Group 32 - Chainsaw
Gate 1: Request for a Proposal
Intro This part of the project involves disassembly, detailed analysis and reassembly of the chainsaw. The purpose of this assignment is to evaluate the progress of the project. After the disassembly, detailed analysis gives a practical knowledge on the working of the product . The functions, complexity, materials used for construction can be analyzed which provides a platform to try to improve the product’s overall performance.
The initial steps for disassembly include the removal of the handles and plastic casing. This is done with the use of a #3 flat head screwdriver. Next, various parts will be removed from around the engine including the pull-cord mechanism and fuel tank. Doing this will require two adjustable wrenches and a #3 flat-head screwdriver. All that’s left is a basic two-stroke engine. This will require hex-wrenches and possibly Phillips head screwdrivers of various sizes.
There will be a few challenges in disassembling our chainsaw. One of the challenges of disassembly is that we are working on a chainsaw that is roughly 25 years old. This is a factor because there is not too much information on the exact model. One very important piece of info is the gas to oil ratio needed. The gas-oil mixture results from the use of a two-stroke engine. If this mixture is not right the engine will be at risk of seizing due to a lack of oil, or produce excess smoke, and fill the muffler with oil sludge. Also, the age might create issues with removing screws or bolts that have rusted.
Working in a group has advantages by allowing a diverse knowledge and experience in different fields. Two of our group members have experience with CAD. One member has been working with CAD for 5 years. He has worked with 3 different programs and is currently working with a fourth. Most of the members have basic knowledge on how a chainsaw works. A couple of the members have knowledge about two-stroke engines and experience repairing them, one specifically has in depth knowledge of two-stroke engines and is very familiar and comfortable with disassembling and reassembling them. This still results in some shortcomings, as nobody has worked on a wiki before. A couple members have not disassembled complex object before, so extra care should be given to the organization of the disassembly and parts.
Time and work management are an important factor in the success of this project. We will try to use our time efficiently, but some time will be left at the end of the project to finish if we get behind. For the workload we have decided to split the work on the wiki, report, research and disassembly in a way that maximizes project unity. Everyone will contribute to most major processes to allow for a better understanding of the project and a smooth flow of communication. Also, group meetings will ensure we stay on task.
Our main point of contact will be Cameron Borowiec. His phone number is (716)-515-8028, and his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be reached by phone at just about anytime of the day and any day of the week except for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 3:00P.M. - 5:00P.M. due to lack of service in Knox Hall. During those times he can be contacted by e-mail. E-mail will most likely prove to be the best way of contact though due to his involvement in various clubs and activities.
Our back-up point of contact will be Andrew Koonce whose phone number is (518)-694-6695 and his e-mail is email@example.com. Andrew can be contacted almost as easily as Cameron. However, due to the involvement in multiple clubs, email is the best way to get a hold of him.
Our meetings places and times will vary, but seeing as our product can be taken from our lab it is safe to say that we won’t be meeting there most of the time. Cameron or Scott will retrieve our product from the lab and keep it with them. They have an easy way of transporting the product to a convenient location. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends will tend to be the best days to collaborate on our assignments, and Cameron’s south campus apartment shall prove to be an excellent environment to meet in and work at. Minimally we plan to meet two times a week, increasing our meetings if we fall behind. We plan, as a whole, to meet together during times that are convenient for all of us, so as a group we can disassemble the product together. By splitting up the work evenly amongst us, we can ensure that no one is under worked. This will also help make sure the work will get done. We will assign three people to mainly work on the Wiki and keep it up to date with our information. Relocation of the chainsaw will occur only if we can find a convenient location for it where everyone can work on it.
The roles and responsibilities of each member will be somewhat equally divided. Because we are working in a group situation with members who have different schedules, it will be tough to say who’s doing what until we start really working together and figure out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We plan to fall into a pattern, and strengthen are plan of action as we figure these things out. As each new task is presented to us we will decide as a group who has the right strengths and abilities to overcome the challenges of that specific obstacle.
Initial Product Assessment
- What is the intended use of the product?
The product is used to cut wood; specifically trees, logs and branches. Based on the size of the product; it is intended for home use to cut wood on a smaller scale. It can be used to cut branches/limbs in the yard or cut logs for firewood. It is ideal for a small scale and would be convenient. A commercial saw would be larger. Like many power tools, the chainsaw has a specific purpose and it is strongly recommended to use it for cutting wood only.
- How do you think the product works?
A chainsaw in the simplest form is a two-stroke engine geared with a chain that extends out of the main body. The two stroke engine, allows for two parts of the Otto cycle to occur simultaneously for a more consistent output of energy. The four steps in the Otto cycle are intake, compression, combustion, expansion (exhaust). The two stroke engine allows for the intake and exhaust steps to occur together. This allows power to be delivered every rotation.
- Is the product currently functioning?
Our product is currently not functioning, because there is no fuel or chain. Chainsaws require a certain gas/oil mixture that still needs to be researched or the engine will not work properly. This mixture is different for various chainsaws. Once we obtain the correct fuel mixture we might have more problems, resulting from the age. However, we will not be able to use the chainsaw for it's intended use because the chain has been removed. Our guess is that it was removed for safety issues, so we aren't worried about it. The chainsaw will still run normally without it.
- How complex is it?
The product, compared to other new and improved models is slightly less complex. If a new chainsaw with a fuel injected engine (a somewhat ridiculously unnecessary attribute for a chainsaw to have) as well as variable speed capability is about a 6 on a scale of complexity compared other similar products that utilize a similar type of small engine, then our 25 year old carbureted chainsaw is a solid 2.5. The most complex part about our chainsaw is the 2-stroke engine, which is not very complex at all, again when compared to other similar products.
- What materials are used in the project?
The main material used on the outside of the chainsaw is plastic. It is used for the casing of the bulk of the components and a pull handle. There is some type of metal visible which is used for the handle and also the bar of the chainsaw. There is also a rope visible which is pulled to start the engine and rubber used to cover the spark plug.
Inside of the chainsaw, it can be assumed that there are more metals used for the engine and for the gears to drive the chain. There may also be plastic used for the gas tank and other small components to hold the chainsaw together.
- If you had to use this product, would you be happy with it?
This chainsaw looks to be quite old so we are not sure we would be pleased using this product. Holding the chainsaw, the location of the grips makes it quite comfortable to use. There are basic labels on the body of it that an average person would be able to understand. If we were to use the product, we think it would be quite easy to do so.
The product does require some maintenance. The chainsaw needs regular replacements of gas, oil, and lubrication for the chain. There are labeled areas on the body of the chainsaw which make it fast and easy to service it.
- What other alternatives to your product are there? How do these alternatives compare?
As stated before, this is an older model chainsaw. Today, there are many different alternatives to this product. This chainsaw is not produced anymore, but present day chainsaws range in price from $50 upwards of $400. The more expensive the chainsaw, the bigger and more powerful it is. There is no real advantage to this product over any modern day comparison. This chainsaw is rusted and is not as powerful as anything used today. If any spare parts were needed to fix the chainsaw, it would be incredibly difficult to find a retailer with the needed parts. While with modern chainsaws, all it usually takes is a call to the manufacturer to find the part you need.