Resources of systems as a source for problem statement. Feygenson Naum Borisovich


Feygenson Naum Borisovich


The present publication is aimed at problem statement. Stating the problem of intensive use of resources for the purpose of systems development is discussed. Such statement is often encountered in practice, but it is poorly covered in TRIZ developments.


Classic statements of inventive problems are reduced to the following. There is a disadvantage in a system that is a hindrance to system functioning. What's to be done? First the essence of this disadvantage is identified using different methodological tools and then the appropriate resource is found that is able to eliminate the source disadvantage or a disadvantage, which is associated with the source one. 

In practical situations quite different, almost opposite problem formulation is met very often. There is a resource in a system, but it is insufficiently utilized. What's to be done?  It has to be noted that such problem statement is encountered not only as applied to engineering systems.

We can present the following formulations of practically encountered problems for a more exhaustive utilization of resources as examples.

·           Pneumatic grinder with an extremely high rotation speed has been developed - instead of former record of 80 thousand rpm, its rotation speed is 230 thousand rpm. Are there any other application areas where such a unique grinder could be used? 

·           Мany branches of industry have accumulated enormous amounts of waste that contain a lot of incompletely utilized resources. These "wastes" are sporadically used as initial raw material. The situation around the problem of reprocessing incompletely utilized resources is characteristic both of "old" branches of industry and new actively developing ones (e.g. nuclear power industry). The completely closed cycle of functioning is implemented as yet only as applied to extreme conditions of manned spaceships.                

·           The employment of physical, geometric and other effects represents one of the types of problems. It is not clear, how and where benefit could be drawn from this resource. One of fresh examples is the so-called meta-materials with unusual properties of radiation diffraction.  

·           Widely encountered problems of constant update of manufactured products line and diversification of manufacturing are also in essence the problems of more complete utilization of resources.

The examples prove the abundance and importance of problems of intensifying the utilization of resources. In generalized sense TRIZ specialists solve the same problem of the best utilization of resource - a powerful intellectual potential is available, but it is very poorly utilized...

The following TRIZ tools could be named as the ones that are used for solving problems, which are so similar:

·           morphological analysis

·           ARIZ

·           methodology of search for supereffects

·           inverse value engineering analysis

·           function-oriented information search

·           fund of evolution alternatives according to B.Zlotin.

·          combination of analysis of supersystem trends and parametrical constraints [1]

Main disadvantages of tools that are used for solving the problem of intensifying the utilization of resources could be reduced to the following:

·           large volumes of work needed to search for ideas and evaluate them.

·           obtained result depends heavily upon the experience of problem-solver.

A key difference of a problem for intensifying the utilization of resources consists in aiming not at new solution for the problems, but at the search for new opportunities and problems associated with such opportunities. Hence it is more difficult to identify the borders of search than to eliminate a certain disadvantage.

It is important to note that even in case of obtaining a fruitful solution, the issues of its practical application still remain, especially in the areas that are remote from the sphere of interests of the problem-giver.

To vividly demonstrate the requirements to solving the problem of search for new opportunities for resource utilization, the author proposed the scheme of "completeness of innovation components" that shows the necessity for taking into account the evolutionary trends of several levels of supersystems.

Let us try to answer the following question - is it really needed to exhaust the system resources? Many engineering systems stop to develop at some point despite the availability of resources - their market niche is simply occupied by others systems. The so-called Dutch syndrome is known in economy, which is also called "growth leading to bankruptcy". This phenomenon implies that intensive and unbalanced development of one resource exerts decelerating influence upon the entire economy of a country. TRIZ specialists know that if systems are too "tightly" trimmed, they get more resistant to changes. Moreover, the availability of resources and skills for utilizing them creates psychological inertia. I think that everyone witnessed difficult situations, in which people or companies were doing things that they could do best, instead of doing things that were really needed.

Thus, in certain situations full and exhaustive utilization of resource leads to difficulties in the further development of systems.      

What seems to be important for further development of problems for intensification of resources utilization? A list of issues for the development (not exhaustive one) is given below:   

·           How to decide, whether it is worth solving the problem of intensifying the utilization of resources under particular conditions or not, isn't such statement of the problem false?   

·           Is it possible to single out the line of evolution of resource utilization - based on the analogy with already known lines of crushing, controllability enhancement, etc.? 

·           Is the proposed scheme of "completeness of innovation components" an all-purpose one?   

·           As it is known, a network of notions used in TRIZ is characterized by certain overlapping. Could it be that the proposed singling out of the problem for the utilization of resources is simply a "re-titling" (the term proposed by G.S.Altshuller) of such notions as insufficient coordination, non-identified supereffect, local and global ideality?    

The author thanks the readers in advance for fruitful criticisms and additions to this publication that is intended for problem statement. 


List of References

1    Feygenson N.B., Pavlov V.V. EXTENSION OF AREAS OF ENGINEERING SYSTEMS USE. IN: Collected papers read at the International conference "MATRIZ Fest 2005"   "Development of TRIZ: achievements, problems, and perspectives"