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Critical review from Philipp Shitarev

The project was undertaken to design an impact rig that would be used for testing durability of guards
of different sizes. Teams of 4 were formed, where each member could pick their teammates. Our group was
one of the last ones to form and so consisted of only 3 members. Given no choice of teammates, the overall
project experience can be described as pleasant and organized. The whole project was divided by the marking
scheme into 3 sections of interim report, CAD drawing and final report. Because a similar critical review of
the progress was written for interim report and the process was almost identical, it will be discussed less in
this review.

Organisation of work

The group meetings occurred consistently for the first 8 weeks of the project, where group design
decisions were made, as social media and emails was found inappropriate for such discussions. Generally
there was no disagreement on assessment of design ideas for interim report and the choice of design for
further development, as marking matrix was employed to highlight weaknesses, strength and overall quality
of designs, which was recommended by Dr Robert Heinemann in one of the Design 3 lectures. It can be
noted, that all 3 design ideas from every member had similar scores, but Bryan’s idea was relatively simple to
implement and we already had CAD drawings for general parts.

Since submission of interim report, some group meetings were cancelled for different reasons, and
each group member was more invested in relevant courseworks for other modules, feeling little pressure due
to week 12 deadline for Final report. That led to several negative consequences like delays and hurry,
outlined below. In retrospect, a Gantt chart would be ideal to track our progress of our group progress,
outlining the critical path and setting deadlines for everyone’s objectives, as, for example, CAD could not be
done properly before the calculations for component dimensions were done. The Gantt chart could be started
either at the start of the project in October, at least, in November after the interim report submission and it
could contain relevant dates when we are unable to work on the Design 3 report – i.e. courseworks, weeks of
absence etc. I can be suggested that lecturers could post ‘by this time you should be finishing …’ to outline
milestones that a Gantt chart would contain. However, due to roleplay concept, the lecturers portrayed
behaviour of the customer and in industry, design teams set the objectives for projects within deadlines rather
than the customer/client.

Closer to week 8 of project, the roles of ‘calculations’ (Philipp), ’Solidworks’ (Bryan) and ’report
writer’ (Manish) were assigned. However, later on it was agreed that solidworks must be done by everyone
due to unequal spread of amount of work. To outline strength of our group, the strongest Solidworks user
worked the most on the core and intricate parts, while the other 2 members worked on separate simple-
geometry parts. Overall, the split of the work was great, given that from what could be seen, no one was left
doing something he doesn’t like or doesn’t know how to do.

Nevertheless, only during week 11 and 12 the majority of the project was completed. The group had
a meeting almost every single day and about 50 hours of work was done during the last week only. This is the
effect of poor planning and organisation from our side, which was mentioned above. A more consistent work
before could decrease the amount of work done in the last 2 weeks. Due to family circumstances, I had to go
back home on Tuesday of last week and the further work was performed remotely. It must be outlined that
the communication was consistent via Facebook and all work was shared using an online drive, so any
member could amend it or comment on it. This was highly successful way of organising the project so that
group members working on the same part could react ‘live’, as it would happen if we sat in the same room.
The end of the project was rushed as deadline approached, but I feel like each member put maximum
effort into the project, which I assess to be of high quality. The communication within group was informal
and friendly. I highly enjoyed working with my team mates. I feel that, as students, we were poorly organised
at the start but self-organised our work throughout, everyone showing a lot of dedication at the end. Everyone
showed their ability to work well in team and under stress.

Final design review

The design was developed over several months and everyone had immediate suggestions on design
improvements throughout. In terms of strength, the design is mostly made out of common alloy steel 6061,
which is one of the most common steel alloy, affordable and has great properties. The design is innovative
and modern, employing available motors and the compressor. Majority of the design is automatic; it provides
extra features like noise reduction due to outer shell, information on guard deformation via the installed high
speed camera. Many features of magazine design and guard holder and custom made for the model, yet all
components can be manufactured easily from CAD drawings.

In terms of limitations and further improvements several ideas can be suggested. Firstly, making the
operation of the design fully automatic would improve the safety and precision: the only part left manual is
the gate valve. Options of automatic valves were considered but those were expensive, so perhaps if a
cheaper option arises in the future, it could be substituted in the design. Secondly, the adjustable base pads
could be improved further to provide mobility for the whole design if, perhaps the whole set-up must be
transported around the room. Furthermore, additional weight reduction methods could be employed to reduce
the mass. Certain cut-outs and hollow components require more calculations for component strength, so that
hollow components would not break under stress. Due to tight time frames, our group could not perform all
of those and so we went with the safe option of leaving most components intact.

Overall, the design meets all main and bonus requirements. Some additional features are
implemented successfully that improve the design even further. However, there are several features that can
be suggested but were not included due to price, time limitations or other considerations.