TRIZ Case Study: Japan TRIZ Symposium 2008 Presentation

Usage of TRIZ and USIT in Developing a Novel Duplex Printing Machine
Hiroshi Kanno (Tohoku RICOH Co., Ltd.)
The Fourth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, Held by Japan TRIZ Society on Sept. 10-12, 2008 at Laforet Biwako, Moriyama, Shiga, Japan
Introduction by Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin Univ.), Oct. 26, 2008
[Posted on Dec. 30, 2009] 

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Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Apr. 16, 2009, (*) Dec. 27, 2009)

This paper was presented at the Fourth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, 2008 , which was held last September by 'Japan TRIZ Society, NPO'.  The presentation was given in an Oral session on the first day afternoon.  It is an excellent case study of using TRIZ and USIT for the actual development of a novel printing machine having an automatic dual printing capability.  

This paper obtained the third place of Presentation Award "Best presentation for me" among Oral Japanese presentations.  Congratulations!!  The Award was given according to the voting by Japanese participants for Oral and Poster presentations, respectively .  Japan TRIZ Society decided to post the Awarded Presentations (up to the third place) publicly in its Official Web sites. (*)

The presentation slides in English are now posted in PDF in the Official Pages of  Japan TRIZ CB , while those in Japanese in the Official Pages of Japan TRIZ Society and of Japan TRIZ CB.  Full paper was not provided for the Symposium in this case.  [

(*) Dec. 27, 2009: The Japan TRIZ Society has been asking the Author and his employer company for the permisson to post the full set of presentation slides in its Official Web site both in Japanese and in English in a PDF format.  RICOH Corp. has not given the permission yet. 

Note that a full report of the technology of the new product was published in Japanese in Ricoh Technical Report No.33、pp. 85-93 (Dec. 2007).  It is publicly available at URL: .

In the present page, I post my introduction to this excellent presentation for making it familiar to wider range of readers.  The introduction is an excerpt of my "Personal Report of Japan TRIZ Symposium 2008" posted on Oct. 26, 2008.  The introduction is now translated into Japanese and posted in my Japanese page of this site. [(*) The Japanese page was ready in April 18, 2009, but is posted on Dec. 30, 2009.]

English page   (This page) Japanese page
Nakagwa's Introduction Nakagawa's Introduction
Slides in PDF  (not posted yet) Slides in Japanese in PDF (not posted yet)

  Introduction to the Presentation by Hiroshi Kanno

Excerpt from: 
Personal Report of The Fourth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, 2008
by Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin University), Oct. 26, 2008
Posted on Oct. 26, 2008 in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan"


Hiroshi Kanno (Tohoku RICOH Co., Ltd.) [O-5 #08] gave an excellent oral presentation with the title of "Usage of TRIZ and USIT in Developing a Novel Duplex Printing Machine".  The Digital Duplicator, RICOH Satelio Duo 8, was developed in this project with the help of TRIZ and USIT and sent to the Market in March 2007 and obtained very high evaluation from the market as a 'long dreamt product'.  The Author's 32 slides contain rich information; I would like to show you 14 of them for you to follow his thinking process and to understand the significance.  [(*) The full set of slides will be posted in the Official Web site of Japan TRIZ Society after getting the company's approval.]

The first slide explains the history of digital duplicator.  Its origin is mimeograph invented in 1894 in Japan.  Digital Duplicator is its new version where the print master is produced in the machine from the original copy.  The dream for 20 years was to invent a Digital Duplicator which can print on the both sides of paper automatically.  This was achieved by Tohoku Ricoh, as reported in the present paper.

This slide shows why the duplex press is difficult in the scheme of mimeography.  Mimeography does not have any image fixing process.  The emulsion ink is just allowed to penetrate into the paper and get dry in time ('pseudo-drying').  Thus, just after printing on a side of paper, the ink is likely to transfer to the roller (and other components) when pressed to print on the other side. 

The second difficulty shown in the slides is the need of two units of printing, causing much cost.

The Author's company tried to develop a duplex printer two times beforehand, but failed.  The Author describes the start of the present project as follows (for saving space, I am quoting his texts skipping figures etc.):

Then, meanwhile, the Author attended at a TRIZ seminar in RICOH group.  (Since around 1997, several pioneering engineers in RICOH have been working to introduce TRIZ (in various forms including USIT).  They have organized TRIZ Study Group, have been teaching TRIZ in training seminars, and have been supporting engineers in their real projects, etc.)

The very basic approach of TRIZ seems to have given the Author new directions of thinking.  TRIZ concepts of Minimum problem, vacant space and time as the Resource, and the Separation Principle have stimulated his thoughts.

This slide shows the basic concept of the new system of which the Author started to think.  The bottom left figure shows the existing DD machine for single side printing, while the bottom right figure is the layout image of the new system.  Most of the current components are required to stay there in the setting of the minimum problem.  The drum should have the print master of the both sides.  All the functions of turning the paper to the back side and re-feeding it should be done in the space at the bottom-left corner of the machine. 
Obtaining the basic concept with the help of TRIZ has prepared for the next big idea, the Author writes.  The knowledge obtained during the investigation they made before also made this possible.  The scheme shown at the bottom describes that a paper printed on the A side should be fed to the drum in the next cycle to print on the B side.  The drawing shown at the right half was created at the time when the Author obtained this idea.  At this timing the Author became confident in realizing a new Auto Duplex Press, he writes.

Then the Author writes:

The story how the Author (and the TRIZ Study Group in Tohoku RICOH) solved the 'ink-transfer problem' is very interesting.  Thus let's follow his several slides:  [(*) On the comment by the Author, the affiliation of the TRIZ Study Group has been corrected from RICOH to Tohoku RICOH.]

The basic concept described in the preceding slide assumes that the print master of two sides is attached on one Drum and hence the Press Roller must be used to print the two sides at different times.  So the problem of ink-transfer must be solved in the system around this Roller. The initial trials were made as shown in this slide. First they tried to investigate a surface which does not get dirty, but it failed.  Their second approach was to use a subsidiary roller for cleaning the main Press Roller; but it also failed.  On facing the deadlock, the Author brought this problem to the TRIZ Study Group in Tohoku RICOH.
Now the ink-transfer problem was tackled with TRIZ in the TRIZ Study Group.  The problem was first formulated in the Su-Field Model.  When the paper is printed on the B side, the ink already printed on the A side transfers to the surface of the Roller.  This is the Harmful function.  Among the Inventive Solutions, 'Provide a third object in between' has suggested to provide some powder in between.  Then it has suggested 'powder-like shape of the surface'.
Then they used the SLP method for considering this problem further.  They imagined SLP on the surface of the Roller and that the SLP do not want to get dirty with ink. They have generated 30 ideas; here shows the idea they have finally chosen.  Among many SLP there are some taller ones who get dirty to protect others; i.e., instead of all SLP getting dirty, small percentage of SLP becomes dirty.  This idea of SLP was realized in the form of glass beads attached on the surface of the rubber roller, as shown in the figures in the right column.
This slide shows the effects of the glass bead roller.  In this experiment, black patterns are printed in the half of the page.  After printing both sides, the white half of the page is checked to see any traces of transferred ink.  We can see the transferred ink patterns in the left case, but no patterns in the right case with the Glass bead roller.  In the latter case, actually there are many micro-scale ink-transferred points, but we cannot see them. 
In concluding the issue of ink-transfer, the TRIZ SLP thinking is discussed here.  Thinking with the help of TRIZ, especially with SLP, is to think problems in an abstract world. Breaking stereo-type thinking, or psychological inertia, is the power of this abstract thinking, especially right-brain type thinking, in TRIZ.  As shown at the bottom of this slide, the solution thus obtained may be regarded as the roller surface having an uneven micro structure (while the surface is even in macro structure). 

Later in April 2005, the Author (and his senior colleague) attended at Nakagawa's USIT 2-day training seminar.  Since then they used USIT to solve many problems in designing their prototype machines, the Author writes. 

The Author made a set of USIT worksheets (they were shown in the slides quickly as an animation, but not cited here).  For these three years they have experiences of 22 USIT projects with success in Tohoku RICOH.  (Some other people in RICOH's TRIZ Study Group also have mastered USIT beforehand.)

After these development efforts, the Author's group have succeeded in sending a novel machine to the market in March 2007.  The new machine, named Satelio DUO 8, is possible to print both sides with the speed of 240 A4 pages/minute.  This slide summarizes 4 novel inner mechanisms:  (1) a new print master of composite layer structure, (2) images of both sides on a drum, (3) flip unit for paper re-feed, and (4) the bead roller.
The mechanism of the Flip Unit is shown in this slide (sorry but I cannot include the animation and movie of the presentation).  A new paper comes in along the green dotted arrow to the printing zone between the Drum and the Roller.  The (A-side) printed paper goes down, with the help of the switcher in the red position and the air blow (blue arrows), along the green arrow.  The paper is held (by the red tray edge) and guided smoothly in a way like Baton Relay to the bottom and is flip back along the pink arrow.  The paper is moved along the pink arrow around the Roller to the printing zone and is printed on the B-side.  Then the paper is sent out along the pink dotted arrow.  The sharp switching back of the paper is named 'Swallow Turn'.
This slide concludes the presentation.  The Authors have developed a machine for auto duplex press, which was a dream for 20 years.  TRIZ helped the Author to generate the novel basic concept of the machine, and USIT also worked later.  They have applied over-100 patents (Mar. 2007) and built strong patent barriers.  The machine, Satelio DUO 8 was released in March 2007.  The machine doubled the speed of A4 size printing from 120 pages/min (single sided) to 240 pages/min (double sided) in a compact body as before. This machine obtained high reputation from the customers.

*** This work is a very successful case study which developed a novel product, of the type first in the world.  TRIZ (and later USIT) contributed to develop novel basic concepts and to solve problems in the prototype development.  The new product has been accepted well by the market and will certainly contribute to the business of the company.  The description of the presentation is detailed and full of information; especially the Author's thinking process in TRIZ can be traced well.  This is an excellent presentation in the present TRIZ Symposium.  The full set of presentation slides will be posted in the Official Web site of Japan TRIZ Society in the near future. [(*) Dec. 27, 2009: See the Editor's Note.]


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