Tuesday, September 05, 2006
TRIZ & Innovation: Puebla Congress Day 2
The opening paper was a concise model of academic theory and practical case study. Herminia Maria Soracco Lorenzo traveled to the conference from Argentina, participated in the TRIZ tutorial on Monday, then opened the conference Tuesday with the case study of INMAGUSA which converted itself from a shrinking provider of commodity materials to a specialty manufacturer, with impact on profit of US$78k/month in the first six months of the project, by using a disciplined analysis of their markets, their technologies, and their capabilities, then continuously re-allocating capital to the differentiation projects.
Bernard Monnier from Thales R&D in France presented a vision of innovation that was specifically TRIZ oriented, based on an innovation matrix that he developed. Thales has more than 20,000 researchers, and 18% of revenue goes to R&D, and they have an extensive network of university relationships, but they also have an extensive list of innovation-inhibiting factors, many based in their past successes. Monnier’s Innovation Matrix is a 2x2 graph of Product Innovativness Technical Level (from weak to dominant) vs Market (from Low to High) using his terminology. There are tactics that can work in each strategic quadrant (for example: in Upper Right, tactic is to increase the market, in Upper Left, improve the product) Case study: SERKET, a European public transportation security project to develop an open software platform for security systems with 20 partners in 4 countries. Mapping using the matrix suggested a sequence of development stages which is now being implemented. In the discussion period, a Russian/French/Spanish/English round-robin on “is TRIZ a method or a system or a science” got started, but it became apparent that the problem was one of informal vocabulary, not of philosophical difference.
Luis Alonso Cardenas Vielmas from Instituto de Piedras Negros presented a novel case study on innovation, particularly TRIZ, in a problem of occupational health, in a machine shop environment with manual moving of objects weighing from 20-650 kg. Accidents to hands and backs are common. The ideal final result and the physical contradiction were the key techniques, with additional refinement from the technical contradiction and 40 principles. The solutions, using electromagnetic lifting devices and pneumatic and hydraulic steering devices are not unique to TRIZ, but the company is convinced that TRIZ got them to the design and implementation much faster and at much lower cost than conventional methods.
Our friend Noel Leon-Rovira presented the project that he developed with Juan Pablo Hurtado Pacheo from the group at ITESM Monterrey including, Norma Frida Roffe Samaniego, and Olivia Barron, frequent TRIZ Journal contributors. They tackled a major health issue with a portable, disposable diagnostic method for cervical cancer detection. The need for a laboratory visit and the delay before getting the report from the doctor were both barriers to testing using the Pap method. Electro-optical methods for collecting the data without taking a cervical tissue sample existed, but the equipment was large and expensive, so the barriers to use were considerable. They developed a hand-held, battery operated electrical and optical system and data analysis system using TRIZ analysis and design techniques—the principles of asymmetry, spheroidality (use of curves) and use of flexible membranes were the keys to the development of a self-test system that saves lives by getting more women to test themselves and to get the results. Both Mexican and international patents have been granted and development is in work. QFD question (from me) got the story about how the students interviewed women, doctors, and laboratory technicians to get the requirements, and some slightly humorous remarks about the business of medicine as well as the health aspects—government agencies like the low cost aspects, but private physicians were concerned about loss of revenue.
Raul Rodriguez Ordaz, also from Piedras Negras, presented a TRIZ application case study to reduce the noise from the metallic rollers in a material transport system (conveyor system) in the manufacturing environment. Thorough root cause analysis and application of a variety of the 40 principles combined in their design which is lighter, cheaper, AND quieter. The video greatly enhanced the presentation and showed the dramatic improvements of the new design.
Antonio Aleman Chang presented his work with conference organizer Edgardo Cordova Lopez (both from Puebla) combining QFD, TRIZ, TOC, SMED and other methods to improve customer service in many situations. They explicitly accounted for the customer’s emotional needs as well as the technical requirements of the job, and recognized the repetitive nature of many customer service jobs and the need to design the system for the employees’ needs as well as the customers’ needs.
Roland DeGuio from INSA in France explained his group’s 10 years’ experience with TRIZ, first learning, then training, then application to the general problem solving method presented here. They have 58 case studies on product, processes, methodologies, and organization methods, done by their students, faculty, and the TRIZ experts who worked with them. They have seen the same benefits that everyone else reports, but they also saw limitations, particularly in technology forecasting, in management of technological innovation, in the computer support for modeling systems and contradictions, and in the cognitive and social aspects of the innovation process. Their research now is emphasizing these areas and applications in non-technology areas. The TRIZ Journal will publish their problem formulation method in the next few months. Discussion: several people in the audience questioned the use of ARIZ 71 and ARIZ 77, but Roland clarified that ARIZ was only the example that was used—any complex knowledge system could have been the example, but they chose ARIZ because of the availability of a standard text.
Pedro Sariego and Reinaldo Espinoza introduced their model for “lost innovation” in Chile, in which they are recovering 25 years of university-government-business cooperation. Alliances are being formed in the mining industries, due to the prominence of mining and mineral processing in the Chilean economy. The alliances have various roles in defining, developing and marketing the innovations, and a detailed example in equipment development was presented as an example of creating a new paradigm for development and exploitation of innovative concepts.
Ceremonial session-Government and University welcomes the conference.
TRIZ grows TRIZ—informal discussion of the first 10 years of the TRIZ Journal and its relationship to the TRIZ community, with some examples of how we used TRIZ principles to solve the problems we encountered along the way. The audience was very participative (they even helped me sing the French national anthem when we discovered that the French flag was missing from my montage of flags—somehow I had Mexico and Spain and the US and China and Malaysia and ….)