Group 22 Gate 1
In the disassembly of the Barbie Jammin' Jeep, a couple of tools will be needed, and lots of documentation will take place. The procedure includes removing the outer car frame and panels to get a better view and access to the battery and motor system. Tools required are a Phillips and Flathead screwdriver. Photos and careful notes will be taken, therefore outlining the deconstruction of the jeep. Once inside, only screwdrivers will need to be used to dismantle the motor and other electronics such as the FM radio from its chassis. Shown in Diagram 1 are the various types of screw drivers necessary to dissemble the product.
Accounting for the physical labor, documentation and photographing the estimated time to disassemble the product is around 2 hours. Once components are analyzed and ways to improve the product have been determined, the reassembly process will occur. This will be much quicker since previous documentation has the steps and components mapped out neatly. To put the product back together will take around 1 hour.
The process should run smoothly, especially since jobs were assigned based on capabilities. Thanusyan, Paul and Jon will do the physical labor while notes and photos will be documented by Elizabeth and Jong. Some challenges that might be faced are keeping all the pieces together. This product contains many screws and some could be lost if not handled and kept together properly. Shortcomings include the busy schedules of the members but fortunately not everyone is needed in the lab every time. Each member is capable of doing a part of the project but also working together when necessary.
To maintain great communication through one source, a Google group web page was created and can be accessed: http://groups.google.com/group/group22_mae277?hl=en
Short group meetings will occur weekly within Capen Library an hour before class, to clarify tasks and resolve any conflicts. Conflicts will be confronted during these short weekly meetings and tried to be resolved. Members who fail to contribute will be addressed by the group, and if they continue slack, the issue will be brought to the professor. Depending on class schedules and workloads, weekly meet-ups in the lab will take place when available. Lab meet ups occur once a week, usually on Tuesday nights to disassemble/reassemble the jeep. Depending on how many days is needed, lab meetings will be held that amount. The Gantt chart below outlines the plan of attack.
Within groups, various characteristics must come together to complete the task. In order to highlight each member’s strengths, certain roles were assigned to ensure an overall successful completion of the project.
- Strengths: Public Presentation, Computer Savvy, Mechanical Repair
- Weaknesses: Poor organizer, makes impulsive decisions
- Roles and Responsibilities: Group Leader, Co-Assembler/ Reassembler, Editor; will overlook every aspect of the project, assist in assembly and reassembly of product, edits and formats before putting on web page.
- Strengths: Labor/Tool Skills, Problem Solving
- Weaknesses: Bad presenter, poor time management
- Roles and Responsibilities: Group Manager; ensure a an understanding with one another, create work process, helps with disassembly/reassembly.
- Strengths: Mathematics, Analytical Thinker
- Weaknesses: Presentations
- Roles and Responsibilities: Executive Assembler/ Reassembler; lead in the dissecting and reconstructing of the product, maintain organization with components
- Strengths: Time Management, Organization
- Weaknesses: Heavy Duty Labor, Little Tool Knowledge
- Roles and Responsibilities: Photographer, Time Manager; took pictures mapping out the steps of dissection, communicate between members and set up group meeting times, assist with wiki page.
Jong Yeol Lee
- Strengths: Calculations, Previous Aviation Experience
- Weaknesses: Writing and English Skills
- Roles and Responsibilities: Documenter, Product Assistance; document product dissecting and reconstructing process, clarify every step
The Barbie Jammin’ Jeep by Fisher price was developed under the Power Wheels line of products. These products were essentially toys which allowed children to ride around and control the movement of the toy, which took the form of an automobile. Originally, the Power Wheels design descends from the Pines of America, which made battery-powered vehicles for children, Pines of America was acquired by Kransco, a toy company based in San Francisco. The line was renamed “Power Wheels” after two years. ("Power wheels," 2010) Power Wheels was then purchased by Mattel in 1994.
The owner manual shows copyrights on the Jeep name brand by Daimler-Chrysler, with the copyright date being 2005, ("Barbie jammin' jeep," 2005.) It can be assumed that the product and manual were printed in the same year. From the breakdown diagram, it is shown that the part number associated with the motors and gearbox is 00968-2912. It should be noted that each rear wheel is driven by an independent motor. The motors are most likely manufactured by either Johnson Electric or Mabuchi, (Copioli, 2004). Upon closer inspection, both are 12-volt motors, which are manufactured in many different varieties including the ones used in the Jammin’ Jeep.
The battery used is a 12v lead-acid rechargeable battery. The operating time is 9.6 amps/hours, and a 6 month battery warranty is offered by Fisher-Price. This most likely means that the battery becomes less efficient with age, and is to be replaced once a year at minimum. A lead acid battery was most likely chosen since it was cheap to manufacture and replace, was simple to charge, and fairly safe. They also hold a charge for a longer period of time than the standard rechargeable nickel-cadmium or lithium-ion batteries. This is probably the reason they are in use in most automobiles today. The disadvantage of the lead-acid battery is the long charge time (18 hours before first use for the Barbie Jammin’ Jeep Wrangler,) and “memory effect,” which reduces the amount of charge the battery can hold as it goes through discharge-recharge cycles.
The Barbie Jammin’ Jeep is mostly targeted toward children, especially girls, between the ages of 3 to 6. It's recommended use is for outdoors. The jeep runs is powered by a 12 volt rechargeable battery. The appearance and features gives children a realistic driving experience. The following includes descriptions of the features.
This Barbie Jammin’ Jeep was introduced in the market as a home use product. However, it also can be used as a professional product. For example, some big restaurants such as KFC, Mc Donalds, etc can use this jeep in their “Kids play area”. In addition to use in commercial kids' play areas, it can be used in small parks and recreational areas.
This battery powered product uses a 12V lead acid battery. The electrical energy from the battery is transmitted into two motors which are located under the seat. The motors, then convert the energy into mechanical energy. One foot pedal acts as the acceleration when pressed down on and also acts as the break when released. The battery can be charged through 12V charger, and the charger can be plugged into 120V, 60Hz standard North American outlet.
- When the fully charged battery is put into the battery retainer, located in the hood, then connected with battery cables, the electrical energy transmits to the motors, located in the back of the seat. Therefore converting the electrical energy into mechanical energy through the motors.
- Without disassembling the battery, it can be assumed that the controller, which is connected to the motors with motor harness connector, may transmit the mechanical energy to the foot pedal. When the foot pedal is pressed down, the mechanical energy would change to kinetic energy to move the jeep forward or backward.
The Barbie Jammin' Jeep is an electric powered and motor driven wheel. That means it has electrical components and power supply components as well as body components. Each components are divided into several parts and pieces. The exterior component which is body part has about twenty-five components, such as doors, sports bar, seat, wheels, hood, steering wheel and so on. However, Interior components like motors and battery are hard to tell how it composed of inside before disassemble them. It can be just assumed that there may be some cables, steering linkages, and axles etc.
- Individual components do not look much complex. It just has a little finger sized two motors and simply connected to the controller using motor cables, and 5.94" ×3.90" ×3.74" sized battery can be placed easily in the battery retainer in the hood. Moreover, few kinds of accessories, such as screws and nuts are used to the exterior components. It seems like not much tools needed when disassemble it.
- However, a interaction among components is rather complex than individual component task. There are three different energy change during process. The electric power should connected to the motor without defects, and motor need to work properly to transmit the power to the wheel so it can be controlled by pedals and steering wheel properly. Therefore, On a scale of one to ten, one being a simple toy car without motor and ten being a real electric vehicle, the Barbie jammin’ jeep would rank four.
The Materials that go into manufacturing this product are very simple; almost every part of the Barbie Jammin’ Jeep is made of some kind of plastic. The visible outer components, though complex looking, are all just different colors of plastic for the side panels, doors, and even the wheels. There is of course steel framework for more stability, but for the most part, plastic is used because this is after all a children’s toy, and plastic is softer and therefore safer for young children. Additional materials used are cushioned seats, side and rear view mirrors, and steel bolts in the joints. The inner workings are a little more complicated than the outer appearance, and can’t be detailed with the disassembly still to come. However, some materials are known to be in the motor including the electric battery, gear system, and electrical wiring. These are made of metals and rubber casings. All of the inner components are held together and attached to the frame by bolts and screws.
User Interaction Profile
The Barbie Jammin’ Jeep is aimed towards kids between the ages of 3 to 6, its accompanied by easily accessible features. Unlike adults, kids cannot understand or recognize things as quickly. Therefore to maintain child friendly, the product has an attractive design, easy usage methods and recognizable buttons and switches. The Barbie Jammin’ Jeep includes all this features, so that the user, which are kids can interface with the product with no problem.
Since the Barbie Jammin' Jeep runs on battery, it does require some maintenance. Before the first use, the battery must charge for 18 hours and after the first use it must be charged at least 14 hours, but no longer than 30 hours. Also, battery must be charged once a month even if the jeep has not been used. This maintenance is simple and includes connecting the charger and battery and plugging into an outlet. Besides the charging of the battery, it also needs to be stored between the temperature of 75° F and -10° F.
As for the body of the vehicle, it should be completely checked after purchased to make sure all the screws are tighten, and that there aren’t any cracks or broken parts. Its recommended for the jeep to be kept away from sand, water, snow and mud, because those surfaces can cause problems to the vehicle. Other than battery maintenance, just basic cleaning according to the owners' liken can occur. Fortunately the jeep’s body has an one year limited warranty from the date of purchase and the 12V battery has six months limited warranty.
The Barbie Jammin’ Jeep has a lot of competitors on the market. Anything from a scooter to roller blades tends to attract a child’s attention. Product alternatives includes bikes, scooters, skates and other power riding toys. Products such as the bike, scooter and skates have advantages. They are significantly cheaper and more portable. Also these products can adjust to a growing child. Unlike the Barbie Jeep that holds only up to 130 lbs, the bike, scooter and skates do not have a maximum weight requirement. In fact, a bike and scooter has adjustable handlebars, so when the child grows, it can be adjusted for their height. As well some skates have adjustable frames to make room for growing feet. These products also need no charging. They are easy to take along anywhere because they are light in weight compared to the Barbie Jeep. On the other hand these products have their disadvantages. Unlike the Barbie Jeep, a bike, scooter and roller skates cannot fulfill the child’s dream of having a car, and do not contain features like a radio, clock or an extra seat for a friend. The diagram below contains info obtained by Toys R Us, highlighting the advantages, disadvantages and cost difference of alternative products. A comparison of alternatives can be seen in Figure 5:
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