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Event Modification

How to change the selected events in order to break the link between the high price of noise suppressor and the profitability of farming? It is necessary to prevent them. For each event, we formulate the question: "How to prevent it?"


We get the following answers:


  • How to change the energy consumption for heating air?

    • reduce energy consumption

  • How to change the calorific value of fuel?

    • increase the calorific value

  • How to change the amount of kerosene?

    • reduce its consumption

  • How to change kerosene costs?

    • reduce fuel costs

  • How to make profit from the sale of grain pay off the price of the silencer?

    • make silencer pay for itself

  • How to increase profit?

    • increase revenues or reduce costs


The ideas here are formulated as wishes: if we could do this, we would be able to ensure the profitability of farming even if the silencer is very expensive.


Realization of ideas 


How to realize our good wishes? Use specifics of situation, as well as unique features of the silencer.


What is the specifics of situation? The exhaust airflow, which has taken away portion of moisture and dust from the grain, is released into the atmosphere. It's still pretty hot. We could use this fact in some wishes that need an additional source of heat. So, we can reduce energy consumption for heating the intake airflow if we use hot exhaust air to pre-heat it.


To increase the calorific value of fuel, it can be heated before burning. Thus, we will reduce losses on its heating and evaporation (it’s not the kerosene itself that burns, but its vapor!) For heating, one can use the hot exhaust airflow. Heating will reduce fuel consumption and reduce its costs, the main expense while drying the grain. Estimates showed that it is possible to save about 15% of fuel, which is a lot to the farmer.


What do we need to carry out pre-heating? A heat exchanger where the exhaust flow transfers its heat to the fuel and the incoming air. What it really is? A device where a hot flow interacts with a solid surface that removes heat and transfers it further.


But what is a silencer? A device where the flow interacts with a solid surface breaking turbulent vortices, a noise source.


To the question, “Is it possible to design the heat exchanger so that it suppresses noise?” the answer followed: “Of course, it's possible!” - “But why didn’t you do this before?” - “No one asked!”


We managed to ensure that the silencer pays for itself, and thereby reduces expenses.


Way to Accomplish the Mission


The resolution of the complication that hindered the accomplishment of the mission unites the ideas found in course of our work. One can describe this solution like this:


Nippon Rice is developing an additional device for a rice dryer: a heat exchanger for preheating the fuel and incoming air with heat from the exhaust airflow. It is designed so that, at the same time, it reduces noise.


Air enters the open-flame heater already warmed up. Burning kerosene generates more heat because less energy is spent to heat and evaporate it. Result: farmer can save 15% fuel. Thus, the noise-reducing heat exchanger pays for itself and also reduces the noise.


The mission "long-term storage of grain under conditions of maintaining a profitable economy and good relations with neighbors" becomes feasible.


Changes in Perception


How the implementation of the solution can transform the understanding of situation? We can see that from the model of the resolved problem:




























As you can see, adding a solution (the two bottom blocks: heater-silencer heats the air and kerosene enables reduced kerosene consumption) does not change the initial content of situation, but rather adjusts its structure by introducing a link reduced kerosene consumption corrects profitable farming.

Problem Solving Process | "Mission: Impossible" and Values | Hypothesis and Conclusions

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