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Tuesday at TRIZCON2008

| On 15, Apr 2008

Ellen Domb

Mansour Ashtiani won the election for President of the Altshuller Institute, and Don Masingale will become Secretary.  Tim Schweizer and Richard Langevin continue as VP and Treasurer, respectively.


The conference began with a fascinating talk by Dr. Cemil Inan, Director of Research at the Arcelik Company in Turkey, which is in the process of growing from third to first largest producer of appliances in Europe, with factories in Turkey, Russia, and several other countries.  They have a unique patent and intellectual property development system—they became #101 on the list of 500 top IP companies this year (Google was #100)  New products with a TRIZ “flavor” were impressive:  the trend of using the kitchen as a family gathering area makes it desirable to get noise out of the kitchen.  Their “Divide and Cool” puts the refrigerator compressor outside the area, and puts the cooling function in several easy-to-reach drawers.  Multi-media presentations of case studies from their TRIZ projects made them easy to understand (we heard the noise of the washing machine pumps).  Picture:  New AI President Mansour Ashtiani thanks speaker Dr.Cemil Inan.


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Dr. Andrew Brown Jr., Chief Technologist from Delphi Corporation challenged the audience to understand global mega-trends, to apply TRIZ and all our skills to the needs of our future customers that are specific to the regional needs of the global society.   Their extensive research in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, India, etc., revealed common trends and regional differences that were surprising, and that created vast new business opportunities, all of which require innovation.   He inspired the audience with the scope of vision of the future of the integration of interfaces between all the now-disparate technologies that people manage in the course of their lives.   Audience questions ranged widely from the future of clean water to the history of the electric vehicle to the interfaces of technology/society/regulatory activities.


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Track 1 papers dealt with TRIZ and Chemical Engineering and Project Management—see the Altshuller Institute website for the abstracts.  I participated in Track 2 which started with Larry Smith’s case study on his use of TRIZ in his work at the ASQ where he has been leading the massive initiative to revise their world-wide education and training systems.  He presented an overview of the ASQ’s needs, and the specific ways that he introduced ASQ staff and other volunteers to TRIZ methods, developed some of those people as facilitators, then used those facilitators with those methods to stimulate creativity at the subsequent meetings.


Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman presented their research on applying their methods of “directed evolution” to bridging the gap between long-term and short-term forecasting. (See their article in the current TRIZ Journal for an introduction to their work, and references to other articles.)   Boris’ charming story-telling enhanced the serious science that he showed in the analysis of the evolution of the prediction system itself.  Picture:  Alla Zusman and Boris Zlotin. [IMG height=397 alt=”” src=”http://www.triz-journal.com/wp-content/uploads/library/images_upload/borisalla.JPG” width=562 border=0]


Manabu Sawaguchi is a frequent and popular contributor to The TRIZ Journal.  He reports on his unique experience, designing a workshop on innovation through cooperation between industries, and using TRIZ for the case examples used in the workshops.  Typical workshops had 3 participants from each of 5 companies.   He created a model of 4 classes of innovation (radical—incremental vs. disruptive—sustaining) and then challenged the participants to identify successful and unsuccessful cases in each area, and to generalize the results.   The case study of the development of the paper coffee cup, and the way such a simple case could stimulate the workshop participants, created quite a bit of audience interest. 


Jim Belfiore  from Invention Machine Corp. challenged the audience to think about the business side of innovation, and the growing trend of innovation by corporate acquisition as a shortcut to development of new business.   He adapted the technology maturity model to give people an easy (relatively) to use tool for assessing the readiness of specific technologies, and used the patterns of evolution of to look for candidates for acquisition; “validation” of a candidate in his model comes from finding technologies that are in harmony with the patterns of evolution, or that have resolved fundamental contradictions.


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Track 1 concluded with two papers from the Intel Team.   Tay-Jin Yeoh from the Penang, Malaysia group presented “Exploring TRIZ Usage in New Applications for Industries,” which included a number of excellent case studies of processes.   For example, his first case was improving (reducing the time) for the preventive maintenance process of the burn-in system (part of semiconductor processing.)  Case study 2 was a test handler, which picks items up and inserts them into a test interface.   Detailed analysis showed several instances of waste and re-work that could be eliminated using simple process improvement methods—in this case, the benefit of TRIZ was in getting the detailed analysis of the root cause of the problem done.   He then changed pace and showed an IT problem from China, which had the classical contradiction that the easier it is for multiple people to access information, the harder it is to protect the information.   The 40 principles, starting with the matrix and then proceeding to use all the principles, were the key to new thinking and new solutions to this problem.  Equally “classical” is the shop floor inventory management problem—the problem itself is not complex, but the systematic approach of TRIZ helped people get through the analysis and create solutions that are “elegant.”   He concluded with a quotation from Altshuller: “You can wait a hundred years for enlightenment, or you can solve the problem in 15 minutes with these principles,” which appeals to the action dynamic of the industrial engineers.


Alex Talalaevski from Intel’s Israeli contingent concluded the main conference session with “TRIZ FMEA reduces Risk of New Technology Transfer from R&D to Production.”  The complexity of the silicon transfer process, and the complexity of the 7 major sub-processes of this process is truly awe-inspiring, and the need for FMEA is obvious.   When combined with the “tick-tock” Intel pulse of 2 years for each generation of technology, the need for TRIZ to accelerate the preventive analysis and implementation of failure circumvention also becomes obvious.  The case study showed the benefits of TRIZ to FMEA in these cases, and the specific benefits of using semantic search-enabled software to resolve complex problems


Picture:  TJ Yeoh 


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