Employing Customer Value Criteria to Address Networks of Contradictions in Complex Technical Systems
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The diffusion of TRIZ in the industry is still under the expectations of the scientific community. According to authors’ experience, barriers to industrial adoption are constituted, among the others, by difficulties in approaching problems characterized by tangled networks of parameters and, consequently, very large number of contradictions. The most tailored tools to face this problem aim at managing networks of contradictions. They try to establish the starting point for an effective problem solving process. The task suffers from subjective evaluations or difficulties with applying complex algorithmic procedures. Besides, the existing approaches overlook the potential benefits descending from overcoming each single contradiction. The authors illustrate a strategy to prioritize technical contradictions, which includes metrics concerning customer value. More specifically, the implemented criteria feature the probability of succeeding in the marketplace. Thus, a business perspective is introduced in the problem solving process. The proposal has been experimented through an application to a mature phase included in the manufacturing process of pharmaceutical tablets. Said production phase, taken as the reference technical system, figures out 239 different contradictions. The application of the developed approach allowed to individuate contradictions whose solution has considerably influenced the technical evolution of the treated industrial sector.