connected to the motors through the gearbox. The gearbox is the main component that puts the bike in motion (by rotating the rear wheels). On a smaller level, plastic clips, screws, bolts and metal clips are used to connect the subsystems to one another.
Implementation of the connections
The connection of the subsystem components are made by either screws or plastic clips. The product has been made with the global concerns in mind since the screws needed for the connections are available globally, and thus they can be easily replaced.
The subsystems have been connected keeping the child's safety in mind. The Break Pedal is designed in such a way that all the child has to do is lift his or her foot up to stop the vehicle, rather than pressing down the pedal to stop the acceleration. Additionally, fewer screws and more plastic has been used in connecting the subsystems so that the child doesn't get injured by the screws or other small components. These screws are place where a small child would not be able to get them.
This product is made keeping the economical concerns in mind, which include the cost of production for the company and the cost of the product for the buyer. As mentioned previously, fewer screws connect different components of the subsystem and the subsystems themselves. This would reduce the cost of production, since less components would need to be assembled. Since the cost of plastic is cheap, the overall cost of the product will be lower for buyer, or let the company make more money.
The connections of the subsystems are also influenced by the environmental concerns. Creating plastic is generally more environmentally friendly than metal. Using fewer bolts and more plastic demonstrates an attempt by the manufacturers to help the environment. Since this product is intended for mass production, using less metal on a large production scale will have less of a negative impact on the environment when the product needs to be shipped. Although a reduction of shipment has a positive impact on the environment, actually disposing of plastic is harmful to the environment. Because almost the entire product is made from plastic, it is clear that fisher price does not keep environmental concerns in mind.
How performance influences the connection type
The subsystems have been connected in such a way that that performance rating will be very high. Plastic is used to make the product and connect the subsystems. Plastic has the ability to absorb a high force without breaking, as it has high degree of flexibility. Since the majority of the components are made of plastic, they can withstand a decent amount of force, giving the product a longer life. The ability of the components to maintain their functionally adds to the overall performance rating as well, since they will be able to interact optimally for a long duration of time. There are certain subsystems that cannot be adjacent, due to the way their respective components work and how the bike must be designed. For instance, the battery must be located within the body of the bike so all of the wiring is concealed and so it does not heat up other components (like the motor). The handlebar and axle component must be free from other subsystems that might rub against the steering column and cause inaccurate directional steering.
Arrangement of the Subsystems
The subsystems are arranged in a way that the connections can be seen very clearly. It is easy to understand how the product works by simply looking at it. The steering column is placed in the front, similar to all other motor vehicles, and it is connected to the front wheels. The wire from the handlebars of the steering column connects to the battery, which is located directly below the seat (surrounded by various supports). The battery then connects to the motor in the gearbox. The gearbox is located at the rear of the vehicle and it is connected to the back wheels. The control switch is located in the center of the body component near the steering column, so that it is easy to control the speed and simultaneously manage the vehicle. Overall, the arrangement of the subsystems is very user friendly and safe. The successful arrangement of the subsystems increases the overall performance of the bike. There are no sub systems that cannot be adjacent.
The following sources were used for the following gate: