Once again on honest real-time records of step-by-step problems solving by TRIZ

No sooner I rebuked TRIZ-journal and the authors of TRIZ books for publishing anything but records of step-by-step execution of TRIZ algorithms in the course of the real problem solving, than some of the contributors to TRIZ-journal started submitting their records to Anti TRIZ-journal *. As could be expected, the records fell into the category of solving problems with the help of contradiction matrix:

I have to tell that the submitted records mention 3 steps only: 1, 3 and 7. The authors were unable to discern other steps in what they wrote. And this makes me to think that they simply retroactively made up the way to their solutions to make them to look as if they were attained by TRIZ.

But anyway, the above extension of the well known 3 step TRIZ procedure could indeed be used to produce incremental improvements to the known solutions, especially when subprinciples of a principle are sorted by strength. For example, principle #38 (Use of Strong Oxidants) has the following subprinciples:

  1. Replace common air with oxygen-enriched air;
  2. Replace oxygen-enriched air with pure oxygen;
  3. Replace pure oxygen with ionized oxygen;
  4. Replace ionized oxygen with ozone.
Obviously, each subsequent subprinciple is stronger than its predecessor. No wonder that if patent search discovers a solution based on one of them (say, on the use of pure oxygen), then it can easily be improved by applying the next subprinciple (e.g. substituting pure oxygen by ionized oxygen).

TRIZ is undoubtedly capable of guiding problem solver to such incremental improvements based on substituting an employed subprinciple by another one, especially when they are sorted by strength What is missing in TRIZ literature, however, is articulating the role which patent search plays in making TRIZ schemes to work even in these cases. Its formulas alone are not enough. Only after patents are searched, prototypes are identified and associated with the corresponding TRIZ formulas the opportunity arises to apply similar TRIZ formulas that were not utilized yet to obtain a better solution.

Unfortunately, I have not seen yet trustworthy records of solving problems by TRIZ even in these cases. I am still looking forward to receiving them.

* One of the submissions (by Prof. Sreebalaji et al.) published in this issue after the authors revised their manuscript to answer the reviewer's questions.