Reliability HotWire: eMagazine for the Reliability Professional
Reliability HotWire

Issue 16, June 2002

Tool Tips

*How do I set the properties of an existing block to match the properties of another block within BlockSim?

Consider the simple BlockSim reliability block diagram (RBD) displayed in Figure 1. If you wanted to set the properties of block B equal to the properties of block A, you could manually change the settings for block B to match those of block A. However, the Format Painter (which becomes enabled when a block has been selected) makes this process much easier. This tool can save time, especially when you want to change the properties of a large number of blocks.

Simple BlockSim diagram

Figure 1: Block diagram of simple system

To use the Format Painter for this example, select block A and click the Format Painter icon located on the toolbar,

Format Painter icon

or select Format Painter from the Diagram menu. When you move the cursor back over the diagram, the cursor will change to the image of a hand. Now simply click block B and all of the properties associated with block B will be changed to match those of block A, including the block picture. However, the block name does not change and it is still "B" as indicated by the caption below the block in Figure 2.

Diagram after properties for block B have been changed

Figure 2: Diagram after properties for block B have been changed

*How can I import the results from a data set analyzed in Weibull++ 6 to a block in BlockSim?

You have just completed analyzing some life data of a component in Weibull++ 6, and now you would like to use these results to build a diagram in BlockSim. This is easier than what you might think. Note that the functionality presented in this tool tip is available only if both BlockSim and Weibull++ (version 6 or 5.0) have been installed on your computer. This example uses the same diagram from the previous tool tip, shown in Figure 2 above.

Assume that the analysis that you have just completed in Weibull++ was for block C. Open the Block Properties window for the block under consideration by double-clicking the block. The Block Properties for this block must be updated with the properties stored within a Weibull++ 6 Folio. 

To gain access to the proper Weibull++ 6 file, click the Compute Distribution button located in the bottom left hand corner of the Block Properties window. Using the Data Type Expert (displayed by default or by clicking the Data Type Expert button in the top right corner of the Data Type Wizard), create a new Data Folio. The Weibull++ interface will appear with a blank data sheet. Within the Weibull++ interface, you can open the existing Weibull++ Folio that contains the analysis or create a new analysis. In this case, the data set for block C was contained in an existing Folio, which is shown in Figure 3.

Weibull++ Data Folio with analysis ready to be imported to BlockSim

Figure 3: Weibull++ data loaded

As you can see, the file will be loaded just as it was saved in Weibull++. To transfer the estimated parameters to BlockSim simply click the Close button located on the toolbar. If the data set is not calculated then calculate the parameters before clicking on the Close button. After Weibull++ has been unloaded, a message box will appear asking if you would like to update the block's distribution information. Click Yes and the block's information will be updated to the new information, as shown in Figure 4.

BlockSim Block Properties window with Failure properties imported from Weibull++

Figure 4: Updated properties for block C

The properties for block C are now represented by a Weibull distribution with the correct parameters inserted automatically. To accept the changes click OK in the Block Properties window. Note that in this example, the loaded Weibull++ Folio contained only a single data sheet. However, you can also open a Folio with multiple data sheets. The properties that are transferred to BlockSim will be based on the data sheet that is currently active when you click the Close button within Weibull++.


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