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Last Day At The Third TRIZ Symposium in Japan

| On 03, Sep 2007

Guest Commentator

Paul Filmore is reporting from The Third TRIZ Symposium in Japan.—-


The Final Day. 


Well it is over and what a conference it has been.  Before you all rush over next year, let me caution you that most of the presentations are obviously in Japanese.  The organisers have though gone to a huge trouble to provide simultaneously presented PowerPoint’s in English with a printed copy of all slides or papers.  Questions are also in Japanese with an impressive effort being made by the organisers themselves to translate/ summarise questions.


The day kicked off with Simon Dewulf (MD, CREAX: www.creax.com) giving the second invited paper entitled ‘Variation of properties for new or improved functions.’ In a highly visual presentation (with actual product examples), Simon introduced ‘properties’ and then variation of properties for new function.  What was interesting was his property function matrix (particularly when patent information was added).  This led on to introducing his company’s DIVA software and its use to aid innovation.


I suppose I should not write about my own paper which followed, but as no one else is easily available, please excuse me if l just mention some key points.  The paper on ‘Developing highly effective engineers’ was aimed at giving managers some reasons why they should invest in TRIZ.  It looked at the very few papers that have been published in this area and so had to resort to broader research on (highly) effective people.   Taking key points from these works, psychology and creative problem solving, it tabulated TRIZ tools against potential for ‘breaking mindsets’ and tabulated the identified attributes of highly effective people against TRIZ tools.  I hope by these initial ideas that over worked engineers and their managers will appreciate that TRIZ is ‘not just another tool’ to be learnt like 6Sigma, QFD, Functional Analysis, FTA, FMEA, Taguchi, VA/VE, TQM, Lean, etc. 


I like case studies and this conference had them.  It was not just general cases from study groups like the Japan VE Association (all participants from industry), but included real research cases e.g., Hitachi and developing hard disk drives.  Obviously the ‘patent’ part was left out but the TRIZ development steps helped show TRIZ potential. After lots of technical slides, my favourite was the cartoon slide which said ‘Not frequency – its gain.’  I.e., TRIZ had broken through the mind sets of the different groups of engineers working on this project.  Well done Hitachi and the other company’s who showed us real cases.  Let us hope others in the west can start doing this instead of hiding behind ‘competitive advantage and non disclosure of everything,’ thinking.


Well done again to the conference management team: an excellent job.  Any one who can attract about 150 participants from industry out of the 200 participants is going to get TRIZ noticed in their country.  Watch out the rest of us!