Thursday, October 31, 2013


Day 2 European TRIZ Association Paris Meeting

The Wednesday program began with Denis Cavallucci (Past President of both ETRIA and TRIZFrance) introducing Dr. Ing. Mihai SOCOLIUC - Head of Scientific Communities at PSA Peugeot-Citroën, and recalling the role of the company in starting TRIZ activities in France.  Dr. Socoliuc introduced the history of the company, starting with Peugeot as a metallurgy company in 1810, with many technological and scientific innovations.   The science activities of the company are now organized to emphasize energy, mechanics, and fluidics, with major work in human factors and interactive simulation. “OpenLabs” emphasize open innovation and partnerships with other organizations—one in Marseilles for motion and in Bordeaux for energy, and others around France for design, fluidics, etc.  

Dr. Socoluic then surprised the audience with his challenge to us—after 14 years of pioneering work with TRIZ, it is still not part of the daily life at PSA Peugeot-Citroen.  He asked the audience 10 questions about how to re-birth the excitement of TRIZ in all the OpenLabs, which resulted in a vigorous dialog and multi-log with the audience.

The morning program continued with 3 plenary sessions chaired by Paul Filmore.   Paul-Armand Verhaegen from the University of Leuven, presented “Organism Aspects for systematic BID”  which we would call biomimetics.   They have developed extensive algorithms and adapted technology from text mining to filtering biological data to identify the aspects of organisms that are applicable to other kinds of problem solving.   These algorithms are very tolerant of high-noise situations.  Paul gave a live demonstration of using the databases to find a list of organisms to study for a particular display problem (swallowtail butterflies, strawberry poison frogs and Steller’s jay were the top candidates.)

Giacomo Bersano presented a joint French-Italian project “Supporting ECO-innovation in SMEs by TRIZ Eco-guidelines.”   Impressive results—companies generated savings of 10-15x the money spent on training and workshops through improved design incorporating the Eco-guidelines.   A simplified fast method designed to appeal to the SME companies was tested with diverse companies (electronics, chemicals, machine tools, home appliances,) and the assessment of the usefulness of the method was based on life cycle analysis of the designs, not on the opinions of the SMEs or the researchers.  Reduction of weight and power by 20% each and increase of re-usable parts by 50% are all impressive results!  The TRIZ emphasis was on ideality, particularly full use of resources, and understanding why resources had not been fully used in the older designs. 

The session concluded with a Samsung Electronics case study “Enhanced Unlatched Operation of Hard Disk Drive” presented by Kyoung-Whan Oh.   He emphasized the primary role of ideality in developing and improving the design.   See the proceedings for a pictorial explanation of the damage mechanism and the flux patterns for the magnetic fields in the conventional design of hard disk head and disk.   3% of drives showed unlatch failure at low temperature—with 5 million units a month produced, this kind of failure is intolerable.  Mr. Oh did a very thorough job of defining the physical and technical contradictions of the latched and unlatched states, and the practical limits of the time that each change would take vs. the time available until product launch.   Using  resources already in the system (especially using compression of a rubber part as a source of energy!) made it possible to make the correction without redesign and without delay to product launch.  The insights came from su-field modeling, “smart little people” modeling, detailed resource listing, and in later iterations principles 9 and 14.   The audience appreciation was very visible.

I was the chair of the case study session, so I was unable to take notes – 4 case studies with different lessons but one theme:     TRIZ works!    See the proceedings for full reports, and for reports on the parallel sessions.

Michel Chaux from Michelin   was the afternoon keynote speaker.   He told us about Michelin’s 4 innovation strategies: 

1.        Inova Go, spontaneous, individual idea generation

2.       Innov’Up, open challenges, both inside the company and outside

3.       Creativity events, which require strong preparation and experienced facilitator

4.       TRIZ,  with supporting training and facilitation.    

Europe, Japan, and US Michelin centers have the same basic facilitator training, but each group is encouraged to modify their methods to respect and take advantage of local culture.

Goodwin Ekong,  reported on the plans to use TRIZ for airport management in Nigeria

Petr Lepsik from the Czech Republic presented “Increasing of car seat safety using TRIZplus – FOS Method”  FOS  is function oriented search, and adds depth to the general TRIZ approach of looking outside the previous science and technology.



Prof. Kyeongwon Lee from Korea Polytechnic University presented both good and bad experiences with the propagation of TRIZ into industry, and strategies based on lessons learned.  In the early stage of deployment, LG introduced TRIZ in 1996, and in 1996-2004 there were  experiences of  “overexaggeration”  and expensive, un-workable proposed solutions and overtones of Russian mysticism which were  in conflict with Korean engineering culture.   In addition, both companies and universities experimented with software such as TechOptimizer, Goldfire, and IWB, with disappointing results (my comment:  because they just had software without real understanding of TRIZ!)  TRIZ disappeared in Korea, and started to re-emerge after 2004.    Samsung’s TRIZ system is well known, starting with cost reduction and using their own success to move the method into all aspects of creativity.  Hyundai incorporated TRIZ into Six Sigma, and is experiencing growing world-wide recognition for creativity.    

Prof. Lee’s conclusions are

1.       The TRIZ  users must understand the problem model and contradictions and work with tools from other methods to develop practical, fast solutions, rather than to emphasize learning many different tools. 

2.      TRIZ proponents should avoid criticizing Six Sigma and other methods that have had demonstrated success.

3.      Use my flow chart (he had the version from the TRIZ journal ) as a starting point, to be modified for each company, with the emphasis on getting early success on pilot projects that are meaningful to the company, and which can be used by those who become TRIZ trainers as culturally-suitable examples.   Prof. Kim gave particular attention to the idea that people, even at the very beginning of TRIZ study, should solve their own problems rather than have the TRIZ experts solve problems for them.  

4.      Pay attention to the company hierarchy—recruit support for projects using the technical experts, their bosses, and their budgeting process.  

5.      Universities need standard textbooks and standard methods in order to incorporate TRIZ into their curricula.  The disagreements between TRIZ experts cause the professors to avoid TRIZ.

He concluded by inviting us to the 5th Global TRIZCON, July 8-10, 2014 in Korea.   The audience was most appreciative of the examination of failures, and Prof. Lee’s extraction of lessons from the failures.

Ido Lapidot, the TRIZ advocate for  Intel in Israel entertained AND educated the group with “TRIZ is mostly dead, but mostly dead is partly alive.”  His talk was inspired by a Google Trend search on TRIZ, which shows a severe decline (allowing for countries where Google lacks coverage.)  He compared the TRIZ  trend to the Kodak history  and the Crocs shoes history, and finally a search for innovation and problem solving.  Six Sigma is declining, Lean is noisy and rising.    Crowdsourcing is on a steeper rise than open innovation, which is also rising.    

Network analysis of the genes and memes was used to look at the survivability of TRIZ (which is a meme-plex.)   Adding complexity makes the system more stable and thus more survivable but also makes it more complex and intimidating to newcomers.

BUT because TRIZ is small it can still grow!   TRIZ should be simplified, use open TRIZ innovation, make it cheap and easy to get started, ride the wave of crowdsourcing.   Finally, Lapidot proposes that we do new TRIZ research, using modern search tools, to create solutions databases for software, for biotech, for communications.  

 Minkyoung (Linda) Kwon  from POSCO continued the theme of the keynote yesterday by developing the 36 strategies of Sun-tzu, and creating  a strategy matrix similar to the contradiction matrix.  They demonstrated the use of the strategies for the sales of slag powder—this is a very realistic case for a steel company!  Midmapping was a useful technique for showing how all the parts of the  problem analysis and problem solving/strategy development system interact (this means “go read the proceedings to see details.”)  The military analogies were not fully portable (first kill the leader of the competitor “army” was reinterpreted as bribing the leader of the other company) to modern business situations, but the analogies were definitely challenging to conventional thinking. 

Application of Substance-Field Analysis for Failure Analysis” was presented by Ann Belski.   Briefly, an auxiliary field FA  is  introduced in each of the relationships in the Su-Field model, and is hypothesized to cause failure in the system.  Then a real scenario is developed that would create the failure situation.  Finally, another Su-Field analysis is done to find a way to overcome the failure mode.    Case study examples made the model very appealing—Ms. Belski showed a complex Su-field model for a ship sinking in the ocean and a wiper blade switch failure in an automotive application.   In the latter case, the engineers went from 4 possible failures to more than 30, greatly increasing their opportunity of finding the actual cause.    The Singapore/Dutch challenge to world-wide students for minimizing turbidity created during backhoe dredging.    Her Su-field model showed deep technical knowledge of the dredging process, and the auxiliary fields gave a strong set of solutions (not implemented because of cost, but showing promise for the future.)

Minsoo Kim from Samsung Display addressed “Group Creativity plus TRIZ.”   He modeled TRIZ classically as 1) analysis to develop the problem understanding and 2)problem solving to develop solution ideas.   He reviewed the TRIZ training system, and highlighted the need for group processes, as well as TRIZ knowledge, for people to solve complex problems.  He used the model from “The Medici Effect” to suggest that multiple experts, each expert in his/her own field, will stimulate creativity  for each other and the group.    A long-life, big, bright, low-weight display was a good example of group creativity, calling on multiple experts, using the intersection method—improving the intersection between the subsystems to give direction to the full project.

 Ivan Masin from the Technical University of Liberec in the Czech Republic concluded the session with “Inventive principles application in the nano-structures field.” The first project used the “nanospider”—a roller electro-spinning technology that produces non-woven nanofiber material.  They used the 40 principles as a checklist, looking to see if each could be used on the technology for producing the structures OR on the structures themselves.   He showed us a great variety of examples—segmented roller, curved fibers, self-regulating fibers, etc.   All 40 principles were relevant in the production methods, some were not found in the fiber structure area.   The second step was to look at potential improvements in the roller technology—the project was successful and patents are being pursued right now, so details were not presented.   A third project was to eliminate the time for exchange of rollers in the machine—again very successful.


Gala dinner in Paris!    The group enjoyed a boat tour of the Seine River, starting from the base of the Eiffel tower,  and cruising past many historic and artistic monuments.   Great food, great wine, great company, great talk!   (And why the day 2 blog is being posted on day 3)  

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