Optimization vs innovation in a CAE environment: Towards a "computer aided inventing" environment
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At the kernel of TRIZ are the concepts of technical and physical contradictions and its "elimination" through inventive principles revealed by Altshuller1. Altshuller used the contradiction as one of the ways of identifying analogy between two different inventive problems. Recently Mann recognized that the contradiction "elimination" means rather more an improvement of the scenario but leading to new contradictions in an endless chain. Diverse authors have been analyzing the role of contradiction in product development and innovation. In this paper, a product development approach is presented where product performance enhancement is first achieved through quantitative changes in parametric design (optimization) and later through paradigm shift (innovation). The approach is based on the concept of changing the design scenario to "eliminate" technical or physical contradictions, which avoid achieving higher performance goals. Based on these results, product innovation is presented as "optimization" not restricted to parametric variation but extended to "concept variation." The role of "concept variation" in product innovation and its similarity and relationships to parametric optimization is analyzed in this paper, based on identifying contradictions that may be overcome through "constrained concept variations.". © 2004 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.