Reliability HotWire: eMagazine for the Reliability Professional
In this issue:

Issue 38, April 2004

*Hot Topics
*Reliability Basics
*Tool Tips
*Hot News
  *From the Edge
*Contribute to HotWire

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Hot Topics
An Accelerated Life Testing Model Involving Performance Degradation

Competing risk problems involving degradation failures are becoming increasingly common and important in practice. In this article, we will investigate the modeling of competing risk problems involving both catastrophic and degradation failures under accelerated conditions. Modeling the degradation process as a Brownian motion process for which the first passage time to a boundary is considered as the soft failure and modeling hard failures as a Weibull distribution enables us to model accelerated testing in a natural way, make inferences about the parameters of the degradation process and predict the reliability of products at the operating conditions. This methodology is demonstrated and validated using a real case study.

To read more, see 

Reliability Basics
Overview of Fault Tree Gates (Part II)

In addition to the basic gates defined in last month's Hotwire article, Overview of Fault Tree Gates (Part I), other gates exist in classical Fault Tree Analysis (FTA). These additional gates (e.g. Sequence Enforcing, Priority AND, etc.) are usually used to describe more complex redundancy configurations. However, we will introduce two new advanced gates that can be used to append to and/or replace classical fault tree gates.

To read more, see 

Tool Tips
  • What are the new and enhanced features in Xfmea Standard?

  • Can additional documents be attached to an RGA 6 file?

  • In RGA 6, how can the classification and mode be separated into the appropriate columns if they are entered together into the Classification column?

To read more, see 

Hot News
* 2004 Applied Reliability Symposium This years Symposium in San Diego is not only about reliability and maintainability, its about meeting fellow engineers and having fun too! All Applied Reliability Symposium attendees are cordially invited to attend a hosted reception aboard the Bahia Belle, a "Turn of the Century" Mississippi-style sternwheeler, on Thursday June 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food, drinks and conversation will enrich the experience within this tranquil setting. Register for this years event now at:
* South American Tour ReliaSoft Brasil will be touring South America later this month to introduce the benefits of performing reliability statistical analysis. Dates and locations include Venezuela April 27, Colombia April 28, Chile April 29 and Argentina April 30. Detailed information is available in Spanish (in *.pdf format) at:
* So Paulo International Reliability Symposium - Engineers at the Symposium, held May 13 - 14, 2004 in So Paulo, Brazil will be examining current reliability practices, issues and applications through lectures and discussions that feature experts and practitioners from both academia and industry. This Symposium is sponsored by ReliaSoft Brasil. Additional details can be viewed at:
* Korean Seminar Product training on ReliaSoft's Weibull++ 6 and ALTA 6 PRO will be hosted by ReliaSoft's Korean Distributor, KoRTS Corporation. This two-day event will be held May 13 - 14, 2004 in Seoul, Korea. For additional information, please contact KoRTS directly at +82-(0)2-415-6702 or visit:
* Maintain-IT Seminars in UK this May ReliaSoft's distribution partner in the UK, Maintain-IT, is currently offering practical workshops to engineers who are interested in gaining more technical knowledge. Topics include Maintenance Optimization through Historical Data Analysis & Systems RAM Analysis, Reducing the Costs of Spares and FMEA/FMECA for Maintenance, Manufacturing, Process, & Safety. Case studies and practical examples will be used to aid understanding. Software packages, provided by ReliaSoft Corporation, will be used to facilitate the learning process. For detailed course outlines, please visit:
* MMR Conference Information - The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), in conjunction with the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS), is hosting the bi-annual Mathematical Methods in Reliability (MMR) Conference, June 21-25, 2004 at the Hilton in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The MMR conferences serve as a forum for discussing fundamental issues on mathematical methods in reliability theory and its applications. It is a forum that brings together mathematicians, probabilists, statisticians and computer scientists with a primary focus on reliability. Further information is available at:
* Calendar of Public Events:
  April QALT Boot Camp April 19 - 21, 2004 in Tucson, AZ. This intensive three day course covers advanced topics, concepts and applications of quantitative accelerated life testing (QALT) analysis and ReliaSoft's ALTA PRO software. For more information, see
    Reliability Growth, Repairable System Data Analysis and RGA April 19 - 21, 2004 in Tucson, AZ. Presented by Dr. Larry Crow, this course will discuss state-of-the-art methods for planning and evaluating the reliability of complex systems during three key life cycle phases: design, developmental testing and customer field use. Hands-on use of RGA 6 PRO will be used to enhance the learning process. For more information, see
    Singapore Introduction to Reliability April 21, 2004 in Singapore. This one-day course provides a high level overview of reliability engineering principles and their applications in a maintenance centered organization. For more information, see
  May Master the Subject, Master the Tools Training Seminar (MSMT) - Life data analysis, introduction to accelerated life data analysis and introduction to system analysis: May 3 - 7, 2004 in Tucson, AZ. For more information, see
  June 2004 International Applied Reliability Symposium June 16 18, 2004 in San Diego, CA. Sharing applications, success stories and lessons learned in reliability and maintainability engineering. For more information, see
From the Edge
In addition to the monthly Reliability HotWire, ReliaSoft publishes Reliability Edge, a printed newsletter that includes articles and information related to the field of reliability engineering. An article of interest in the current edition:
  • Physics of Failure for Making a High Reliability a Reality - Physics of failure is an engineering-based approach to reliability that uses modeling and simulation to eliminate failures early in the design process by addressing root-cause failure mechanisms in a Computer-Aided- Engineering environment. This guest submission article provides a general introduction to physics of failure techniques and describes some successful applications by U.S. Army Material Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA) and its partners. To view the entire article see:
Contribute to HotWire
Contributions Welcomed
As always, your feedback and contributions are appreciated. ReliaSoft is able to provide the most user-friendly reliability software packages and support because we listen to our customers. This applies to our newsletters and publications as well. We welcome any suggestions or contributions you may have for Reliability HotWire. If you have a topic or article that you think would be useful to the readers of Reliability HotWire, feel free to contact us. We can be reached by e-mail at, or by standard mail at 1450 S. Eastside Loop, Tucson, AZ 85710-6703, USA.

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