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

Issue 22, December 2002

*Hot Topics
*Reliability Basics
*Reliability Benchmark Survey
*Tool Tips
*Latest Software Updates
*Hot News
*Contribute to HotWire

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Happy Holidays!

From all of us at ReliaSoft...we wish you a joyous holiday season and a new year of peace and happiness.

Happy Holidays!

Hot Topics  
The Bathtub Curve and Product Failure Behavior
Part Two - Normal Life and Wear Out

Part One of this article (presented in last month's HotWire) introduced the concept of the reliability bathtub curve. This is a graphical representation of the lifetime of a population of products, which consists of three key periods. Part One examined the first period of the curve, infant mortality, and also discussed issues related to burn-in, a common practice to reduce the occurrence of this type of failure during the useful life of the product. Part Two (presented here) will address the middle and last periods in the bathtub curve: normal life (or "useful life") and end of life wear-out. The normal life period is characterized by a low, relatively constant failure rate with failures that are considered to be random cases of "stress exceeding strength." The wear-out period is characterized by an increasing failure rate with failures that are caused by the "wear and tear" on the product over time.

To read more, see 

Reliability Basics  
The purpose of this section is to offer background and advice to the novice reliability engineer.

Reliability of Standby Systems with a Switching Device
In the last issue of the HotWire, we discussed the case of a system with standby components where a standby component automatically becomes active in the event of the failure of another component in the configuration. However, in many cases when dealing with standby systems, a switching device is also present and required to switch to the standby component in the event of the failure of the active component. Therefore under such conditions, the failure properties of the switch must also be included in the analysis. This article discusses the failure properties of the switch as well as their incorporation into the analysis and presents an example of such analysis using the BlockSim 6 software.

To read more, see 

Reliability Benchmark Survey
The University of Warwick (United Kingdom) is currently conducting a detailed and far-reaching survey of reliability practices, the "Benchmark Survey of Timely and Cost-Effective Application of Reliability Techniques." ReliaSoft is pleased to cooperate in this valuable endeavor as a sponsoring partner and we encourage you to share your experience through participation in the survey.

Companies world-wide, across all industries, are called upon to participate in the survey, which attempts to benchmark reliability activity according to the speed that reliability techniques deliver useful output, the quantity and cost-effectiveness of that output, its authority and accuracy and the uses to which the output contributes. This survey is designed to investigate the contextual factors that lead a project to choose specific reliability techniques, such as the project risks, corporate ethos, reliability staff organization and responsibilities, R&D investment, product complexity and criticality, timescales, customer involvement and many other factors. 

Upon conclusion of the survey, all participants will receive a report of the analysis results, general guidelines and individual comments. All surveys will be treated in confidence and will not be divulged to any other agency, either completely or in part, in any form that would permit identification of the respondent.

To learn more, see 

Tool Tips  

The Tool Tips section addresses helpful hints and frequently asked questions about ReliaSoft software products.

  • How can I insert page numbers into a Report Work Center report?

  • Can I print the results from a calculation that I performed in the Weibull++ data folio?

  • Can I import a data file with a different file extension than the ones supported by Weibull++'s File Import Wizard?

To read more, see 

Latest Software Updates
A new service pack has been released for MPC 3. To determine the compile revision of the application on your computer, select About from the Help menu.


Application Date Released Version
MPC 3    



MPC 3 Service Pack



Hot News
* Pre-Release Special on BlockSim 6 - BlockSim 6 is scheduled for release in February 2003. The ultimate system visualization and analysis tool, BlockSim 6 incorporates advanced reliability block diagram (RBD) configuration options (including load sharing and standby redundancy), provides a simulation capability for repairable systems analysis that is more sophisticated and realistic than ever (incorporating corrective and preventive maintenance, inspection policies, maintenance crews and spare parts pools), performs throughput estimations, cost summaries and much more. When you order BlockSim 6 before the official product release, you will receive a $500 discount off of the standard price! Special pre-release prices are only $1995 for new users and $495 to upgrade from BlockSim 1.0/1.5. For more information, please visit
* Reliability Training Seminars - The next ReliaSoft "Master the Subject, Master the Tools" training seminar for life data analysis, accelerated life data analysis and system reliability analysis will be held in Tucson, Arizona from February 24 - 28, 2003 at the Sheraton Hotel and Suites. For more information on course content and how to register, see
* ReliaSoft at RAMS - ReliaSoft will be participating in the 49th Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS), to be held January 27-30, 2003 in Tampa, Florida. ReliaSoft will have a booth in the vendors area where you can get information and demonstrations of ReliaSoft's products and services. We hope to see you there! For detailed information on the symposium, please visit
* New Seminar Schedule - The updated ReliaSoft seminar schedule is now available, and includes dates from December 2002 to February 2004. Plan now to attend one of these excellent informational seminars and learn the theory behind the calculations as well as how to maximize your ability to get the most from ReliaSoft applications. Topics for these seminars include life data analysis, accelerated life testing, system reliability, maintainability and availability analysis, as well as failure modes and effects analysis. For more information on seminar dates, course content and how to register, 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.

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