TRIZ Paper: 


Back to Creatability

Klaus-Juergen Uhrner (KACO GmbH + Co.KG)
ETRIA TFC2005: The 5th ETRIA "TRIZ Future 2005" Conference, Held at Graz, Austria, on Nov. 16-18, 2005

Introduction: Benefits of TRIZ Have Been Proved with Real Industrial Data of Inventions.
Toru Nakagawa, Dec. 29, 2005 and April 22, 2006

 [Posted here on April 25, 2006]  
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Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, April 22, 2006)

This paper was presented in the ETRIA "TRIZ Future 2005" Conference last November. This is an outstanding paper in the Conference as I described in my Personal Report of ETRIA TFC 2005 .

For easier access with HTML, Nakagawa's Introduction to Uhrner's Paper is shown below by reproducing the part of my Personal Report of ETRIA TFC2005 posted in English on Jan. 13, 2006. 

The original paper by Klaus-Juergen Uhrner is posted here in full-color in the PDF file. 

 PDF file of Uhrner's Paper with Criteria Table (286 KB, 7 pages) Click here.

The criteria of the Level of Innovation used by the Author is shown in the bottom of this page in HTML, and also at the end of the PDF file.  You can evaluate your own data of inventions with reference to these criteria and examine your level of innovations before and after knowing TRIZ.

This paper was translated into Japanese and posted in this site  on April 4, 2006. 

We are very grateful to the Author and his company for their kind permission of our posting this paper and of our transltion into Japanese. 

Benefits of TRIZ Have Been Proved with Real Industrial Data of Inventions.

Introdution to Uhrner's Paper
Toru Nakagawa, Dec. 29, 2005
Exerpt of Nakagawa's Personal Report of ETRIA TFC2005


The presentation by Klaus-Juergen Uhrner (KACO GmbH, Germany) [3] is a really unexpected demonstration of the usage of TRIZ, with a somewhat peculiar title: "Back to Creatability". He is an engineer and a self-taught TRIZ user since 1996. He recently wanted to convince a number of executives of Austrian SME's with the usefulness of TRIZ. He wanted to demonstrate the effects of TRIZ qualitatively, quantitatively, and from the perspective of personal capability. Since he could not find such a document, he decided to analyze the existing patent data of his own company. The following three figures represent the real cases of analyzing 164 patents obtained for these 30 years by his company, KACO GmbH.

The first figure shows all the KACO's inventions (or filed patents) plotted against the year. Each circle stands for a patent, marked with the identification number. Three engineers who are named 'Red', 'Yellow', and 'Green', are of special interest in this analysis, and their patents are colored accordingly, while other engineers' patents in gray. The starting time of the three engineers are shown at the top of the figure. In 1996, the 'Red' engineer started using TRIZ, and then in 2000 four other engineers including 'Yellow' and 'Green' joined in using TRIZ. The circles colored in white stand for the TRIZ-based inventions. As shown by the dotted lines in the figure, the average number of inventions per year was 3.0 without influence of TRIZ, while it has become 9.7 with the influence of TRIZ. Thus the effect of TRIZ usage is clear here quantitatively, showing about 3 times in number of inventions.

The quality of the patents/inventions were evaluated by use of the 'Altshuller's Criteria of Levels of Inventions' with a modification of adding some commercial and strategic aspects. The figure below shows the Innovation Levels of all the 164 KACO inventions.

This figure shows that most of the inventions in the old era without TRIZ were lower than Level 3. Nevertheless, three very high-level inventions were created by the three engineers at their very early stage of working (i.e. after about 1.5 years of training) in this field, and they were of utmost importance for the company. Though many more inventions were made by the three engineers afterwards, the level of them were not so high. "As the inventor becomes more and more an expert, he loses his innocence of thinking, or with other words, he is driven by Psychological Inertia."

After introducing TRIZ, the levels of the inventions changed dramatically as shown in the upper right corner of the above figure. There appeared a lot of inventions with Level 4 or higher, and the average level of inventions has become as high as 3.4 after the introduction of TRIZ in contrast to 2.4 before the introduction. It is also remarkable that the three engineers, 'Red', 'Yellow', and 'Green', gained back (or actually even higher degree of) capability of creating inventions. (Thus comes the title of this presentation, "Back to Creatability".)

Another figure shown below distinguishes the inventions/patents which have actually solved some contradictions (white symbols) from those which solved no contradictions (black circles). It is noticed that Level 2.5 is the gray boundary zone. Inventions at Level 2 or lower are the solutions without solving contradictions, while those at Level 3 or higher are the solutions having solved some contradictions. It is clear that the introduction of TRIZ helped to (identify and) solve contradictions. Since the inventors obtained the experiences and capability of solving contradictions, they have become (and will stay to be) better inventors than they have ever been.

*** This presentation is indeed valuable for the TRIZ community in the world, as it is a real data of effects of TRIZ in the quantitative, qualitative, and personal capability aspects. We eagerly wish that engineers and business managers who do not study TRIZ yet learn this case without prejudice. Similar analysis can be carried out in various companies/countries which already have some history of TRIZ usage.

*** There were some discussions from the floor. Somebody asked: "So, looking at your data, the people in your company and executives of SME's around you have been convinced with the TRIZ effects?" The answer by the author was unexpected for me: "Not so much. Some people seem to have some unpleasant feeling to my presentation of the results." Such reactions by human are very sad. The reactions may have been induced partly by the fact that the analyis was done by the author who is in fact the 'Red' engineer, as you can deduct from the data presented in the paper. For overcoming such a reaction, and for making Uhrner's demonstration as a common property of the TRIZ community, it should be helpful to verify Uhrner's work in the TRIZ community.  According to the private communications with the author, however, it is found that the inventions for the last several years (i.e. most part after the introduction of TRIZ) are mostly not publicized yet. Hence at moment we cannot verify Uhrner's data directly.  But since the scheme of analysis is clearly shown, it should be possible in every organization to analyze the historically accumudated data of their own inventions in an objective manner.  Anyway, this Uhrner's paper is the utmost fruit in the present conference, I believe.


Table of Criteria for Evaluating the Innovation Level

         by Klaus-Juergen Uhrner (Nov. 2005)   

Back to Creatability

Klaus-Juergen Uhrner (KACO GmbH + Co.KG)

ETRIA TFC2005: The 5th ETRIA "TRIZ Future 2005" Conference,
Held at Graz, Austria, on Nov. 16-18, 2005

PDF file of Uhrner's Paper with Criteria Table (286 KB, 7 pages) Click here.


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