Axiomatic Design and TRIZ: Deficiencies of their Integrated Use and Future Opportunities
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The first decade of 2000s has observed the diffusion of several contributions illustrating methods that combined Axiomatic Design (AD) and the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ). Such a kind of methodological matching seemed to flourish in both reference communities. The strength of the connection was found in the complementary objectives AD and TRIZ pursue. The former faces design tasks with a holistic view, oriented to schematize and simplify the design brief. However, despite the correct employment of AD axioms, the decoupling is not ensured of Functional Requirements’ and Design Parameterś matrices. As a consequence, the powerful problem solving capabilities of TRIZ can be employed in order to overcome extant contradictions. With this vision, AD is supposed to analyze the problem and structure it in the most convenient way, whereas TRIZ should solve the minimum amount of design conflicts that are intrinsically present in a case study. Nevertheless, despite the promising match between AD and TRIZ, no conjoint application strategy has emerged as a reference, neither in academia, nor in industry. Conversely, the quantity has dropped of Scopus-indexed scientific papers contextually making reference to both methodologies. The authors have attempted to investigate the reasons of the unsatisfactory evolution of the matching hypotheses between AD and TRIZ. The paper puts particular attention on the sources that manifest skepticism with respect to the combination of the two techniques. The conducted research remarks that unsuitable modelling has been so far employed to represent conflicts arising with AD through TRIZ terms. To the scope, the authors point out the potential advantages of exploiting poorly known instruments developed within TRIZ field. These tools are capable of facing the problem with a wider perspective and guide the user to perform troubleshooting in a more efficient way, also in the perspective of the second AD axiom.