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SID – SMART Innovation Development

The SMARTii team developed an own innovation/invention developemtn m,ethodology based on TIPS, named S.I.D. SMART Innovation Development.

TRIZ – English acronym TIPS

The TRIZ method is mainly the science of the exploration and release of contradictions. Precisely this is what justifies the use of TRIZ method in the field of energetics, especially renewabl energies, because this sector is full of different technical es physical contradictions. In th followings -as a little documentary- we introduce th TRIZ method and its developer, Altshuler.

Introduction of TRIZ matrix

Theory of invention/innovation

The XX. Century was rich in technological development. Hundred thousands of inventions were patented all over the world. Only a few examined and analysed the process of inventions and its theory. One of the exemptions is the TRIZ method, however it is more of a descriptive guidance for developing inventions.

Altshuler examined thousands of inventions, and drew the conclusion that most of the developments can be realized with the use of 40 principles. Beside the principles, he examined the evolution of the technical systems and the newly discovered physical effects' invention generating power.

Physics, as a science explores and describes many effects, but these do not change devices of their own. Although it is observable that a few years after discovering a physical effect dozens of inventions appear which create new products, devices and methods in the most different areas of industry and economy.

Héron's formula was already know in the antiquity in b.c. 150, yet took 1900 years to create the first working steam-engine.

Altshuler's genuisity

The fractal approach teaches about the world that things behave in small the same as in big. It is a theory published in the 80's. An example: a whirl in a river works upon the same law as spiral galaxys.

The TRIZ method is appropriate also for releasing inner contradictions of an entire industry, or for further development of a small component as well. It is possible upon the thought of "system in a system". Every bigger system is multilevel, actually the super system of smaller system built upon each other. These systems also contain contradictions as well as their part systems.

The catalogue methods handled the super system's and the subsystem's problems separately therefore gave solutions separately too. Because of that the solutions in the catalogue was unmanageably high. If we take an industry as a super system, we can identify hundreds, or maybe thousands of subsystems. A catalogue system seeks for solutions separately for each subsystems.

Altshuler's genuisity was that he recognised the common features of systems, and that all the features conflict with the same features at every level. (E.g.: the weight of a system vs. the energy need of operation). He noticed that all the principles for the release of these contradictions are the same at every system-level. Syntetizing this, he traced back thousands of solutions to the use of 40 principles.

Altshuler recognised four bigger periods of technological evolution:

  • Part-theory: selection of the components of the system in order to being able to create a new solution
  • Development of the components: we improve the power, efficiency of the existing system with the further development of its components
  • Dyanamising: we dynamize the system so that the features of its parts could be changed while operating
  • Self-development: we improve the system into a higher-leveled complex solution/product (more similar to an organic system, the better the system is)

There were tryings for supporting the process of inventions before Altshuler as well, but these were mainly published as "collections of good advices" added into catalogues. These collections became thicker and thicker as the number of inventions grew, therefore they were harder and harder to handle.

Altshuler was the one who added his analysed results into an integrated system (after examining thousands of inventions), its harvest is the TRIZ method. He noticed that during the development of features of a given invention/device/appearance, other features start to deteriorate. It means that developing a feature causes contradictions with other features sooner or later.

The TRIZ method was the first creativity tool of the world which containes a systematic procedure for solving innovational problems.

The advantage of TRIZ method is  that it forces the inventor to step over nearly every psychological boundaries which could keep him from finding the ideal situation. The primary TRIZ postulate is that the technological systems do not evolve by chance but upon objective patterns.

 The TRIZ principles are the followings:

  • Problems and solutions tend to repeat in the fields of industry and science.
  • The patterns of technological development tend to repeat in the fields of industry and science.
  • Innovations utilised the effects of scientific results in speciality areas which areas are beyond the pale of the original science where the given scientific result was achieved.

According to TRIZ, the innovation takes place at every level of industry and technology with the use of the same method, upon the same principles. Its reason is that every technical system can be desribed with the use of 39 well-defined features. It noticed that improving a feature leads to the deterioration of an other. If we grow a device's size, its weight will be grown too which can be an unwanted effect. According to Altshuler the point of the innovation is to release these contradictions upon the principled described in the TRIZ matrix. Those developments that do not release contradictions, can not really be considered as inventions. Furthermore he points out that an innovation is a different practical and intellectual process than scientific research.

The five different levels of innovation according to TRIZ theory: 

  1. Obvious: already existing solutions, which are easy to achieve
  2. Development: a smaller development of an existing system (usually with compromises)
  3. Within invention paradigm: an existing system but with a significant development
  4. Beyond invention paradigm: conception of an existing system's new generation which is based on the change of the principle of a significant feature
  5. Invention: a path-breaker invention mainly in order to create a new system

Beside the general rules Altshuler gives an analytic method – ARIZ – for finding the solutions. The Algorythm of Inventive Problem Solving looks for the best solution with the use of a special toolkit. The general model of the method is which reflects well the essentials of the process: solving a problem generally can lead to the solution of the own problem.

The basic of TRIZ is that the given problem is built upon contadictions; the method looks for solutions through the release of these conflicts, and helps finding a solution with the principles. A so-called 'list of the 40 basic principles' contains the principles.

Altshuler's system defines 3 dimensions of development/innovation upon well-defined characteristics / features.

  • During the use of the system we have to select from the 39 basic principles those we want to improve: Improving characteristic/feature
  • During the examination of concrete technologies or development, the characteristics that should be improved will worsen other characteristics almost automatically: worsening features/characteristics
  • The affected features are illustrated in a contradiction matrix. After the examination of thousands of patents, Altshuler collected 40 basic Principles that can release the contradictions. Each field of the contradiction matrix contains the principle which is the most suitable for releasing the given concrete contradiction.

Contradictions can be divided into 2 groups:

  • Technical contradictions
  • Physical contradictions

By technical contradictions the goal is to release the contradiction without compromises, i.e. to get rid of the pinciple law which says that improving a given engineering parameter leads to the deterioration of an other. Physical contradiction is when two conflicting status needs to be accomplished at the same time. Then some kind of separational procedure needs to be applied.

The main point of TRIZ method is that you have to select 2 problems out of the 39 practical problems; first, the problem you want to solve (improving feature), second, the problem that keeps you from the solution (worsening feature). The solution for the conflict needs to be searched with the use of a matrix. The lines and columns are the 39 problems, the intersections contain the number of the proposed solutions, in the order of importance. When applyingnthe method, the solution is usually free of compromises.

About the TRIZ  (in english TIPS) from the Wikipedia:

TRIZ (/ˈtriːz/; Russian: теория решения изобретательских задач, teoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadatch) is "a problem-solving, analysis and forecasting tool derived from the study of patterns of invention in the global patent literature".It was developed by the Soviet inventor and science fiction author Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues, beginning in 1946. In English the name is typically rendered as "the theory of inventive problem solving", and occasionally goes by the English acronym TIPS.

Following Altshuller's insight, the theory developed on a foundation of extensive research covering hundreds of thousands of inventions across many different fields to produce a theory which defines generalisable patterns in the nature of inventive solutions and the distinguishing characteristics of the problems that these inventions have overcome.

An important part of the theory has been devoted to revealing patterns of evolution and one of the objectives which has been pursued by leading practitioners of TRIZ has been the development of an algorithmic approach to the invention of new systems, and the refinement of existing ones.

The theory includes a practical methodology, tool sets, a knowledge base, and model-based technology for generating new ideas and solutions for problem solving. It is intended for application in problem formulation, system analysis, failure analysis, and patterns of system evolution.

There are three primary findings of this research. The first is that problems and solutions are repeated across industries and sciences, the second that patterns of technical evolution are also repeated across industries and sciences, and the third and final primary finding is that the innovations used scientific effects outside the field in which they were developed. In the application of TRIZ all these findings are applied to create and to improve products, services, and systems.

Genrikh Saulovich Altshuller (Ге́нрих Сау́лович Альтшу́ллер, pronounced [ˈɡʲenrʲɪx sʌ.uləvʲɪtɕ əlʲtʂu.lʲɪr]) (born Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, USSR, 15 October 1926; died Petrozavodsk, Russia, 24 September 1998), was a Soviet engineer, inventor, scientist, journalist and writer. He is most notable for the creation of the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, better known by its Russia acronym TRIZ. He founded the Azerbaijan Public Institute for Inventive Creation, and was the first President of the TRIZ Association. He also wrote science fiction under the pen-name Genrikh Altov.