Our methodology provides a capital efficiency improvement for stadalone projects, manufacturing facilities and even entire companies. Organized as a structured process, this methodology allows for discovery of hidden resources and therefore leads to newer, unique solutions.
The most effective way for your experts to become familiar with the methodology is through completing Sample Projects, assisted by experienced TRIZ specialists and accompanying GB Software. This combination leads to a significant increase in the quantity and quality of ideas. For well-defined problems, it is enough to complete the GB TRIZ Practitioner™ certification.
Example: Copper Purification
An international corporation that produces copper sheets met with a problem of large financial loss due to finished copper sheets looking stained.
There were large stains on the copper sheets as a result of oxidation. The cause of the problem is that, during the electorlysis process, the copper sheet develops small pores on its surface, which accumulate the electrolyte, which then causes oxidation during storage and transportation.
Step 1. Challenge
To solve this problem, engineers proposed removing the electrolyte, using a high-powered wash, but that setup costs $955,000.
Project goal: reduce capital loss and remove the problem of oxidation.
Step 2. Opportunities
We need to build a function model of the system containing the problem. The fuctions in our model can be useful and harmful. The functions can interact in only two ways: creats (arrow) and counteract (line with a circle). The software automatically determines the usefulness or harmfulness of the interactions, and determines contradictory functions (yellow) - functions with useful and harmful results.
After interviewing the experts, we determined these facts:
- Increasing the current during electrolysis boosts the productivity of the process, but creates the pores on the copper surface, which leads to oxidation
- High-powered washing removes the electrolyte from copper, but nozzles periodically get clogged
- Creating high water pressure significantly increases the power usage
The results are represented in the function model.
Now we can determine opportunities for idea generation. Obviously, resolving the contradictory results of the function "send electric current" will considerably improve the process.
Step 3. Idea
Resolve contradiction: Function "Send electric current" must create function "create purified copper" and must not create function "creates pores".
Our software recommends using Inventive Principles, sorted into 5 groups: separate contradictory requirements using resources, time, space, changing structure, or through changing conditions or parameters. Using principles from the "Use Time" and "Change Conditions and Parameters" groups includes:
- Preliminary action - perform some of the requirements before the process
- Post process time - use time after the main process
- Accelerate - speed up part of the process
- Decelerate - slow down part of the process
- Dynamism - make the process dynamic and changeable
These principles lead to creating a dynamic process. Perform the electrolysis process at a higher current level, ensuring the increased level of productivity, but towards the end of the process, switch to a very low current in order to eliminate pores.
Step 4. Concept Development
Every idea leads to many questions. One engineer can say that this is a good idea, another might say that the high level of current can lead to even more pores and the low current will not compensate for that. The idea must be tested with an experiment.
After the idea is tested, it is necessary to turn it into a working concept. In this case, we need to answer the following questions:
- How can we increase current at the start of the process?
- How long should the process last?
- How much do we reduce the current at the end?
- How long do we use the low current to "heal" the pores?
- How much do the pores need to be reduced for the desired effect?
Since we eliminated the pores the oxidation was fully eliminated. The regular method of electolyte removal is enough to create a good-looking surface. The size and number of rinsing baths significantly decreased. It is necessary to purchase and install current controls. Total economy is 50% or %450,000.
Using the Capital Efficiency Improvement method, you can:
- Reduce cost of operations
- Reduce the necessary capital investment
- Increase income through productivity improvement
- Increase and accelerate the ROI