The Seventy-six Standard Solutions, with Examples-Class 3

John Terninko,
Ellen Domb,
Joe Miller,


The “76 Standard Solutions” of TRIZ were compiled by G.S. Altshuller and his associates between 1975 and1985. They are grouped into 5 large categories or classes as follows:

Improving the system with no or little change    13 standard solutions
Improving the system by changing the system    23 standard solutions
System transitions    6 standard solutions
Detection and measurement    17 standard solutions
Strategies for simplification and improvement    17 standard solutions


 76 standard solutions

(References 1-5)

This series of articles began in the February, 2000, issue of the TRIZ Journal, with a tutorial article and the Class 1 problems and solutions. Class 2 appeared in the March, 2000, TRIZ Journal. The references are all in the Class 1 article.

Typically, the 76 standard solutions are used as a step in ARIZ, after the Su-field model has been developed and any constraints on the solution have been identified. The model and the constraints are used to identify the class and the specific solution. It is useful to view the Su-field model as the zone of interest as used in ARIZ. As in other TRIZ instructional material, examples are used to show the application of the standard solution to a wide variety of problems from many fields.

Class 3.  System Transitions

3.1. Transition to the Bi- and Poly-Systems

3.1.1. System Transition 1a: Creating the Bi- and Poly-Systems.  Examples:

To transport thin sheets of glass, form a block by stacking several sheets of glass, using oil as a temporary adhesive.

For ease of handling several layers of cloth are cut to pattern at the same time

Improve  liquid filtration is by increasing the surface area of the filter by  passing fluid through many mico-tubes in parallel.

An array of LEDs is used in traffic light and signs.  Each LED is its own system.

LCD panels in notebook computers have three colors of variable intensity for each pixel.

Hydroelectric dams have multiple gates and generators.

3.1.2. Improving Links in the Bi- and Poly-Systems.  Examples:

Multi-chambered submersible vessels control descent by flooding chambers which are linked to control trimming and ballast for diving and ascending.

For all wheel drive, the differential/transaxle in the in rear/front of are strongly linked and dynamically linked.

Video/audio recording system.  The video and  audio tracks must be coordinated in the recording.  This was difficult in analog cameras, and is automatic in digital cameras.

Traffic lights at complex intersections require timing based upon the dynamic input of the traffic flow data.

Float and ramp system at a marina.  The docks rise and fall with the tides while the ramps automatically change the slope from land to dock.

3.1.3. System Transition 1b: Increasing the Differences Between Elements. Examples:

Staple gun which has multiple sizes of staple and control of penetration depth.  By adding a staple remover we have more useful tool for easy correction errors.

Duplicating machine which copies with different scales, different media (paper, vellum, transparency) and can staple, collate, bind, and use different stock in different parts of the document.

One instrument combines a stylus for writing on an electronic screen and a ball point pen.   More functions could be added such as an eraser, pencil, etc.

Polarized eyeglasses have two layers of glass, with a thin film polarizing material sandwiched between.  The glass may be prescription or plain,  and change color as a function of the light intensity.

3.1.4. Simplification of the Bi- and Poly-Systems. Examples:

Home stereo for new level of mono-system has a variety of audio devices using common speaker in single container.

The duplicating machine (see 3.1.3) has become a document production machine which is a higher level or supersystem for the original function.  This new mono-system then becomes a new poly-system by adding the functions of FAX, printing, and scanning.  This is then a new mono-system at a higher level possibly called electronic document distribution.  By adding postal mail and  voice mail transcription we have information networking as the new higher level mono-system.

Modern camera integrates auto focus, zoom, flash, auto exposure, film loading and unloading, and film speed recognition is a new mono-system, compared to older cameras where each function had separate controls and required separate actions.

The automobile’s functions of transportation, climate control, and entertainment have been combined into one mono-system in today’s luxury cars.  In economy cars, one still sees the poly-system of 3.1.3; that is, the functions are there but each is managed separately.

3.1.5. System Transition 1c: Opposite Features of the Whole and Parts. Examples:

Tent poles and walking sticks are rigid and long while the components are short

            Bicycle chain has rigid components which create a flexible system when linked

Individual one-celled algae have short lives, but the colony lives forever.   Likewise, individual bees live one season, but the colony lives for many years.

3.2. Transition to the Micro-Level

3.2.1. System Transition 2: Transition to the Micro-Level. Examples:

Geared transmissions have progressed from finite, using notched wheels,  to infinitely fine, by using the movement of oil for energy transfer.

In the Pilkington process, rollers for moving glass have been replaced by molten tin, to provide a much smoother surface.

The history of all parts of the computer industry show this trend:

Printers go from 9 pin dot matrix to 24 pin dot matrix to 100 dots/inch ink jets or laser jets, to 1200 dots per inch (in cheap consumer printers) and higher (several thousand dots per inch in commercial printers.

Logic has gone in 40 years from vacuum tubes to individual transistors to crude integrated circuits, to “Moore’s law” (the density of transistors on a chip doubles approximately every 18 months.)   Moore’s law has been valid over 9 generations of silicon logic and memory chips!

            The music industry likewise shows this trend:

Wax phonograph records with grooves were replaced by shellac LP’s with much finer grooves, which were replaced by CD’s with optical markings, which are now being replaced by MP3 devices with information transmitted digitally, and sound clarity independent of the size of the mark.


Note of Gratitude:
Our thanks go to Zinovy Royzen for sharing his method of Su-field modeling called TOP modeling.  See  “Tool, Object, Product (TOP) Function Analysis” in the September, 1999, issue of The TRIZ Journal,