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ETRIA - Day 1 Afternoon

| On 06, Nov 2007

Ellen Domb

The main conference opened in the afternoon with greetings from the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce, and the joint sponsors, Dr. Rolf Herb from TRIZ Centrum and Prof. Gaetano Cascini from ETRIA. Gaetano announced that the membership meeting on Thursday will consider some opportunities to expand TRIZ by association with other organizations—any ETRIA members who are reading this should watch the ETRIA website for news.


Prof. Udo Lindemann from the Technical University Munich introduced both TRIZ and the Conference. The keynote talk by Prof. Lucienne Blessing from the U. of Luxembourg raised the question “Design methodologies: Blessing or Curse?” She has recently become the VP of the university, and reports the challenges of applying the concepts of system design to improving the programs of the university.


The afternoon technical sessions had 2 tracks. I was very happy to see the strength and depth of the contributions in both the academic and industrial tracks. Even though many of the industrial companies are not publishing their actual TRIZ applications for reasons of protection of intellectual property, it is very helpful to have their papers on how TRIZ is being introduced, propagated, and advanced in their companies. In this blog I’ll be giving samples of the sessions I attended, which is an eclectic and personal choice.


“Trends of Toyota Production System Evolution TPS-TESE” by Dmitri Wolfson and Sergei Ikovenko used some of the well-known Toyota systems, such as Just-in-Time, Kaizen (continuous improvement) and Jidohka (defect detection, correction, and prevention by means of removing human work from machine work, and making machine work self-maintaining and self-correcting.)  as examples for the Trends of Engineering System Evolution. The examples are excellent and will be useful to people in any industry who need illustrations of applications of TRIZ concepts to systems and methods, rather than to products.


“Lessons Learned in the Introduction of TRIZ at Siemens A&D” by Robert Adunka was both serious and entertaining. Robert had 2 years of stories of the internal company politics of the development of their “Patent on Demand” and “Invention on Demand” training methods. He taught a workshop every week for a year, to evaluate both the applicability of TRIZ to the product portfolio, and to test whether the workshop participants would use TRIZ after they had the training. They had excellent results both with problems solved, and with numbers of ideas generated and number of patents submitted.   As a result, the course was reorganized into a hierarchy of four courses with a progression of tools, using both TRIZ and other methods (brainwriting, morphological box, mindmapping, DeBono methods, etc.) which are now being used widely. Robert showed a collection of photos of class project inventions that have made big improvements in manufacturing and assembly technology. More than 1000 people have had the beginner level training (1 day and 5 days)  and the intermediate (5 days) and professional (15 days) classes will begin this year.


“Intel Corporation’s Expert TRIZ Field Guide” by David Conley is a handbook that David developed in the course of taking TRIZ classes, to explain the system to himself. David gave us a view of the use of TRIZ at Intel—95% is applied to manufacturing process improvement, with the rest being business process and product oriented. The manual was needed because standardization and repeatability are cornerstones of the Intel culture—the 5 weeks of expert training, and 1500+ pages of training material can be overwhelming! He gave the audience many ideas about the kind of examples that make abstract ideas come to life for students in Intel, using a mix of concepts from daily life (coffee pots) and applications to proprietary technology. A delightful example (“ten minute consulting”) showed how the 9 screen analysis found an improvement opportunity for human resource data management that has saved thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in software development. The guide is internally published, but David’s paper should make it possible for other people to write their own.


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Manabu Sawaguchi and Sergei Ikovenko (TRIZ teachers)


The conference Day 1 concluded with a second Keynote: “Innovation Management within Alstom Transport.” Presented by G. Vendroux, Director of Innovation at Alstom, which makes a wide variety of transportation systems.  He gave a history of their evolution from un-managed innovation to the management of innovation, and how learning to manage the transition from idea to implementation has been the key to financial success.  


We then adjourned to dinner and a chance to talk about the day’s papers, to see old friends and to make new friends—again I urge all our readers to plan now to attend at least one conference next year. TRIZ is a very open society—you will learn things, you will have the opportunity to share what you know, and you’ll meet people who will help you along your TRIZ path.


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Robert Adunka (Siemens) and David Conley (Intel) after their very popular papers were presented.