Sunday, October 23, 2011


2011 Iberoamerican Innovation Congress, Queretaro, MX, Days 2 and 3

Jack Hipple was the first speaker of Day 2, with a fascinating array of ergonomics examples. His aging population (if you can’t run on a treadmill, stand still and stimulate the heart by chemicals) segment had many new examples, and his case on pill insulin- outer shell swells in stomach environment, protects medicine until it is in the right place for absorption—could change life for millions. Wrench-X (3d bend in handle makes it wide on both ends, for ease of grip) was a perfect TRIZ example of “why didn’t we do that 100 years ago?”

Noel Leon’s keynote combined TRIZ patterns of evolution with his extensive research on genetic algorithms and all evolution theory to show that even complex systems can be understood using basic tools. I particularly liked his way of using the TRIZ method of Complete Technical System at all levels of the System Operator, then using the simulation capability of the genetic algorithms to explore probabilities.

My afternoon tutorial session on “How to implement TRIZ in your organization” had people from 4 companies and 2 universities, who discovered that they have a lot of common issues when introducing a new system, and a few differences because of the companies’ histories, customers, and cultures. The strong six sigma/lean systems in 2 of the companies will be a good basis for introducing TRIZ, since many of the cultural aspects (analysis before solution, data-based decision making) are in place.

Dinner, thanking the student volunteers and relaxing together—we needed that!

Day 3

Technical paper session

Lázaro Martínez Flores and his colleagues from Matamoros presented application of TRIZ in design of tools, in which they demonstrated ways of incorporating TRIZ concepts into parametric CAD design methods. The example of a part for a hydraulic line, with a complex internal groove and external boss. Machining the groove is difficult, requiring special tools, so the target for the TRIZ project was to make the part much easier to machine, with the same capability. Rapid iteration with the CAD system, coupled with a design of experiments protocol made it possible to explore a variety of options and relationships between design parameters, part effectiveness, and cost/complexity of machining. Case studies for both hand and machine tools demonstrated the versatility of the approach.

César Raúl Cárdenas Pérez from Tec de Monterrey in Queretaro presented an integration of TRIZ with 3D rapid prototyping applied to both mechatronic engineering applications and to the rapid prototype machines themselves. The process was tested with 57 people in 2 experimental groups, and with 38 people, some with industrial experience, some without, and none with prior TRIZ knowledge. Very interesting results about changes in finite elements used by the participants (increased mixed figures, reduced circles, etc.) as the learning progressed. Not surprisingly, the advanced (TRIZ) students had more sophisticated designs that met the requirements more completely.

I presented the paper co-authored with Anthony McCaffrey from the University of Massachusetts, based on his research in cognitive psychology. McCaffrey’s taxonomy of resources will be a significant aid to TRIZ practioners in the future, and his system for analyzing problems to find out which part of the taxonomy to use will be easy for people in all fields, not just TRIZ, to use. I showed how each of his methods has a correspondence to one or more TRIZ methods, although the research was entirely independent of TRIZ.

Edgardo Cordova showed a complex process, flexographic printing, and how the analysis simplified apparently complex problems , so that one solution (feedback in the alignment mechanism) solved what initially appeared to be multiple problems. He did a great job representing the absent authors!

The Congress adjourned with many promises to meet next year in Orizaba (near Puebla, MX) with new projects, new research, and new TRIZ capabilities. Congratulations to AMETRIZ and particularly to Prof. Christian Signoret and his students at Querétaro for a very well done event.

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