TRIZ – Theory of Inventive Problem Solving
A simple yet a very powerful problem-solving technique, widely used in core engineering, military, architecture & construction
There is no problem in the known world which haven’t occurred anywhere else, there might be variation in the magnitude, dimension in which the problem has occurred. Someone, Somewhere already faced similar problem and there is high probability that problem has been solved
Process Improvement, Six Sigma quality improvement processes often make use of TRIZ.
Key Concept Behind TRIZ
- Generalizing Problems & Solutions
- Eliminating Contradiction
Generalizing Problems & Solutions
- Problems and solutions are repeated across all domains. By representing a problem as a “contradiction” we can predict solution to that problem.
- Patterns of technical evolution tend to repeat themselves across industries and sciences.
- Creative innovations often use scientific effects outside the field where they were developed.
1. Define the problem which is being faced currently
We may use questionary to define the problem
- Name the system and its primary function
- What is the current and desired system structure?
- How does the system execute the primary function now?
- What is the operating environment?
- What are the available resources and natural phenomena?
- What are the problems or opportunities?
- What mechanism constrains achievement? History.
- Can a substitute problem be solved?
- What system changes are allowed, prohibited?
- What time, money, people issues constrain solutions? Previous attempts? Solved elsewhere?
2. Brain Storm and generalize & identify the Problem
We begin with ” 5W’s and an H ” of Innovation. Ask these question of every system so that the system function and problem is identified.
W1. Who has the problem?
W2. What does the problem seem to be? What are the resources?
W3. When does the problem occur? Under what circumstances?
W4. Where does the problem occur?
W5. Why does the problem occur? What is root cause?
H1. How does the problem occur? How can the problem be solved?
3. Collect input to the generalized problem through existing case studies, research papers, academic papers & document, If possible, observing any situation outside your problem which may resemble your problem & the approach being used to solve that problem
4. Once list of all the problem & solution which resemble your current problem is collected
5. Generalize the solution provided to those Problem
6. Thinking by Analogy to develop solution for the current problem
Ideal Final Result (IFR) and Ideality :
Ideal Final Result is very useful concept as it , gives an implementation-free description (after the problem has been solved focuses on functions needed (and not on the currently used processes and / or equipment) eliminates rework (by solving the right problem the first time itself) leads to breakthrough thinking (about the solution and not inhibited/hindered by intervening problem)
IFR has the following characteristics,
- Eliminates the deficiencies of the original system
- Preserves advantages of the original system
- Does not make the original system more complicated (uses free or available resources)
- Does not introduce new disadvantages
The main advantages of IFR are
- Encourages Breakthrough Thinking (eliminates / avoids psychological inertia)
- Inhibits move to less ideal solutions (rejects compromises)
- Clearly establishes the boundaries of the solutions
There are fundamental contradictions at the root of most problems. In many cases, a reliable way to solve a problem is to eliminate these contradictions.
Contradictions can be classified into major two Categories
- Technical contradictions
- Physical contradictions
When one aspect of the problem is improved then any other aspect is bound to decrease
If the Torque & Speed of the Electrical Vehicle is increased, Then the battery life of the vehicle will decrease, Trade-off between the contradiction is important to achieve the desire success
One can refer TRIZ Contradiction Matrix for Technical Trade Off
These are situations in which an object or system suffers contradictory, opposite requirements.
Car needs to be Big (To accommodate full family) , But at the same time small enough (to easy manage and drive in traffic)
One can use TRIZ separation Principles to separate the requirement on basis of Time, Scale & Space
TRIZ Separation Techniques
Separation: When we have physical contradiction we can
- Separate based on part & system
- Separate it based on any condition
- Separation in Time
- Separation in Space
Satisfaction: When there is chances to fulfil the contraction then it better to go for it, But it may require structural change
Ex : For 7 seater car to accommodate 7 person as well it to be small enough to manoeuvre may require detail analysis of the design of the car, part position, Engine Size, Possibility of reallocating part to different location to make space
Bypass: Sometime it is possible to bypass the contradictory requirement altogether, With the help of sensor we can bypass the requirement of the person going in confined location to check the problem
Since the TRIZ Contradiction Matrix is a part of TRIZ software “TechOptimizer-3.0” Details of Knowledge Database of TRIZ Contradiction Matrix is out of scope of this article. However attempt is made to create the awareness of the concept by providing some of the Key Features
List of Features
- Weight of moving object
- Weight of stationary object
- Length of moving object
- Length of stationary object
- Area of moving object
- Area of stationary object
- Volume of moving object
- Volume of stationary object
- Stress or pressure
- Stability of the object’s composition
- Duration of action by a moving object
- Duration of action by a stationary object
- Illumination intensity * (jargon)
- Use of energy by moving object
- Use of energy by stationary object
- Power * (jargon)
- Loss of Energy
- Loss of substance
- Loss of Information
- Loss of Time
- Quantity of substance/the matter
- Measurement accuracy
- Manufacturing precision
- External harm affects the object
- Object-generated harmful factors
- Ease of manufacture
- Ease of operation
- Ease of repair
- Adaptability or versatility
- Device complexity
- Difficulty of detecting and measuring
- Extent of automation
- Productivity *
List of Principles
Principle 1. Segmentation
Principle 2. Taking out
Principle 3. Local quality
Principle 4. Asymmetry
Principle 5. Merging
Principle 6. Universality
Principle 7. “Nested doll”
Principle 8. Anti-weight
Principle 9. Preliminary anti-action
Principle 10. Preliminary action
Principle 11. Beforehand cushioning
Principle 12. Equipotentiality
Principle 13. ‘The other way round
Principle 14. Spheroidality – Curvature
Principle 15. Dynamics
Principle 16. Partial or excessive actions
Principle 17. Another dimension
Principle 18. Mechanical vibration
Principle 19. Periodic action
Principle 20. Continuity of useful action
Principle 21. Skipping
Principle 22. “Blessing in disguise” or “Turn Lemons into Lemonade”
Principle 23. Feedback
Principle 24. ‘Intermediary’
Principle 25. Self-service
Principle 26. Copying
Principle 27. Cheap short living objects
Principle 28. Mechanics substitution
Principle 29. Pneumatics and hydraulics
Principle 30. Flexible shells and thin films
Principle 31. Porous materials
Principle 32. Color changes
Principle 33. Homogeneity
Principle 34. Discarding and recovering
Principle 35. Parameter changes
Principle 36. Phase transitions
Principle 37. Thermal expansion
Principle 38. Strong oxidants
Principle 39. Inert atmosphere
Principle 40. Composite materials