Green Dot

TRIZ is an acronym of the Russsian pharse “Teorija Rezbenija Izobretatelskib Zadach” In English this means ?Theory of inventive problem solving? As said earlier, the father of TRIZ is GENRICH ALSHULLER. Before even starting to know what is TRIZ, it is essential and interesting to know the dramatic background behind Altshuller’s theory. You will find thar it is very much interwoven with the personal life of its propounder , Altshuller.The early life of ltshuller forms the history of TRIZ.

History of TRIZ

Genrich Saulovich Altshuller was born on Oct.15 th 1926 , in Tashkent in the erstwhile USSR. He was a resident of Baku. The first evidence of his inventive ?genius? surfaced when he was awarded a patent for his invention of an underwater diving apparatus. When he was studying in the tenth standard, he built a boat with a rocket engine, which used carbide as fuel.When he was 20 years old , he developed a method to escape from an immobilized submarine without having the usual diving gear. In fact this method was immediately classified as “top secret”.Such Navy oriented inventions fetched him a job in the patent department of Navy. Here also he exhibited his inventive skills. The patent office in charge confronted him to find a solution for an imaginary problem of escape of a soldier trapped behind an enemy column without resources. As a solution to this problem , the ever ?inventive Altshuller came out with a dangerous chemical , which could be prepared from ordinary medical drugs. This invention brought him to the attention of the KGB.

During his tenure in the patent office, he had the opportunity to go through thousands of patents. It is this opportunity which made him realize that invention is not by chance. It had to e done ina more scientific way. But top his dismay he found no books on this aspect. Not only this he want to invent , but he also wanted to help those who invent.It was which made him to write a personal letter to comrade Stalin. He wrote to him about how the approach to invention and innovations were so very unorganized and unsatisfactory in the USSR. Further he added that it was possible for any engineer to be inventive and there was a theory for this.He did not get any reply for two years for this letter instead he was arrested in 1950 on charges of “inventor’s sabotage” he was considered as a revolutionary . He was interrogated day and night because he refused to sign a confession letter.Even this was a blessing in disguise to him. In order to survive the ordeals of prison, he used many of his theories on himself. He chose solitary confinement to had labour. In this period of imprisonment he came across many professors (who were also arrested) from whom he received considerable education.

After the death of Stalin, Atshuller was released in 1954. He returned back to Baku .He found that his mother had committed suicide.This has not deterred him. Atshuller once again started his analysis of parents world wide. He found that there is a ?method in the madness.? In 1961 he wrote his first book? How to invent? after writing several hundred times to the highest patent organisation of the USSR, asking for a chance to prove his theory, Atshuller finally got a chance in 1968. This was the first ever seminar on TRIZ. Many people got convinced about his methodology. In 1969 Atshuller wrote the book ?Algorithm for inventing? here he mentions about the famous 40 principles. Over the next 30 years TRIZ methods were being taught in schools, colleges, R& D organisations, military academics etc. But till late 80s, people outside USSR did not know TRIZ. Only after the socio-political changes that took place in early 1990,the western world knew TRIZ. TRIZ became an instant success in USA, UK, Japan,. France,Korea, Israel. In 1989, TRiz Association was founded with Altshuller as President . His works got translated into English , Japanese, Korean, Spanish Etc.

As mentioned earlier, Atshuller examined about two lakh patents and looked for clues or patterns for inventions. The result of his analysis made him to arrive at the formulation of TRIZ- the Technique of inventive problem solving.He found that all systems have many sub systems. For example computer is a system, which has m any subsystems like processor memory (RAM AND ROM), Speed, operating system etc. Atshuller was able to identify that as the evolution of a system takes place, one part or sub system of the main system becomes quite highly evolved (matured).This matured subsystem comes into conflict with some other weaker sub system, thus hampering any further evolution of the matured sub system.In case of computers we have not faced any major problem. As the processor developed from 4 bits to 32 bits, correspondingly and concurrently memory, speed and operating systems have also developed.But this is not the case with all. Let us take the case of automobiles. We have vehicles that can go at a speed of more than 150kms without any difficulty. But the conditions of the roads are a weaker subsystem. This will continue till better and broader roads are made. Then the effect of poorer traffic regulations, driving sense etc. will become more pronounced weaker subsystems. More efforts will go to these areas for bringing improvement. Thus , the innovation keep perpetuating and self-sustaining.

Based on analysis of 40000 patents where such contradictions had been resolved by the inventors, Altshuller proposed a set of 40 principles, which can be used for problem solving for a variety of problems. Initially most of these principles were confined to technical problems. But TRIZ enthusiasts of world over, have found their adaptability into managerial and service sectors also.Altshuller developed the TRIZ concept based on a number of concepts which form the pillars of TRIZ.

The 40 principles of TRIZ

  • Segmentation (Fragmentation)
  • Separation(taking out, Extracting)
  • Local quality
  • Symmetry Change(Asymmetry)
  • Merging
  • Multi functionality (universality)
  • Nested doll ( Nestiung, Matrushka)
  • Weight compensation(anti ?weight , counter weight)
  • Preliminary counteraction(Preliminary anti action)
  • Preliminary action(prior action, do it in advance_
  • Beforehand compensation(before hand cushioning, cushion in advance)
  • Equipotentiality (bring things to the same level)
  • The other way around(do it in reverse, do it inversely)
  • Curvature increase (spheroidality, spheroidality- Curvature)
  • Dynamic parts (Dynamicity, dynamization,dynamics)
  • Partial or excessive actions(do a little less)
  • Dimensional change (another dimension)
  • Mechanical vibration
  • Periodic action
  • Continuity of useful action
  • Hurrying (skipping, Rushing Through)
  • Blessing in disguise(convert harm into benefit)
  • Feedback
  • Intermediary(mediator)
  • Self- service
  • Copying
  • Cheap disposables
  • Mechanical interaction substitution (use of fields)
  • Pneumatic and hydraulics
  • Flexible shells and thin films
  • Porous materials
  • Optical property changes (changing the color)
  • Homogeneity
  • Discarding and recovering
  • Parameter Changes( transformation of properties)
  • Phase transitions
  • Thermal Expansion
  • Strong oxidants(accelerated oxidation)
  • inert atmosphere(inert environment)
  • composite materials