Van Buren, Township, MI
Human factors and ergonomics is the area of science relating to the relationship between workers, their work place environment, and the equipment used to perform their jobs. This can be as simple as how a person interacts with a PC or as complex as how an automobile assembly worker inserts seats into a car on an assembly line. There are some inherent contradictions involved in the design of such equipment such as displaying of needed information and the mental overload created by the display of too much information. There is the concern about making a pill bottle easily accessible to elderly arthritics and totally inaccessible to young children. These types of contradictions will increase as our population increases and the needs of an elderly population differ from that of a more agile younger population.
TRIZ uses the resolution of contradictions as a key problem solving principle. The various tools and principles used in TRIZ to resolve contradictions can be grouped in many different ways. Two of the most common are separation principles and more specific inventive principles, frequently referred to as “40 Principles”. There have been a number of 40 Principles lists developed over the years, demonstrating the robustness of the original basics of TRIZ: the resolution of design and engineering contradictions. These have included "40 Principles for Architecture", 40 Principles for Food Processing, “40 Principles for Chemical Engineering”, and others. All of these have grouped examples of the application of the TRIZ 40 Principles to a different area of business or technology and continue to demonstrate the robustness of these basic principles as a starting point for simple problem solving. It is possible to group the 40 Principles of TRIZ underneath the broader “separation principles” related to time, space, condition, and parts/whole or system/super-system1. The TRIZ 40 Principles are normally considered when a system is considered to have two different parameters in conflict with each other while the separation principles are normally considered when the contradiction can be condensed into one parameter in conflict with itself. Either approach can yield new thoughts about how to redesign products to improve the human interface.