Case Studies

Case Study 1:

Problem: how to prevent double feeding of oil coated aluminium sheets when being fed into a press to make low weight car body panels?

Action and Outcome: Working on behalf of an automotive process equipment supplier, we contacted process engineers at leading automotive manufacturers to understand the real issues with processing aluminium. We reviewed relevant patents to understand current state of the art for this and related industries. Using TRIZ we analysed the physical actions in the problem situation and identified the strongest innovation directions. We sought out and set up a team of experts in relevant technology areas. We identified and proposed a new-to-industry, IP protected solution which eliminates the risk of double feeding using a technology which is routinely applied in the petrochemical industry.

Case Study 2:

Problem: what diagnostic systems are available to support clinical claims?

Action and Outcome: Our multinational client markets a range of nutritional products with scientifically supported claims and wished to explore which medical diagnostic systems could be most useful for claims support both now and in the future. In two projects, we analysed the required functionality and connected with numerous contacts in the medical device and diagnostics sectors, ranging from researchers to incubators, start-ups, SMEs and large companies. We conducted primary research with the contacts and with world authorities in the areas of interest and helped the client discover new and highly relevant technologies. We guided the client through an evaluation and selection process to identify a shortlist of the most suitable solutions. The client has subsequently used the results of these studies for their international claims support programme and marketing activities

Case Study 3:

Problem: how to reduce friction in catheter system during cardiac procedures?

Action and Outcome: We contacted Cardiologists at St. Thomas’ hospital, London and attended at the Catheter lab, watching several cardiac procedures. We identified that a key issue in addition to friction was controllability of the catheter guide wire. We reviewed prior art and relevant publications to understand current state of the art. Using TRIZ we analysed the physical actions in the problem situation and identified the strongest innovation directions. Working with experts in Cambridge and Southampton University, we developed a novel control method; using physical principles which are routinely applied to high volume manufacturing processes. Using these concepts, catheter friction can be “switched” from high to very low as needed.