Thursday, November 15, 2012


7th Iberoamerican Innovation Congress, Orizaba MX, Nov. 15, 2012

An evening of light rain did not discourage the innovators – we walked around town and went to “the best taco shop in all of Orizaba.”

Day 2 opened with Amir Roggel’s workshop “Systematic innovation and innovation leadership.” Amir is known to readers of this blog for his work as Intel’s TRIZ leader for several years, and for his popular presentations at many conferences. He showed great mastery of Spanish by telling jokes that the audience really appreciated! This was also a mixed media presentation, starting with music from around the Ibero-American world, then a video “What does ‘made in Israel’ mean to you?” then proceeding to a very active workshop, incorporating ideas from Lean and Theory of Constraints, showing how they interact with TRIZ in many situations. He’ll return in the afternoon program with hands-on work using the Spanish version of the Guided Brainstorming software system, with people solving real problems.

Humberto Aguayo Téllez, President of AMETRIZ, presented the situation for innovation in Mexcio, and progress and problems as reported in both government and university studies, concluding with strong recommendations for reform of both government policies and corporate structures/cultures. The participants had considerable advice for each other and for the authors of the paper.

Edgardo Cordova (Past President of AMETRIZ and Past Conference Organizer) presented a comprehensive model for the introduction of TRIZ as a strategic element for business success. Based on more than a decade of his observations of companies’ resistance to change, he has created a simple, 4-step process that starts with education and ends with application to important company problems, and monitoring for progress. This process should work in positive, neutral, and even hostile environments.

“A systematic method using TRIZ tools for generating software architectures” was presented by Cuauhtémoc Lemus Olalde from CIMAT in Zacatecas Mexico, and he pointed out that co-author Edgar D. Fernández Rodríguez is an entrepreneur. He started with the challenge of applying TRIZ to design, where the issues are most often those of increasing complexity and increasing customer demand, rather than the use of resources or technology alternatives that are the TRIZ issues in hardware. They found that the most powerful use of TRIZ in software is at the architecture level, where the 40 principles are used to develop significantly different alternatives, the Pugh method to hybridize various aspects of the alternatives, and decision criteria (including ideality and the evaporating cloud from TOC). They have developed their own program “Architect Assistant Junior” to guide people through the steps of the process.

Miguel Ángel López Ontiveros presented he team’s paper on the use of TRIZ in re-manufacturing, which is an important transitional step as many process seek to become more sustainable. He reviewed the many advantages of re-manufacturing (lower energy use, lower material use, faster production.) The problems of re-manufacturing differ from those of initial manufacturing, particularly because of the variation in the materials that have been used in many different environments, and the lack of consciousness of the need for easy disassembly during the initial design phase.

Ricardo López González presented an interesting combination of the TRIZ methods with SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat, FODA in Spanish). SWOT was introduced to the strategic planning community by Albert S. Humphrey in the 1960’s, and has been used extensively—its persistence through 6 decades is a measure of its capability, and the ease with which people learn to use it. SWOT’s weakness is that while it focuses people on identifying problems, it does not have explicit problem solving tools—hence the opportunity for a successful merger with TRIZ. He emphasized the use of the 9 Windows and Function Analysis to fully define problems, as well as the contradiction resolution tools to remove problems.

We return to TRIZ applications with the paper on sealing PEM fuel cells, presented by Sebastián Jiménez R., Guillermo Cortes R., Leonardo de Silva M. This was a dramatic case study showing the many different kinds of contradictions that have to be solved to manufacture reliable, durable fuel cells that will be used in many different circumstances.

We stayed in the applications sphere for the next paper, application of USIT in the adhesives industry, presented by Vicente González Ladino. This is a detailed USIT case study, examining both the technical problem and the psychological problems that prevented the users from seeing their problem and its solutions. The specific problem is that a stick adhesive is designed to be purple when applied, then become clear when applied to a surface. Over time, it becomes brown and does not change to clear when used. The case demonstrates USIT methods of analysis (especially object-attribute-function analysis and closed world analysis) and problem solution.

“Three dimensional reconstruction of parts manufactured from the 2D information provided by a high precision laser scanner” was presented by the team of Gerardo Armando Hernández Castorena, Salvador Eduardo Ramírez Brambila, María Aracelia Alcorta García, Víctor Gustavo Tercero Gómez.  The project started as a challenge to increase the speed of inspection of parts, particularly the measurement of spatial parameters, by 2-D laser scanning. This was classical, non-TRIZ innovation, using detailed geometrical analysis to create an algorithm that can work under a variety of circumstances. The current model had excellent results with rectangular solids; future work is planned for parts without those symmetries.

“INNOPTIMATION – an Evolutive Innovation Algorithm” presented by Aarón Montiel Rosales, returned us to emerging theory. He starts with somewhat rigid assumptions about the New Product Development method (that innovation is needed at the beginning, then optimization in the development and deployment phases) then hybridizes innovation and optimization tools to help the developer at each stage of development. They plan to deploy this as a genetic algorithm – evaluation will have to wait until some case studies can be shown.

The team of Carlos Javier Valdez Pérez, Alberto Méndez Torreblanca, Héctor Adolfo Andrade Gómez and Guillermo Cortes Robles developed a systematic process for solving software problems using TRIZ tools. I think that the use of the matrix may be questionable (they used Matrix 2003), but their detailed method for analyzing the problem and formulating the contradiction will be of use to many people, regardless of whether the matrix is used or not. An extensive case study of improvement of an antivirus systems demonstrated the usefulness of their approach.

We adjourned for lunch. The afternoon session will be Amir Roggel’s workshop using the Guided Brainstorming software, and the evening activities include wine, music, and good discussions of innovation.

Day 3 has an exciting program, beginning with Noel Leon’s tutorial. I’ll be travelling tomorrow and unable to continue this report. Any other attendees who would like to to summarize the Friday session? You can just attach your comments to this blog using the Comment feature! Thanks!


7th Iberoamerican Innovation Congress, Orizaba Mexico, Nov. 14

The Seventh Iberoamerican Innovation Congress opened today, Nov. 14, in Orizaba, Mexico, a center of technical universities and industry about an hour’s drive from Vera Cruz. Participants are primarily from Mexico, with papers and delegates from Argentina, Brazil, Honduras, Costa Rica, and elsewhere.  Many thanks to conference organizer Guillermo Cortes Robles and to the board of AMETRIZ for all their work to make this event such a success!

The Congress was opened by the principal of the technical university in Orizaba, then I orchestrated a tutorial on the application of TRIZ to the new definition of business—that new definition being one of corporate social responsibility. Several of the corporate delegates talked about what their companies are already doing, and the university and industry delegates had considerable discussion of how they can work together to have their students/employees understand the scope of corporate social responsibility and have them use TRIZ to solve the seemingly unsolvable problems. Good news is that there are several papers on topics related to some of the aspects of ISO 26000 and some of the historical “green” subjects (energy efficiency, "green" construction, etc.) so this theme will run throughout the conference. 

As always this blog is my personal impressions of the conference—for the full program go to . The opening session of the technical program in the room I was in was by Dr. Jorge Antonio Lechuga Andrade, from the Yucatan region of Mexico, showing his application TRIZ to significant problems in desalinization technology—self-cleaning membranes, improved efficiency of membranes, co-generation of energy, and others. The practical application of these inventive solutions was evaluated at desalination plants in multiple countries.

Eva Cruz Maldonado presented her work for the joint program of interdisciplinary studies in science and engineering (my translation!) which focused on the need for educators who can fulfill the role of “cultural ecologist” and work at the boundaries of science, technology and society, creating a “green” future that goes well beyond the compliance with regulations that is all many companies do today.

Abraham Herrera Montiel and Karla Daniela Luna Flores jointly presented their teaching method for the Model for Function Analysis developed at the Technological Institute in Puebla by Eugenio Miranda Medina, based on the classical value analysis. It is a very hands-on method, that starts with deconstructing the existing system, and identifying the functions of parts, subsystems, etc. Functions are identified as sufficient, inadequate, excessive, or harmful as in other TRIZ-related Subject-action-object methods, in order to identify the functions of the system that are candidates for improvement. There was considerable discussion of the teaching method, with audience members making suggestions for further development.

López-Acosta Mauricio, Mendoza León Jorge G, Montiel-Rodríguez Luis Carlos, and Sánchez-
Padilla Jesús Enrique presented their development of LabRisk, a system that uses Case-Based Reasoning for evaluation of risk and planning risk reduction. They found that there is a tendency for product developers to extend technology outside its previous uses without using the available data on how it will perform when those boundaries are stressed. The commonality with TRIZ is the emphasis on the use of data, and the use of solutions to one problem in other fields to solve multiple problems.

Guillermo Cortes Robles (the conference organizer) presented an overview of the paper on application of trends of evolution during product development, on behalf of the team which was unable to attend. They use a detailed analysis of a chair to illustrate the application of trends of evolution to the seat, the arms, the back, and the whole system (including storage when the seat is not in use.) This is a very comprehensive case study.

A group from Instituto Technologico de Orizaba presented their product prototype: Proyecto Itzaya. It is an aid for the visually impaired that has the general shape of the cane used by many blind people, but also has active elements that sense obstacles and guide the user through the almost universally available resource of the smart phone. The students plan to take this socially beneficial product to market, integrating their TRIZ and business skills. (We’ll look for a report on launching their business next year—they have won several prizes in university innovation competitions.)

Reminder: this is not a complete report-there were six papers in another room that I didn’t see. Check the program, and get the proceedings later from  For pictures see the Ametriz Facebook page.  Note to other conference attendees:  Please add your notes about any of the papers I missed or any other comments  using the "comment" feature here.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?