Sunday, October 23, 2011


2011 Iberoamerican Innovation Congress, Queretaro, MX, Day 1

The 6th Iberoamerican Innovation Congress opened in Quetero, Mexico this morning with welcome from the director of the Technology Park and from Christian Signoret, organizer of the conference, treasurer of AMETRIZ, and professor at the Queretaro branch of TEC de Monterrey. The hard work of Christian’s committee (and students—thanks Rebeca and Juan Felipe) really showed in a well-run meeting. (Left, Christian Signoret, Right, main entrance and sculpture.)

Proceedings will be posted next week, so I’ll give limited summaries of papers, and as in other trip reports, I’ll only talk about the sessions that I was in—see the proceedings for parallel session information.

Isak Bukhman and I started the day with two complementary, but different papers. Isak gave a detailed presentation on the integration of TRIZ with the full innovation system for product design. I revisited my topic from last year—some of us are TRIZ teachers, we are all TRIZ learners -- and used the ways of teaching the use of resources as examples of both how to learn and how to teach.

Noel Leon did a very popular TRIZ introduction tutorial while the rest of us went to the technical paper session. Highlights:

The group from Universidad Tecnologica Huejotzingo (Alondra de la Llave Hernandez, Gabriela Perez Ramos, Jose David de Ita Ximil) presented 2 papers, one on the system of strategic planning, one on the adoption of the initial stage, which used a variety of techniques based on both classical and new methods of strategic planning. The emphasis on the participation of the whole organization was very much like Hoshin Kanri. Process maps and PERT-CPM were primary tools for generating creative ideas and the plans for implementation. They used 5 elements of complete system as basis for maps. ISO 9001 and 9004 gave a useful structure in a situation where the customers and the customers’ needs are changing, and the competitive situation is changing. Past management processes are not robust enough for this new environment.

Dr. Cuauhtémoc Lemus Olalde, from CIMAT in Zacatecas, presented 2 very different papers. Appeals courts in Mexico have previously used only written presentations from the lawyers. They are now changing to oral arguments, in the states Chihuahua y Oaxaca, coming soon Puebla, Mexico (state) Durango, etc., and Guanajuato and Yucatan want current implementation. The CIMAT group helped the court by applying TRIZ to solve the problems of the service-oriented architecture basis for meeting the needs of the judges (with careful regard to effectiveness, cost, and future improvement opportunity.) The audience showed great interest in the use of classical TRIZ analysis, starting with the elements of ideality, to find the opportunities, summarized as the physical contradiction, the Judge wants to pay attention, but the Judge doesn’t want to pay attention (busy taking notes)

Lemus showed 3 iterations of IFR, to get to both a strong IFR #2 and a possible method #3, function analysis and exploration of trimming opportunities. New insights came from every tool that they tried—system operator, 40 principles, separation principles, 76 standards, and the evaluation of resources.

The second CIMAT paper, demonstrated the use of TRIZ for a different management problem, the introduction of system for management of software to the Mexican business “La Zacatecana” to improve its ability to compete in the international software market. The goal was triple the productivity of the programmers, and the TRIZ insights moved the company very strongly toward its goal.

The group from the university at Orizaba (hosts for next year’s meeting) presented 2 papers. The first examined Substance-field analysis in the framework of ontology. They applied an iterative action process to create an ontology based on the work of Deborah McGinnis, involving extensive categorization of substance, fields, interactions, and resources of the system. Testing by practioners was promised for next year.

The next paper focused on the internal and external factors for successful innovation in organizations. They propose a method that combines elements of TRIZ, particularly ideality and contradiction resolution, with extensive simulation of the situation and criteria for the evaluation of candidate solutions. The system was demonstrated with a case study of a large grain dehydration machine, to increase the yield of properly dried product. A new function analysis format, using colors to indicate the elements of the system and the grain and the environment made it very easy to understand a very complex system.

Juan Carlos Nishiyama, Tatiana Zagorodonova, Carlos Eduardo Requena, from Argentina, presented “The problem of rapid and efficient separation of the yolks and whites of chicken eggs” using the USIT method. Their case comes from an ice cream factory. Some recipes use whole eggs, some only the yolk. They started with a beautiful diagram of the egg as an engineered construct (15 elements), and demonstrated great humor list of initial solutions…then applied USIT , similar to repeated trimming, to look for opportunities to solve the problem with the minimum number of objects. The USIT method of closed world and the USIT method of modeling the system using particles were both very helpful in understanding the problem and the solution opportunities. The object/attribute/function model added depth to the understanding. Application of the problem-solving methods of USIT emerged naturally from the analysis steps, treating the egg as a mixture of two liquids of different viscosities, separated by using a sieve with holes of different sizes. The ice cream factory loves the simplicity of the solution, and we are all grateful for a case study that can be understood by people with all technical backgrounds.

Instituto Tec de Orrizaba Guillermo Cortes Robles and several co-authors concluded the session with their case study “Improving productivity in the processing of rice using TRIZ. “ The analysis showed numerous opportunities for improvement in the loading of the bags of rice on the pallets and in moving the pallets to storage, then to trucks. Pallets were wrapped in a stretch material, with considerable waste. Recycling the waste could save a few thousand per month, but not using it at all would save 20 times as much, so the TRIZ problem was how to handle the rice with the least use of material. Multiple contradictons, 10 principles, multiple ideas. A transparent box on wheels replaces the pallet-the product can be seen, the piles do not fall over, and much less energy is used by rolling the containers instead of moving pallets by forklift.

The city of Queretaro is in the middle of an annual historical festival. The conference participants went to the historic city center for a tour, then joined the “Parade of Legends” in which costumed characters introduced themselves, explained their roles in history, then vanished, and we paraded to the next historical site. We finished the evening with a dinner of local specialties, and great anticipation of the next day’s program.

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