In this issue: Issue 110, April 2010
*Hot Topics
*Reliability Basics
*Tool Tips
*Latest Software Updates
*Hot News
*Contribute to HotWire

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Hot Topics
Another Look at the Shape Parameter of the Weibull Distribution (Beta)
It is well known that the shape parameter of the Weibull distribution, beta, represents the failure rate behavior. If beta is less than 1, then the failure rate decreases with time; if beta is greater than 1, then the failure rate increases with time. When beta is equal to 1, the failure rate is constant. Assume that we have two failure data sets. From one data set, the estimated beta is 5; from another data set, the estimated beta is 3. Both have increasing failure rates. If the two data sets were combined together, would the estimated beta for the overall data set be a value between 3 and 5, or would it be a value outside of this range? Could it be less than 1, which would imply that the combined data set has a failure rate that is decreasing with time? In this article, we will use examples to show the relationship between these betas.

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Reliability Basics
Accelerated Degradation Analysis Using ALTA
Degradation analysis involves the measurement and extrapolation of degradation or performance data that can be directly related to the failures of a product. Many failure mechanisms can be directly linked to the degradation of the parts of a product, and degradation analysis allows the user to extrapolate to an expected failure time based on the measurements of degradation or performance over time. When accelerated testing techniques are used to reduce testing time, the analysis of the degradation measurements obtained at the accelerated stress levels can be extrapolated to normal use conditions. In this article, we will give an example that uses the accelerated degradation analysis tool in ALTA 7.

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Tool Tips
  • How can I use ALTA to make warranty predictions based on data from a quantitative accelerated life test?
  • How can I quickly apply the same changes to the subordinate items of a block in Lambda Predict 3?

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Latest Software Updates
New service releases are now available for RGA (SR 7.0.3), BlockSim (SR 7.0.11) and Lambda Predict (SR 3.0.4). To determine the compile revision of the application on your computer, select About from the Help menu. More Software Downloads...
Application Date Created Version
RGA 7 3/2/10 7.0.3
BlockSim 7 3/10/10 7.0.11
Lambda Predict
Lambda Predict 3 3/30/10 3.0.4
Hot News

Advance Registration Deadline - The 2010 ARS North America will be held at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada from June 15 - 17, 2010 and the Early Registration Deadline is April 23, 2010. Visit and register now in order to save $200. Detailed information about ARS, including the program matrix and venue, are available online at

* ASQ CRE Exam - Once again, the ARS Committee has partnered with ASQ to bring the Certified Reliability Engineer Exam to the 2010 ARS North America conference in Reno, Nevada, in June. The exam will be offered on June 14, 2010 and the application deadline for the CRE exam is April 30, 2010. Please register with ASQ at their website.
* New Part Libraries - ReliaSoft has created the Web portal in order to provide Lambda Predict 3 users with access to a convenient component data repository that can save time and improve the accuracy of reliability prediction analyses for supported standards. Get the latest service release for Lambda Predict 3 (Build 3.0.4) in order to take full advantage of these new searchable part libraries. While some component data is available to all licensed users free of charge, an additional 300,000 commercial components are available via a premium subscription. For more information, please visit our Web site at or contact our sales team.
Upcoming Public Training Event Calendar
April 2010
April 19 - 23, 2010: MSMT Foundations in Stockport, United Kingdom
April 19 - 23, 2010: MSMT Foundations in Tucson, Arizona
April 19 - 21, 2010: RS 521 Advanced Accelerated Life Testing Analysis in Bangalore, India
May 2010
May 10 - 14, 2010: MSMT Foundations in Singapore
May 10 - 12, 2010: RS 588 DOE: Experiment Design and Analysis in Warsaw, Poland
May 11 - 13, 2010: RS 511 Application of Reliability Growth Models in Developmental Testing and Fielded Systems in Tucson, Arizona
May 11 - 13, 2010: RS 521 Advanced Accelerated Life Testing Analysis in Tucson, Arizona
June 2010
June 1 - 3, 2010: RS 588 DOE: Experiment Design and Analysis in Tucson, Arizona
June 7 - 9, 2010: RS 560 Fundamentals of Design for Reliability in Pune, India
June 14 - 18, 2010: RS 540 Reliability and Maintainability Analysis for Repairable Systems in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
June 15 - 17, 2010: International Applied Reliability Symposium in Reno, Nevada
June 21 - 25, 2010: MSMT Foundations in Bologna, Italy
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