11.  To record the process of problem solving and the resultant ideas
          (Recording and reporting function)

The software tool [TechOptimizer Pro] offers a useful function of recording and reporting
the user's process and results of the problem solving.  Various data input by the user and
various hints suggested by the software and selected by the user may be recorded in a file
and then may be output in a format suitable for reporting.  These functions of recording
and reporting are available at any situation of using [TechOptimizer Pro].  The usage of
these functions are described here.

11.1  Recording file of TechOptimizer

[Operation:  At the initial stage of using [TechOptimizer Pro], you may open the [Start]
menue of Windows, click [Programs], and then click [TechOptimizer Professional
Edition 2.5] to start up the program.  The initial display is [Welcome to TechOptimizer]
window as shown in Fig. 11.1.  If you start handling a new prolem/project, you may
click the [New Project] button and initiate a recording file.  If you click the [Last project]
button, the preceedingly-used file is used in an additive mode.  You may refer to a
different file or a recently used file as well.  ]

Fig. 11.1  The initial display of the [TechOptimizer Pro] software:
                the [Welcome to TechOptimizer] window

In the record file of [TechOptimizer Pro], having the file extension identifier "opt", all
the information input by the user in the [TechOptimizer Module] are saved.  The file,
however, is not a log file; thus, if you input data with changes and refinements, only the
revised final information is recorded.  As a consequence, for example, you should better
save your initial drawing of the function model of the current system in problem, before
drawing the revised function model of an improved system.

If you use any of the problem-solving modules under the management of [Problem
Manager], an [Add Concept] button appears at the lower left of the window when you
refer a principle/effect/example in a database.  If you find the desplayed information of
the database useful, you may click the [Add Concept] button.  Then the [Concepts]
window appears on the display, and you may put (sometimes automatically) the
principle/effect/example in the list of recorded concepts.  Besides, you may open the
[Concepts] window directly by clicking the [Concepts] button in the tool bar and may
refer and update the list of concepts.

If you go back to the [Problem Manager] window after recording a concept, you may
notice in the [List of Problems] window a lamp mark in front of the handled problem, as
shown in Fig. 11.2.  And by clicking the [Concept] button at the left bottom of the
display, you may open the [Concept list] window and the [Concept description] window
to read the concepts suggested so far by the tool.

Fig. 11.2  [Problem Manager] window of [TechOptimizer Module]:
           An example with the record of concepts for the problem solving

You may save your TechOptimizer's record file at any time.  For this purpose, in the
main display of any module, you may open the [File] menue in the menue bar and click
either the [Save] command or the [Save as ...] command, as usual.

11.2  Automatic report generation ([Report] function)

The [Report] function of [TechOptimizer Pro] offers the capability of automatically
generating a report of problem solving by editing the information recorded so far.

[Operation:  In the main display of any module of [TechOptimizer Pro], you may open
the [Report] menue in the menue bar and then click the [Generate] command.  A [Report
Composer] window appears as shown in Fig. 11.3.  You may select the items you want
to output and then click the [Generate] button at the bottom.  A report is now
automatically generated and shown in the display in the editing mode under the control of
an editor named [TechOptimizer Report].  ]

Fig. 11.3  [Report Composer] window:  Menue of output items for an automatic report

The report will be generated with the following structure:

   -  Title page
   -  Index
   -  Project data (information input by the user)
   -  Functional analysis (Functional model, list of functions, link analysis, etc.)
   -  Trimming
   -  Feature transfer
   -  List of problems
   -  Concepts (information accumulated with the [Concepts] buttons)
   -  Selected Effects, Trends, and Examples (information recorded in the three problem-
             solving modules)

You may check the generated report on the display, revise the item selection in the report
generation, edit the report for omitting some unnecessary items and readjusting the page
breaks, etc., before printing or saving the final report in a file.  Figure 11.4 demonstrates
an example of a report generated in this manner; it shows the project data page at the top
of the report.

Initial Data

Project name:             Test Use of the TechOptimizer Program 
                                      (1) Cooling through a joint (Revised) 

Object name:            Object A, Hinge, Object B, Heat pipe A, Heat pipe B 

Life stage of object:   Remodeling 

Initial description of the situation
The heat generated in Object A during its functioning must be released effectively for 
keeping the temperature of Object A not higher than 50 degrees in Centigrade.  I 
t is desirable to transfer the heat to Object B which has a large flat surface useful 
for ordinary air cooling.  Object A and Object B are connected with each other b 
y a pair of hinges and need to be flexible with the angle of 180 degrees.  We want to 
have an effective mechanism to transfer the heat through or bypassing the hinge. 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 


Parameter Condition Unit Current value Desired value Importance
Operation Reliability Up 50  100 10 


Parameter  Condition Unit Value 
Angle between A and B  Between  degree 0 to 180 
Power  Equal to 30
# Name  Position   Department  Phone  E-mail  Fax 
Toru Nakagawa    R&D Planning and Coordination Office 7112-6061 tnaka@flab.fujitsu.co.jp  7112-3847

Fig. 11.4  An example of the report generated automatically (the page containing the
project data)

This capability of automatic report generation is indeed helpful.  It is nice that the tool
outputs a report containing both information input by the user and provided by the
databases of the tool.  Since we would like to proceed the problem solving process
quickly for stimulating ourselves to think in an creative excitement, it is very helpful that
the tool can record the whole process and relevant information without distracting us and
output the record right after the session.

  12.  Conclusion

This technical report describes about a software tool for the Theory of Inventive Problem
Solving (TRIZ), i.e. TechOptimizer Professional Edition Version 2.5, especially on its
fucntions, mechanisms, and usage.  It was written by the present author in only a month
after his starting to use the software.  While using the tool, the present author learned the
usage of the tool's functions one by one and was able to understand the TRIZ
methodology itself much deeper.

The present report is written with the hope that it could be helpful for the novice people
who are trying to understand the TRIZ methodology and its software tool.  Description
order in this report is quite different from, and almost reverse of, the one in the ordinary,
official courses taught by Invention Machine Corporation.  The present author believes
that the materials are presented here in the order that engineers and reserachers, who have
their own engineering background and capability, adopt the elements of the TRIZ
methodology and its software tool in their natural way.

It is noticed that Invention Machine Corporation have developed and started selling a new
software tool named "IM Phenomenon".  It has expanded the databases in
TechOptimizer, has a function of assisting the data gethering with the internet, and has
introduced a novel method for sequentially linking problem solving means.  It may be
worthy of trying in the near future.

During the process of learning the usage of TechOptimizer Pro, the present author also
tried to apply the tool to a real problem and found, in his opinion, some good solutions.
Since it is necessary to technically examine it further and to consider the possibility of
filing a patent, the application trial was reported internally with a separate document.  By
virtue of the TRIZ methodology and the TechOptimizer software, the present author was
able to think over the problem flexibly, to learn various new technologies outside his own
speciality, and to apply them in the problem solving in a creative way.  This experience
has convinced the present author of the practical applicability of the TRIZ methodology.
Top of this page 11-1 Initial display of TechOptimizer 11-2 Example of recorded concepts 11-3 Report generation 11-4 Example of a generated report

1. Overview 2. Trends in Tech. Evolution 3. System of Science & Technology 4. Implementing 
Tech. Goals
5. Improving User's System 6. 40 Principles 
of Invention
7. Solving Contradiction 8.  Describing User's System 9.  Functional Analysis 10.  Trimming & 
Feature Transfer
11. Recording 
& Reporting
12. Conclusion

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Last updated on Feb. 25, 1999.     Access point:  Editor: nakagawa@utc.osaka-gu.ac.jp