Group 20 - Ford Mustang Power Wheels
Figure 1: Fully assembled product. Photo courtesy of Zach Wilson.
|Name of Artifact||Ford Mustang Power Wheels|
|Assembled in||Monterrey, Mexico|
The Ford Mustang Power Wheels is a realistic, motorized vehicle, perfect for a young car enthusiast or a child who wants the same car as their dad. The Ford Mustang is meant for 3-6 year old children and has a suggested maximum weight of 130 lbs.
The overall function of the Ford Mustang Power Wheels is to transport the user from point A to point B. This is done through various functions in order to move the car forward, reverse, and from side to side. To supply power the car, a 12 Volt battery is used and is placed under the hood. When the gas pedal is pressed, the circuit is closed and the battery sends electrical energy through the system. Depending on the switch that the gear selector currently has closed, the electrical power will cause the vehicle to move forward at high speed, low speed, or in reverse. This is accomplished when the electrical energy is transferred to two motors, which convert the electrical energy into mechanical rotational energy. This is transferred to independent gearboxes, which in turn conditions the mechanical rotational energy. This energy is transferred to the rear wheels of the car, which in turn drive the car forward or backward. The vehicles direction is controlled through a steering system located at the front of the car. The user inputs mechanical rotational energy and signal by turning the car’s steering wheel left or right, indicating desired direction. The energy is translated down a shaft into a linkage which causes the wheels to rotate in the direction that was signaled. Along with the main function of the car, a pretend radio with multiple prerecorded songs is part of the vehicle. When one of the radio’s buttons is pushed, a signal and mechanical energy from the user is used to close the circuit. The electrical energy from batteries in the radio is converted by a circuit board into sound energy. This does not add to the overall function of the car, however adds realism and entertainment for the user.
In order to properly analyze the Ford Mustang Power Wheels, it was necessary to define the different functions, dissect and then reassemble the car.
Before any actual work could be done on the car, it was necessary to establish the main functions of the product and the different components that performed these functions. The group decided that the overall function, as stated earlier, was to transport the user. This function was broken down into subsystems; the steering system, the drive train, the wheel system, and the pretend radio system. The next step was the actual dissection of the product. The entire car was taken apart, and from this the group learned how all the components interacted along with any issues with the design layout of the car. Another consideration for the group was how Global, Societal, Economical, and Environmental factors affected the choices in the design and production of the Ford Mustang Power Wheels. Lastly, the vehicle was reassembled and while little information was gained, system and component level changes to potentially improve the car function were considered.
Through the different gates and analyses performed, the group was able to draw different conclusions about the Ford Mustang Power Wheels. It was found that many Global, Societal, Economic, and Environmental concerns were taken into consideration throughout the development of the car. Through the various analysis it was determined that the Economic and Societal concerns outweighed the Global and Environmental concerns in importance. For example, the addition of the Velcro seat belts, and the option of blocking the high speed gear selection, the safety of the car is increased, giving parents of the user the satisfaction of knowing that their child will not be hurt when using the product. Another conclusion that the group developed was that the individual components all interact with each other to form subsystems which also interact to perform the overall function. With these conclusions drawn the group was able to accurately build upon the concepts throughout the gate.
The Power Wheels Ford Mustang is a toy car modeled after its real life counterpart. It is battery powered, and it functions in much the same way as a real vehicle would. It is designed for young children of ages 3 to 6 years old, and can operate indoors, on pavement, and on grass.
Group 20 is tasked with analyzing the Power Wheels Ford Mustang and presenting its findings on this wiki page, in individual gates. Each team member has a specific role to play in this project:
- Mike Rossi: On-Site Manager
- Zach Wilson: Remote Manager
- Christopher Michels: Technical Editor in Chief
- Joseph Glab: Head of Web Development
- David Fijas: Head of Dissection Documentation
- Shane Seefeldt: Head Dissection Specialist
Gate 1 - Project Planning
In Gate 1, an assessment of the project, the product, and each team member is written. Group 20 works together to make a work proposal, a management proposal, and an initial assessment to help better manage time and resources as it begins the project.
Gate 2 - Product Dissection
In Gate 2, the physical product is dissected and the entire process is documented. The subsystems of the product and the ways in which they are connected are analyzed. Outside factors and their impact on the subsystems are discussed.
Gate 3 - Product Analysis
In Gate 3, the dissected product's systems and components are fully analyzed. This is done through a component summary, a detailed product analysis on select parts, a Solid Model for a subsystem, an engineering analysis, and design revisions on the product.
Gate 4 - Product Explanation
In Gate 4, the product is reassembled and the product information accumulated over the span of the project is analyzed to draw final conclusions about the product.