Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Day 1, afternoon, 8th Iberoamerican Innovation Congress, Merida, MX

Five papers are scheduled for the after-lunch session at the Iberoamerican Innovation Congress in Merida, Mexico—2 USIT case studies, one TRIZ case study and one TRIZ methodology paper, and one paper on innovation portfolio management.  One was later postponed until tomorrow. 

Vicente Gonzalez Ladino from the Engineering Faculty of Quintana Roo started with a USIT application, Caso Sellador de PVC for the automotive industry. He guided us through the steps of the problem definition, the analysis, and the generation of alternative solutions.  A lot of chemistry goes into the problem definition phase in this example, since “simple PVC” is a complex product.   (These things always look easy in retrospect!   Here the hydrochloric acid reacts with one of the filler materials –calcium carbonate—creating calcium chloride, water – both liquid and gas-  and carbon dioxide) So the simplified (or ideal) state is to use the minimal materials to produce the useful product with no side effects (such as gases that damage the material.)   General USIT rules for using the system resources, plus knowledge of the effects operating within the system, rapidly produced an elegant solution – use CaO instead of CaCO3 to avoid production of CO2 (with much joking from the audience that this solution was discovered in pre-historic Mexico by the Mayas.) 

Juan Carlos Nishiyama reported on his group’s work at the Universidad technologica nacional in Argentina, in “Functions en el marco del USIT.”   He showed a combinatorial logic method for generating the closed world functions in USIT, and  the OAF (object, attribute, function) model that is a fast way to analyze and diagram root cause analysis. The specific case study looked at improvement of a rotary cutting tool.

Carlos Flores from Siemens worked with  Noel Leon’s group at TEC in Monterrey.  He reported on the methodology, based on TRIZ, using semantic search of global knowledge.   The practical case from Siemens was an electromechanical  low amperage circuit breaker with low capacitance.   More than 30 high-potential ideas were found, several patents are in progress, and the search took less than a week.   Both the FAST (function decomposition) diagram and the IWB Problem formulator™ analysis were used.   The formulator identified 33 directions and combinations of directions for innovation.    The Goldfire ™ semantic search tools were then used to look for methods of achieving the goals described by the formulator.  Natural language search found >50,000 documents which were not very relevant, but a tightly controlled keyword search found 11 highly relevant documents.  Some of those ideas were then further developed using Goldfire’s device analysis/trimming tool, which lead to further problem identification (don’t initiate an electric arc, thereby protecting the life of the components while leaving the utility unimpeded.)   The solution was not shown in detail since the group is pursuing patents now.

Jorge Antonio Lechugas and Jose Carlos Peraza  from the University faculty of chemistry in the Yucatan reported on the production of MgO recovered from saline pools  called “Las Coloradas” in the Yucatan, after the direct evaporation of sea water has been completed.   A solar thermal system both heats the salt residues and operates a generator for electric power production.   The details of the solubility of the MgSO4 in the brine as a function of temperature is the key to the development of the system that takes best advantage of the heat available.   There are 14 industrial saline areas in Mexico, and these methods could be used to recover Mg salts in all of them.  Other similar areas in Spain, France, and elsewhere may also benefit.

Cultural event:   We will meet at 8 for a bus trip to the Mayan Cultural Museum.  


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