TRIZ Forum:  Conference Participation Report (4)
Personal Report of TRIZCON2001: The Third Annual Altshuller Institute for TRIZ Studies Conference (Held near Los Angeles, on March 25-27, 2001) 
  Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin University, Japan) 
   [Originally written in Japanese on Apr. 3 and posted on Apr. 4, 2001]
   [Translated into English by Nakagawa on Apr. 23 and posted on Apr. 25, 2001]
buttons guides you to the Japanese pages.

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, April 25, 2001)
    This Personal Report was originally written and posted in Japanese in one week after the Conference, saying with no plan of English translation.  But an overseas reader who could not attend the Conference asked me eagerly to translate it into English.  I have realized that among thirty TRIZ specialists in the world to whom I am regularly sending the update announcements of my English page, twenty people did not (or could not) attend at TRIZCON2001.  So I decided to translate this into English and to post it in my Web site (and also to contribute to the May Issue of The TRIZ Journal).  I hope that my personal report may be helpful for many readers in the world to understand the current situations of TRIZ studies/applications in the (western) world and also future directions and impacts of TRIZ, and further for them to solve their own problems with TRIZ.
Top of this page Agenda Overview 1. Keynote Speeches 2. Technical Problem Solving 3.  Laws of Tech. System Evolution
4.  Integration with other methodologies 5. Application to Non-technical Areas 6. Situations of TRIZ Introduction 7.  Miscellaneous Nakagawa's TRIZCON2001 paper Japanese page 

  Conference Name: TRIZCON2001: The Third Annual Altshuller Institute for TRIZ Studies Conference
   Date:             March 25-27, 2001
  Place:               Hilton Woodland Hills, Woodland Hills, California, USA  (i.e. Los Angeles area)
  Held by:           The Altshuller Institute for TRIZ Studies
  Supported by:  Ford Motor Co., The Boeing Co., Ideation International Inc., Invention Machine Corp., WIND CHIME group, Infinity Computer Corp., TRIZ Journal, Inventors' Digest, Symposium on Quality Function Deployment, Technical Innovation Center, American Supplier Institute, CTC
  Participants:    approximately  150 people

Outline of the Agenda:
  Mar. 25 (Sunday):    Tutorial (Workshop)  (two courses in parallel: Introductory TRIZ and Advanced TRIZ)
  Mar. 26 (Monday) - 27 (Tuesday):  Symposium  (Keynote speeches and technical presentations at two parallel tracks)


Agenda:   (In the order of actual presentation.  Section number in the Proceedings is shown in [ ].  A few in the Proceedings were not presented, and a few others not in the Proceedings were presented.  * marks show the presentations at which Nakagawa attended.)

   March 25 (Sunday)  Morning and Afternoon:   Tutorial (A: Introductory TRIZ, B: Advanced TRIZ)  (1.5 to nearly 2 hours for each lecture)

    [1A]  Ideal Final Result
              Ellen Domb (The PQR Group, TRIZ Journal, USA)
 * [1B]  Guidelines for Strategic Technology Planning in a Product Company
              Victor Fey (The TRIZ Group; Wayne State Univ., USA)

 * [2A]  System Approach: a Basic Premise of TRIZ
              Dana W. Clarke, Sr. (Ideation International Inc., USA)
    [2B]  Algorithm for Inventive Problem Solving
              Zinovy Royzen (TRIZ Consulting, Inc., USA)

    [3A]  Biology and Inertia: Implications for Innovation & Change
              Ed Chaplin (Continental Rehabilitation Hospital, San Diego, USA)
 * [3B]  Direct Application of Patterns of Evolution
              Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman (Ideation International Inc., USA)
              [Additional dispatched paper : "Directed Evolution: Philosophy, Theory and Practice" (20 pages)]

    [4A] Analogical Thought
              John Terninko (Responsible Management Inc., USA)
 * [4B]  A Thinking Roadmap
              William Bellows (The Boeing Company, USA)

   March 26 (Monday)  Morning:  (Opening address, keynote speech; technical presentations at two parallel tracks (about 45-50 minutes each))

 * [5] Keynote Speech:  "The Role of TRIZ in Technology Development"
              Don Clausing (MIT (retired), USA) [Proceedings: separate print (25 pages)]

   [6A] TRIZ Application to Policymaking and Activity Planning for Operational Innovation
              Ikuo Yoshizawa (Sanno Institute of Management, Japan) [Proceedings: #14]
 * [6B] QFD by TRIZ
              Michael Schlueter (Philips Semiconductors, Germany) [Proceedings: #4]

 * [7A] The Art of Inventing Failures: Fuel Tank Rotation Case Study (Navistar)
              Dana W. Clarke, Sr. and Boris Zlotin (Ideation International Inc., USA) [Proceedings: #6]
   [7B]  Teaching TRIZ to UK Engineering Communities
              Karen Gadd (Oxford Creativity, UK) [Proceedings: #7]

   Afternoon:  (Lunch time speech; technical presentations at two parallel tracks (about 45-50 minutes each))

 *  [8]  Lunch time Guest Speech:    Volyuslav Mitrofanov (Sankt Petersburg TRIZ School, Russia)

 *  [9A]  Electrical Product Improvement
                Mikel Sorli (LABEIN Tech. Res. Centre, Spain), Maria Aranzabe et al. (ARTECHE, Spain), and Len Kaplan (Ideation International Inc., USA) [Proceedings: #24]
    [9B]  Semantic and Knowledge Based Innovation Tools
               Sergei Ikovenko (Invention Machine Corp., USA) [Proceedings:  None]

 * [10A]  Staircase Design of High-rise Buildings Preparing Against Fire - TRIZ/USIT Case Study -
                Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin University, Japan) [Proceedings: #5]
   [10B]  Using TRIZ in a Six Sigma Environment
                Ellen Domb (The PQR Group, USA) [Proceedings: #1]

   [11A]  Using the 76 Standard Solutions: A Case Study for Improving the World Food Supply
                Joe Miller (Quality Process Consulting, USA), Ellen Domb (The PQR Group, USA), Ellen MacGran (Nabisco Brands Co. & Univ. of Phoenix, USA), and John Terninko (Responsible Management, USA) [Proceedings: #12]
 * [11B]  TRIZ for Perl-Programming
                 Michael Schlueter (Philips Semiconductors, Germany) [Proceedings: #2]

 * [12A]  Using TRIZ to Overcome Business Contradictions: Profitable E-Commerce
                 Darrell Mann (University of Bath, UK) and Ellen Domb (The PQR Group, USA) [Proceedings: #8]
    [12B]  Theory and Practical Use of TRIZ-Tools During FMEA
                 Lev Pevzner (KFS, Russia [TRIZ Master]) and Yakov Katsman ( , USA) [Proceedings: #16]

    [13A]  Application of TRIZ to the Policymaking Process and the Exploration of Future Study Directions
                 Yoshiki Nakamura (Sanno Institute of Management, Japan) [Proceedings: #13]
 *  [13B]  Validation of Heuristics for Systems Transformations
                 Marco Aurelio de Carvalho (CEFET-PR, Brazil), * Tz-Chin Wei (Tatung Co., Taiwan), and Semyon D. Savransky (The TRIZ Experts, USA) [Proceedings: #18]

   Evening: (Dinner)

  * [14]  Dinner Speech:   Leadership     (            , The Boeing Co., USA)

 March 27 (Tuesday)  Morning:  (Altshuller Inst. business meeting; keynote speech; technical presentations at two parallel tracks (about 45 minutes each))

 * [15]   Altshuller Institute Business Meeting   (members only)

 * [16]  Keynote Speech:  "Enlarging TRIZ and Teaching Enlarged TRIZ for the Large Public"
               Phan Dung (CSTC, Vietnam National University - HoChiMinh City, Vietnam) [Proceedings: separately printed (52 pages)]
               [Additional document distributed: "My Experiences with My Teacher Genrikh Saulovich Altshuller" (17 pages)]

 * [17A]  Conflict Resolution Using TRIZ and Design of Experiment (DOE)
                 John Jung Hsing, Steve Coates, Julie Daly, Lisa Nowak, Gary Oglesby, and Ken Yee (Life Fitness, USA) [Proceedings: #17]
    [17B]  Technique of Analysis of Material, Energy, and Information Flows in Technical System During Value Engineering
                 Lev Pevzner (KFS, Russia [TRIZ Master]) and Yakov Katsman ( , USA) [Proceedings: #15]

    [18A]  Tornadoes and TRIZ: Using the TAO Desing Matrix to Produce Ideas for Stopping Tornadoes
                 Graham Rawlinson (  , UK) [Proceedings: #3]
 * [18B]  Two New Types of Failure Analysis Situations
                 Len Kaplan (Ideation International Inc., USA) [Proceedings: #20]

   Afternoon:  (Round Table Panell (1 hour); technical presentations at two parallel tracks (about 45 minutes each))

 * [19]  Round Table Panel: "TRIZ Today and Tomorrow"
                Moderator:  Don Masingale (The Boeing Co., USA)

 * [20A]  Directed Evolution (DE) as a Thinking Method for an Informational Civilization
                 Boris Zlotin and * Alla Zusman (Ideation International Inc., USA) [Proceedings: separately printed OHP-style paper]
    [20B]  Evolutionary Diagram as a New Analytical Tool for Directed Evolution
                 Vladimir Proseanic and Svetlana Visnepolschi (Ideation International Inc., USA) [Proceedings: #11]

 * [21A]  Evolution of Technical Contradictions in Optical Data Storage
                 Myong R. Kim (LG Electronics Institute of Technology, Korea) [Proceedings: #23]
    [21B]  Study of Effective New Product Development Activities through Combination of Patterns of Evolution of Technological Systems and VE
                 Manabu Sawaguchi (Sanno Institute of Management, Japan) [Proceedings: #26]

 * [22A1] "Ballad of the Stars"
                 Janice Marconi (Marconi Works, USA) [Proceedings:  to be delivered later to those who requested.]
 * [22A2] Perfection, Ideality, and Technology Road Map as Measured by a Sliding Scale
                 Julian O. Blosiu (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA) and Codrin J. Blosiu (Univ. of California at San Diego, USA) [Proceedings: #22]
    [22B]  Ideality-based Concept Selection Method
                 Nathan S. Gibson and Timothy G. Clapp (North Carolina State University, USA) [Proceedings: #19]



   This is an international conference on TRIZ held for the third time by The Altshuller Institute for TRIZ Studies, i.e. a not-for-profit organization in USA for promoting TRIZ.  This international conference seems to have been well established on the annual basis.  The last conference was held in May 2000; you may refer to my personal report of it posted in this Web site [in Japanese].

    The total number of participants was announced to be approximately 150.  This number, however, reflects some special situation:  For preparing this conference, The Boeing Company has supported Altshuller Institute extensively and invited the Conference to Woodland Hills where their division of rocket engineering is located; the Hilton Hotel resides in the neighboring block of their Leadership and Learning Center.  Boeing sent to TRIZCON2001 about 50 engineers for participation, in addition to several core members.   If this factor is excluded, the Conference received approximately 100 participants, which are nearly the same in number as the last one.  According to the list of participants, people came from the following countries besides USA: 10 from Korea, 8 from Japan (i.e., 5 from SANNO, one each from Nikkei BP, CTC, and Osaka Gakuin), 7 from France (including 6 from Peugot), 3 from UK, 2 each from Germany and the Netherlands, and 1 each from Russia, Spain, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.  Over half of the US participants are working at consulting firms for promoting TRIZ, and participants from industries and academia in US do not seem to have increased in number so much.  It is remarkable that Ideation International Inc. has contributed much to the advancement of the Conference by sending a large number of their TRIZ specialists and giving important presentations, just as in TRIZCON99 and TRIZCON2000.  Engineers from Boeing attended mostly at the Tutorials and Keynote Lectures, being relatively novices to TRIZ, as far as I felt from conversations with some of them.

  The one-day tutorial had two courses in parallel (i.e., Introductory TRIZ and Advanced TRIZ) and contained a wide variety of topics.  For me, it was nice to learn how the TRIZ consultants in US introduce TRIZ to beginners.  Two Keynote Speeches (or invited lectures) were given.  The Keynote Speech by Professor Don P. Clausing (who has been the authority in Quality Development and has just retired from MIT) has evaluated TRIZ highly and proposed to integrate TRIZ into the current framework of technology development.  It implies much significance, I think.  In the Proceedings, 26 technical papers are printed, while 23 papers were actually presented.  I attended at the presentations marked with * in the above agenda.  Many presentations dealt with improvement of methodologies together with some illustrative examples.  Since the Proceedings was made available only in the morning of the Tutorial/Symposium and the presentations were made in parallel sessions, it was difficult to study the presentations beforehand.  I learned many papers only after the conference.  In some cases, I did not understand the presentation well during the session but later found its significance through reading the paper in the Proceedings.

  The works presented at the Symposium and the Tutorial cover wide range of topics.  Hence it is not easy but I am trying to review them according to their themes as grouped in the following seven areas.

(1)  Keynote Speeches  (Invited Lectures)
(2)  Solving problems and contradictions in technical fields:  TRIZ methodology and case studies
(3)  Usage of laws of technical system evolution (e.g., Directed Evolution method)
(4)  Trials of integration of TRIZ with other methodologies in the area of technology development
(5)  Trials of applying TRIZ to non-technical areas
(6)  Methods and situations of TRIZ promotion
(7)  Miscellaneous
   Reading almost all the papers in the Proceedings and trying to understand different proposals of methodologies and case-study reports, I wrote this personal report of TRIZCON2001 and realized the Conference valuable and fruitfull indeed to study much about TRIZ.


Review of the Conference papers according to their themes:

(1)  Keynote Speeches  (Invited Lectures)

    Reading the paper closely after the Conference, I realized that the Keynote Speech by Dr. Don Clausing (retired MIT Professor) [5] was one of the most important outputs of TRIZCON2001.  Dr. Clausing became Professor of MIT in 1986, established the course of Total Quality Development at MIT, wrote a famous book of the same title (in 1994), and has been the authority in this field.  He has been studying TRIZ for these several years and has supervised four graduate students in their thesis work more or less related to TRIZ.  He approves the usefulness of TRIZ and recommends to use TRIZ by integrating it into the already-established framework of technology development.  The paper is written in a systematic and concise way and implies a lot between lines.  It is a paper very suggestive for TRIZ people, and even much more helpful, I suppose, for people who are interested in Quality Development but are not yet familiar with TRIZ.

   He characterizes the R&D activities with four stages, i.e., fundamental research, applied research, technology development, and commercialization (or product development).  The technology development stage, in particular, should be conducted in the following four phases:
  (1)  Technology strategy:  to determine which functions we should develop/improve.
  (2)  Concept generation:  to generate and select the concepts for providing the functions.  Creative work is necessary.
  (3)  Robustness development:  to optimize the concepts for achieving robustness, flexibility, and maturity of the new technology.
  (4)  Selection, transfer, and integration of the new technology.
He states that TRIZ is applicable to Phases (1) and (2) and that TRIZ should be used not by itself as before but in an integrated framework of the phases (1) though (4) for the total technology development in industries.

  This systematic analysis and recommendation by Professor Clausing is valuable.  But I feel that the understanding of TRIZ in this paper is still much limited.  It is necessary for the technological/industrial societies in the Western countries to understand TRIZ much deeper and wider first and to find the real role of TRIZ in technology development.  We should be "slow but steady" in introducing TRIZ in the present stage of TRIZ promotion, before trying to introduce TRIZ in top-down and company-wide ways [see Nakagawa's TRIZCON2000 paper in my site or in the TRIZ Journal].

   The second Keynote Speech [16] was given by Dr. Phan Dung (as pronounced like /fan zu:ng/; Phan is the family name) from Vietnam.  Dr. Phan studied TRIZ directly from Mr. Altshuller, established a center for TRIZ education in the National University in Vietnam in 1977, and have taught TRIZ to more than 8000 people.  Our "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" received his contribution in May 1999 and posted his communications and papers in July 1999.  In the present Conference, I met him for the first time and was much impressed with his friendly personality.  In our private communication, he told me that the dialectical logic in TRIZ is very close to the oriental Taoism and is easier to understand for us Vietnamese and Japanese.  Unfortunately, I do not understand it (and Taoism) so much yet.  His paper, though I have not read it through because of its volume (52 pages), describes that TRIZ can be applied not only to technology but also to much wider non-technical areas.  His experiences of teaching TRIZ to Vietnamese people of various fields, ages, and social status is valuable.  His separate document of his memory with His Teacher Mr. Altshuller is written vividly; I am asking him to let me post his document here in English and in Japanese translation.

   From Sankt Peterburg, Russia, Mr. V. Mitrofanov was attending at the Conference as an invited guest and gave a lunch-time speech.  He is currently the President of "International Association of TRIZ" (MATRIZ in Russian acronym), which was organized in 1989 in USSR with Mr. Altshuller as the founding President.  [Please see my Report of a Personal TRIP to Russia in 1999.]  Mr. Mitrofanov is planning to stay in USA for about two months after the Conference and to discuss with and strengthen the ties with Altshuller Institute, Ideation International Inc., etc.


(2) Problem Solving in Technology: TRIZ Methodology and Case Studies

   Presentation [7A] by Dana Clarke and Boris Zlotin represents best the methodology and application example in technological problem solving by Ideation International Inc.  The problem studied was the way of holding the cylindrical fuel tank on the trucks.  The tank cylinder is currently fixed with two metal belts.  During travels, the cylinder rotates little by little due to shocks and vibrations of the truck in the rotational direction shown in the figure (but sometimes in the opposite direction) and causes troubles when the fuel inlet hits the supporting bracket.  This has been an industry-wide problem for these 20 years.  TRIZ consultants of Ideation International, together with the truck company's experts, solved this problem in 14 days, the paper says.

Fig. 1.  Problem of the fuel tank rotation on a truck

  Ideation International has solved this problem in the following process:  Various phenomena and events are listed up and classified into useful and harmful ones, and are mapped in a diagram together with causal relationships including prohibiting/preventing relationships among them.  Then plausible root causes of the problem are examined; in this process, the analyzers try to think of methods to "generate the problem" and list them up as failure hypotheses.  In the present case, listed are the shocks over the road vibration (in vertical/horizontal directions), effects of driving up/down hills, accelerating andecelerating, turning curves, etc., and the reduction of friction between the tank surface and the rubber cussion under the metal belt due to water/fuel, etc.  Then possible measures for eliminating/reducing these causes are considered one after another.  Three main strategies for the solutions are considered: to prevent the rotation by increasing the friction, to make the tank back to the original position even after slight rotation, and to eliminate the causes of rotation.  More-than-twenty possible ways of improving system components are generated.  But the paper does not state which solution(s) among them is most recommended.

   I listened to the presentation and read the paper afterward, and feel something not clear enough.  Even though the causal relationships of the problem are drawn in the diagrams and mechanisms of the problems are discussed in many figures, some essence of the mechanism is not yet found in this work.  And hence their solutions miss some real point, I think.  I would like to propose the following solution concept to the present case:

  (a) We should better realize it inevitable that due to shocks over road vibration the tank receives some rotating force for very short periods of time, however larger we make the friction of the belt.  (b)  In the present system, there is no factor to fix the rotation angle of the tank cylinder during such short time periods of reduced friction.  We should provide some Field to specify the angle and to stabilize the tank at the angle.  (c)  Specifically, at some proper position of the tank surface two rubber belts should be fixed in such a way that when the tank rotates slightly from the preset angle (in either direction) it receives force to turn it back.  -- I think this gives a simple and effective solution to the problem.

  In the presentation [17A], Hsing et al. from Life Fitness, USA, deals with a problem in their products, i.e. treadmills.  A looped belt serves as the endless running surface and slides on a deck which supports the runner's weight.  For smoother sliding, the belt is lubricated with a type of solid wax, which needs to be coated additionally by spraying the wax emulsion from time to time.  The problem occurs when the nozzle of the wax emulsion is clogged by the dried wax accumulating after a number of sprays; this requests regular maintenance of the nozzle every two weeks.

   The authors, guided by some TRIZ consultants, analyzed this problem with the ACE method (i.e., a version of ARIZ, they say).  The modeling with Smart Little People contributed much in the concept generation.  They found a solution: "At the start of the spraying, the water ratio in the wax emulsion is increased temporarily, so as to wash off the small amount of dense wax accumulated at the nozzle as a result of the last spraying."  This solution concept was examined actually with the DOE method (i.e., Design of Experiments) to find out robust conditions.  The solution has reduced the needs of maintenance, once in six months.

   This presentation is valuable especially in the point that the authors carried out the problem solving with TRIZ and further the robust design in sequence.  However, I also feel that some more consideration of the essence of the problem is desirable.  I think this problem occurs in the difficulty of sliding the belt on the deck while supporting the runner's weight.  The back surface of the belt should not have friction with the deck, whereas it should have friction with the driving roler.  So I suppose it should be desirable to have the deck surface movable with the belt (without sliding); for example, making the deck in the form of caterpillars or a chain of small rollers (moving passively).

   Presentation [9A] by Mikel Sorli from Spain et al. reports a problem in high-voltage transformers.  It is requested by the EU standards to eliminate the partial discharge of the transformers.  The authors tried to find the root causes and their solutions.  The presentation and the paper are not clear, unfortunately, still being under the process of problem solving.

  Len Kaplan [18A] from Ideation International is discussing, in partial relation to the above presentation [9A], two problem situations which need particular consideration in the problem solving (or Failure Analysis).  The first is the situation where the same harmful effect produced each time by different cause.  Then it is necessary to examine all such possible causes as hypotheses.  The second is the situation where "excessive" harmful effects, such as wearing out and deformation, are observed at the level much higher than expected.  Then, he recommends to draw a network diagram of causal relationships and examine the possibility of a positive feedback.

   In his presentation, he showed the equation "Success = Results - Expectation" and raised warnings in consulting not to provide over-promises and over-expectations.  This is a very important advice for us all TRIZ promoters.

  Len Kaplan contributed another paper in Section 21 of the Proceedings, though not presented in the session, with the title of "How to Use TRIZ Operators".  TRIZ Operators represent the full set of principles and methods in TRIZ expressed as rules in the form of "If case A, then apply principle/method B".  For presenting these Operators in TRIZ software tools, Kaplan recommends to use two different presentations, i.e. a long format and a short format.  And he describes a general detailed process of how to apply such an Operator.  This is a fine, compact paper worthy of reading.

   Nakagawa's presentation [10A] proposes a design of staircases of high-rise buildings for safer evacuation in case of fire, i.e., to open the windows of staircases widely in case of fire so as to eliminate the chimney effects.  This is based on my work posted here (i.e., "TRIZ Home Page in Japan") in August 2000 in Japanese and in February 2001 in English translation [and in April 2001 Issue of TRIZ Journal]; the work was edited and refined into an academic paper for TRIZCON2001. This paper presents a case where a simple and naive idea was turned into a clear and strong patentable proposal by the work of writing it down.  It includes a detailed record of my own thinking process, where TRIZ and USIT were effectively used in a free and informal way in the mind.  A few people in the audience evaluated this presentation as a nice case study understandable and appealing to ordinary non-technical people such as high-school students.  Among the evaluation sheets by the audience, a person pointed out that this work still lacks the proof of the idea.  I agree this is an important point.  We should further consider and make experiments so as to prove the idea applicable and effective in practice and to overcome various possible difficulties.  My paper has been posted today in this Web site both in English and in Japanese translation.

    Presentation [11B] bu Michael Schlueter from Germany deals with the problem solving in software development.  He tried to use TRIZ for solving a problem (or preventing a problem) in the programming with a script language Perl.  In a GUI dialog box for a software, an OK button and a Cancel button are arranged side by side.  User should input the data and press the OK button; then the data are sent to the server and the dialog box is closed.  If the user press the Cancel button, the dialog box is closed without sending the data, if any.  So it could happen that the user press the Cancel button carelessly instead of the OK button; thus the user does not recognize of his losing the data and is waiting in vain for responses from other users.  The author has analyzed the mechanism of this problem with Ideation TRIZ software and has found various solutions for preventing the data loss.  According to Schlueter, all such solutions are known to ordinary software professionals; but he has found the usage of TRIZ illustrative in the point that the solutions are generated systematically with the tool.

   He has also examined various constructs of the Perl language to show a table of the constructs represented in more general terms of functions.   Reading the table, I feel that the problems in the field of software development may well become the subjects of functional system analysis.  If we handle the software problem at the level of functional design, i.e. more abstract than at the programming level, we may be able to apply TRIZ in an easier way.

 The presentation [11A] by Joe Miller, Ellen Domb, Ellen MacGran, and John Terninko is important for understanding the research approach by top American TRIZ consultants.  They tried to apply TRIZ, particularly the 76 Standard Inventive Solutions, to the huge problem of "Improving the World Food Supply".  They made their work process open in the TRIZ Journal for asking readers' contributions, and wrote this paper.  (The 76 Standard Inventive Solutions may be referred, say, in Salamatov's TRIZ textbook.)

  They first built a general-purpose flowchart for properly using the 76 Standard Inventive Solutions.  The flowchart is quoted here (in Japanese translation in our Japanese page):

Fig. 2.  Flowchart for properly using the 76 Standard Inventive Solutions

   Then the authors introduces a conceptual framework of "Food Lifecycle" so as to categorize a huge variety of problems.  The life cycle consists of the following six phases:
   (a)  Demand   (diet, economics)
   (b)  Production   (growing, harvesting)
   (c)  Distribution  (transportation, storage)
   (d)  Conversion/Preparation  (acquiring, processing, storage)
   (e)  Utilization   (over/under)  (delivery, cooking, consumption)
   (f)  Disposal    (foodstuffs, ancillary materials)

The authors list up various problems and issues in each phase, and then apply TRIZ to the smaller individual problems.  They formulate the problems in the scheme of Zinovy Royzen's  "Tool-Object-Product (TOP) Function Analysis", and have tried to find their solutions separately.  For such elements of broken-down problems, TRIZ has been found to provide numerous solutions; some of them are creative, some others effective, and practical, etc.  TRIZ is not strong in global distribution/transportation and in economical and quantitative issues.  Since there are different methodologies and disciplines, we should utilize them (including TRIZ) in their strong application areas and solve the problems in a cooperative manner.  [This paper has been published in the April 2001 Issue of The TRIZ Journal.]

   Presentation [13B] by Tz-Chin Wei from Taiwan is remarkable as a research for constructing and improving the TRIZ methodology itself.  Semyon Savransky (moved from Russia to US) has been operating a tele-education service of TRIZ (i.e. Virtual TRIZ College) on the Internet since 1997.  He organized the present  joint work with his former students, Wei in Taiwan and Marco Aurelio de Carvalho in Brazil.  The research is related to the "129 Heuristics" (or heuristic transformation rules for problem solving) which were compiled by A. I. Polovinkin in Russia in 1988 and in 1991.  The authors started to examine the 129 Heuristics and to compile appropriate application examples on the basis of the US patent Office Database.  This kind of bottom-up survey research has been typical in TRIZ as established by Altshuller.  The authors started this work by full use of the Internet.

   The authors started with Polovinkin's 129 Heuristics, and tried to find suitable examples in the US patents by the Internet search with the keywords in the Heuristics.  For some heuristics this keyword search fitts well, but for some others it does not, especially when the Heuristics is expressed in very general terms.  At moment the authors have compiled 700 examples in total, correspondding to 2 to 12 examples for each heuristics.  It is apparent that this kind of work gives strong effects in training the researchers/students.

   The introduction of "129 Heuristics" as a new methodology has caused some audience perplexed.  They feel it very difficult to learn the 40 Inventive Principles, the 76 Standard Inventive Solutions, and now even larger "129 Heuristics"!  This reaction is quite understandable; however, I think it is not quite right to learn 129 items individually.  Since these 129 Heuristics are grouped into 9 classes, we should first understand the 9 classes.  Various methods in TRIZ (including the "TRIZ Operators"  mentioned above) handle with more or less the same system of techniques, and classify them in slightly different ways by adding some new concepts and items.  It is important, I think, to understand that the essence of TRIZ does not exist at this level of various methods and rules (in the form of handbooks and knowledge-bases) but rather at the level of its philosophy.  The essence of TRIZ is surprisingly simple, as far as I understand.  Please refer, for instance, to Nakagawa's "Essence of TRIZ in 50 words", as shown in one slide of my TRIZCON2001 presentation posted in this site.


(3)  Application of Laws of Technical System Evolution (e.g., Directed Evolution)

   "Laws of Technical System Evolution" are part of the core essence of TRIZ.  It is noticeable in the present Conference that several presentations reported research works and case studies of the evolution laws.

   Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman of Ideation International Inc. have reported their work on the methodology of "Directed Evolution" in the Tutorial [3B] and in the technical session [20A].  Since the first TRIZCON, they have been presenting a series of intensive review papers every year.  Their titles were: "TRIZ in Progress" in TRIZCON99, "TRIZ Beyond Technology: The Theory and Practice of Applying TRIZ to Non-technical Areas" in TRIZCON2000, and "Directed Evolution: Philosophy, Theory, and Practice" in the present Conference.

   They say that the method of predicting technology has been developed in the following three major steps:
   (a)  Technological forecasting (in 1950s):  Utilizes probabilistic modeling of future characteristics of various systems.  What is going to happen with my product or process parameters?
   (b)  TRIZ forecasting (in 1970s):  Utilizes selected TRIZ-based tools to generate an idea(s) helpful for the next product or process generation.  What change(s) should be made to move my product or process to the next position on a specific pre-determined Line of Evolution.
   (c)  Directed Evolution (in 1990s):  Utilizes extended set of Patterns/Lines of Evolution to generate an exhaustive set of potential scenarios of system evolution.   Which scenario of evolution should be selected from an identified comprehensive set of scenarios to make it a winner?

   Directed Evolution stands on assumptions that the evolution of a technical system experiences a number of branching stages in between relatively smooth and straight-forward progress phases and that at the branching stages people can select some among possible alternative directions and can give influences on the evolution by such decision making.

   Thus Directed Evolution provides the following five phases of examination and decision making:
   (1)  To collect historical data of evolution of the given system.
   (2)  To identify possible directions for evolution and to formulate all problems that should be addressed for this evolution to be successfully realized.
   (3)  To generate ideas that will move the system to the next evolutionary step.
   (4)  To prepare all necessary materials for making decisions regarding the direction(s) of evolution of the given system.
   (5)  To ensure continuous evolutionary process.

   Presentation [20B] by Vladimir Proseanic and Svetlana Visnepolschi reports a case study carried out by Ideation International Inc. in which the Directed Evolution method was applied to the automobile cable system.   This system, though not clear in the paper, is composed of steel wires to transmit the torque and the protection pipe.

   The paper proposes a diagram (named Evolutionary Diagram) for representing the  historical evolution data.  In the diagram, each historical stage of implementation of the system is written together with its problem/defect and its next stage is shown with identifying the previous problem(s) which has overcome, in a form similar to the Problem Formula.  Such a diagram is drawn on the basis of interviews to the subject-matter experts.  The diagram thus obtained clearly demonstrates the historical progress of the system.  Analists can read from the diagram which stage(s) contained principal advancements and which stage(s) gave the basis for further progress, etc.  And if the system is currently faced with a barrier, we might be able to predict a new branching of evolution at some past stage of the system.  The figure quoted below may give you a rough idea of the diagram, even though you should refer to the original paper for the details.

Fig. 3.  An example of Evolutionary Diagram.  The thick arrow shows the prediction of a new branching in the evolution.

   Presentation [21B] by Manabu Sawaguchi of SANNO Institute of Management, Japan, proposes the product development in three phases by using (1) the patterns of evolution to decide the direction of product development, (2) the VE (Value Engineering) for product planning, and (3) the VE for product designing.  As a case study, the author handles a problem of future panel materials to be used in water-usage areas of housing, e.g. kitchens, baths, and toilets.  The description of the first phase may be referred as a case study of applying Directed Evolution in a slightly simplified manner.

  Presentation [21A] by Myong R. Kim from LG Electronics Co., Korea, reports the evolution of current hi-tech technologies of optical memory devices of computers.  The evolution is described and analyzed in detail from purely technical point of view.  The paper in the Proceedings is short and abstract having no figures; the presentation slides, however, show a plenty of figures of technological mechanisms, designs, trend graphs, etc.  On the requests by the audience, the authors promised to send the PDF file of the presentation later.  They say several researchers got involved in this analysis for these few years.  Though the evolution was not explained in the TRIZ way of contradiction solving and trends of evolution, the evolution was wonderfully discribed in detail from the view point of technologists in the specific field.  If the authors analyze it further, for example, by introducing the above-mentioned Evolutionary Diagram, this work would become a nice example of technological evolution analysis which may be useful for industiries to set up their technological strategies in this field.

  In relation to the laws of evolution of technical systems, two presentations were given with the idea that one may evaluate several alternative ideas of new technologies with the criteria of the Ideality in TRIZ.  One is Presentation [22A2] by Julian Blosiu from NASA JPL, and the other is [22B] by Nathan Gibson and Timothy Clapp from North Carolina State University.  The two have started with very similar idea.  Here I will explain about [22B], since it seems easier to understand and more useful in practice.

   [22B] adopts the framework of Pugh's Concept Analysis (in 1991) for evaluating alternative concepts and introduces the Ideality from TRIZ as the evaluation criteria.  On the basis of the TRIZ concept that Ideality = Useful functions / (Harmful functions + Costs), the analysts should list up the relevant criteria including some problem-specific ones in addition to standard ones.  The authors demonstrate a case where a number of alternative ideas for the devices to fix two pieces of cloth with adhesives in the Z-type folding.  For each criterion a number is given by the analysts subjectively as the evaluation of each alternative.  Though each item is evaluated subjectively, the alternative concepts can be evaluated smoothly by a group of analysts as a result of explicitly-shown evaluation parameters and their evaluation values.  (When I asked about the possible differences in the evaluation values, Blosiu [22A2] replied that such differences in the evaluation by individuals were not at all a problem in forming the group consensus of evaluation.)


(4) Integration/unification with other methodologies for technology development

  Trials for integrating or unifying TRIZ with other western methodologies for technology development have been addressed and reported in a number of presentations, including the Keynote speech by Professor Don Clausing [5] and some other presentations already mentioned above.  In the following, presentations which mainly concern to this topics are briefly introduced.

   Ellen Domb [10B] proposes to integrate various TRIZ methods into the Six Sigma Movement for quality improvement.  Six Sigma is a refined version of "Plan-Do-Check-Action", and in spite of its own terminology it is essentially the same as the Quality Control or Quality Improvement movements for these seventy years, she says.  The break-through methods in TRIZ serve for the quality improvement of products/processes, and the technology forecasting ability of TRIZ is useful for planning new products, she says.  (Since I could not attend her presentation and her paper in the Proceedings is relatively short, I do not have means to learn any further detail.)

   Michael Schlueter [6B] is trying to rebuild or explain various aspects of QFD (Quality-Function Deployment) method in terms of the models in TRIZ.  I do not understand this paper well yet.

   Presentation [12B] by Lev Pevzner and Yakov Katsman proposes to use various TRIZ methods of problem analysis and problem solving in the framework of FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis).

   Presentation [17B] by Lev Pevzner and Yakov Katsman describes the flow analysis method, which is one of the TRIZ methods for analyzing technical systems.  The method handles the substance flow, the energy flow (including electrical current, thermal flow, and mechanical force), the information flow, etc.  (TRIZ' flow analysis of technical systems is briefly explained in Salamatov's TRIZ Textbook.)


(5)  Trials for Applying TRIZ to Non-technical Areas  (or "Soft" Areas)

   Among the trials of applying TRIZ to problems in non-technical areas, the following two presentations given by SANNO Institute of Management in Japan are remarkable.

   Presentation [6A] by Ikuo Yoshizawa is trying to introduce TRIZ' problem-analysis methods into the Operational Innovation.  According to the author, Operational Innovation is the methodology of activities seeking for innovative changes in organizations by redefining the mission of the organization, and is an application of the "Soft Systems Methodology (SSM)" developed by Peter B. Checkland (UK).  For the purpose of clarifying the aims of the organization's activities and possible means to achieve the targets, the analysts team draws the relationships of various activities of the organization and their effects and phenomena.  In this diagrammatic representation, the author has introduced the scheme of the Problem Formulation Diagram of Ideation International Inc.  This representation has served to analyze the relationships and to find out the ways to solve contradictions by using TRIZ, he says.  As a case study, the author discusses how to introduce a methodology into an organization and illustrates such relationship diagrams of the effects of training a small number of selected members and of training all members of the organization.

   Presentation [13A] by Yoshiki Nakamura has tried to apply TRIZ to a policy making problem in the field of society.  The author discusses a real case of application to the theme of "Symbiosis between the forests and people" conducted together with a city government, i.e., Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture in Japan.  Inventive Problem Solving (IPS) method of Ideation International was applied to this problem step by step: the diagram of relationships among effects/events in the problem has been made, and the viewpoints for problem solving have been generated with the software tool IWB.  Solving such elements of problems is the task to be done from now on, the paper says.  The author is going to apply the 40 Inventive Principles to this task of problem solving by slightly expanding such principles originally in the technology field towards non-technical fields.  In the paper, the 40 Inventive Principles are classified into three groups: 16 Principles directly applicable to non-technical fields, 8 Principles applicable after rephrasing (i.e. expanding in the meaning), and other 16 Principles which are specific to technical fields and not applicable to non-technical fields.  I think, however, the essential implication of individual Inventive Principles may be understood, and thus applicable, much wider.  (Similar discussions posted in The TRIZ Journal some time ago were also too narrow in their understanding of TRIZ' 40 Inventive Principles, I think.)

   Presentation [12A] by Darrell Mann and Ellen Domb discusses the directions of the businesses on the Internet, i.e. so-called e-Commerce, from TRIZ' viewpoints.  They try to demonstrate that several cases of currently successful e-Commerce businesses match the directions suggested by TRIZ.  The core problem of the profitability of e-Commerce businesses, however, is not analyzed well yet because of the lack of profitable business models at moment, they say.  [This paper has been published in the April 2001 Issue of the TRIZ Journal.]


(6)  Ways and Current Situations of TRIZ Introduction

   None of the presentations of the present Conference have reported real situations of TRIZ penetration/introduction in industries.  Some presentations, e.g. [9A], [17A], and [21A], mentioned so far may be referred to speculate situations in some companies.

   Presentation [7B] by Karen Gadd from UK is interesting in this relation.  Her paper in the Proceedings is actually an essay describing the situations of TRIZ in United Kingdom through eyes of a consultant.  She describes her own activities and struggles for promoting TRIZ in UK since around 1998; at that time TRIZ was not familiar at all in UK industries, and engineers were skeptical to TRIZ propaganda and did not want to spend time for TRIZ training.  This paper is interesting as a document of real situations around TRIZ in Europe.

  In the latter half of the paper for the Presentation [10B], Ellen Domb describes the current situations of Quality Improvement movements and introduction of TRIZ in US industries.  Situations in American big businesses, including Motorola, GE, Allied Signal/Honeywell, Ford, Dow Chemical, are Delphi Automotive System, are briefly described.  (Since I did not attend her presentation, I do not know what she actually talked.)  Reading these descriptions, I feel the penetration of TRIZ in US industries is rather slow.  (According to the private communication with the TRIZ promoter in Dow Chemical, the TRIZ in-house training activities described in [10B] were conducted by TRIZ consultants outside the company, and he himself has never taught TRIZ in his company training courses.)

   According to my informal communications with participants of the present Conference, I feel that only few companies understand TRIZ and have applied it to their real problems by themselves.  For instance, The Boeing Company sent a large number of its engineers to the present Conference for attending at Tutorials and Symposium.  Several specialists who have been working for Quality Improvement for many years are currently studying and working for TRIZ and trying to promote TRIZ inside their engineering divisions.  According to conversations with Boeing's ordinary engineers, however, I feel the degree of penetration of TRIZ is not so high.   The fact that Boeing did not give any presentation at the technical sessions [even though they served for a Tutorial speaker [4B], the Panel moderator [19], and the Dinner speaker [14], mostly in topics around TRIZ (i.e. not TRIZ itself)] might reflect its level of TRIZ penetration, I suppose.

   [As I wrote in my TRIZCON2000 paper, we should choose "slow-but-steady" strategy for introducing TRIZ (in Japan and in many other countries).  The key issue is the introduction of simplified TRIZ processes for solving problems, I believe.]


(7)  Miscellaneous

   Janice Marconi [22A1] talked about her plan of reprinting the English translation version of SF (Science Fiction)  written by Mr. and Mrs. Altshuller.  (As is also written in my Report of A Personal Trip to Russia,)  Mr. Altshuller published a large number of SF in the pen name of Henry Altov, and his wife, Mrs. Valentina N. Zhuravlyova is also a famous SF writer.  Altshuller did not have an official job in such a society of the former USSR, earned money by writing SF books, and promoted all the research and education activities of TRIZ with his own private fund.  I was told that in Russia he was much more popular as H. Altov than as G. Altshuller.

   It was found recently in American TRIZ community that a book entitled "Ballade of the Stars" was published in English by McMillan Publishing around 1980.  The book was published as a volume in a series of selected SF works in USSR and only 100 copies were distributed as a restricted publication.  The volume contains three stories by Altshuller, three stories by Zhuravlyova, and one story by the couple, all written in the latter half of 1950s.  Janice Marconi finally obtained the original copy of the book and showed it to us at the Conference.

  Various ways of thinking, ideas, and concepts that were established later as parts of TRIZ were written in the form of amusing stories of SF in the book, she says.  I am very curios to read it when it is reprinted in the near future.  The fact that Altshuller regarded the ability of imagination as an important aspect of creativity is explained in many pages of Salamatov's TRIZ textbook.  This aspect is also put much stress in the CID (Creative Imagination Development) course for children.  (Please refer to "CID Course for Children" posted in series in this site "TRIZ Home Page in Japan".)

  At a lunch time for about 10 minutes, Alla Zusman et al. from Ideation International presented a video program recording a special TRIZ class of creative problem solving they conducted at a junior high-school.  At the junior high-school class, they explained the TRIZ way of thinking briefly and gave the pupils tasks to solve problems or improve nearby things as home work.  The pupils obtained various interesting solutions/ideas by themselves.  Zusman says this special class was realized only after the preparation efforts by an enthusiastic teacher of the school.  It may be noticed that new trials of TRIZ-based creativity education have been emerging little by little in the Western countries.  Creativity education to 'enlarged' audience in Vietnam as reported in the Keynote speech by Phan Dung [16], special TRIZ class by Zusman et al. at a junior high-scool, and the CID course for children as posted in our Web site may be referred as such examples.  (Russia, Belarus, and Baltic countries are most advanced in this field.)

   By the way, some careful readers might have noticed that almost nothing is written so far about Invention Machine Corp.   At the Conference floor, IMC provided a demo booth for their software tools.  And Sergey Ikovenko gave a presentation [9B].  But this presentation does not appear in the Proceedings.  It was actually given with a very short preparation after the request by the Program Chairman in the morning of the day, and was more or less similar to the one given at TRIZCON2000, Ikovenko told me personally.  Pragmatic Vision Inc. (PVI), i.e. a spin-out company from IMC and having a very large group of TRIZ consultants, have never given presentations in international TRIZ conferences (held four times since Nov. 1998).  It is also a pity that Mitsubishi Research Institute, Agency of IMC in Japan (and in Asia), failed to send any member to TRIZCON2001.  Since IMC is marketing TechOptimizer as the pioneering and  representative TRIZ software all over the world, we would like IMC and its related companies and individuals to participate/contribute much more to TRIZCONs in the future.

   In conclusion, I am very happy to learn by writing this personal report that general understanding of TRIZ are getting deeper and wider and many new approaches to TRIZ have been conducted in various countries.  It is most important for us, I think, that we should think and solve real problems by ourselves and build up our own case studies.

 [The TRIZCON2001 was a great success for achieving this.  I wish to  express my sincere thanks to all people who made it possible, especially Mr. Richard Langevin, Executive Director of the Altshuller Institute, for his devotion.]

    Just before the start of my classes for the new academic year, I have written this personal report in a hurry without pursuing its thoroughness.  I shall be happy if this report would be of some help for readers of my site.
Top of this page Agenda Overview 1. Keynote Speeches 2. Technical Problem Solving 3.  Laws of Tech. System Evolution
4.  Integration with other methodologies 5. Application to Non-technical Areas 6. Situations of TRIZ Introduction 7.  Miscellaneous Nakagawa's TRIZCON2001 paper Japanese page 

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Last updated on Apr. 25, 2001.     Access point:  Editor: