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About this book

This book presents the integration of new tools, the modification of existing tools, and the combination of different tools and approaches to create new technical resources for assisting the innovation process. It describes the efforts deployed for assisting the transformation of Product-Services Systems and explains the main key success factors or drivers for success of each tool or approach applied to solve an innovation problems. The book presents a set of case studies to illustrate the application of several tools and approaches, mainly in developing countries.

Table of Contents


Against the Odds. Innovation in Latin American SMEs

The popular expression “Necessity is the mother of invention,” means that it may trigger new ways of doing things, in a more economical, faster or easier way. Most innovation theories in the academic and business literature come from advanced countries and examples usually derived from multinational companies. There is little evidence from emerging economies, such as Latin America. This chapter will focus on how innovation may arise even in highly restrictive environments, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises. For the OECD Oslo Manual 2005, there is the innovation of products, processes, business practices, workplace organization, and social improvements. The data of some international and regional indexes were consulted at the country, city, and personal level. They evaluate competitiveness, creativity, human development, and even happiness. Emerging economies that want to get out of the middle-income trap need to have an innovation-driven economy, despite the current constraints. The situation is of lights and shadows; nevertheless, a brighter future is ahead. Latin America is indeed innovating in its own way, sometimes not captured with the traditional indicators.
Jorge Rodriguez-Martinez

Use of Lean-Sigma as a Problem-Solving Method in a Restrictive Environment

This chapter presents the use of Lean-Sigma methodology and tools in a Latin American restrictive environment where time, economic, and technological limitations are common. These conditions limits the use of solutions such as reengineering and major technological investments. The mentioned restrictive characteristics are the perfect scenario for the use of fast and efficient solutions for customer-focused challenges. Lean-Sigma is a fast responder methodology focused on problem-solving using the effective approach of Lean Manufacturing combined with the statistical analysis of Six-Sigma. The use of Lean-Sigma methodology has been previously reported, and its value proved as an efficient solving methodology in highly restrictive environments. However, this chapter describes the inclusion of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS). After the initial considerations, an example related to a production problem in an exterior-home products, is described from a manufacturing facility at Juarez, Mexico. The project is focused on a brass component for outdoor lighting products. The customer complaints shows that this component comes from the supplier with differences in color and tones, through the combination of Lean-Sigma and DFSS a solution is given. The solution includes the design of a qualitative measuring device, the modification of a cleaning process, and the standardization of the chemical coloring process (Patina). Once validated, the designed device was also used for determining the acceptance levels at the incoming inspection station and was incorporated into the quality control station. Finally, the results and knowledge were successfully transferred to the supplier. The results shows that the combination of Lean-Sigma with the DFSS methodologies and their tools can satisfactorily be used in a restrictive environment.
Noé Alba-Baena, Francisco Estrada-Orantes, Christian Valenzuela-Reyes

Creation of Technology-Based Companies: Challenges to Innovate in the Manufacturing Sector of Medical Devices, the Case of Baja California, México

This chapter presents the challenges in the start-up of companies in Mexico, considering as the primary requirement that these companies apply innovative technologies in their processes, and these are willing to participate in the Technology Transfer Process (TTP). First, it analyzed the importance of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Research Centers (RCs) as support agencies for the creation of new hi-tech companies. Also, the programs with public funds are listed in response to the need for technical and scientific support in the TTP. Considering this scenario, for the particular case study in Baja California, the dimensions of the participatory Medical Devices Cluster (MDC) and their expectations of growth were identified, followed by the definition of the needs and the challenges for TTP.
Karina C. Arredondo-Soto, Teresa Carrillo-Gutiérrez, Marcela Solís-Quinteros, Luis A. Ávila-López

Applying Action Research to Academic Patent-Licensing Path

In this chapter, an action research program and two projects that followed the patent-licensing path are presented. The program had the objective of increasing patent-licensing outputs and researching the processes and factors that influence the possibility of success of these activities. The active research methodology proved to be a valuable approach for simultaneously solving both the research goals and the problem-solving goals. The first project presented is related to the development of a new product to human diagnostics. The second one refers to new technology development, with a potential application in electronics. Both projects are the objective of extensive collaboration, particularly in the early research stages, for posteriorly going through the R&D and the patent-licensing activities. The projects also follow an iterative, stage-gated process and were influenced by internal and external factors. The most relevant findings reveal that the experience presented could be useful for developing patent-licensing projects in different contexts and under restrictive conditions.
Daniel Barrón-Pastor, Norma García-Calderón, Julio Alcantar

Mass Customization Process in Companies from the Housing Sector in Brazil

This paper aims at assessing how Mass Customization (MC) is being implemented in housing companies throughout and a comparison with the recommended approaches existent in the literature. Based on this comparison, the work identifies opportunities for improvement in the way the construction and housing industry employs the MC strategy. The used method comprises of a multi-case study with housing companies located in the northeast of Brazil. All companies are undergoing the implementation of MC strategy. This study allows managers from housing companies to address their product strategy to benefit from the mass production while properly customizing their products to customers’ needs. As a result, the research provides an argument to comprehend better the methodological differences between the recommended customization process and the actual strategy from housing companies from developing economy countries, such as Brazil.
D. C. Fettermann, G. L. Tortorella, Carlos M. Taboada

A Talent Management Model for Innovation and Competitiveness in Complex Domains: A Case Study in the Latin American Energy Sector

Companies require highly qualified electricians because they have to be competitive in a globalized world and a changing environment. Additionally, they have to face the generational change, since knowledgeable personnel is in the retirement process, and new human resources have to be trained to get the required competencies: knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Talent management is concerned with employee recruitment, development, and administration, and suggests the integration of learning as a fundament for talent management strategies. We have developed a training model, which provides online and personalized instruction within the talent management framework based on three axes: knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The training model aims to complement traditional training with computer-based training. An important aspect of the model is an intelligent training system. This intelligent system adapts the instruction relying on a trainee model, which represents the state of the trainee. The trainee model includes knowledge, skills, attitudes, affect, and learning styles, and it is built as the trainee interacts with the training system. Emotions are recognized using facial expressions and training situation. An animated agent who uses the trainee model to show emotions and empathy presents the instruction. Here, we present the training model, and we discuss the current results in the implantation of the training model.
Yasmín Hernández, Ramón Zatarain, Lucía Barrón

The Role of ICT in Educational Innovation

In this chapter, the importance of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education is emphasized, and a case study describes their integration into a higher education institution, specifically, the Instituto Tecnologico de Colima. Since ICT are considered a tool to innovate teaching practices, as well as providing the possibility of including new didactic strategies that arouse the interest and motivation of students to improve the quality of teaching-learning processes inside and outside of the classroom. The case study reports a survey integrated by 43 items related to ICT, which was administered to 469 students of the Instituto Tecnologico de Colima. Using the WarpPLS Software v5.0, the causal relationships that exist between the uses of ICT (independent variables) and the benefits obtained when using ICT (dependent variables) were analyzed. After the analysis, it is concluded that there is sufficient statistical evidence to ensure that academic uses have a direct and positive impact on students’ performance, improving the grades and their psychological state.
Pedro García-Alcaraz, Valeria Martínez-Loya, Jorge Luis García-Alcaraz, Cuauhtémoc Sánchez-Ramírez

A Series of Recommendations for Industrial Design Conceptualizing Based on Emotional Design

Emotional design, since its birth in the 70s, has developed into becoming one of the main forces that drive design nowadays. The capability of understanding the user’s feelings and emotions is considered to be a pivotal part of the design process. More than ever before, industrial designers need to consider the emotional side of consumers to create meaningful and successful products. The present study created a series of recommendations for Industrial Design Conceptualizing based on Emotional Design. These were developed through the analysis of several design emotion-based methodologies, conceptualization theories, and emotional design itself. The recommendations were developed to be applied in the conceptualization phase, for it is at this stage of the design process when the designer gives shape to the initial concept that will ultimately become a product. After its completion, to validate the recommendations, these were handed to a group of eight industrial design students who applied them on one of their academic projects. The results of their works were subjected to analysis to determine the impact on their projects. Students were also asked their opinion about emotional design and the recommendations they were given. Principal results evidence that only the 15% of the students knew about emotional design before being introduced by the present research. Five out of eight of the resulting projects managed to incorporate values and concepts related to emotional design. It reflects that the resulting ultimate products can be influenced by the capabilities of designers to use the recommendations. It could be concluded that the recommendations could be of great interest for industrial design to transmit emotions to products which could satisfy consumers emotional desires.
David Cortés Sáenz, Carlos Eduardo Díaz Domínguez, Pere Llorach-Massana, Ainoa Abella García, Juan Luis Hernández Arellano

Indexing and Mapping Examples of Heuristics Compiled from TRIZ

TRIZ is recognized as an effective and systematic approach for inventive thinking and includes several tools, including Inventive Principles, Standard Solutions and Separation Principles. These tools are what we term Inventive Heuristics. Heuristics are cognitive strategies that direct problem solvers to areas of the solution space where promising solutions are more likely to be found. Examples of Inventive Heuristics are the Inventive Principle ‘Dynamization’ and the Standard Solution ‘1.2.2’. TRIZ contains a relatively high number of Inventive Heuristics (469 were found in a previous study), which requires significant time to be understood, selected and applied. Another problem concerns the existing repetitions of heuristics, which entails significant practical demands, especially for newcomers to TRIZ. To address the last issue, a compilation of Inventive Heuristics was created, thus reducing the total number of Inventive Heuristics to 263, leaving only the original heuristics and eliminating overlaps. This chapter presents an index and examples build on the created compilation, which is structured in a catalogue, thus facilitating its learning and use. This chapter describes the research strategy, the mapping examples, index structuring and the practical use of the Heuristics Catalogue in a case study that is related to solving classical TRIZ problems. The authors expect that the use of the catalogue will simplify the process of applying TRIZ and will result in faster invention and innovation cycles.
Emanuela L. Silveira, Marco A. de Carvalho, Júlio C. de Carvalho

The Use of Affective Computing in the Conceptual Design Stage of New Products

The innovation process, seen as a set of problem-solving activities needs novel approaches to assist decision-making in the evaluation of different potential solutions. Typical perspective as the Analytic Hierarchy Process, similarity-based techniques, and essential performance indicators find their limits when it is necessary to take into account a crucial factor: emotions. The emotional response to unique product attributes is in fact, a determinant element to succeed in a market. The affective computing paradigm is a recent technology that allows knowing the person’s mood by using different strategies: the use of the camera to recognize an image, the tone voice of a person, and the use of different sensors and wearable devices. Some common features are the use of sensors that measure heart rate, the excitement of an individual, and the detection of the bioelectric activity of the brain at the instant of someone sees something specific. The affective computing has become more relevant in the past years. Emotions are fundamental to human experience, influencing cognition, perception, and everyday tasks such as learning, communication, and even rational decision-making. Industry asks for a different effective mechanism to select the best alternative during design and evaluation of products or services, particularly in the conceptual design stage. Decisions at this stage will determine the primary attributes of a product. The affective computing paradigm can show what characteristics of the product are more attractive to the design stakeholder and allow a review before launching a product.
Agustín Job Hernández-Montes, Guillermo Cortés-Robles, Giner Alor-Hernández, Jorge Luis García-Alcaraz

Taking Advantage of the Innovation in Die Service Design

The present work has been planned to satisfy the needs of the metal-mechanic industry in Mexico, San Juan del Río, which generates 16% of the Gross Domestic Product and counts with 8,932 economic units in Mexico. The metal-mechanic sector is a pillar for other industrial activities. This work focuses on the thinking skills for designing dies as tooling that are used to punch metal parts with high or low production volumes. Design skills, due to a lack of investment and development, have been lagging in Mexico, compared to foreign markets, which export tooling to Mexico mainly from Asia, for 2,600 Million Dollars (MDD) per year. Consequently, the objective of this chapter is to demonstrate that the service is feasible from different points of view. Based on the scientific method, this research work is structured to reach next objectives: (1) To detect the need to locate the market that allows the creation of the company and (2) To deploy the product lifecycle method to determine the stages that a product must follow from its conception to the manufacturing process. Results show that the market will accept the new service with the expected profitability of 195% the first year. The product also provides opportunities for growth and improvement with a competitive service price that has the potential to solve some market needs that would help the development of the industry in Mexico.
María Blanca Becerra-Rodríguez, Diana Jiménez-Juan, Arturo Hernández-Hernández, Ángel Adad Franco-Baltazar, José Marcos Zea-Pérez, Isabel Ernestina López-Navarro

TRIZ Evolution Trends as an Approach for Predicting the Future Development of the Technological Systems in the Food Industry

Innovation is regarded as a vital element for the development of new technologies to create a competitive advantage in the food industry. The innovation process in the food companies is principally driven by two strategies: the technological change (technology push) and the market orientation (market pull). Although both strategies provide the elements to encourage innovation, they can be only applied to solve specific problems or needs that are easily identified limiting their applicability. A new alternative strategy to innovate is to try to anticipate the future developments of technological food systems from an evolutionary perspective based on the TRIZ Evolution Trends (TETs). Thus, to improve the innovation process in the food industry, the present research proposes to combine elements of the TRIZ Evolution Trends, the technology push and the market pull strategies to create an approach to suggest recommendation of the most favorable transformation to improve or develop technological food systems. An example is presented to demonstrate the usefulness of this approach.
Jesus-Manuel Barragan-Ferrer, Stéphane Negny, Jonas Damasius, Diana Barragan-Ferrer, Dalia Cizeikiene

A Service Design Process Based on the Business Model CANVAS and the C-K Theory

Services are fundamental to any economy. They are responsible for most of the employment and collaborate with a substantial proportion of the Gross Domestic Product. Despite its importance, the tools and methodologies for service design in Latin America have a slow evolution. One of the reasons that explain this phenomenon is the lack of practical tools and methods to take into account the complexity of the service and the intrinsic dynamism of the design process. Another limitation of the adoption of new service design tools is a nontechnical view of the design process, situation that puts the common sense as the first resource for service design. Hence, the lack of a service design methodology avoids the learning process, the reproducibility of successful service models in a different context, and the assimilation of new design techniques. Consequently, this chapter proposes a framework to guide the conceptual design or redesign of services through the combination of the Business Model CANVAS with the C-K theory. The Business Model CANVAS is a graphical tool to represent, as simple as possible, the interaction of different elements to capture and deliver value to the market. On the other hand, the C-K theory proposes a graphical tool where Concepts (C) and Knowledge (K) interact dynamically to shape a process, without increasing complexity. The integration offers a design framework useful to deal with the challenging context of service development. A case study illustrates this practical approach.
Sergio E. Castillo-López, Sheyla K. Flores Guirao, Eduardo Roldán-Reyes, Aidé A. Maldonado Macias, Diego Manotas Duque

Integration of Design Thinking and TRIZ Theory to Assist a User in the Formulation of an Innovation Project

The principal limitations of the Design Thinking (DT) model reside in its high subjectivity, which generates some rigidity called psychological inertia and it is observed in the search for a solution within a very well-defined space. Also, DT does not offer strategies or techniques for the detailed solution of the intrinsic problems of the design process. This means that the procedure of the problem-solving that arises during the design process depends on the experience of a team or an individual. The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) may assist the requirements of the Design Thinking model. TRIZ contains among its tools, a set of techniques that allow modeling and solving inventive problems. At the same time, TRIZ does not propose any tool or technique to identify the user’s requirements, a fundamental aspect of the Design Thinking model. As a consequence, this chapter describes a strategy to combine both approaches and presents a basic structure to balance the best characteristics of both the approaches. The purpose is to guide the thinking and the creative efforts during the development of an innovation project and offer to a user a set of tools to solve the problems that invariably the design process contains. Finally, this chapter illustrates the application of both techniques in a case study.
Hugo Domingo García-Manilla, Jesús Delgado-Maciel, Diego Tlapa-Mendoza, Yolanda Angélica Báez-López, Leonardo Riverda-Cadavid
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