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Monday at TRIZCON2008

Monday at TRIZCON2008

| On 14, Apr 2008

Ellen Domb

 Amir Roggel from Intel started the conference with a masterful keynote address—he applied his TRIZ sensibility to create a talk that was both educational and entertaining, and a true “key” note, setting themes for the conference of modernizing TRIZ with the new technologies of the 21st century, and simplifying TRIZ—not eliminating concepts, but eliminating jargon.   The history of TRIZ at Intel is fascinating, but I hope that the 12 year history of getting started isn’t replicated at all companies of that size and complexity.  Thanks, Amir!  And thanks for bringing 11 delegates from Costa Rica, Malaysia, Ireland, Israel, and the US.  His colleague David Austin from Arizona explained Intel’s global strategic integration of TRIZ and the tactical implementation through training and projects, sharing the excitement of both the fast-moving world of semiconductor manufacturing and the impact of TRIZ.   (David Austin and Amir Roggel being congratulated by Larry Smith, President of the Altshuller Institute.)[IMG height=215 alt=”” src=”” width=320 border=0]

This is a live blog, not a detailed report on the conference—to see the actual agenda go to .   We were graciously welcomed to Ohio and to Kent State University, and the 10th anniversary of TRIZCON was celebrated.   Thanks to Prof. Don Coates for arranging for Kent State to host this year’s conference. 

Since I was the first speaker in track 1, you’ll have to read about track 2 in the agenda.  Joe Miller and I had a very responsive audience for the presentation on using the complete technical system definition and the system operator as tools for helping TRIZ beginners define the problem that they need to solve—fresh case studies from the business world on call center operations and airline regulatory changes focused on “non-technical” TRIZ.  

T.S. Yeoh from Intel in Penang, Malaysia continued the story of Intel’s TRIZ implementation with impressive detail.   Case study examples from manufacturing test operations showed that Intel is using TRIZ in key areas of the business—these are not “teaching” cases—but very real problems in parts handling and alignment in high-speed testing of very sensitive devices.  The success of the case studies was essential to the proliferation and adoption of TRIZ in the Intel manufacturing environment.  Picture:  T.S.  Leong and Janice Marconi model the Altshuller Institute hats![IMG height=312 alt=”” src=”” width=320 border=0]

John Borsa  from TRW’s Automotive Division presented a unique TRIZ history, coming from the value management /cost reduction systems that had been used to meet OEM’s cost requirements.   TRIZ compatibility with value management was obvious, but a test was needed.  They considered a simple, 5-component system:  Traditional VM generated 50 ideas, of which a small % were useful.    Then a TRIZ specialist spent 3 hours introducing people to TRIZ, from which 10 new ideas emerged, 20% of which became business cases.  John’s history focused on the real-world situation of no time, no money, no training opportunities, and a TRIZ process that was initially perceived as too complex and too abstract.   Their success has come from focusing on internal training, fully adapted to their industry and their culture.  His case study examples of real-world automobile parts simplification  (seat belt attachment, air bag stitching, steering system hydraulic service and installation) showed how people with very small amounts of TRIZ training can make large improvements in both function and cost. 

Darrell Mann brought his extensive research in product development together with his TRIZ experience to show the range of methods, philosophies, and systems that all need to combine in the toolkit of product developers.   In one case, based on the time spent, TRIZ was 2% of a successful product development (packaged gravy—great case for after lunch!) and Darrell was challenging the audience to realize that they need to do much more than TRIZ. 

Robert Adunka from Siemens (we’re in more countries than any organizations except Coca Cola and the Catholic Church) showed the history and development of the propagation of TRIZ in their company, growing from a historical “invention on demand” process, through facilitated meetings, to the present TRIZ-based system, with structured training and projects.    He illustrated their case study method with the story of a safety interlock system, which was the subject of a cost reduction and size reduction project, which started when manufacturing rejected the engineering design and engineering rejected the manufacturing design—what a contradiction!   The audience was interested in the teaching and facilitating methods as well as the case study.

Prakasan Kappoth from Mindtree showed the use of substance-field modeling to analyze emotional conflicts in the workplace.  This is a very creative use of the tool system, that could be very effective for people who need a structured, analytical approach to the management of groups of people.

Ron Fulbright from the University of South Carolina Department of Informatics   demonstrated a project that he did with students, using “ideality-first” to evolve software requirements.  The exciting news was that this is a precursor to a full graduate course in TRIZ.   The team of professor and 2 undergraduates tackled the problem of how to design software to teach TRIZ-type thinking to elementary school students.  Since they had no existing system to start with, they started by studying what kids think is “cool” so that they could emulate the best of the kid-friendly systems (no 7 year old goes to training to learn to use a toy!)  They developed a model of the ideal system, that had all beneficial functions, then looked at available TRIZ software to understand the contradictions between adult and child-oriented systems.  The product concept combines fun, “cool” and learning, as well as community—students can “talk” to others to combine ideas.  

The after-dinner keynote speaker was Ben Berry, speaking about the Airship X-Prize—see the report from Sunday for details.  He mesmerized the audience with the story of the competition for the prize, the design of both the vehicle and the open innovation method, and the results of the live TRIZ case study that we did on Sunday to help him with business and technical problems. 

More tomorrow….