Technology Product Evalution Essay, Research Paper
Introduction I am looking at the dishwasher as I am very knowledgeable on it. I have a number of good ideas on how to improve the washer. I am also interested in electrical devices such as this. Also my father manages a company which deals with such appliances. Description This dishwasher is mahogany brown in colour. It fully integrates with our fitted kitchen. On the face of the dishwasher is a drop-down door containing a mahogany panel. On the top part of the front panel is the function knob and 3 function buttons. I have explained how these operate on the opposite side of the picture. Inside the washer, it is mostly water powered with the exception of the heating elements. There are 2 stacking racks inside with a cutlery basket situated in the centre of the bottom rack. There are 2 spraying arms which are powered by water pressure. There is a sound dampening layer of material below the lid of the washer. The dishwasher is 954mm in height and 600mm x 500mm top surface area. The is a 150mm gap between the washer and the floor. It is supported by a block of kitchen integrated wood. Justification I have chosen this product because: 1) A dishwasher is almost a necessity in today’s society due to the high standard of living. 2) I know a substantial amount of information on the product to give a fairly accurate evaluation. 3) The product is used regularly by a lot of people. 4) I have a number of ideas on how to improve the product. 5) My Father manages a company which is a branch of Electrolux the, largest domestic appliance company in the world. Operational Controls of Dishwasher Eight different settings: A, B, C, E, D, F, G, H, I. This selects the program of the wash. Door handle: this is a spring controlled door. The handle is pulled to open the door. The door then automatically locks itself when the door is pushed closed. There is an electronic safety device which turns the dishwasher off when the door is opened. Three switches: operate the functions of the dishwasher. The 1st switches the dishwasher on/off, the second chooses the drying temperature of the dishes and the third selects a lower wash temperature. Control Knob: this selects the cycle of wash you would like to use as above. Factors For Specification 1. I chose ergonomics as a dishwasher has so many different cycles and modes and a detailed control system would be very complicated. The door should be easy to open as many spring-switch doors can slip maybe causing accidents. 2. I chose materials because it is extremely important to what the machine is constructed of. E.g. Cast iron would be unsuitable for the interior of the dishwasher. Another example would be a metallic substance to insulate electrical and water operated areas of the machine. This would be extremely unsuitable. Materials are very important. 3. Safety is probably one of the most important factors in the construction of a dishwasher, Using water and electrical powered mechanisms together can be extremely dangerous. Also a dishwasher has many sharp edges etc. Safety is an important factor to consider. 4. Appearance is important mostly for the pleasing of the customer/buyer. It would be important in the marketing stage. It is important that the washer goes well with kitchen furnishings. 5. Cost is important because it must meet the price band that customers expect to pay. It is also vitally important in the marketing stage of the product. Specification ŸShould be attractive to the eye. Also should integrate well with kitchen furnishings. Written instructions should be clear and concise. ŸShould be safe to use. Water and electrical sections should be safely divided. No sharp edges should be left uncovered. Small areas in which fingers , could be caught should be safely guarded. ŸMetallic, rustproof material should be used for the interior of the machine to withstand extreme thermal and aquatic conditions. ŸExterior should be made of an electrically insulating material such as plastic. Wooden cover on door for mahogany effect. There should also be a sound proofing material surrounding the machine to reduce noise pollution. ŸDoor should open easily with little force required. The operation switches and knobs should be easy to understand. Instructions and cycle instructions should be basic and direct. Cost is also important, it needs to reflect the product’s features and be within a price band that is accessible to most people. Questionnaire No. surveyed 1. Do you think that the dishwasher is fairly easy to use? 1. 2. 3. Yes No2. Do you think that the washer is an attractive colour? 1. 2. 3. Yes No 3. Do you believe that the washer integrates well with the 1. 2. 3. Kitchen? Yes No 4. Do you believe the machine to be safe? 1. 2. 3. Yes No 5. Do you think that the machine does its job well? 1. 2. 3. Yes No 6. Do you believe the product has enough user features? 1. 2. 3. Yes No 7. Is the product easy to carry out general maintenance on 1. 2. 3. I.e. clean filters etc.? Yes No 8. Are the stacking arrangements of the baskets adequate for 1. 2. 3. the average household? Yes No 9. Does the purchase price of this dishwasher reflect the overall 1. 2. 3. quality and features of the product? Yes No Evaluation Materials: The interior tub is made of high grade stainless steel suitable for extreme aquatic and thermal conditions. The exterior is made of heat resistant polyvinyl chloride with the outer casing consisting of rust treated steel as condensation can form on surface of washer. There is also a sound dampening material on machine to reduce noise pollution. All materials are well suited to job. Safety: The machine has been in the household for 8 years and has not caused an accident in its working life. No electrical components are exposed to metal or damp areas however there is a slot in the door where a lot of wire is run through. Buttons can sometimes catch the skin and nip. All sharp areas are covered but there are areas where fingers could get caught. Over heat thermostats are installed to switch off heaters when water reaches 75oC. All metal parts are earthed and there is a 13 amp fuse in pug top. The spring switch in the door can be stiff and slips which may cause serious accidents. Ergonomics: This machine is quite easy to use, but some symbols can be confusing. The machine has a counter balance door for easy opening and an ‘easy grip’ control knob for easier operation. The interior of the machine includes an ‘easy lift’ upper basket. Door tends to stick at times. Also the symbols on the knob often wear off with time and use. Appearance: It is fairly dark and dull. It integrates well with the mahogany kitchen as a wood panel door has been fitted. It also has a brown control panel which adds to its unattractiveness. The control panel is easily cleaned however. Modification 1. I would modify the door mechanism. It can be quite stiff at times and needs to be adjusted to loosen spring slightly as I have mentioned in the evaluation. 2. I would also modify the timer knob of the washer as sometimes it is difficult to know what cycle the dishwasher is in because the letters wear off. 3. The appearance I think needs to be improved as the machine is fairly dull and dreary. It needs brightened up. Wash progression L.E.D.’s would brighten up the control panel and be a source of information for the user. 4. I would also route the main wiring harness up the back of the dishwasher instead of its current position via the door. This would prevent wires breaking due to fatigue caused by the door opening and closing over the course of its working life.