Chapter 4
Concept Development


The laws and lines of technological system evolution are very helpful in identifying high-potential directions for invention. An ideal result from the second phase of the TechNav process, Determination of Strategic Opportunities (Figure 3.3) would be identification of both the physics of the next-generation system and all of the system's components. However, such an outcome is rare, for these laws and lines do not by themselves produce specific concepts of next-generation technologies. Two other outcomes are much more typical:

1. The physics of the systems functioning and some of the systems' components are identified. Identification of the missing components requires the resolution of certain system conflicts.

2. A high-potential direction for the systems' evolution is recognized. Both the physics and the structure of the next-generation system are yet to be specified.

With respect to the first of these typical outcomes, the initial step in the transition from one evolutionary stage to the next often creates system conflicts. The next-generation invention cannot be fully developed unless these system conflicts are resolved. In this chapter we describe methods of concept development, the third phase in Figure 3.3. (The fourth phase, Concept Selection, will be described in the next chapter.)

In Chapter 3, we briefly touched on the development of next-generation coffee brewers. These products belong to a family of drink-dispensing apparatuses. Most commercially available drink-dispensing apparatuses serve one type of drink: coffee or tea, or soup, etc. Application of the Law of Transition to a Higher-Level System to any of these single-drink machines would lead to, among other ideas, the concept of a multifunctional drink-dispensing device. Such a product should easily adapt itself to preparation of various drinks such as coffees, teas, cocoa, soups, juices, and baby formulae. A few years ago brewers that serve various drinks were developed and successfully marketed.

  • Functions
  • Actions
  • The Ideal Technological System
  • System-Conflict Diagrams
  • Resolving System Conflicts
  • Resolving System Conflicts: Elimination of the Conflicting Components
  • Ideality Tactic 1
  • Ideality Tactic 2
  • Ideality Tactic 3
  • Resolving System Conflicts: Changing the Conflicting Components
  • Separation of Opposite States In Time—Soldering
  • Separation of Opposite Properties In Time—Paper Feeder
  • Separation of Opposite Properties In Space
  • Separation of Opposite Properties Between the Whole and Its Parts
  • Resolving System Conflict: Eliminating the Harmful Actions
  • Resolving System Conflicts—Conclusion
  • The Basic Technological System: the Substance-Field Model
  • Sufield—Basic Concept
  • Sufields—Further Development
  • Using Sufields to Innovate
  • Structural Changes to Sufield Diagram
  • Changes to Fields
  • Changes to Substances
  • Types of Applications or Objectives
  • Standards For Sufield Transformation
  • Retard Roll
  • Take-away Rolls
  • Summary of Sufields
  • The Algorithm for Inventive Problem Solving
  • Problem formulation
  • Breaking psychological inertia
  • Combining the powers of various tools of TRIZ
  • Putting It All Together: an Example
  • Log Debarking—Resolving a System Conflict
  • Novel Peristaltic Pump—Identifying a New Physics
  • Summary

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