TRIZ Forum: Conference Report (31) -- Papers C    

Personal Report of ETRIA TFC 2016
Introductions to Individual Papers:

    C. Case Studies in Industries  (9 Papers)
Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin Univ., Japan), 
Apr. 21,2017 (in English)
Posted on Apr. 24, 2017

For going to Japanese pages, press buttons. 

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Apr. 21, 2017)

This is a part of my 'Personal Report of ETRIA TFC 2016', whose parent page was posted on Feb. 14, 2017.  The Section (5) Introductions to Papers is going to be posted in 7 HTML pages, categorized with their topics for easier access. 

A.  Methodology of TRIZ (Mar. 30, 2017)
B.  Integral Use of TRIZ with Relevant Methods (Mar. 30, 2017)
C.  Case Studies in Industries (the present page) (Apr. 24, 2017)
D. Promotion of TRIZ in Industries (Jun. 4. 2017)
E. Usage of TRIZ in Education and in Academia (Jun. 4, 2017)
F. Patent Studies   (Jun. 21, 2017)
G. Applications to Soft & Non-technical Areas (Jun 21; Jul. 18, 2017)

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Apr. 21, 2017)  Most figures are shown here from the Authors' slides under the Authors' permissions.  Several of the figures in this page are blocked temporarily.  They are taken from the Authors' full text in the Proceedings (when proper slides are not available).  I am asking for the permission of citing them here to the copyrighters, i.e., the Authors, ETRIA Board, and the Publisher (Elsevier or Springer). 

Top of the page   Personal Report TFC2016 (Parent page) A. Methodology of TRIZ B. Integral Use of TRIZ with Relevant Methods C. Case Studies in Industries D. Promotion of TRIZ in Industries E. Usage of TRIZ in Education and in Academia F. Patent Studies G. Applications to Soft & Non-technical Areas   ETRIA Web site Japanese page



C.  Case Studies in Industries       marks are highly recommended.






Heuristic problems in automation and control design: what can be learnt from TRIZ? Leonid Chechurin (Finland), Viktor Berdonosov (Russia), et al.



Optimizing motor performance by using TRIZ methodology Matej Hohnjec et al. (Slovenia)  


A proposal for automation of conceptual design stage in Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) projects Ivan A. Renev (Finland)


TRIZ and innovation of pressing process Bohuslav Busov et al. (Czech Republic)   


TRIZ and turbojet engine innovation Bohuslav Busov, Zdeněk Katolický et al. (Czech Republic)  


Mobile biogas station design – the TRIZ approach Mariusz Ptak et al. (Poland)  
C7 Design for change: disaggregation of functions in system architecture by TRIZ-based design Sebastian Koziolek (Poland)


TRIZ based problem solving of tile manufacturing system Sebastian Koziolek, Mateusz Słupiński (Poland)


TRIZ-based analysis of the rail industry problem of low adhesion John Cooke (UK)  


C1.  Heuristic problems in automation and control design: what can be learnt from TRIZ?
Leonid Chechurin (Lappeenranta Univ. of Tech., Finland), Viktor Berdonosov (Komsomolsk-na-Amure State Tech. Univ., Russia), Leonid Yakovis (St. Petersburg State Polytechnical Univ., Russia) 

This paper discusses on the Automation/Control Design Methodology in a general context, showing 3 cases as examples.  The Authors' Abstract is quoted here:

The paper starts the discussion from the history of automatic control review. We observe how this field of engineering evolved from pure heuristic designs (inventions) to the home court of applied mathematics. Thanking to this evolution, modern automatic control is able to formally provide standard out of shell solutions to any object or technology. At the same time this standardization can be a cause for professional thinking inertia. The latter may be a reason to miss possible automation ideas when they are out of the "sensor-controller-drive" box.

The paper speculates on how the principle of Ideal final result (and accompanying TRIZ tools such as trimming and resources search procedures) can enlarge the toolkit of automation engineers. We also discuss how ideality principle can be interpreted in terms of plant modification. The examples demonstrate how mathematical modelling (in contrast to TRIZ modeling techniques) can be more productive in inventive idea generation. The discussion on concurrent (parallel) plant and control design concludes the paper.

The following 2 slides are the Introduction part of the paper.  General algorithm of standard automatic control design was established in mid 20th century and now widely used.  The present study, however, is to provide a strategy of automation that can add inventive ideas to the standard model, by use of TRIZ.


The Authors demonstrate their approach by use of 3 case studies. 

The 1st Case Study deals with Hydraulic Power Steering System.  Its typical structure is shown in the figure (below).


Problem 1 of this HPAS design is caused by the different engine rpm.  The standard solution is the introduction of a feedback system.  Alternative approach is to follow the principle of the Ideal Final Result (IFR): The pump itself maintain the constant outlet flow rate regardless of the engine rpm.  Such approaches were already reported in 4 patents from Japan (in 1984 to 1997).  Specifically, a bypass having a flow control valve with a spring is introduced downstream of the pump, as shown in the slide (below).  While low rpm and constant wheel angle, the fluid flows the discharge line directly to the steering gear through a small opening.  As the rpm increases, the fluid flow rate and the pressure in Chamber A increase.  This allows the flow control valve move to the left pressing the spring, and hence the excessive pumped fluid is drained.

The solution proposed above has a secondary problem (see Slides (below)):  When the driver turns the steering wheel, the pressure in Chamber B and hence in Chamber A increase, and cause the shift of the flow control valve to the left.  We have to stabilize the control flow valve against the pressure in Camber B.  In case of the standard solution, the feedback system may be enhanced by the introduction of the Spool angle sensor.  In our alternative approach, we will follow again the IFR guideline.  The alternative solution is the introduction of a bypass between Chambers B and C.


The basic HPSS design has the second problem that the wheel does not feel heavy at the car running high speed.  To avoid this, the fluid flow to the power steering shall decrease as the car speed increases, as shown in the graph (upper right in the slide below).  The Standard solution would be introduction of an Engine rpm meter and a Computer in the feedback system.  A Control spool with a spring is introduced between the flow control valve and the orifice.  With low rpm, the pressure in A is not enough to the spring force and the control spool remains in its position. As rpm increases, the pressure in A rises and pushes the control spool to the right against the spring power and partly closing the orifice.  Thus pressure in B and C drops.  This cause the difference in the pressure of A and C, and moves the flow control valve to the left, resulting in the outlet flow rate decreases. 


The slide (below) is the conclusion of the 1st Case Study, comparing the standard computerized feed back system and the present alternative approach relying on the IFR principle.

2nd Case Study deals with the Sway stabilization system. 
Inventive approaches with mathematical formulation are discussed.  Expressing the system mathematically in concept, the standard solution is shown (below).  The Active feedback is represented with the force F(x,t), which is applied with the additional system of sensor(s), controller, and drive servomotor.


Alternative inventive designs are introduced in the following 3 slides, on the basis of mathematical modelling. 


Summarizing these 3 mathematical models together with their practical applications, the Authors conclude as follows:


C2.  Optimizing motor performance by using TRIZ methodology
Matej Hohnjec, Dušan Gošnik (ZEN d.o.o., Slovenia), David Koblar (Domel d.o.o., Slovenia) 

This paper is a straightforward example of using TRIZ Contradiction Matrix to a real problem in a company.  The Authors' Abstract is as follows:

This paper presents example of TRIZ methodology use for optimization of motor performance. The goal was to reduce the noise level and at the same time maintain the efficiency of vacuum cleaner motor. Technical contradiction and contradiction matrix was used for generation of ideas. Solutions were evaluated based on feasibility and effect on result. Prototypes of solutions with highest grades were produced and further sound power levels and air performances were measured. From measured values optimal solution with the most favorable ratio between noise reduction and loss of efficiency was chosen.

This paper is a vivid report of a job for improving a product, i.e. a vacuum cleaner. 

The Authors established a multifunctional team of experts which included mechanical and electrical engineers, physicists, and TRIZ experts. 

The task and the constraints are shown in the slide (right).   The paper writes: "So the main idea was to build the motor inside the additional housing (capsule).  The main function of the capsule was to improve the flow of the air and decrease noise emission in the environment and to eventually improve (or not decrease) energy level of the vacuum cleaner."


They used (Altshuller's) Contradiction Matrix with multiple parameters as shown in the table (below left).  The Inventive Principles shown in the table (below right) are suggested by the Matrix.  Then from these principles, the team generated ideas of solutions as shown in the table. 


They generated 27 solutions.

And they evaluated the solutions quickly with their expertise (without actually making prototypes at this stage).  The solutions are evaluated with respect to their feasibility and their expected performance.  Plotting the solutions in the two dimensional space, they selected 9 solutions (expected with high feasibility and high effectivity) for the next step, i.e., prototyping and evaluation with experiments.


Then they built prototypes, reflecting the 9 solution ideas.  They measured the sound power level and air flow performance (or efficiency).   Then for comparing the solutions they chose 3 criteria as shown in the slide (below).


The 2 graphs shown (right) are the results of evaluation of the solutions.  The solutions have 5 basic types (v1 to v5) combined with some options.  The upper graph represents the results at higher airflow, while the lower graph at lower airflow, corresponding to the different modes of actual usage.  Please note that in the graphs lower values are better.

At the high-airflow condition, the best solution was found to be 'V2', where the capsule is made of isolation material. Following the best, 3 different solutions are very close with each other, and the solution 'V3' has the highest efficiency.  At the low-airflow condition, the solution of 'V4+foam+foil' is found the best, where V4 solution was further enhanced with additional foam around the circumference and with a plastic foil covering the foam.

Further solutions have to be judged regarding the price of material and technology to manufacture each of the solutions, the paper writes.  

Here is the conclusion of the Authors' presentation:

*** From this paper, we can learn a lot of actual process of product improvement job using TRIZ. 



C3.  A proposal for automation of conceptual design stage in Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) projects
Ivan A. Renev (Lappeenranta Univ. of Tech., Finland)

The Author's Abstract is cited here first:

Conceptual design stage is a virtual part in AEC (Architectural-Engineering-Construction) projects since it solves most of fundamental technical issues.  However, this stage is less automated in the whole complex design process and existing software do not support users in searching for nontrivial conceptual design ideas. 

In the article we propose computer-aided automation of searching for new ideas and solutions during conceptual design stage in construction using TRIZ tools in Building Information Modeling (BIM).  For that purpose, we propose three levels of automation in terms of inventiveness: elementary (LoA1), medium (LoA2) and advanced (LoA3).  In LoA1 graphical programming for design and extended built-in databases of optimal and well-tested design solutions are promising tools to be used.  In LoA2 users receive inventive solutions from the Contradiction Matrix in a semi-automated way.  In LoA3 software self-analyze BIM model and suggest new inventive solutions in order to improve the system.  Hence the TRIZ functional modeling, analysis and trimming are proposed to be used. 

The paper is organized in the following order:  introduction, literature review, problem definition, short description of BIM and its leading software and the main body consisting of proposal for automation and description of levels of automation.  The article ends with conclusion and acknowledgements.  For further development of the proposal it is suggested to discuss it with industry professionals, adapt the most used TRIZ tools to the construction field and build a software prototype.

The Author has surveyed current modern software for Building Information Modeling (BIM) and has chosen to to use Autodesk Revit especially because it has a built-in open source graphical programming tool, called Dynamo.  He shows a simple example of modeling a tall building structure, multi-floored and twisted (figure).  By use of Dynamo, the structure can be programmed interactively specifying various elements and their parameters as in (b) and results in the 3D model as in (a).  By changing the parameter values, e.g. number of floors, floor height, twisting angle, etc., the model are modified very smoothly as demonstrated in the two slides (below).  This is the elementary LoA1 level, where  the designers can make their models smoothly and can choose optimal design parameters. 



In the medium LoA2 level, the Author is going to implement the TRIZ Contradiction Matrix in the BIM system.  He shows his prototype software in the slide (below).  The Matrix parameters and the examples suggestible by the Invention Principles are going to be adapted to fit for the field of architecture, the Author plans.

In the advanced LoA3 level, the Author intends to implement functional modelling and analysis and trimming of a building information model.  This part is a future research task for the Author, as a graduate student.



C4.  TRIZ and innovation of pressing process
Bohuslav Busov (Brno Univ. of Tech., Czech Republic) , Vladimir Dostal (TF, Czech Republic), Milada Bartlova(Brno Univ. of Tech., Czech Republic)  

The Authors' Abstract is quoted here first:

This paper in the form of a case study presents an application part of TRIZ methodology to increase the productivity of pressing of ceramic cores. The paper include two videos. The first video demonstrate the original state and the second one innovative solutions implemented in the company. RCA+ diagram has been created for undesirable effect - low productivity. This diagram of low productivity helped to formulate the causes and consequences. Thereby the contradictions have been made visible. The solution of found contradictions with support of inventive principles and separations has led to the innovation of production process.

The slide (below left) is an example of ceramic cores to be manufactured in the present factory.  The workplace is shown (below right).  The mass of ceramic material is pressed in a frame with a mandrel. 


 The manufacturing process and its difficulties are shown in the slides (below).  The mass is placed in a frame (Step 1) and is pressed with a thick mandrel (Step 4).  Since the pressure of the pressed mass is relatively high, the material is apt to stick to the mandrel.  For avoiding from sticking, steps of cleaning and lubrication are necessary.  As a matter of fact, the whole process needs 13 steps (or operations) as shown below.  The net operation of pressing is done only in 4 steps (among 13), resulting in an inefficient process.


For solving the problem of inefficiency, the Authors applied TRIZ.  Instead of following standard procedure of ARIZ, they used the RCA+ method (developed by Valeri Souchkov) to reveal the problem situations first.  The RCA+ diagram (right part of the slide below) puts the Undesirable Effect at the top and reveals the Cause-Effect relationships downwards.  The +/- signs in the small circles at the right corners of nodes represent positive/negative effect of the events.  The events with the '- +' sign stand for contradiction, which produces both positive and negative effects.  Such contradictions can be interpreted as the cases of Technical Contradictions (TC) in TRIZ.  In the present problem, 3 sets of TC are derived as shown in the lower left of the slide, by using the parameters in the Altshuller's Contradiction Matrix.

The resultant 3 Technical Contradictions (TC) are analyzed with the Altshuller's Contradiction Matrix to obtain the recommendations of Inventive Problems (IP) as shown in the slide (below).

Inspired by these Inventive Principles, the Authors got solution ideas and implemented improvement measures as shown below.  Introducing the small vibration to the mandrel is the main solution idea.  The Authors first introduced vibrations in the axial direction, but found it no good causing inaccuracy of the product.  Then they implemented the vibration of the mandrel mostly in the radial direction (and partially in the axial direction).

Finally the manufacturing process was reduced into the 2-Step process as shown below (even eliminating the cleaning and lubrication operations in regular cycles of manufacturing).  The results of the new process are compared with the former process as shown in the table (below right).


The Authors describe the usage of Physical Contradictions for deriving the solutions obtained here, though I omitted it in this introduction.  The Authors also write in their conclusion: 

Presented solution is consistent also with Su-Field Analysis and also with Trends of Engineering Systems Evolution (TESE: Dynamization, Ideality, Segmentation, Geometry Evolution, Less Human Involvement, Trimming, etc.).


C5.  TRIZ and turbojet engine innovation
Bohuslav Busov (Brno Univ. of Tech., Czech Republic), Zdeněk Katolický (Air Division of PBS, Czech Republic), Milada Bartlová  (Brno Univ. of Tech., Czech Republic) 

The Authors' Abstract is quoted here first:

This paper briefly presents a successful innovation of small turbojet engine for small and unmanned air vehicles. Comparing to concurrent small turbojet engines this new design has several important parametric advantages: weight, power, reliability, cost, etc. Innovations were obtained by inventive solutions in which several instruments TRIZ were used objectively. This case study could be usable for teaching of TRIZ methodology at universities as well as for educational and consulting activities in companies.

The Turbojet Engine TJ100S-125 is a product of PBS Group in Czech.  Its appearance is shown in the red circle in the picture (below left), while its internal structure in the slide (below right). 


The Turbojet Engine obtained the Gold Medal at the International Machinery Trade Fair in Brno, Sept. 2013, and is commercially successful. Its features and performance are shown in the table (below) in comparison with its global competitors.

For revealing the deeper reasons for success, the Authors, including a TRIZ expert (B. Busov) and the chief designer of the product (Z. Katolicky), worked together on this case study.  What were the problems and how the developers solved them are reported in this paper in terms of TRIZ methods, with the understanding that such methods were used intuitively without knowing them. 

The whole system of problems is well represented here in the RCA+ (Root Cause Analysis +) diagram as shown in the figure (below).  (See some explanation of RCA+ in the preceding paper C4  by the same author, B. Busov.)  The main target of the development project is understood as 'Large Thrust/Weight ratio', as shown at the top.  'Small weight' is its first main sub-target and has been struggled to solve in the development of the foregoer model (TJ 100) since 2002 (see the right half of the diagram).  'Large thrust' is the second main sub-target and its various sub-problems have been solved (see the left half of the diagram) in the development of the TJ 100S-125 model.  Various decision choices have been made with the trials to overcome possible negative effects (with '-' in the small circles).  (Most of) the nodes are represented with features (properties and their qualitative values); the numbers in ( ) stand for the parameter number in Altshuller's Contradiction Matrix).  It is noted that there exist a large number of Technical Contradictions (TC) necessary to solve.

The first problem analyzed in this case study is 'How to reduce the volume of the turbojet engine' (for achieving small weight).  In the following 3 slides, the Authors describe the problem first in words (a), then formulate it in Technical Contradictions (b), obtain Inventive Principles suggested with the Altshuller's Contradiction Matrix (c), and finally explain the solutions implemented (d).  The problem is located in the RCA+ diagram for better understanding (e).

The second main sub-problem is "How to make Large thrust by avoiding Harmful factors and Low reliability".  The process of solving the sub-problem is described in the following slides.  (a) Verbal description of the problem, (b) Technical Contradictions, (c) Inventive Principles suggested by the Matrix, (d) Solutions obtained, and (e) Location of the problem in the RCA+ diagram. 

The same sub-problem has been further analyzed with the methods of Physical Contradictions and Su-Field Analysis (and Inventive Standards), as shown in the following 2 slides.  It is remarkable that materials and surface coating are the main topic in this sub problem.

After revealing some more sub-problems, the Authors concluded that the present case of problems were actually solved by using many TRIZ methods as shown below. 

The last slide (shown below) is a very interesting discussion on whether the TRIZ methodology was used or not in the  development of the Turbojet Engine (by the original designer, or the second Author).  (Note: Nakagawa slightly modified the layout of this slide and inserted the words in blue fonts, for making the original contents clearer.)  The original designer agrees that he used intuitively various thinking ways of problem solving and such ways are actually (or objectively) close to some TRIZ methods as described so far.  And the Authors conclude the lessons that creative work should be supported by conscious use of TRIZ methodology, which can be taught, mastered, and applied in practice.


*** This is an excellent case study of revealing the problem solving process deeply and expressing the results in a way easy to understand.  Representation with the RCA+ diagram is very useful for showing the overall structure of the problem, and hence for solving the problem in a systematic way.  The discussions in the last slide shown above are thoughtful.  Reverse engineering (by interviews and discussions with the original developer(s)) in terms of TRIZ methodology is fruitful, because, even if the original developer(s) creatively solved the problem intuitively without knowing TRIZ tools, we can express their ways of solving/thinking explicitly in terms of TRIZ methods and can follow such ways consiously in our own jobs of problem solving.


C6.  Mobile biogas station design – the TRIZ approach
Mariusz Ptak, Sebastian Koziołek, Damian Derlukiewicz, Marek Mysior (Wrocław Univ. of Sci. and Tech., Poland), Mateusz Słupiński (Centre for Systems Solutions, Poland) 

Abstract by the Authors is cited here first:

The aim of this paper is to carry out the process of applying TRIZ in the mobile biogas station by using its tools and techniques. The design system was chosen as the field in which TRIZ has been approached. The TRIZ method was introduced and its unique capability to solve problems was presented. To adopt TRIZ methodology to achieve the objective the deep understanding of the system and the identification of the problem was needed.

Therefore, this paper presents the mobile biogas station and compares it with the current needs of the market. The research stage was carried out by the systematic following the steps outlined by the Oxford Creativity handbook. Some TRIZ tools were used to overcome psychological inertia and pessimistic people influence encountered especially at the beginning of the work. Finally, the undertaken techniques enabled a feasible and novel mobile station to be designed. The concepts were developed and detailed computer-aided models were completed. They were also analyzed and evaluated by finite element method in terms of undergone structural stress.

Here we will follow the process of the present case study.

(1) Problem Definition:

Biogas may be an important renewable energy source in the near future.  Understanding the components of Biogas is crucial, because they differ depending on the sources and collection methods.  The slide (right) shows average values of components.



Issues for potential customers and for suppliers are identified through Design Thinking empathy map, as shown in the slide (right).  The issues underlined in the table are supposed to be of particular importance in the present case. Reflecting these issues, fundamental problem has been identified as 'the refining, storage and distribution of biogas securely and economically justified'



The whole system of obtaining, distributing and using Biogas is conceptually drawn in the slide (right).  Biogas can be obtained from trees, cattle, home wastes, etc. and need to be collected, compressed, and stored.  Then Biogas should be distributed to the users' stations/plants. The focal problem is the Distribution of Biogas, located at the orange circle shown in the slide.



(2) Conceptual solution:

Using TRIZ 9-windows method, ways of distributing Biogas were considered in the scopes of super-system, system, and sub-system and in different stages of time.  Thus, a conceptual solution of MobileBioGas station was obtained, as roughly drawn in the slide (right).  Biogas in an assembly of cylinders are transported to the user's plant, such as the Zoo in Wroclaw (which is located next to Univ. of Wroclaw).


(3) Revealing Functional Requirements.

Then the functional requirements of the systems and devices for compressing and distributing conditioned biogas are considered by using a hierarchical representation of IDEF0 diagrams. The slide (below) demonstrates a section of IDEF0 diagram.  As shown in the upper-right corner, a box in the graph represents an Activity (or process) accompanied with arrows of input (from left), output (towards right), control (from above), and mechanism (from below).  The IDEF0 diagram (written at the second (from top) level) shows three Actions, i.e., Getting purified gas from biogas plant, Biogas transport to customer, and Biogas pumping OR MobileBioGas left to customer.  "Drawing the IDEF0 diagrams step by step has allowed the authors to immerse into the process and answer some basic yet important questions", the Authors say.

(4) Designing the device 'MobileBioGas station'.

On the basis of the developed concepts and system of construction, and by used of CAD software, the Authors have designed the device named 'MobileBioGas station'.  The final design is shown in the slide (right).  Units of gas cylinders are connected into Modules and are set in the framework of a standard container, to be carried on trucks.  Principles for choosing designs at this stage are discussed in the subsequent presentation (C7 ) by one of the present Authors.



(5) Refinement of the design

For further refinement of the design,  the Authors conducted the FEA (Finite-Element Analysis) by use of CAE software.  The slide (right) shows such an example of testing the strength of prototype models.


The MobileBioGas station thus designed by the aid of TRIZ allows for economically justified transport of biogas using many modes of transportation like road or rail transport, the Authors write in conclusion.




C7.  Design for change: disaggregation of functions in system architecture by TRIZ-based design
Sebastian Koziolek (Wrocław Univ. of Sci. and Tech., Poland)

The Abstract is written by the Author as follows:

In this article, a TRIZ-based Re-design Methodology is proposed, which is intended to maximize the ability and ease of re-designing products. Its main property is the disaggregation of functions in relation to the product architecture in order to orchestrate any changes to the product’s functionality to the related components more easily. The article presents an initial evaluation of the proposed methodology using a case studies of mobile gas station by assessing the required effort related to component modification or replacement.

The market requirements are changeable in entire Product Lifecycle (PLC), and hence the same features of product being attractive at the beginning become ordinary at the end of PLC.  And the product system will evolve by adapting the changing market requirements over a few product generations.  Thus it is necessary in designing new products to make them adaptable/changeable in some aspects and yet consistent/universal in some other aspects.  How can we design our products in such a manner?  What kind of criteria and design methods can we take? -- This is the motivation of the present paper.

Functional Modeling by Pahl and Beitz is used.  In the Multi-layer bipartite diagram in the figures (below), the layers of nodes represent as: (f) functions (i.e., intended purpose of the system), (r) requirements, limiting resources and other boundary conditions, (b) system behavior (i.e., a method or technique describing how function is achieved), and (p) performance (i.e., a nominal range of function output).  Any change in higher-layer node causes changes in all the subsequent nodes connected with the links.  Thus the model with highly aggregated functions (left) should be redesigned to be disaggregated, such as shown in the figure (right). 

The system, after disaggregation in functional model, is prepared for architecture modeling.  Hierarchical architecture of system, sub-systems, sub-sub-systems, etc. are represented in the Function-Architecture Model, such as shown in the slide (right).  Behaviors (b) are delivered by sub-(sub-)systems as indicated by the links.  When the change of system behavior is required (in product development or during product life cycle), all the related subsystems must be re-designed.  Thus less number of links between behaviors and subsystems are desirable. 


Next, grouping of sub-(sub-)systems into modules is an important design decision.  The purposes of modularization are simplifying the manufacturing process, standardization, and also better adaptability to future changes in requirements.  The system is desirable to be constructed in a modular manner as shown (right).  The black circles represent S.C. (Special Connectors), which are qualified for standardized and unchangeable elements of the system architecture in single run of Product Lifecycle.  The subsystems are dedicated for systematic change using the standardized S.C. elements. Nested sub-systems are also changeable , even more frequently than sub-systems. 

In the final stage, the plan of product re-design is prepared.  Most frequent changes should be absorbed in the nested subsystems.  Subsystems may be changed in a few times in the PLC, while Special Connectors are intended for change only as a next generation of products. 



The methods described so far are used in the case study of developing 'MobileBioGas station' (see the previous presentation C6 ). 

The Function-Architecture model of MobileBioGas station is illustrated in the slide (right).


In this example, two types of Special Connectors (S.C.) are identified, i.e., Frame and Connection pipeline.  Thus the system is schematically designed as shown in the slide (right).  Segments in the MobileBioGas station system are connected (or built in) with the Frame (using sub-frames in each segment) and also connected with the Connection pipelines (using sub-pipelines in each segment).  In each segment there are sub-group of cylinders of Biogas.


In this manner the modular design of the MobileBioGas station has been developed as show in the following slide (below).



C8.  TRIZ based problem solving of tile manufacturing system
Sebastian Koziolek (Wrocław Univ. of Sci. and Tech., Poland), Mateusz Słupiński (Centre for Systems Solutions, Poland)

The Authors' Abstract is cited here first:

This paper presents two approaches to initial problem description. First approach is constructed and used on the ad hoc basis during short meeting with an expert. Second is an upgrade to the first, constructed during study of a problem following later on after the meeting with the expert. Ad hoc approach or method is composed out of elements of TRIZ tools that are possible to be applied immediately in conversation or with a support of quick sketches on paper. Developed method extends utilization of tools introduced in ad hoc method and adds new tools to form a complete picture of problem description. Both approaches have their uses, but there are some elements from extended study, which can be introduced into ad hoc method for its improvement without endangering its necessary operability.

The following slide (below) shows a photo of the equipment of glazing tiles and also a schematic structure of it.  The glazing is done (though not written explicitly in the paper) by blowing the fluid (i.e., water with some concentration of ceramic particles) through a nozzle (this is called 'Bell' in the paper, I suppose) which is located inside the glazing head (and moved periodically across the width of the tile).  (I am not sure about the black&white photo at the bottom right.)   The defects of the glazing process were detected especially as the streaks on the ceramic tile profile. So the experts of the glazing process examined the behaviors of the equipment and the product closely by using high-speed video cameras and high-precision tools for measuring the tile surface.

The characteristics of the defects on the tile are recorded as shown in the slide (below).  There are streaks (in the shape of arcs) across the width (33 cm) of the tile.  When measured the flatness of the tile surface along the direction of the tile transportation, it shows a periodic wave pattern having the wave length of 16.45 mm with maximal difference of 0.03 mm.

At this stage, the problem was brought to the Authors group for assistance of solving it.  The Authors interviewed the experts of the glazing process, and found some more facts:  Since the distance of streaks is 16.45 mm, there are 20 streaks per tile, corresponding to the time period of 21 ms and hence the time frequency of 47.61 Hz or nearly 50 Hz.  (The moving pattern of the glazing nozzle is not shown in the paper.  How does it match with the pattern of the streaks?)  During the interviews the Authors used simple TRIZ methods ad hoc, including the understanding the hierarchical structure of the glazing system and understanding contradictions in the system components especially from the viewpoint of constant/stable vs alternating/changing.

After the interview, the Authors examined the problem more closely.  The Authors describe their analyses with the methods of 'System's border (in the categories of space, time, and organization)', 'Substance Field Resources', and 'System Operator (or 9-windows method) (focusing on four components, i.e., Bell, Glazing fluid, Tile, and Conveyer belt frame).  (Unfortunately, however, I feel that the mechanism of glazing is not clear (without a close-up view of the nozzle part) and that the causes of the periodic change of about 50 Hz are not discussed well in the paper.)

The Authors used the method of Technical contradictions and represented them as follows (shown partly).   

Relationships of various technical contradictions in this case are illustrated in the form of 'Network of Contradictions' in OTSM-TRIZ (a further extension of TRIZ by Nikolai Khomenko).  In this graph, Square box represents elements, while Rounded box represents 'Critical-to-X feature' (i.e., the features or characteristics to be expected for some, not-yet specified, element in solutions). 

The following is the last slide of the Authors' presentation.  The Authors suggest the solution directions towards applying small amplitude vibration in the distance between the Grazing hat and the Tile, so as to compensate the periodic change present in the system. 

*** I understand in the present case study the representation of 'Network of Contradictions' is effective for finding various solution directions.  If we could understand the mechanism of the problem more closely, the solution direction of 'even distribution (of glazing fluid) on stable tile' could be pursued more and it could actually merge to the solution of 'vibration damping' without applying compensating vibration, I suppose.



C9.  TRIZ-based analysis of the rail industry problem of low adhesion
John Cooke (Cocatalyst Limited, UK) 

The Author's Abstract is cited here first:

For many years the rail industries in temperate countries have struggled to deal with the effects of low adhesion between the train wheels and track due to leaf fall in the autumn – the so-called problem of “leaves on the line”. During autumn, it is common in the UK for this problem to lead to journey delays and in some cases even service cancellations. Significant costs are incurred by the rail industry to manage and mitigate this problem; common measures include vegetation removal, track sanding units on all trains, special trains to clean the tracks and even special autumn timetables with increased journey times.

The Rail Standards and Safety Board (RSSB), a UK rail industry coordinating body, decided to commission a TRIZ-based study into the problem of low adhesion. They were concerned that the solutions being considered by the industry at that time were limited in scope and hoped that TRIZ might help them to re-focus their work and find new areas for research.

This paper outlines the process followed during the study, revealing key insights derived from the TRIZ analysis into the problem as well as the main conclusions and recommendations. So far, the outputs of the study have been directly used to support and focus two UK rail industry competitions: a 100% funded £225k academic research call and a 100% funded £4m UK small business focused competition entitled Predictable and Optimized Braking for Rail Vehicles. The scope of the successful project proposals for each was significantly broader than for previous (non-TRIZ-assisted) competitions.

As an example of actual incidence of the problem, the Author shows the slide (right) at first.  Driver applied the brakes to the train running at 104 km/h as he approached a station.  But the train was unable to stop and came to a stand about 4 km beyond the station.  Autumn leaves on the rail (wet with dew) was attributed as the causes. 


Since such phenomena of unstable braking happened often in autumn, various measures had been applied as shown in the four figures in the slide (right).  However, all those measures are costly and not effective yet to solve the problem of unstable/unpredictable braking of trains. 

Thus the present project was started to reconsider the problem and to solve it with a new approach by using TRIZ.



The Author calls his approach as 'TRIZ-based Horizontal Scanning Approach', in response to the customer's desire to get the UK rail research community help to 'think outside of the rail industry box'.  The problem situation was analyzed first, by use of problem map, and the problem statement was defined as 'How to ensure reliable, predictable braking'. 

Then the causes of the problem were analyzed with the CECA (Cause-Effect-Chain Analysis) method.  At the top level, the problem (or undesirable effect) was set as 'Unpredictable and inconsistent braking' as shown in a red box in the slide (right).  The (logical) relationships of causes and effects are represented with AND/OR gates in the diagram.  Green boxes represent root causes, while red-framed box a cause need to be discussed at lower levels.  (Boxes surrounded by dotted lines stand for elements agreed to be out of scope.) With the diagram, people understood that inconsistency in the braking performance is more basic than unpredictability and that their previous approaches to slowing the train were limited to relying on the mechanical contact between the wheel and rail.



The slide (right) shows the next level CECA diagram, for understanding the causes of 'Variable braking reaction' (or inconsistency).  Focus is the varying of adhesion (or friction) between wheel and rail due to some contaminants.  It is known that certain combinations of contaminants reduce friction (but not known exactly what combinations).  There are no effective system to prevent contaminants being present between the wheel and rail, and no effective measures to improve adhesion.  The three green boxes are the root causes.



In order to understand the factors behind the contaminant-related friction reduction, the 'life cycle' of the leaf-based coating on the rail has been repesented in the form of a process map (right).  The rounded rectangles represent the target of the process (the leaf based coating), while rectangles the system components and hexagons the environmental components.  Arrows in red are harmful functions, while those in blue useful functions. 

The Author explains: "Airborne leaves are blown or drop from surrounding trees and arrive on the railway track. Passing trains squeeze the leaves between the train wheels and rails. The compressed leaf matter combines with other contaminants to form a hard black coating on the rail with very low frictional properties. If the rail is subject to large amounts of water, the coating softens and is removed by the passage of later trains."

And he also writes:  "The role (that) water plays in the creation and removal of the low friction rail coating is not straightforward. Previous rail industry studies showed that wheel-rail friction reduces greatly when a small amount of water is present. The physics behind this phenomenon is not clear. ... A large amount of water has a positive impact, softening and possibly “diluting” the coating on the rail. ... They could not explain how water influenced friction at the wheel-rail interface (with or without other contaminants)."


Then, various measures applied so far were analyzed one by one, using the TRIZ contradiction formulation, to understand why/how they are ineffective or causing secondary problems.  They include 'Train-mounted track sanders' (limited by the sand storage capacity and blocking the electrical conductivity between the wheel and rail); 'High-pressure water jetting trains' (blocking the services of normal trains), and 'Track-side water spraying system' (though proved effective in experiments, complicated the management of the rail system). 

As measures without relying on the mechanical contact between wheel and rail, Eddy current braking system is known and used in some limited cases in other countries (like Germany).  The method is explained and analyzed:

Eddy currents are loops of electrical current induced within conductors by a changing magnetic field in the conductor.  The phenomenon is illustrated in the slide (right).  As the (brake) magnet moves towards right above the metal conductor (i.e., rail), Eddy currents are induced in the metal as shown.  The magnetic field is directed down through the plate.  The increasing magnetic field at the leading edge of the magnet induces a clockwise current, which creates its own magnetic filed directed upwards to oppose the magnetic field, producing a repulsive/blocking force.  Similarly at the trailing edge of the magnet, the induced current produces a magnetic field downward and hence attracting/retarding force.


The functional relationships of the Eddy current brake system is shown (below).  The EC braking creates Magnetic field, which induces the Eddy Current in the rail. Eddy Current repels the magnetic field (and hence the Braking magnet); thus the EC braking system slows the Train.  The Eddy Current in the rail leads to resistive losses that transform kinetic energy into heat.  To deliver a simple train braking solution, Eddy current must be generated in the rails, creating undesirable levels of heating.  This issue has prevented the use of Eddy current braking in many rail applications, the Author writes. This situation is expressed as a  case of Physical Contradiction in TRIZ.


On the basis of these analyses, the Author proposes various solution directions and suggests issues for further research.  The direction of using Eddy Current braking is most interesting. The Author surveyed relevant research and introduced the recent research report (2012) by the Rail Technical Research Institute in Japan .  "This paper presented a regenerative Linear Induction Motor braking system in which the eddy currents in the rail induce braking current flow in the main braking coils. A prototype of this solution reduced rail heating by more than 50% compared with eddy current braking." (The UK rail industry subject matter experts were surprised by this development, the Author writes.)

***  This paper has shown the way to tackle a broad problem where the root causes of the problem are not well known and hence various measures have been tried without success.  This paper won the Best Practitioner Paper Award of this ETRIA TFC 2016. 

Top of the page   Personal Report TFC2016 (Parent page) A. Methodology of TRIZ B. Integral Use of TRIZ with Relevant Methods C. Case Studies in Industries D. Promotion of TRIZ in Industries E. Usage of TRIZ in Education and in Academia F. Patent Studies G. Applications to Soft & Non-technical Areas   ETRIA Web site Japanese page


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Last updated on Jul. 18, 2017.     Access point:  Editor: