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Authors: Richard Platt (Strategy + Innovation Group LLC, USA), Sergei Ikovenko GEN3 Partners, USA, Joe Ficalora (Joe Ficalora Associates, USA)

Abstract: Speed and Profitability are cornerstones of manufacturing, the tools and methods used, define the ability to get competitive advantage.  Rapid proto-typing tools are an industry standard, however the advantages that these provide are now common place for many to use.  The true competitive advantage is gained when using these tools in new, unique and different ways than they have typically been used.

Understand a new set of methods and approaches simplifying the process and mitigating the risk all the while lowering product and process costs during the all critical NPI phases of manufacturing

The Challenges and Reality of Corporate Innovation Today:  If we take the position of being a corporate innovator, program manager, or champion today who is responsible for enabling the company that we work in, we and our colleagues are faced with some very difficult challenges.

  • There are multiple systematic innovation practitioners and methods all vying for our attention and hopeful use by us, we already know that TRIZ is a good tool but which is the best way to greatest value from it?
  • Innovation methods and tools are not always able to effectively address risk and uncertainty during the process of innovation, of course we can highlight the gaps but that does not help us to manage the risk during the development of the technologies and concepts. How are we to address that obstacle?
  • Some innovation methods are laborious and don’t pay off for the amount of time and effort required to use them to their completion (ARIZ). Yes we can get good solutions, but it does take a significant amount of time to do it.  Is this the most effective method for addressing tough problems?
  • In some cases competing innovation consultants speak poorly of others methods, or consultants and outright state that their method is superior to others, or that there innovation school is better than others, without showing demonstrable proof.  How are we to know which is better?
  • There is a Computer Aided Innovation (CAI) software package on the market today, arguably the leader in corporate innovation tools, that is extremely expensive in comparison to other tools, and yet still does not meet the needs of the majority of corporate innovation managers from the standpoint of users by being easy to use by all of the engineers in a company.  The software itself creates its own barrier to adoption and acceptance.

All of these issues make the challenge of being a corporate innovator or manager overwhelming with all of this competing and contradictory information and makes the job of being an engineer applying systematic innovation methods even harder to overcome through all of these barriers to adoption and acceptance.

It is from the research, experience and application in the corporate environment by the author that will provide corporate innovation program managers and engineers a better more effective approach to utilizing systematic innovation tools and innovating itself without being constrained by these limitations and issues.

Inside TRIZ

Quantifying the TRIZ Levels of Invention

Inside TRIZ


navneet bhushanQuantifying the TRIZ Levels of Invention

A tool to estimate the strength and life of a Patent

TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) classifies inventions into five novelty levels. At level 1 are slight modifications of the existing systems.  At level 2 are those inventions that resolve a system conflict or contradiction using usually inventive solution or inventive principle used to solve similar problems in other systems.    At level 3, the inventions change one subsystem or resolve the system conflicts in a fundamental way. At level 4, the invention gives birth to new systems using interdisciplinary approaches. The level 5 inventions are closer to a recently discovered scientific phenomenon. See article for a complete discussion.



TRIZ Features

Alexander Selutsky

TRIZ Feature

Alexander Selyutsky - a key figure in the history of TRIZ!

Alexander Selyutsky

Selyutsky Alexander Borisovich was born April 6, 1933 to an intelligent Jewish family residing in Leningrad. During the World War II the plant where his father was working was evacuated to the Urals, and the family (the parents and Alexander) moved to Chelyabinsk. Here, Alexander graduated from high school. He wanted to go to a military school, but didn’t pass vision test and entered the Chelyabinsk Polytechnic Institute. In his first year he was forced to learn boxing (because of frequent anti-Semitic attacks) and became a Komsomol activist.

After graduation, he was sent to Petrozavodsk Onega tractor plant, where he worked as a designer. He continued leading a very active social life, organized and led voluntary militia patrolling the streets of the city because the situation was very criminal. In the search for more satisfying work he became interested in patenting, completed appropriate courses and became a patent agent.

In 1960, Alexander married Dolly Naumovna Audleys, and had a daughter Alla in 1961. The same year G.S Altshuller published a book " “Learn how to invent"[1] . After reading this book in 1965 Selyutsky wrote a letter to Altshuller. This letter started their acquaintance by correspondence. Since then, Alexander became one of the most dedicated Altshuller’s disciples and an active promoter of the emerging new science.

They finally met in 1968 in Dzintary (near Riga), at the seminar organized by the Central Board of VOIR (state leading inventors’ and innovators’ society) that invited Altshuller and several of his associates. It was the first time that Alexander and others got a chance to work under the direct guidance of Altshuller and to learn from him. Later, in 1983, Alexander participated as one of the instructors in the seminar conducted by G.S. Altshuller in Moscow at the Institute for continuous education for chemical and petroleum industries.

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