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Day 2 at 4th Congreso Iberoamericano de Innovacion Tecnologica

| On 20, Nov 2009

Ellen Domb

Daniel Palma opened the Day 2 program with a fascinating study of “TRIZ: a competitive advantage in the Mexican labor market.”  He and his colleagues looked at the employment experiences of 183 engineering students starting in 2005, and found that those with TRIZ training had more interviews and more job offers, even in the last year of great economic stress.   Further study will be needed to distinguish whether the employers value the engineers’ problem solving capability, or whether they actually recognize TRIZ and use it as a criterion for granting an interview.

Juan Enrique Aguila showed a work in progress, studying the application of ISO 9000 to education, particularly in Chile.  He pointed out many TRIZ-type contradictions in the application  of ISO 9000 and the competition with other quality certifications, some of which are general and others that are country-specific or discipline specific.  Audience discussion addressed the need for business to know about whatever is new (TRIZ, ISO9000, other quality and innovation methods) to ask the universities for both student preparation in these areas, and to apply these methods to the improvement of the universities themselves.

Rafael Munoz Gomez from Mexico presented a wide range of examples of the application of the 40 principles to environmental engineering, including numerous examples of improving water purification systems, reducing gas emissions from storage areas, and reducing dust and particulate matter scattered during cleaning, increasing efficiency of wind generators, and others.   TRIZ has a long history of examining new inventions to identify which TRIZ principles could have been used to generate the invention – – it is a proven method for both teaching and learning, and this list of examples will be useful to many people in environmental technology.

Jack Hipple (member of The TRIZ Journal editorial board, a TRIZ Journal author and commentator, and consultant)   reviewed other creativity techniques, and compared them to TRIZ for both structure and usefulness.  He then introduced the audience to assessment techniques, including Meyers-Briggs social style assessment and the KAI creativity evaluation, and showed how knowing the characteristics of the people you are working with on a TRIZ project can improve teamwork and improve results, if people can anticipate the human reactions of other team members. Jack’s example of the use of TRIZ in designing the human interface for air traffic control computer systems by using experience from video games and  from chemical factory control systems was a great example of overcoming psychological inertia.   

José Alberto Ochoa, president of the Sociedad de Inventores de Chile presented the perspective of Chilean  private inventors – – the people who are not academics or employees of large companies.  There are 100 members, who all have at least applications for patents.  They stimulate inventiveness through fairs and school activities.   He talked about the difficulty of countering the impression that everything has already been invented and the need for a paradigm of inventing and of getting from the invention stage through production and to the market.   They have identified opportunities for invention to support the development of the Chilean economy, although their members work independently.   I invited Sr. Ochoa to tell all his members about The TRIZ Journal.

The University Federico Santa Maria division at Vina del Mar made a unique presentation of 3 student projects, from their program of student innovation projects for local industry.  Innovation is encouraged in all 3 phases–conceptual design, basic design, and production/parametric design.  Sr. Reinaldo Espinoza, director of the Center for Innovation and Creativity at the University,  gave the overview of how the university teaches design concepts, which uses the 5 elements of a complete technical system as a fundamental concept, superimposed on the flow model of classical design (energy, material, and information are inputs, designs are the output.)   and thanked his colleagues from Mexico for sharing the methodology that they use with their student/industry projects.   These projects take about a year, and 500 projects have been “banked” for the use of industry.    The university has a unique laboratory for student use for prototypes and experimentation.   The student presentations were:

 Sr.: Diego Araya – Appplication of TRIZ in the conceptural design phase of designing a laboratory for region 6 of Chile, for students from grades 5 and 6, learning biology, physics and chemistry.   There were a number of requirements on the internal and external properties of the lab, because of the diverse climates in different parts of the region, and because of the needs of both teachers and students.   One requirement was that the lab could be transported on an 18-wheel truck, which generated many more specific requirements both for durability and for easy deployment when it reached the site.

 Srs.: Mario Gonzalez – Christopher Jiménez – Design and innovation of machinery to filet fish (salmon up to 1m and 20 kg) QFD- like matrices were used to translate from general needs to specific subsystem requirements. Eleven of the 39 parameters of the classical TRIZ matrix were identified as important to the design.  Application of multiple principles gave the students ideas for making the system self-adjusting for a variety of sizes of fish, and incorporated numerous safety features.  Video of the simulation of the design was quite vivid.

 Sr.: Ricardo Ayala – Carlos González – Design and innovation of machinery to fill bins for export fruit, which must not be bruised during handling.   Process flow and functional analysis and constraints (use of a specific apple sorting system) were basic elements of the design process.   They used the 40 principles to remove contradictions, with a very elegant emphasis on ideality for chosing between multiple concepts.