Group 18 - Barbie™ Ford Mustang/Gate 1
Our group has been assigned the Barbie (TM) Ford Mustang Power Wheels toy car for our project. All members of our project will participate in the dissection, but Dan McKinley will be in charge of the entire process, and direct group members during the actual dissection process. Pictures, notes, and possibly videos will be taken during the dissection process, which we estimate will take no more than 1.5 hr. The Barbie (TM) Ford Mustang is composed of two main systems: a drive-train and a body. The dissection will involve completely disassembling and reassembling these two systems.
Tools required for disassembly:
1. Phillips Head Screwdriver
2. Flat Head Screwdriver
3. Needle Nose Pliers
4. Included Hex Wrench
Approach for Disassembly:
1. Disconnect battery leads and remove battery
2. Remove the hood by pulling it straight up through the slots it is attached by
3. Flip car over, remove 8 visible screws
4. Flip car back over, remove 3 screws securing the yellow seat in place, remove seats
5. Remove 7 screws securing the front part of the car, remove the front part of the car
6. Remove the 4 screws right in front of the windshield, remove 2 screws in the dashboard
7. Remove the 2 screws in the steering wheel, remove 10 screws around gearshift
8. Remove steering wheel, windshield and gearshift
9. Remove screws underneath black sticker on rear of car
10. Flip car over and remove 1 small screw securing steering shaft to front wheel axle
11. Remove steering shaft
12. Flip car so that one set of wheels is touching the ground, while the other set of wheels is in the air
13. Remove small grey plastic caps with mustang logo (pry off by using screwdriver)
14. Use included hex wrench to remove wheel bolt, and repeat this procedure with the remaining wheels
15. Remove 2 large screws in front floor of car, then flip car on back and remove plastic harness securing from axle. Remove front axle but leave plastic housing secured to it, as they cannot be removed
16. Remove rear axle, by applying a force along the rear axle to attempt to dislodge it.
17. Remove all electronic control systems and motors, cutting wires only if necessary
18. Any hidden screws should be removed.
19. Any components not included in this list were not visible during this initial assessment, and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Capabilities of the Group:
Strengths: Technical writing, works well with tools, machine shop trained, computer knowledge
Weakness: Advanced CAD modeling, time management
Strengths: Meeting deadlines
Weakness: Sleeps too much, procrastinates
Strengths: Meeting deadlines, hard worker
Weakness: Busy, finishing projects
Strengths: Solid Modeling
Weakness: procrastinates, documentation
Strengths: CAD, C++, Matlab, Excel, machine shop experience
Weakness: Time Management
In general, our group seems to be weakest in the area of management. While as a group we have the technical and organizational skills to complete this project, it will require extra effort for our group to coordinate and manage our time.
Main Contact for Group 16: Hanbyul Jun
How we will succeed
This is a large and in depth project, in order to succeed we will split work up evenly between our group members. We will each be assigned a different section from the project and will be expected to finish up our assigned sections in a timely manner. Each of our assigned sections must be completed at least three days in advance of the actual due date allowing time for us to properly combine all the sections, and edit each others work.
Group Members and Responsibilities:
Zachary Bauer- Group Leader
Zachary will make sure project is being completed efficiently and completely. He will organize and motivate the group; he will help our group deal with issues and problems.
Dan Mckinley- Technical Expert
Dan will address any technical or computer problems.
Hanybul Jun - Communication Liaison
Hanybul will organize meeting times and location for the group, email information between group members and contact Professor Phil Cormier if needed.
Bilal Butt- Research and Testing
Bilal's duty will be added research into the project. He will find specific information for components of the car and will also design and test experiments to further understand car.
Alex Yousuf- Documenter/ Wiki editor
Alex will manage final documentation of report before gates and will managage the editing of Wiki report. Since this is an extremely time consuming task we will all assist in process.
- All group members will have the responsibility of helping other group members when asked by the Group Leader.
Meeting Times and Location:
We will be meeting after classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Knox 104 for a brief group meeting in order to update everyone on the status of the project. Once a week we will have an in depth meeting in the Capen Library. During these meetings in Capen we will go over the progress of the gates and making sure everyone is on task with there selected assignment. This will allow for regular check ups so that everyone's part is completed. As we transition from paperwork to actually taking apart the car we will meet in the Furnas lab where our car is stored, when necessary. This will happen at 7pm on Thursday generally. If extra time is needed then we will schedule more time each week. Being that we are all extremely busy with other obligations these meetings will generally never run over two hours unless there is no other choice. For maximum productiveness these meeting will be as quick as possible while still fulfilling all the expected tasks.
Expectations on attendance
Planned meetings will be expected to be attended by the whole group unless otherwise stated earlier. If a smaller specific part of the project that is only being worked on by one or two people those two people can meet separately without the whole group attending. Group members will be allowed to miss these meetings if they provide a reasonable reason well in advance of the meeting time.
Contacting others in Group
To provide a safe easy way of communication texts and emails will be used for discussing information. Generally to set up meeting times a forwarded text will be sent from a cellphone to each one of the group members. This will let others respond quickly if that time will not work. For more lengthy conversations or issues an email or phone call will be used.
Plan to complete requirements:
To meet the requirements we will have to stay constantly diligent for the whole semester or else the work will pile up. As soon as we finish one gate get we must start getting ready for the next one to be completed. We must not procrastinate.
-Gate One: Everyone will finish each of his assigned sections by Tuesday September 28th. Following days after will be dedicated to formatting and compiling information in coherent manner.
-Gate Two: As soon as we finish gate one we must meet multiple times to disassemble the actual car. Each person will be assigned different parts of the car to break down to simplest form and compile research and needed information on manufactured parts. Needs to be completed by October 24th allowing time to check information and completion.
-Gate Three: Once everyone knows their specific part of the car they will continue researching their parts to find more detailed information. Each group member will start doing different tests on their specific parts. This data will be used to understand the design choice for using this component. Needs to be completed November 14th, due date is the 17th.
-Gate Four: Stage involves more group work to discuss different aspects of design. This means at weekly meetings information must be compiled together and discussions on design choices. Needs to be completed December 5th due on the 8th.
-Gate Five: Documentation can be done in more of an individual process. Each team member will write on his piece and element of the car. For added time for changes and finalization five days is needed. Each person must hand in assigned task by 12th due on the 17th.
This chart outlines the time of each due date and when the group expects to complete the different assigned sections. Dates will remain as follows unless changed by Project Leader and Group
Group Conflict resolution
If a conflict arises which it most likely will, we will deal with it promptly and efficiently. This will allow us to deal with the situation before it grows into something larger.
-Late work- If one of the teammates turns in their work late without a prior excuse he will have to do extra work in compiling the information and work together before the due date.
-Doesn’t do work- We will immediately have a long discussion with that member and explain that they are letting the group down. If it continues to happen multiple times we will bring the issue to Professor Cormier for advice. This must be done much in advance of actual due dates.
-Missing meeting- without valid reason they will be emailed information they missed and fill the group in on their progress. If continues multiple times we will have a serious discussion with that teammate.
-Lack of effort into work- will be addressed by project manager efficiently. Talk with them about ways to improve their parts.
-Argument or large conflict- will be dealt with by group as a whole. Group will try and sort out disagreement If problem is too large then we will discuss solution with Professor Cormier to find solution.
- Every excuse for late assignment on missing a meeting will be discussed by the rest of the group to decide on validity
Initial Product Assessment
When was the product developed?
Fisher Price a subsidiary of Mattel designed the Barbie Mustang in 2007. Production and general sales started in 2009.
What were the key economic and global concerns at the time of development?
An economic concern is a design criterion that was influenced by money and the economy. The economic concerns are building a relatively inexpensive while highly fun toy for children. Being 2007 the large economic depression in the United States was just starting. This made Fisher Price want to design a highly enjoyable Power Wheel while being cost effective. While the Barbie Mustang is one of the more expensive Power Wheels at $300 it beats many other means of travel. A high quality stroller can cost in the $500+ while a pony can cost $1000+. This car is also much more enjoyable for the child to ride while saving the parent from pushing their kid.
A Global concern is a design consideration focused on the specific cultural or geographic traits. The Global concern considered at the time of development is pushing traditional American ideals. The image of Barbie and a Mustang are completely American. In parents buying this car for their daughter they are buying their child their first glimpses into American ideal lifestyle and expected roles. Since this car is sold a marketed in solely the USA and its territories it can specifically meet one countries culture and ascetic values of girls liking pink, Barbie, and flowers.
In what countries or regions is the product intended to be sold?
This product is intended to be sold in the U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada. While the product is available online through Amazon and other web based merchants throughout the world Fisher Price the actual manufacturer will only ship to these locations. 
What is the intended impact on the consumer?
The intended impact is to have the normal mid-class parent buy this motorized vehicle for their child. It allows the parent to feel they have met their child’s need for entertainment and play. The impact on the child is that they feel like an adult driving a luxury car and enjoy themselves for an extended period of time.
What is the Intended Use?
This product is intended to be used as an entertainment device, for kids ages 3 and up . This product allows children to drive a car, just as their parents do. This product is not intended to be used for extended periods of time (or for long distances), because the battery only holds enough charge for 2-3 hours of operation. This product is primarily designed for home use, because it can only be used by up to two children at a time
What jobs does the product perform?
This product, while designed for entertainment, primarily performs the job of transporting the user short distances at low speeds.
What types of energy are used?
Electrical energy is converted into kinetic energy during the product's operation. The battery is charged using an adapter that converts 120 V AC power to 12 V DC power, which then charges the battery. When the battery is charged and placed in the car, the user may then depress the accelerator pedal, which causes current to flow through the two electrical motors on the rear axle. These motors exert a torque around the rear axle, causing the rear wheels to rotate forward, propelling the car forward. This motion forward motion is ultimately the result of electrical energy being converted into rotational energy in the wheels. In addition to electrical energy, human energy is also required. The user must both steer the vehicle (by applying a moment about the steering rod using the steering wheel), and depress the accelerator, both actions that require a human energy input.
Number of Components
There are total of 86 parts. A complex product is something like a car which has many interacting parts. This is shown in the Internal Combustion engine in a vehicle which is a subsystem of the whole but is still extremely complex. A non-complex product is something like a wrench where there are not as many interacting parts. The Barbie Mustang is a miniature and a dramatically simpler version of a regular car, therefore it is a complex machine but very much simplified.
Complexity of Individual Components
The Barbie Mustang in general has fairly complex components. The most complicated part is the Motor, because the motor has many different components within it and is the actual source for power in the car. Another complex part is the radio. It has pre-written programs for songs on it. While it is very much simplified compared to a normal radio it still has circuitry and user interface. Also the lights blink in synchronization to the music adding another level of complexity.
Complexity of Component Interactions
The interactions of the parts are quite challenging. From just looking at the car, it is easy to assume that it is only a kid’s toy; however the interactions of the parts are quite complex. Connection between the motor, batteries, and some electronics is a lot more complicated than just screwing a nut into a hole. The wires to connect the various parts are much entangled within the car. Even when it is only a simple motor and a simple toy car there are many multifaceted aspects. The battery is connected to the motor which transforms the electrical power to mechanical power in the axles which in turn moves the wheels. There are also subsystems in steering, an automatic breaking system, and speed controls. For example, the rotational energy provided by the motor is not directly transferred to the wheels; it must first be put through a series of gears in order to obtain the correct power ratio. This interaction is quite complex.
The materials clearly visible:
• Hard Plastic- Covers the entire car. Multiple types are used including a harder plastic for the seats and windshield.
• Steel- Can easily be seen under the car which is used for the steering mechanism and screws holding car together.
Materials not visible, but present:
• Nylock (screws, bolts)- Used to hold car together and attach different sections.
• Wires- Are used to attach all electronics and transfer power within the car.
• Steel- Is used in the motor and structure of car.
• Battery Components (Lead-Acid Battery)- Used as the actual power source for the car.
Product Alternative Profile
Alternatives name Cost Speed Intended age Number of users Picture Ford F-150 Powerwheel $350 2.5-5mph 3+ 2 users Dora the Explorer™ Lil’ Quad™ $100 2 mph 12-36 months 1 user Barbie™ Cadillac® Escalade™ Custom Edition $375 2.5-5mph 3+ 2 users Barbie Ford Mustang $300 2.5-5mph 3+ 2 users
Out of the Alternatives that were looked at all were more expensive than the Barbie Mustang besides the Dora the Explorer Quad. The reason for the higher cost are because of the added features on the Escalade and F-150. They both include more realistic features such as working radio and speakers, this increases the cost. The Lil' Quad differs in that it is for a younger age group and thus only allows one user and moves at a lower speed of only 2 mph. The decreased speed allows it to be safer for younger children to operate. This decreases the cost dramatically compared to the other alternatives to $100. Looking at different variables in the powerwheels include the speed and number of users. The Mustang, Escalade, and F-150 are all similar in these variables. They both have two speeds forward of 2.5 and 5 mph. They both also have the same number of people the vehicle can hold of 2. All three of these also have similar weight carrying capacity of 130lb.
User interaction Profile
How does the user interface with the product?
This product is intended to be used by children of age 3 or older but the max weight allowed is 130lbs (59 kg).
The first thing the user(s) do when they get this product is to charge the main battery for at least 18 hours. While the battery is being charged, an adult assembles the car which can take from one to 2 hours. After Assembling the car the user can add decoration stickers provided to improve the look of the car and to improve the ease of usage as some of these stickers provides visual clues for what the function of a certain part of the car is. When the battery is fully charged it is to be connected to the car by the connection cable provided in the car’s hood (just where a normal engine would be).
While the car is now ready for the user to use it is better if an adult goes through the driving and safety rules provided in the user manual with them. Even then adult supervision is always required whenever this product is being used.
Now the user is ready to use this product and first time users will only be allowed to use this car at the low speed (2.5 mph) only. If the user has used this product or similar product before, the adult supervisor can go ahead and remove the high speed lock-out screw to allow the vehicle to operate in both low (2.5 mph) and high speed (5 mph). The speeds can be changed through the speed shifter that is located in between the seats. It can also shift into a reverse setting that will allow the vehicle to move in reverse.
To make the vehicle move the user will have to press the pedal located near the foot of the user when he/she sits in the driving seat. The vehicle is equipped with an automated electronic braking system that stops the vehicle when the user lifts his/her foot from the pedal. And the user can use the steering wheel to make the vehicle turn left and right.
The user can press the buttons with the sound symbol on it, which is located on the left and right of the stimulated radio, to hear prerecorded tunes.
After each use the battery has to be recharged for at least 14 hours.
How intuitive are the interfaces?
The adult should be able to assemble the vehicle quite easily by following the directions provided in the user manual. The only tool required to assemble it is a phillips head screwdriver to tighten the screws.
After going through the user manual once and putting on the decorative stickers the user can grasp the basic idea of what is required to use this vehicle at least theoretically, practice is required to completely understand and utilize the product efficiently so that no accidents take place. If the user has no prior experience operating a vehicle, they will need to practice so that they can properly control the Barbie Ford Mustang.
Is the product easy to use?
The most difficult part of using this product will be to assemble it and taking care of the battery. The product also needs to be examined before each use to make sure there are no loose bolts and parts that will cause the product to break down. The actual usage of the product is quite easy and a source of great entertainment for the user.
Is regular maintenance required? If so, how easy is the maintenance?
The product will have to be examined before each usage to make sure there are no loose bolts and broken or cracked parts. The battery will also need to be properly handled and charged after each use.
Proper handling of the battery involves:
• Make sure the battery is never charged more than 30 hours.
• Battery should be upright while it is charging.
• Charging should be done before the battery is completely dead.
• Battery should be charged at least once every month even though the product has not been used.
• Battery should be properly installed into the vehicle before it is used.
• Battery should be examined after each usage to make sure it does not leak, show excessive wear or is broken at its connectors.
It is also strongly recommended to read the user manual before any usage to know which places are safe to use it product and in what conditions.
Checking the product for wear and tear before each use will not take more than five minutes and using the proper techniques to handle the battery will not require much effort from the user, therefore the maintenance of this product is not hard and will become muscle memory quite soon with repeated use.
The user manual can be found here
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2. "Barbie™ Ford Mustang." Mattel Inc., 2010. Web. 30 Sept. 2010. <http://www.fisher-price.com/us/powerwheels/product.aspx?pid=49932>.
3. "Fisher-Price Power Wheels Barbie Mustang Battery-Powered Riding Toy : Target." Target.com - Furniture, Baby, Toys, Electronics, Costumes, Video Games. Web. 30 Sept. 2010. <http://www.target.com/Fisher-Price-Wheels-Barbie-Mustang-Battery-Powered/dp/B003H79298>.
4. Ereplacementparts. Advertisement. www.ereplacementparts.com. Web. 30 Sept. 2010. <http://www.ereplacementparts.com/power-wheels-p8812-barbie-mustang-parts-c-115632_115634_116021.html>.
5. P8812pr-0920.indd. East Aurora: Fisher Price, 2009. PDF.