Laboratory " Ukraine TRIZ-education"
analysis of the initial situation and the choice of the direction of solving of
the problem is the hardest part of solving technical problems. Algorithm of G.
S. Altshuller - ARIZ-85B offers to start looking to the solution from the
"lowest (minimal) level" - through changing of the subsystem.
In this instance, the choice of the solution is already set on the first step
ARIZ-85B, but the existing rules of analysis don't allow for the possibility of
making a clear choice.
following work it is shown that during the analysis of the problem situation,
choice of solution of the problem being solved is set by formulating of the
requirements of the system, determining the Primary Function of system, choosing the
Principle of Operation of the system and elements, that create the system
effect and guarantee execution of the Primary
the analysis of a problem situation, choosing the level of the problem being
solved is founded on formulating the requirements of the system, defining the Primary Function of the system, choosing the Principle
of Operation system and elements, which create the system effect and guarantee
execution of the Primary Function.
the analysis of the problem situation and search for the solution using the ARIZ-85B
algorithm, the main goal of the first part is defined as "going from vague
(ill-defined) invention situation to a clear-cut
(distinct) built and maximum simple scheme of the
problem". The emphasis is on solving the mini-problem, when
"everything is leaving unchanged or simplifies" (1), where
"everything" means only the Primary
Function of the
system and the composition of the system: the set of the elements that creates
the system effect and allows for the realization of the established Principle of Operation.
solving of practically every problem formulated as mini-problem, leads with few
rare exceptions to changing the composition of the system, including the
operating organ, which in turn often leads to changing the Principle of
Operation of the system -- that is, it leads to solving Maxi-problem of different levels. At
the same time the question is still open: on which stage of solving and how
does this 'transition' happen?
presumed, that the selection of the solution is already set on the first step
of ARIZ-85B -- during the analysis of the initial situation, but under the
existing rules of analysis making the exact choice is impossible. In the
algorithm AVIZ-2000\p\ (2) under the analysis of the initial situation three parts are allotted, although even they don't
allow for choosing the level of the problem being solved, which can be clearly
seen on the examples.
while solving the problem #3 "Painting the product":
the product> is specified as the Primary
although the float with contacts is only necessary for turning the pump on and
composition of the system and the principle of it's action is not specified;
overflow of paint from the bath is for some reason considered an element of
solving the main function (2, c.40).
offered solutions have a various level as well:
outwardly simple "The incoming stream of the paint removes a layer of dry
pigment itself from the surface of the float",
a whole row of alternatives (in which the float doesn't exist at all),
changing of the way the detail is suspended, using Archimedes's law.
experience of solving a whole row of problems allows presuming that that level
of changes, which will be necessary to input in the system, can already be
identified on the first stage of analysis of the situation during the
formulation of the Primary Function of system, it's the
Principle of Operation and, accordingly, composition of elements.
show this on an example of analysis of the previously mentioned "Painting
the product" problem. Briefly, the essence of the problem is the
following: the pipeline with the detail lowers over the bath with paint and
sinks the detail into the bath with paint. In order to compensate of an expense
of paint a pump is installed for replenishment. The control over the pump
is carried out by the float, which through the lever acts on the contacts.
However the paint sticks to the float, and it becomes heavier and sinks, not
switching the pump off at the maximum level of paint. What do we do?
The solution of any problem on modernization of the
system starts (Step 1 ASPS -- Algorithm of Solving of Problem Situations) with the analysis of
situation: formulating the Primary
Function of system,
it's Principle of Operation and identifying of the main elements (3). Here
there might be various options:
order for the level of the paint in the bath to fall within the range <no
more and no less>, it is necessary for the float to also swing
in that range exactly corresponding with the level of paint. If this condition
is met, the system will function normally and will guarantee the necessary
level being supported through timely switch on and off of the pump. Then the
Step 1 can be formulated as:
Technical system for IDENTIFYING of the maximum and minimum levels of paint in
the bath through IDENTIFYING the position of the float consists of the bath,
paint, float, switch, and contacts relay.
b) The Primary Function, it's Principle of Operation
and the composition of the system can be viewed somewhat more generally:
Technical system for SUPPORT of the necessary level of paint in the given range
in the bath through REPLENISHMENT BY THE PUMP
consists of the bath, barrel of paint, float, contacts relay, pump, and
Technical system for SUPPORT of the necessary level of paint in given range in
the bath through it being FED into the bath consists of the bath, barrel of
paint, pump and pipes.
Technical system for COATING of the outward surface of the detail through
COMPLETELY SUBMERGING it in the paint consists of the pipeline, hook, detail,
and the bath with the paint.
the most general:
Technical system for COVERING of the outward surface of the detail through
COATING it with paint consists of the detail and the paint. (As indicated above,
this is exactly how the problem is formulated in (2).)
let's analyze, which possibilities are offered by each formulating, which
Harmful Effects appear with each variant, and which changes in the system are
necessary in order to guarantee it's functioning normally and avoid the
overflow of paint from the bath.
begin with the last variant -- the most
general. Expression < for COVERING of the outward surface of the detail
through COATING it with paint> doesn't say anything of the METHOD of covering with the paint. And there are several such methods. And it's completely
obvious, that if we will be painting the outside surface with, for example, a
pulverizer or a brush, then there will be no necessity in having a bath, and
the problem of supporting the level of paint would be eliminated. Although,
this solution calls for a serious negative effect:
necessity of changing all of the technology and rebuilding of the shop. This solution for the existing technology is on the
level of Higher-level system (Supersystem).
the outward surface of the detail through COMPLETELY SUBMERGING it into the
paint> (variant <d>) - one of the methods of painting the details,
also the simplest one. The Harmful Effect, which crops up here is clearly
specified in the situation: as the paint is used up the detail is not submerged
completely into the paint. A rather realistic problem appears: completely
submerge the detail into the paint depending on the level of paint. Changes,
which will become necessary, will mainly concern the pipeline and the bath.
"c" - in order to SUPPORT of the necessary level of paint in given
range in the bath through it being FED into the bath -- nothing is said about the WAY to
feed the paint. The simplest of them is letting paint flow
by gravity from the barrel, at the same time
the volume of the fed paint can be easily synchronized
with the speed of movement of the pipeline and the amount that's used up
to cover the detail. And even opening and closing of the barrel can be
controlled by the turning on and turning off of the pipeline... That way the
float is not even necessary... There are other ways...
'b' - < for SUPPORT of the given range of the necessary level of paint in
the bath through FEEDING BY THE PUMP> already necessitates, not touching the
pipeline and the detail, some kind of device for turning on and turning off of
the pipeline. The float here is ONE THE OF THE
AVAILABLE VARIANTS of such a device. The unreliability of such method of
turning on/off is the Harmful Effect.
variant 'a' the available solutions affect only contacting with each other
float and paint: here the Harmful Effect - the paint sticking to
the float and the change of it's weight, which leads to the false shorting of
the contacts and turning off of the pump.
alternative ways of formulating the Step 1 define the levels of possible
changes and, hence, the hierarchy of problems. The conducted analysis shows
that already on the first stage of analysis of the situation the choice of the
Primary Function of the system, it's the Principle
of Operation and, accordingly, its composition
decides that level of changes that will become necessary to introduce to the
system in order to eliminate the occurring of the Harmful
changes, which touch only the subsystem (for each given system), are minimal,
in this case the system <doesn't notice> them and the Principle of it's
Operation is not changed. Therefore it's better, having analyzed the situation
and having discovered the hierarchy of the problems, to start at the lowest
level. And only having made sure that all of the resources of the elements are
used and that the system has reached it's limitations to go to the higher level
and change the existing Principle of Operation.
sum up the analysis.
variant 'a', the Primary Function is declared as the determining of the level
of paint, and the Principle of Operation is chosen to be the manipulation of
the float on the contacts through the lever. Therefore in each of the possible
solutions the float and the lever for switching of the contacts are left. In
order to introduce these solutions, it's necessary to complete minimal changes.
These changes incidentally, under the classification of G. S. Altshuller, make
up the group of solutions of the first level.
scenario <b>, the Primary Function is declared as the support of the
necessary level of paint inside the given range, and the Principle of Operation
-- is the method: through FEEDING IT BY THE PUMP. Here the changes will be more
crucial. They will not touch the Principle of
Operation system -- it's turning on of the pump with the help of contacts, but
they will change the method of manipulate the
contacts (solution of second level).
variant <c> a new system is synthesized, the Primary Function of which is
to guarantee support of the necessary level of paint, while the method of
feeding of paint is declared generally -- by a
pump. Therefore, it will be necessary to find the Principle of Operation for
the whole system of control. When the problem is stated like this, the
auxiliary function is done not only by the
float and the contacts, but also by the pump. Theoretically this is a solution
of the third level, but the scale of the problem being solved is closer to the
variant <d> offers in essence the Principle of Operation of the system
(completely submerging the detail into the paint), which guarantees the
realization of the Primary Function -- covering the outward surface. Here the
support of the necessary level of paint in the bath is viewed as the problem,
which has to be solved in order for the Primary Function to be carried out the
best possible way. As a whole, the solution of this problem is on the third
<e> defines the necessity -- protect the outward surface of the detail --
and poses the problem (formulates the Primary
Function) in the most general form: through coating the detail with paint. And
the problems appear when we choose the Principle of Operation of this system
and start choosing the elements, which guarantee the carrying out of the
Primary Function. The level of solution -- third or fourth -- will depend on
the choice of the Principle of Operation.
choice of level of the problem being solved (including in the time of the
synthesis of the new system), therefore is already set:
formulation the requirements of the system and the Primary Function, which
realizes this need?
choosing the Principle of Operation of the system and elements, which while
carrying out the auxiliary functions create the system effect and guarantee the
realization of the Primary Function of the whole system
Альтшуллер Г.С. Найти идею. Введение в теорию решения изобретательских задач. - Новосибирск:
Наука, 1986. - 209с.
Иванов Г.И., Быстрицкий А.А..
Формулирование творческих задач. - Челябинск: Институт ТРИЗ, 2000. - 60с.
Меерович М.И., Шрагина Л.И.
Основы культуры мышления. - М.: Школьные технологии, №5, 1997. - 200с.
Mark Meerovich born in 1941
TRIZ Expert (18 years experience).
Master of TRIZ (qualified by Genrich
Altshuller). Master of Science in Engineering.
Professor (logistics, project management) at the
ChOUEHS, Odessa, Ukraine and leader of the Scientific-practical Laboratory
"Ukraine TRIZ-education" (ChOUEHS, Odessa, Ukraine).
TRIZ experience: 18 years experience in problem solving management (research problem,
manufactures problems, management problems etc.). Large experience in TRIZ
education (more than 80 seminars). Former students: engineers, researchers, managers,
children, and schoolteachers.
Area of scientific interests: Technology of forming creative thinking and
"Cutting-edge pedagogic" that develops characteristic of a creative
individual in students.
More than 20 publications and 3 books (on technology
of developing of creative thinking).