Heuristic Problems in Automation and Control Design: What Can Be Learnt from TRIZ?
This chapter begins with a history of automatic control. It shows how this field of engineering evolved from pure heuristic designs (inventions) to the home court of applied mathematics. Thanks to this evolution, modern automatic control is able to formally provide standard out-of-the-box solutions to any object or technology. At the same time, this standardization can cause professional thinking inertia. The latter may be a reason to miss possible automation ideas when they are out of the “sensor–controller–drive” box. This chapter speculates on how the principle of Ideal Final Result (IFR) (and accompanying TRIZ tools such as trimming and resources search procedures) can enlarge the toolkit of automation engineers. It also discusses how the ideality principle can be interpreted in terms of plant modification. Three examples illustrate the application of the ideality principle for automation design. The first example analyzes in detail several inventive ideas in hydraulic power-steering system design. The second example demonstrates how mathematical modeling (in contrast to any TRIZ modeling techniques) can be more productive in inventive idea generation. The third example presents detailed analysis of the heuristic part of concurrent (parallel) plant and control design in process control.
L. Chechurin would like to acknowledge the support of TEKES, Finnish agency for innovation support, and its Finnish distinguished professor (FiDiPro) program.
The authors would like to acknowledge the EU Marie Curie program INDEED project for its support.
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