User:MAE277 27 09
MAE277 Gate 1: Initial Product Assessment
(Chris Kujawinski, Cody Boppert, Matt Fasdolt, Thomas Matikainen, Chris Wojiechowski)
1.) The intended use of a power washer is to generate a compressed air, water, and detergent mixture by means of an engine and compressor to a high pressure that forcefully removes dirt and debris from various areas and surfaces. This is done by means of pointing a spray gun with different settings in which the pressurized mixture is expelled. a) The pressure washer is used on a domestic level. It is mostly used for routine maintenance of outdoor areas such as a deck, a drive way, or even (on lower intensity levels) the exterior of a car. It is also used in places indoors that receive high volumes of people or high volumes of hard to clean dirt and mold such as basements, and tile floors hall ways. b) This product can function as a tool to wash your house. You can simply just remove the dirt and debris by spaying down the siding or brick. It can be used as a stain remover if you have a tough oil spot on your driveway, or hardened grease and grime on tile or wooden surface. This product could also be used as a car washer by being able to remove those bits of tar and dirt that would take you hours to scrub out. 2) The power washer is believed to work by the process as follows. The compressor of the power washer compresses air. The compressor is comprised of pistons that are moved up and down by work done from a rotating shaft that revolves by power from an external work source (usually a gas or electric engine). The pistons move up and down inside of cylinders located inside the constructed frame of the compressor shell. As the pistons move down, an inlet opens up and allows air to be drawn into the volume created by the cylinder and the piston moving downward. As the piston begins to move back up the inlet is closed and the decrease in volume of the cylinder due to the upward moving piston compresses the air and increases its’ pressure. The compressed air is then forced out through a small channel and is mixed with detergent coming in from the detergent tank. Water is also combined with the detergent and air. The water comes from the water input built into the compressor which is an external hook up to a regular hose that is connected to an arbitrary water source. This mixture travels through the channel into a hose that connects to the spray gun. The spray gun has trigger that either opens or closes the path of the compressed mixture. If the trigger is depressed the path of the compressed mixture is left open and the pressurized mixture expels from the nozzle and comes in contact with the object or surface it is cleaning. a) There are two types of energy used in this process. These energies include mechanical energy in the engine, compressor pistons, and trigger and also human kinetic energy from a person pushing the trigger. b) Kinetic energy of a person is also transformed when one pushes the trigger on the spray gun. Certain energy is transformed into rotational mechanical energy that is used to drive the shaft, which then move the pistons up and down which compress the air and force it out the trigger. 3.) The power washer is currently functioning. If one pulls the cord of the engine the shaft rotates showing that the engine is not seized. There is also fluid inside the compressor, and oil inside the engine that shows the product functions, or has functioned very recently. a) Based on the ease that is used the pull the cord and rotate the shaft to start the engine, and the appearance of the oil level and fluid level inside of the compressor we would say that the product runs quite well. There are no broken exterior components or cracked tubes so the whole washer system is believed to function great as well. b) If there are any problems they are minor ones. If the engine doesn’t start it could be because there is no gas, or spark plug is bad, or its spark connection to the engine is dirty. The source of some other minor problems could be cracks in the hoses of the product.
4) Dictionary.com defines complexity as characterized by a very complicated or involved arrangement of parts, units, etc . Based on this definition, and strictly speaking about the compressor I would say this product is about as complex as a small gas engine scooter, or a gas powered weed trimmer. As the definition states the complexity of this product is based on its complicated arrangement of parts, and systems. The compressor’s parts and systems are a little complicated to understand at first but with a little time are believed to be straight forward. a) There are several components that make up the compressor. There is shaft that rotates, the piston or pistons that move up and down, the components that help the pistons move up and down, the casing skeleton of the compressor which all these components are housed as well as cylinders where the piston moves up and down. Then, there is the input for the water to come in and the input for the detergent, as well as the hose that connects to the spray gun where the mixture travels, and the trigger which opens and closes the path depending on if its pressed or not. Inside the trigger there are components like springs and screws that open or close the path and reset the trigger to its initial position. Finally, one must account for the screws and the bolts that hold everything together and in place with other pieces. If we were going to make an estimate, we would have to say about 50 components. b) Most components are straight forward and simple. Each component serves pretty basic purposes. The shaft turns and creates a force to move the pistons. The pistons move up and down and create the compressed air. Various tubes mix the air with water and detergent, while other and triggers help the mixture out of the nozzle. There is also the fluid which helps the pistons and keeps element friction and chances of the pistons warping to a minimum. These jobs might seem simple, but putting those basic jobs and purposes together makes the system become more complex then just each basic individual component.
5) The materials used to create the compressor do not seem to be that extensive. Most materials used are plastics ranging from hard plastic to synthetic rubber and metals ranging from brass to steel.
a) Externally the outer casing of the product as well as the water intake into the compressor seems to be made out of forged steel. Some of the bolts that hold the compressor to the engine and the compressor together in all seem to be made of steel as well. The trigger has a hard casing outside, and brass nuts holding the end shaft of the spray gun as well as the hose that connects the spray gun to the compressor. The hose connecting the spray gun to the compressor seems to be made out of rubber, and the hose that feeds the detergent seems to be made of brass. b) Internally the compressor probably has fluid in it to help the components move. It probably also comprises of components made out of aluminum such as the pistons, and piston rings which are most likely made out of molly. 6) If I had to use this product, I would be happy with it. This seems like a very powerful yet very basic tool to use. Its multiple choices of nozzle types make the power washer seem like cleaning with it is a snap. With the exception of having to maintain the oil level and change the oil once in a while, or replace some hoses this product would also be easy to take care of as well. a) This product looks like it would be very comfortable to use. It has a light weight frame, and large size wheels making it easy to move around. The spray gun of the washer is light weight so it is not too much strain holding the washer gun up for a long period of time. b) This product seems very easy to use. Basically all you have to do is fill up the gas and detergent, hook it up to a water supply, then pull the chord and spray. The sleek design of the spray gun and long barrel makes for an accurate shot, and exceptional cleaning with little hassle. c) There is basic maintenance one does have to do for a power washer. This includes checking the oil and fluid levels of the engine and compressor, and making sure the washer has gas and detergent. While this maintenance seems like a very hard task it is quite easy once one learns how to perform these tasks.
7) There are other alternatives out there for a power washer. These include a steam cleaner, hose, mop, scrub pad, and different formulas for getting stains off of surfaces. These alternatives either don’t work well, or take a lot of work to do the same job as the pressure washer. The only one that comes close is the steam cleaner, but they are usually very expensive.
a) The difference in cost for other alternatives compared to the power washer is high. While a mop or hose can cost only up to 40 dollars a gas powered washer can cost from $299-599 or more . Compared to a steam cleaner though the prices vary but in most cases with the pressure washer compared to the steam cleaner you get more for your money. b) The advantages of the power washer are its easy to use, and you do not have to scrub on your hands and knees or breathe in formula fumes. Power Washers can also last for a long time. c) Disadvantages of a power washer are they are very big and sometimes hard to transport, especially for an elderly person. They can be harmful if someone is hit with the mixture coming out of the gun. They some times also require maintenance, and a little bit of learning. They are expensive to some families’ house hold budgets as well.
<math>Insert formula here</math>]]Work Proposal: As a group we will disassemble the washer. To do this we will need several tools. Each step will require time to take it apart and there will be some challenges with taking it apart as well. We must disassemble the compressor the hose and the object that sprays the water. To do this we will need the following tools. • Allen wrench socket set which includes a 3/8 inch socket • A size five Allen wrench • A regular socket set including a 10 mm, 5/8 inch and ¾ inch sockets • A 5/8 inch open end crescent wrench • Phillips head screw (PZ1) • Barring puller • Flat head screw driver • Needle nose pliers • Adjustable crescent wrench • Piston ring puller • Oil pan • Hammer (brass/ soft metal punch) Our plan is going to be to have one person breaking down the washer, while the others label each part and record how it went together. Even though only one person is taking the actual product apart the main idea of the project is to be able to take apart something and then being capable of making our own with our own materials. Reverse engineering this product will take time. The product should be able to be taken apart in 2 to 6 hours of work. The reason that there is such a great time discrepancy is because if we meet something that we did not expect then it will take time to dissect the problem and solve it. We will probably face anywhere from two to five challenges while taking apart the washer. Motors can be very intricate and temperamental if not dissected properly. Unexpected challenges can always arise when working with motors. Problems such as stripped and over tightened bolts and taking the pistons out will be difficult. Other parts of the compressor will require some thought before dismantling. The plastic gun will be difficult to reassemble properly; also plastic is brittle and can break easily. We also must take the necessary precautions to keep our space clean. Taking pictures will be essential for remembering how parts were attached to other parts. Also, using plastic bags will prevent the loss of small parts such as bolts and screws. Our group as a whole seems to be very efficient. The reason is the collection of our talents is comprehensive. Each member has a different area which they specialize in, yet also has a general knowledge of various other areas. This means we can allocate a certain task to a certain member and if he is having a problem he can receive help from the group. Two members of the group have previous work experience with small engines, one of which has taken a high school class in. This will be very helpful in the dissection and re-assembly phases. Other members have experience in CAD modeling, photography, and film. All of which are useful skills for the project. A concern of the group is to keep all members on track and on time. Procrastination in such projects is common and a major point of failure. Also none of the group members have experience using wiki sites, and so at least one must learn how to do certain tasks using the interface. No group member has had experience with such a large scale dissection report and so inexperience can pla