Tuesday, October 10, 2006


TRIZ in Belgium Tuesday

There were 2 simultaneous keynote talks.

I participated in the session addressed by Stephen C-Y Lu from the University of Southern California. He showed that TRIZ matches exactly with Activity Theory—physical contradictions correlate to the primary and secondary conflicts and technical contradictions correlate with tertiary and quaternary conflicts. In AT, conflicts drive evolution. Likewise, he reviewed the well-known relationships between axiomatic design and TRIZ, showing that application of TRIZ overcomes contradiction while AD eliminates contradiction, but both agree that ideality requires the absence of contradiction. These demonstrations were presented as “scientific proof” that TRIZ is appropriate for design, which were followed by a practical methodology of steps for using TRIZ in market-driven innovative design, based on the 4 stages of Axiomatic Design. Note: QFD stages were mapped into this, but labeled as “weak” methods since QFD is not directive about choices (!)

Reporting on his classes, Professor Lu summarized the concept as
Design the right thing, before “design the thing right”
Morphological principle
Contrarian principle
Paradoxical principle
Teaching the systematic method (students will learn it only if it is easy to teach)
Must have a lot of theoretical justification
Semester course with design project and design review, and requires filing provisional patent with specific claims as the end of the class. Projects: Post 9/11 travel luggage. 6 teams had patentable ideas, 2 actually received patents.

We plan to meet in So. California to continue the discussions. Any other Californians out there???

I missed the keynote by Larry Smith, in the simultaneous TRIZ and Quality Conference. Larry emphasized the richness of the quality “toolkit” which has expanded from the basic quality tools to the strategic quality tools (exemplified by the GOAL/QPC wheel) to the integration of TRIZ and other creativity tools.

Marcus Geers gave an educational and entertaining presentation on the development of a creative climate in organizations.

Ives De Saeger’s paper “Creating flow with 5S and TRIZ” energized the audience with its combination of real-live experience and creativity in small, medium, and large companies. The examples of functionality of a shelf and labels (and the nuts and bolts) in a 5S example were very well presented as examples of both useful and harmful functions—5S with bad labels is a failure mode! This example was an excellent basis for teaching those in the audience who had no earlier exposure to TRIZ.

Lunch-time bus trips to neighboring companies that have TRIZ stories to tell. I went to Baekert and heard about integration of TRIZ into their DFSS process.

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