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edu MS Student, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University
ABSTRACT Since its introduction in 1946, Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) has been widely applied as a problem solving tool in the industry. Though it originated in the engineering design domain, its applications today extend to all its applicative fields including manufacturing, service, aeronautics and architecture. This paper presents a literature review of manufacturing related real life casestudies implementing TRIZ methodology to develop innovative solutions. The case-studies not only help in understanding TRIZ and its importance in the industry but also serve as guidelines to solve other problems. The paper concludes with recommendations for future research. 1. INTRODUCTION Innovation plays an essential part in the growth and progress of every industry. As global technology competition becomes fiercer, an ability to solve engineering problems expeditiously becomes critical for the survival of individual businesses and entire industries . Numerous ideation techniques have found applications in solving a variety of industrial problems. Especially, TRIZ applications have been discussed in an array of fields of literature including manufacturing, engineering design and material sciences. The advent of TRIZ in 1946 shook the contemporary belief of innovation being an exclusive product of spontaneity and intelligence. TRIZ made the innovation process systematic and logical, extending its application to a realm extending well beyond the scientist and research community. TRIZ, invented by Generich Altshuller in Russia, represents a fundamental shift in attitude towards technical creativity. Its philosophy is based on some laws that all systems follow : (1) Law of ideality – Systems evolve towards increasing ideality, an ideal system being a one that does not consume energy, does not cost anything and occupies no space. It performs function without form. (2) Law of transitioning to micro-level using energy fields – Systems tend to shrink, replacing mechanical systems by alternative energy fields while accomplishing the required functionality. (3) Law of dynamization – In the course of their evolution, systems evolve from rigid structures into flexible ones. TRIZ is based on classifying any problem in terms of technical or physical contradictions and using the suggested inventive principles, separation principles or substance field analysis to develop a solution. While using the contradiction matrix, the problems are deciphered into technical contradictions based on the 39 parameters. These are then referred to the contradiction matrix to obtain TRIZ design principles from amongst the 40 suggested principles. The principles provide an explicit precise direction and a line of thinking for the designers to follow in order to generate more efficient and innovative solutions. Alternatively, the problems can be classified as physical contradictions and solved using substance-field models and separation principles. Although these separation principles and the inventive principles were extracted from mechanical engineering solutions, both the solution systems and the principles have much broader significance . Unlike many heuristic techniques, TRIZ provides a definite direction to the thinking process. Moreover, the concept of integrating other tools such as brainstorming with TRIZ is not new and has been effectively used in generating innovative solutions . Section 2 consists of the literature review on manufacturing related applications of TRIZ. The paper concludes in section 3 with suggestions for a new concurrent approach based on TRIZ and some other problem solving tools. 2. LITERATURE REVIEW This section consists of a review of TRIZ applications in solving manufacturing related problems. Journal articles and conference proceedings from publications such as ‘Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing’, ‘Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems Journal’, ‘Proceedings of ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference’ and various other on-line sources have been reviewed. Compendex – the Engineering Database – was used to access publications and conference articles. ‘TRIZ’, ‘TRIZ
applications in Manufacturing’, ‘Concurrent Engineering’ and ‘Innovation in manufacturing’ were the keywords used for the literature search. With the advent of concurrent engineering, manufacturing has transformed into a cross-functional activity associated with much more responsibilities than just the final production of merchandise. Problems can occur at different levels of the manufacturing phase. Depending upon the nature of manufacturing related problems, they can be categorized into three levels (as shown in figure 1): (1) Design for manufacturing (2) Manufacturing processes (3) Manufacturing systems
suggest the use of TRIZ to develop a solution for this problem. The manufacturing design problem is codified in terms of technical contradictions and principles suggested by the contradiction matrix are used for resolving the tradeoffs to develop a primary solution concept. The suggested technical contradictions can be formulated into a contradiction statement as follows: As the speed (9) of take-off and landing increases (improving factor), the adaptability (35) of the plane (using carrier for take off and landing) decreases (worsening factor). The contradiction matrix provides dynamism (15), preliminary action (10) and copying (26) as recommended design principles. Principle 15, dynamism, is used to develop the concept of variable wing geometry as a possible solution. Stratton and Mann  suggest the use of ‘separation in time’ principle.
Manufacturing related problems
Design for Manufacturing
TRIZ (THEORY OF INVENTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING)
Figure 1. TRIZ applications at various levels of manufacturing related problems
2.1 TRIZ applications in Design for Manufacturing TRIZ helps in concept generation for solving design problems related to manufacturing. The final concept selection can be done by concept selection methods (CSM), virtual software tests or actual prototype testing. More than 30 years ago, W. Skinner  used the concept of mechanical design trade-offs to help acknowledge and manage conflicting performance parameters associated with manufacturing . A problem of designing a 500 passenger plane that could land on a carrier and also break the sound barrier was put forth. Stratton and Mann 
The wing spoilers can function differently at various points of time. Their operations can be separated as a function of time, i.e. they can perform the work of boosters during take-off and function as maneuvers while flying. Tsai et al.  use TRIZ for concept generation while redesigning a seated ball valve mechanism. The seat is a part that is assembled in the valve body and may provide part of the flow control orifice. The seat ring may have special material properties and may provide the contact surface for the closure member. The major function of a seat is to make a seal surface with the closure member.
Soft materials such as plastics, Teflon, and Nylon are usually used as the seat material because of their flexibility. However, when these materials are under high pressure, at a high temperature, or in a corrosive environment, the seat may be distorted out of shape or destroyed, and therefore will not form an effective seal . Owing to this problem, it was decided to redesign the valve seat using a metal instead of plastic. A ball valve is shown in figure 2.
A TRIZ application in the automobile industry is illustrated by Cascini and Rissone . TRIZ is used for redesigning aluminum wheel of a motorscooter using plastic. Unlike the previous application where a CSM was used for concept selection, the best concept in this case is selected by prototype testing. Nowadays, polymers are substituting metallic alloys in several mechanical applications, even with structural functionalities, thanks to their lower cost. However, several mechanical deficiencies afflict polymeric materials. For example, compared with metals, the most alarming for designers is the elasticity modulus as in the best cases it is about one-fifth of that of an aluminum alloy and one-fifteenth of a ferrous alloy . Thus, even though polymers help to improve the manufacturability in terms of manufacturing and material costs, the part design needs thorough strengthening and improvement in terms of stability. This particular problem has been analyzed in terms of TRIZ inventive principles and substance-field analysis. Figure 4 (a) shows the current design and 4 (b) shows a modified concept which was generated without using TRIZ.
Figure 2. Ball Valve (adapted from Tsai et al., 2004) The problem is defined in terms of technical contradictions as well as a substance-field model in order to generate potential solutions and the best solution is determined using the QFD CSM. The contradiction statement can be as follows: As the reliability (27) of the valve seat functioning increases by replacing plastic with a metal (improving factor), the manufacturability (32) of the part decreases (worsening factor). The contradiction matrix suggests all 40 recommended design principles. Tsai et al.  use segmentation (1), asymmetry (4), spheriodality (14) and porosity (31) to generate concepts which are then modified and enhanced using substancefield (Su-field) analysis. The Su-field model for the problem is shown in Figure 3. Based on the analysis and the 76 standard solutions of TRIZ, three class II and class III solutions are selected for improving the effective sealing of the seat – magnetic liquids, magnet and electromagnet. The pool of generated concepts was finally evaluated using QFD.
Figure 4. (a) Current Design using Aluminum (b) Modified Design Concept (adapted from G. Cascini and P. Rissone, 2004) Even though the new conceptual design greatly enhanced strength of the wheel to enable it to maintain its shape, it posed manufacturing difficulties while injection moulding. Thus, the contradiction statement for the problem becomes: as the shape (12) of the wheel stabilizes (improving factor), manufacturability (32) of the wheel decreases (worsening factor). Contradiction matrix recommends the following design principles: segmentation (1), optical changes (32), dimensionality change (17) and replace a mechanical system (28). Potential concepts were generated using segmentation (1) and dimensionality change (17). Based on segmentation, the rim could be split into two separately molded pieces that could be assembled later. Based on dimensionality change, the web could be transformed from two dimensions to three dimensions which would increase the radial as well as the lateral rigidity of the rim and allow use of only a single mould. These concepts are illustrated in figure 5 (a) and (b) respectively.
Figure 3. Substance-Field Model
increasing the cost or system complexity. A physical contradiction was found to exist. Increasing the amount of fluorine gas enhanced the uniformity of fluorination in plastic bottles, but it increased the process cost substantially. On the other hand, reducing the amount of fluorine gas brought about a substantial reduction in manufacturing cost at the expense of non-uniformity of fluorination among plastic bottles. Figure 6 represents the Su-field diagram for the problem.
Figure 5. Concepts Generated using TRIZ principles (a) Segmentation (b) Dimensionality change (adapted from G. Cascini and P. Rissone, 2004) Further, assuming that the wheel had to perform an added safety function in the case of an accident by dissipating as much energy as possible during the shock, substance-field analysis was used to generate concepts. Based on Condensed Standards I of TRIZ, a potential concept would be to introduce a substance like foam or a high viscosity matter into the hollow rim to raise its energy dissipation rate. Another concept based on the same principle would be winding a tape around the rim to enhance its rigidity and rate of energy dissipation. The final pool of generated concepts was evaluated using prototype testing. Bariani et al.  have used TRIZ (technical and physical contradiction systems) in unison with design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA) to redesign a satellite antenna. The results have been stated as comparatively lower manufacturing cost for the new design and a 43% reduction in the assembly time. The case-studies discussed above give a fair idea of the role of TRIZ in enhancing manufacturability through improvement in product designs. However, manufacturing problems are not necessarily a result of faulty product design. Sometimes, it is the processes which possess inherent shortcomings and need modifications. TRIZ has been successfully implemented for improvement of manufacturing processes as well. 2.2 TRIZ applications in Manufacturing Processes Monplaisir et al.  present a case-study based on the use of TRIZ for improving the fluorination process of plastic bottles. Fluorination process is a gas modified plastic technology that reduces permeability and improves chemical resistance through surface treatment of the polymer. It enhances the usability of plastic container so that it can carry different solvents to help maintain product shelf life without solvent penetration . The main aim of this case-study was cost reduction in the fluorination process. It was required to find such a resource that would take the fluorine gas to each of the plastic bottle without
Figure 6. Su-Field Analysis for the Fluorination Process F1 is the force of gas coming out of the nozzle. Application of Class II standard solutions from the 76 standard TRIZ solutions suggests that the problem can be solved by changing the field F1 acting on S2 or adding another field F2 in addition to F1. Based on this concept, a new fluorination system making use of gravity was suggested. Gravity could take the fluorine gas up to each plastic-bottle without complicating the system. Fluorine gas being 1.5 times heavier than air would provide additional help. The authors suggest placing showerhead injection ports at the top of the process reactor to generate better gas dynamics and hence uniform distribution as opposed to the earlier design where the ports were at the side of the gas chamber. Yang and Zhang  demonstrate the potential of TRIZ in process improvement by modifying an ampoule sealing process. In the existing manufacturing process, a burner is used to seal ampoules containing drugs. However, there exists a possibility of the flame overheating the drug inside the ampoule leading to its degradation. This not only renders the product unsafe for consumer use but is also against legal standards. In TRIZ terms, the contradiction statement can be expressed as: As manufacturability (32) of the sealing process increases (improving factor), the stability (13) of the drug contained inside the ampoule decreases (worsening factor). The contradiction matrix recommends the following design principles: beforehand cushioning (11), other way round (13) and Segmentation (1). The problem can also be expressed in terms of a physical contradiction as: greater heat is required for better seal of the ampoule but at the same time, no heat is desired for the stability of the drug. A solution has been suggested for this problem by combining the separation in space principle and segmentation (1). The process setup is modified as shown
in Figure 7. The part of the ampoule containing the drug is kept immersed in water while the burner seals its ends.
2.3 TRIZ applications in Manufacturing Systems Supply chain management is a systems approach in manufacturing. Stratton and Warburton  discuss a case-study where TRIZ principles are used for development of responsive and efficient supply chains. Any manufacturing enterprise always encounters the following physical contradiction: More goods should be manufactured to prevent loss of sales; however, fewer goods should be manufactured in order to prevent obsolescence in case the product does not pick up in the market. The authors use the separation principles to solve this problem for an enterprise manufacturing fashion ski wear - Sports Obermeyer. The primary problem faced by the manufacturer was that they would commit to production in October but receive their sales feedback in February. Separation in time principle was applied to change their supply chain focus from efficiency of production to speed of response. They separated out early and late production runs based on the predicted level of uncertainty and were ready to respond with top-up orders once demand levels could be established in February. In this way, the balance between efficiency and responsiveness was improved by separating out the supply of product lines over time. Now, the early production runs were efficiency focused and the later top-up orders were delivery speed focused, in response to customer sales data . Skinner  and Hill  promoted separation of different business requirements taking a note of the fact that different products perform differently in the market based of their functionality. They suggest that the concept of group technology (GT) and flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) evolved from the separation in space principle. They put forth a case where the decision to outsource fashion sportswear manufacture from the USA to Honduras reduced the cost of manufacture, but had a detrimental effect on critical market response. The conflict was eventually resolved by separating out the requirements in time and space. Honduras provided low cost early supply, while the orders were completed once sales demand at the start of the sales season had been determined . Table 1 summarizes all the applications of TRIZ reviewed in Section 2. 3. CONCLUSION A review of TRIZ applications shows that TRIZ has tremendous potential for solving real industrial problems in the manufacturing sector. However, it is seen that most of the applications focus on improving product design or manufacturing processes.
Figure 7. Modified Setup for Ampoule sealing (adapted from Yang and Zhang, 2000) Cavallucci et al.  applied TRIZ to improve a bottle-filling process. The existing methodology of inserting a nozzle-head into the bottle opening for water filling and level gauging was fast but resulted into water contamination. The sudden pressure also caused warping of the bottle resulting into inconsistency in levels of water. Following is a contradiction statement for the problem: As the speed (9) of filling the bottle with water increases (improving factor), harmful factors acting on the object (30) (contamination of water and warping of the bottle) increase (worsening factor). Contradiction matrix suggests the following design principles: segmentation (1), replace a mechanical system (28), physical or chemical properties (35) and feedback (23). Based on segmentation, the concept of splitting up the main tank into two parts was suggested. This would allow for storage of same volume of water but lesser pressure while filling. Based on the principle of replacing a mechanical system, an acoustic feedback system could be used which would detect the water level based on the amplitude and frequency of water drops. Alternatively, an optical detection system could be used. Based upon the principle of physical or chemical properties, the nozzle could be chemically sterilized so as to avoid water contamination. As seen in the above examples, TRIZ has been successfully applied to enhance manufacturing processes. A bigger challenge, however, lies in improving manufacturing systems which involves more factors in addition to product design and manufacturing processes. Decisions about a system can change the position of the entire enterprise. The following subsection establishes the usefulness of TRIZ in solving problems at the systems level also.
Table 1. Summary of the review of manufacturing related applications of TRIZ
TRIZ System for Design Problem
Design of a 500 passenger supersonic air plane (Stratton and Mann, 2003)
TRIZ System for Problem Solution
(1) Contradiction Matrix (2) Separation Principles
• (15) Dynamism (10) Preliminary Action (26) Copying • Separation in Time • (1) Segmentation (4) Asymmetry (14) Spheriodality (31) Porosity • Class II and III Condensed Standards • (1) Segmentation (32) Optical changes (17) Dimensionality change (28) Replacing a mechanical system • Class I Condensed Standards • (3) Local Quality (11) Previously placed pillow (10) Preliminary action (32) Optical changes • Separation in space
(1) Technical Contradictions (2) Physical Contradictions
Variable Wing Geometry – perform as boosters during take-off and maneuvers while flying. Use of magnets, electromagnets or magnetic fluid for sealing for three designs illustrated in Tsai et al, 2004 (1) Two-piece assembly (2) Three-dimensional web (3) Strengthening hollow rim with a high viscosity substance like foam for energy dissipation (1) Making the antenna out of Plastic and coating the reflector surface with a metal (2) Properly designed rib/web to reduce the material volume but maintain stiffness. Making use of gravity to induce uniformity into the fluorination process by placing gas port on the top.
Design of a metal seated ball valve mechanism (Tsai et al., 2004)
(1) Technical Contradictions (2) Su-Field Analysis
(1) Contradiction Matrix (2) 76 Standard Solutions
Design for Manufacturing
Designing of motorscooter wheel using Plastics (Cascini and Rissone, 2004) (1) Technical Contradictions (2) Su- Field Analysis (1) Contradiction Matrix (2) 76 Standard Solutions
Design of a Satellite Antenna (Bariani et al., 2004)
(1) Technical Contradictions (2) Physical Contradictions
(1) Contradiction Matrix (2) Separation Principles
Improvement of Fluorination Process (Monplaisir et al, 1998)
(1) Physical Contradiction (2) Su-Field Analysis
(1) 76 Standard Solutions
• Class II Condensed Standards
Improvement of the Ampoule sealing Process (Yang and Zhang, 2000)
(1) Technical Contradiction (2) Physical Contradiction
(1) Contradiction Matrix (2) Separation Principle
• (11) Previously placed pillow (13) Other way round (1) Segmentation • Separation in Space
Keeping the part of ampoule containing drug, immersed in water while sealing its ends with a burner.
Improvement in bottlefilling Process (Cavallucci et al, 2002)
(1) Technical Contradiction
(1) Contradiction Matrix
• (1) Segmentation (28) Replace a mechanical system (35) Physical or Chemical Properties (23) Feedback
(1) Splitting the main tank into two smaller tanks to reduce water pressure (2) Use acoustics or optical level gauging system instead of physical contact. (3) Chemical sterilized Nozzle Supply chain focus shifted from efficiency of production to speed of response. Early runs will be production focused and later orders will be delivery speed focused. The machine setups can be designed according to the part family designs. Batches of different families can be manufactured in the same cell.
Modifying Supply Chain Management for an Fashion Apparel Manufacturer (Stratton and Warburton, 2002)
(1) Physical Contradiction
(1) Separation Principle
(1) Separation in Time
Principle of FMS and GT
(1) Physical Contradiction
(1) Separation Principle
(1) Separation in Space (2) Separation in Time
Application of TRIZ for solving system related problems has been very limited. This can be attributed to the fact that system problems are much more complex in nature than problems related to product design or manufacturing processes. Systems problems in fact consist of more than one inter-related problem. In spite of its innovativeness TRIZ falls short in some aspects. For example, TRIZ proposes defining any problem in terms of a physical or technical contradiction, which may not always be feasible in case of complex multi-layered problems. Therefore, it might be a better option to use it concurrently with some other problem solving tool which mainly focuses on problem definition and analysis. Such a concurrent approach might yield better and efficient solutions for complex problems . Axiomatic Design (AD) is a problem solving tool which fits the bill. AD has the capability to systematically define and breakdown the main problem and to analyze effectiveness of the solution in terms of satisfying its two axioms – independence and information axioms. AD guidelines concentrate more on problem definition rather than solution generation. Although creating and optimizing solutions is a step in the AD methodology, it does not propose any specific techniques for generating accurate and efficient solutions. TRIZ can be used for this purpose. Thus, the following concurrent approach is proposed for solving complex problems. AD should be used to define and analyze the problem. At every branch of the hierarchy developed by AD, TRIZ should be applied to define the specific problem in terms of its contradictions. Based on principles suggested by TRIZ, brainstorming technique should be used to generate potential innovative concepts. Further, a suitable concept selection method (CSM) from engineering design literature should be applied to select the best concept. Engineering knowledge can then be applied to convert the potential concept into an actual solution.
4. REFERENCES  R. Jugulum, and M. Sefik, “Building a Robust Manufacturing Strategy”, Computers and Industrial Engineering, 35(1/2), pp. 225-228, 1998.  http://www.triz.org/triz.htm. Viewed on 1/10/2006  L. Monplaisir, R. Jugulum, and M. Mian, “Application of TRIZ and Taguchi Methods: Two Case Examples”, Proceedings of the Taguchi Methods Conference, 4th Total Product Development Symposium, 1998, www.triz-journal.com.  E. Domb, and J. Kowalick, “Applying TRIZ to develop new designs for the future of the airbag”, SAE Special Publications: Airbag Technology, 1333, pp. 65-71, 1998
 W. Skinner, “Manufacturing-missing link in corporate strategy”, HBR, Harvard University, pp. 136–145, 1969.  R. Stratton, and D. Mann, “Systematic Innovation and the underlying principles behind TOC and TRIZ”, Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 139(1/3), pp. 120–126, 2003.  C. C. Tsai, C. Y. Chang, and Tseng, C. H., “Optimal design of metal seated ball valve mechanism”, Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 26(3/4), pp. 249–255, 2004.  G. Cascini, and P. Rissone, “Plastics design: integrating TRIZ creativity and semantic knowledge portals”, Journal of Engineering Design, 15(4),pp. 405–424, 2004.  P. F. Bariani, G. A. Berti, and G. Lucchetta, “A combined DFMA and TRIZ approach to the simplification of product structure”, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 218(8), pp. 1023-1027, 2004.  K. Yang, and H. Zhang, “Compatibility Analysis and Case Studies of Axiomatic Design and TRIZ”, The TRIZ Journal, 2000, www.triz-journal.com.  D. Cavallucci, P. Lutz, and F. Thiebaud, “Methodology for bringing the intuitive design method’s framework into design activities”, Proceedings of Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 216(9), pp. 1303-1307, 2002.  R. Stratton, and R. D. H. Warburton, “The strategic integration of agile and lean supply”, International Journal of Production Economics, 85(2), pp. 183-198, 2003.  T. Hill, Manufacturing Strategy—Text and Cases, Palgrave, UK, 2000.  J. Hipple, “The Integration of TRIZ Problem Solving Techniques with other Problem Solving and Assessment Tools”, The TRIZ Journal, 2003, www.trizjournal.com.
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