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1.10 Physical or Technical Contradiction Use the Separation rinciples or Matrix?

Aggiornamento: 8 nov 2021

Use the Separation Principles or Matrix?

Design of a Board Pointer –we want it long and short. This is a Physical Contradiction (not covered by the contradiction matrix – we have a black/blank box if we map length against length)we have to use the separation principles to solve a physical contradiction. Do we want it long and short at the same time? No – then it is a Separate in Time problem. How do we solve a Physical Contradiction of long and short (Separate in Time)? We apply the principles which solve separating the requirements in: 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26, 27, 29, 34, 37. (see article

Using the Contradiction Matrix to Solve the Physical Contradiction of the Board Pointer: Could we devise a Technical Contradiction for the board pointer in order to use the matrix? What do we want? Length. When? When pointing. When don’t we want it long? When transporting/ storing the pointer? Is length really what we don’t want? Or could we describe what we don’t want as something not big? Perhaps what we don’t want is a large volume or a large area rather than length. It can then be re-defined as a Technical Contradiction, allowing us to use the 39 engineering Technical Parameters and the Contradiction Matrix. This means defining our contradiction in terms that match the 39 Technical Parameters on the matrix. So if we look at the Board Pointer and decide that we want it long then the Technical Parameter is very obviously ‘length of stationary object’ . The Technical Parameter which gets worse could be area (or volume) of stationary object.

This offers Inventive Principles:

Principle No 7 – Nested doll is suggested by both physical and technical contradiction methods, which offers a powerful prompt for solving this problem. It is worth noting Principle No 17 – Another dimension is a solution idea for making something long and short such as shown by curly wire for telephones and electric razors.

Summary of Contradictions Contradictions:

whenever we invent, design or produce a system to give us outcomes we want then we also get outcomes we don’t want. There are two kinds of Contradictions – Physical Contradictions and Technical Contradictions. These outcomes can be opposites (Physical Contradiction): I want a big cup for cappuccino and a tiny cup for espresso; or in conflict (I make something better and then something gets worse – Technical Contradiction): I make my cup very thick and robust and the cup doesn’t chip easily but it makes the coffee cold.

TRIZ Contradiction solving is the best known part of TRIZ and the easiest starting point for engineers. Most engineers recognize the power of the 40 Inventive Principles and the Contradiction Matrix and usually solve many problems with these tools. Once familiar with these tools they then often switch to using Physical Contradictions which often give more fundamental insights to the problem and faster solutions. All Technical Contradictions can be re-defined as a Physical Contradiction (and vice versa) which is normally a higher abstraction of the problem – a more general way of defining the contradiction. All systems contain contradictions such as we would like a lightweight and extremely strong aircraft but the stronger we make it the heavier it becomes. The usual approach to solving this is to trade one characteristic off against the other –compromise. The TRIZ approach is to solve the contradiction – get strong and light weight. There are only 40 ways to solve a contradiction, based on all the patent analysis so far. These ways are known as the 40 Inventive Principles and they are a cornerstone of TRIZ. Uncovering and solving contradictions requires careful thought but once we have uncovered contradictions TRIZ leads us to all the ways the world knows (40) to solve the contradictions. This leads us to good solutions where we forget compromise, and achieve all the things we want without getting any of the things we don ’ t want. TRIZ Contradiction Solving helps all engineers both understand problems and find many good solutions because it helps them think clearly and gives simple, systematic methods for tackling any problem with conflicts.


TRIZ for Engineers: Enabling Inventive Problem Solving, First Edition. Karen Gadd.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. ISBN: 978-0-470-74188-7

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