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Christmas TRIZ - Ideality - A True Story

| On 05, Feb 2003

By: Kevin Landhuis

Recently, while wrapping some Christmas gifts, I noticed a “keg” of ribbon that my wife had purchased.
Eureka, Ideality! I tried to explain the significance of this discovery to my kids and my impromptu TRIZ
lesson was met with an enthusiastic chorus; “Dad, your on vacation, give it a rest”, “Dad, you are such a
dork”, and “Dad, stop it, your scaring me”.

Actually, I was beginning to scare myself, but this was too interesting to stop, so off to the store for more research. The picture below shows what I found: a keg of ribbon and a spool of ribbon. The keg has no cardboard spool; the ribbon supports itself by application of inventive principle #14 spheroidality.


Move towards ideality2 is demonstrated by:
* No cardboard is consumed; no cardboard spools are made or shipped (The ideal spool is no spool).
* Total weight of package is reduced by 65%.
* Reduction in total package volume by 65%.
* The keg of ribbon has 70% more ribbon.
* The cost (the price I paid) for the keg of ribbon is 50% less then the spool. (I should not have been
so surprised, this should be natural outcome of move toward ideality, but it is neat to find and
example that works out that way.)
My kids are right, I do exhibit many “dork like” characteristics, and so I will be keeping my eyes open for more examples of TRIZ principles and I will share them when I find them. I wish you all a very inventive 2003. If you have any comments, please send them to All input is welcome.

1. Domb, Ellen. ’40 Inventive Principles with Examples’, TRIZ Journal, July 1997.
2. Terninko, J., Zusman, A., Zlotin, B., ‘Systematic Innovation, An Introduction to TRIZ, 1998, St. Lucie Press, Boca Raton, FL.