By Ik Cheol Kim
Often, when the use of a new methodology is about to begin there exist antagonistic feelings. TRIZ is no exception. Whenever TRIZ is launched into a company or an institute, some offensively question its introduction. This paper focuses specifically on whether or not TRIZ can be useful for analyzing results and generating new product development. To verify this claim, the author describes his invention of a new type of ink jet printer head using TRIZ.
The author has introduced TRIZ to more than 5,000 people working at Samsung, Hyundai, Hynix and POSCO to name a few. Most people like TRIZ, but some people refuse TRIZ. The author has been faced by many offensive questions about TRIZ from students and clients – the questions always have been the same. They have not started to ask new questions in ten years.
Company A wanted to develop an ink jet printer business. To compete with other companies as a newcomer, it needed to avoid the patent claims of other companies. Its research center was tasked with developing the structure of a new ink jet printer.
To determine the object of the R&D project, a survey of the preceding patents is required. In this case, more than 1,000 preceding patents were uncovered. Usually one person can read 20 or 30 patent per day so a lot of time would be needed to analyze the 1,000 found patents. And there was no guarantee such an analysis would lead to an answer.
The author instead recommended a new way of developing the ink jet printer head. But the project owner refused the proposal saying that the development of new concepts requires too much time and money.
To show the project owner's error, the author decided to develop the new type of ink jet printer head as shown in Figure 1.
Problem regulation: The first step was to research the previous patents and study the existing five types of ink jet printer heads.
The ink jet printer head is, thus, defined as a device for liquid injection. The next step was to transform this problem into a standard problem; change the problem of the ink jet printer into a problem of liquid in a pipe.
Define function: How many methods exist for injecting liquid into a pipe? Usually two methods are possible: push or pull, as shown in Figure 3. How many ways can a liquid be pushed or pulled? Brainstorming initially suggested the following options:
The next step was to survey the function and attribute of the moving liquid in pipe. The distance between the paper and the printer's head is short – it is only a few millimeters. The size of an ink droplet is extremely small – a pico liter. That means the ink droplets must travel a relatively long distance; injection pressure must be high to push the ink and have a fast operating time to inject the ink quickly.
Use TRIZ effects: Using a software tool, the author developed an initial list of 221 effects and samples. A winnowed-down list of 45 follows: acoustic cavitation, acoustic vibrations, Archimedes' principle, Bernoulli's theorem, boiling, brush construction, capillary condensation, capillary evaporation, capillary pressure, Coanda effect, condensation, Coulomb's law, deformation, electric discharge, electro-capillary effect, electrocosmosis, electrophoresis, electrostatic induction, ellipse, evaporation, ferro-magnetism, forced oscillations, funnel effect, inertia, ion exchange, jet flow, Lorentz force, magneto-striction, mechano-caloric effect, osmosis, Pascal's law, resonance, shock wave, spiral, super thermal conductivity, super-fluidity, surface tension, thermal expansion of substance, thermo-capillary effect, thermo-mechanical effect, ultrasonic capillary effect, ultrasonic vibrations, use of foam and wetting.
Generate concepts: Using the 45 effects, the author generated concepts for a new ink jet printer head.
Evaluate concept: The author selected the most adaptive principle for a new ink jet printer head from the aforementioned 45 options – electric discharge.
Apply patent: Using selected concept, the author invented a new ink jet printer head and filed a patent based on the following claims.
This invention is a device for an ink jet printer head. A high voltage discharge in the liquid creates a high pressure that continuously injects ink. This printer head has a chamber of ink that contains symmetry electrode. When an electric current stored in a high voltage capacitor, flows, the flare of discharge breaks down the ink and ink is injected. This invention does not heat the ink, so there is little change to the ink; corresponding chamber damage from the high heat is weak.
|Table 1: Other Effects Examples|
|Voltage-driven image device||Image device with electric resistance change, not electron charging like CCD or CMOS|
|Multi-layer solar cell||Effective chemical solar cell with multi-layers|
|Magnetic piston air gun||Air gun piston driven by electromagnetic force|
|Energy conservation electric motor||Energy conservation circuit for electric motor with PDP conservation circuit|
|Flat panel display||Flat CRT driven by electromagnetic force|
The author proved the ability of TRIZ to develop other inventions as described in Table 1. These results show the effectiveness of TRIZ for development of new products.
The usefulness of TRIZ is real, not an assumption, as shown by its use in developing the new ink jet head. If students/clients have no first-hand experience with TRIZ, they are likely to question the usefulness of TRIZ. TRIZ teachers must take some responsibility for how TRIZ is taught – it may be being taught at too high a level for beginners. Or perhaps a teacher is only teaching theory and not application. TRIZ education must develop a new model for applying TRIZ easily to use for teaching.
Thanks to Dr. Wonsik Kim for kind comments and editing.
Note to readers: This article was first published as part of the proceedings for 2007's Third TRIZ Symposium in Japan.
In 1996, Kim began working with TRIZ after being taught by Khomenko, Royzen, A. Narbut, Zlotin and Shulak. Since 1998, Kim has taught, and consulted with, TRIZ at Samsung. He has achieved MATRIZ Level 3 and published three TRIZ-related books. Contact Ik Cheol Kim at freeickim (at) hanmail.net.