POSCO, Supporting Creative Solutions through TRIZ Method

POSCO INSIDE

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POSCO hosted Best Case Presentation session of POSCO TRIZ on the 6th of November. POSCO and PTA (POSCO group TRIZ Association) participated in the event, which was themed around ‘Creative Thinking with TRIZ’. Among the 260 TRIZ utilized project cases, 2 Grand Prize cases and 4 Runner-Up Prize cases were selected through two different preliminary selection process.

POSCO has established TRIZ University in 2010 to provide structured training programs for its entire employees in order to provide improvement in creativity capabilities. The employees has been sharing their successful cases at an annual presentation for projects of excellent results.

POSCO has implemented project-oriented working method this year, establishing their unique innovation model called POSTIM (POSCO Total Innovation Methodology) and replacing it with unified methodology. TRIZ has been used as a tool to provide creative solution to solve technical difficulties within its frame.

Also, Corporate Project Management Department will be supporting this through following activities: providing creative solution related to future corporate cost-reduction, and reducing risk through preliminary verification of ideas using computer simulations.

POSCO’s Strategic TRIZ Methodology

POSCO set-off an insight that problem-solving logic and algorithm of TRIZ can be applied to business category and has been brainstorming about harmony business strategy and TRIZ.

Value of Strategic TRIZ comes from 1) how it develops algorithm that can provide several effective solutions on specific problem, 2) the fact that anyone can easier use it, and 3) how it provides creative ideation method and logical procedure in strategy establishment and business contradictory problem solving by combining traditional strategy and a thought process.

POSCO is now moving one-step forward from strategic TRIZ on to creating process that solves business strategic problem with TRIZ and eventually developing it into ‘POSCO-type Strategic TRIZ Methodology’.

Excellent Cases of ‘POSCO’s TRIZ Application’

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[Best Example] Development of Wireless Power Transmission Technology for Cylinder Sensor

Lee, Ki-bum/ RIST Team Leader

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Problems to Solve

In a general steel mill, there are two types of rolling process for a slab: hot rolling and cold rolling. In order to roll a slab, there are spins connected between spins and the rolling mill.

As the motor spins the rolling mill, the mill rolls the slab and creates a torsion which damages the spins. To prevent this from happening, it is possible to attach a strain gauge sensor, the torque sensor, on the surface of spin to diagnose the torsion status. However, the spin continues its circular motion even with the strain gauge sensor which makes it impossible to supply power to the torque sensor. For a consistent monitoring, wireless energy transmission technology could be an alternative solution. As a part of this technology, electric resonance method enables wireless power transmission to the rotating body that is 30cm distant from the power source.

However, a recieving coil attached on the spin for wireless power transmission experiences centrifugal force due to its large size. In order to reduce the centrifugal force, it was attempted to reduce the size of the coil but it caused a contradiction by also creating a decline in the receiving rate. Therefore, TRIZ method was applied to discover a solution to reduce the size of the receiving coil and its tie bar.

Problem Solving Result of TRIZ Method

As a result of various TRIZ method research, it was able to reduce 85% of the frequency shift even when the tie bar was shortened. Also, by applying pattern layering and wave method, more than 30% of the size of the receiving coil was reduced.

The rotating body wireless power transmission system can be used in thick plate, hot and cold rolled steel sheet roughing mill and finishing mill spindle diagnostics. Also, the system is applicable on diagnostics of chatter mark which occurs to hot and cold rolled steel strip.   

 

[Best Example] Bloom Continuous Casting Machine Claim Reduction and Strand Extracction Improvement 

Kim, Sung-jul / Research Institute Senior Researcher

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Problem to solve

Continuous casting of different grades of steel is a casting method for each different steel grades in a same tundish. Because the areas of blended ingredients that result from this method cannot be retailed as quality products, they are processed as scraps or redundant members.

Since the 4-Bloom continuous casting machine does not have a system that predicts the blended areas, every 12m of a strand has been truncated en bloc. As a result, each process of different grade casting generated 150 tons of scraps. Despite the excessive truncation amount, claims for ingredients of strand products processed through this casting method.

The problem is that if the truncation amount is increased, the claims will decrease but the strand extraction rate will decrease as well. On the other hand, if the truncation amount is decreased, the strand extraction will increase, but the claims will increase as well.

Problem Solving Result of TRIZ Method

According to the analysis on the length of 4-bloom continuous casting mixer, there are differences depending on the strands but they did not exceed a certain length. In other words, if the length of various mixers depending on each processing condition, claims can be reduced and the shortened length for truncation will lead to a situation where extraction rate can be raised.

The very first step of the TRIZ method was a thorough analysis on the cause of the phenomenon and on available resources. The reason for an inaccurate prediction on the mixer and the phenomenon of mixer’s long appearance were thoroughly analyzed. As a result, eight core problems and eight concept solutions for the corresponding problems were concluded.

Furthermore, specific solutions for the eight concept solutions were suggested. The suggested solutions are practical and effective because of their imminent applicability and capability to utilize the existing resources without any capital investment.

In steps of the TRIZ method, the actual situation was reflected for a better prediction for the mixer and established a new forecasting system by utilizing a real-time operation data. When the detailed solutions drawn by the TRIZ method were applied to different steel grades processes, it was successful in both reducing claims for the bloom continuous casting machine and increasing the strand extraction rate.  

 

[Excellent Case] Drastic Decrease in Working Time for Covering Work Using Water 

– Kim, Seung-Moon / Raw Material Technology Development Team, POSCO

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In order to solve two following solutions, water is used for its readily-availability as natural resource: Gunnysack is not suitable for fixing and covering the materials and takes-up too much time manufacturing. Therefore, this can drastically decrease working time and evolutionally increase effectiveness of the covering work.

[Excellent Case] Cost Reduction through Internal/external Steel Structure Unification 

– Kim, Ah-rem/ POSCO A&C

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Potential problem caused by temperature change that could occur when modular construction method is applied in Russia and other arctic region was improved through a new idea called ‘Unification of Internal/external steel structure’. In fact, company could achieve 39% cost reduction in comparison to an existing panel.

[Excellent Case] Advanced Supporting Capacity of Electrode Bar through Reverse Thinking 

– Lee, Jae-min/ SNNC

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Electrode bar in electric furnace is a crucial function supplying heat to the furnace, therefore, rupture of electrode bar leads directly to revenue loss. With reserve thinking, company could improve supporting capacity of electrode bar and minimized weight of electrode bar placed at bottom part, achieving decrease in electrode bar breakage by 64% using electricity.

[Excellent Case]  Continuing Undersea Tunnel Project with Strategic TRIZ 

– Kim, Sang-min / New-Business Development Team 

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TRIZ can not only be applied in technology (IT) area, but also in strategic area. Company could come up with an effective countermeasures using strategic TRIZ for complicating business structure of the undersea tunnel project that connects KwangYang and YeoSu, saving the project from foundering.

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