Tuesday, August 14, 2012


TRIZFEST 2012 in Finland

Kalevi Rantanen is our guest blogger, with his report on the recent TRIZ conference in Finland.  Thanks, Kalevi!

Here I have some notes on a TRIZfest-2012 TRIZ conference in Lappeenranta, Finland, August 2-4. Conference was organized by The International TRIZ Association – MATRIZ. It was supported by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT, Finland), St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University, and “Algorithm” LLC (Russia). First time conference was held outside Russia.

Dr. Mijeong Song from Samsung Electronics told of terrific success in Samsung from 1998. Perhaps main conclusion one can make is a well-known and easily forgotten truth: strategic approach and strong support of top management is needed to introduce new tools successfully.

Other speakers from South Korea gave some detailed examples of TRIZ applications. Engineer Guee H. Sim told of semiconductor device application in Hynix Semiconductor. They solved the problem of washing metal based mask surface. Ozone water needed to remove contaminants at the same time damaged the chrome (Cr) layer on the photo mask surface. Using multiple tools of TRIZ they found a solution. The study of the problem showed that flooding of ozone into small cracks in the layer immediately causes the damage. The solution was to create, by plasma treatment, oxidized chrome (CrO) that fills cracks and prevents the harmful flooding. The team says that the results of the experimental verification were “excellent”.

Professor Kyeng Won Lee from Korean Polytechnic University told how the analysis of Korean pop songs was used in TRIZ education. Many students complain that the conventional TRIZ look boring. Examples from the music of The Wonder Girls and “Girl’s generation” illustrate many concepts of TRIZ and make the content easier to learn.

Yong Song from Korea Polytechnic University reported of an international student on-line TRIZ conference in November 2011. Professors and students from his university and Komsomolsk-na-Amur State Technical University in Russia participated. Korean TRIZ community consider important to get TRIZ knowledge as much as possible directly from Russia. Intensive co-operation traditional way, however, is time-consuming and expensive. On-line conferences effectively use the time of students and TRIZ experts.

Koreans participate actively TRIZfest conferences. Really, from all countries South Korea seems to be the most intensive TRIZ user today. Saying this we should remember that there is much progress in TRIZ all over the world.

Dr. Simon Litvin from GEN3 Partners, the US, has formulated ten principles of successful TRIZ-based innovations. These principles contain the core of so called classical TRIZ: “use a rigorous scientific innovation process”, and “resolve contradictions”, for example. Others go beyond the traditional understanding on what TRIZ is. For example: “Develop products and technologies, not ideas.” Also: “Adapt existing solution, don’t always invent.” The point is to build bridge between TRIZ and business. Companies need products and profit, after all, ideas and inventions alone are not enough.

Litvin also told how to address one of the biggest innovation killers, secondary problems. Here he illustrated one of his ten principles: adapting existing solution. He used a well-known example in TRIZ circles, an anti-allergenic nasal filter. The original idea was a nasal filter. Getting the product from this idea might have been costly and time-consuming. That’s why the ready solution from industry, a big cyclone, was adapted to needs of health care. The result was a small “nasal cyclone”.

There were exciting case studies. Oliver Mayer from GE Global Research in Germany told of a photovoltaic case in GE. They developed one axis PV tracking device. Instead of a complex electrically driven tracker they developed a simple device. A new device uses the energy of sun directly. A thermo cylinder moves a piston.

However, the management didn’t accept the solution. There were “company constraints” or recently done investments to older technology have still to be paid off. There were also meanings that the device is not yet good enough since it is slightly less accurate than the electric tracker. Perhaps we have here an example of secondary problems?

In a roundtable discussion I also learned much of progress in GE. Dr. Mayer told how they have built TRIZ culture in company. Dr. Alex Lyobomirskiy from GEN3 Partners told of the experience of integrating TRIZ into corporate culture.
Conference clearly mirrored steady progress of TRIZ. One could also see the rise of the standards in TRIZ community. Organizers collected 31 abstracts, but only 18 papers were accepted.

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