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

Issue 35, January 2004

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

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Hot Topics
Financial Applications for Weibull Analysis
Reliability engineering may be described as the use of applied statistics for engineering evaluation purposes. Naturally, the statistical techniques incorporated in reliability engineering can be used for many other purposes. One field that employs many of the same statistical techniques is that of financial analysis. In this article, we will look at one of the ways Weibull analysis (i.e. statistical analysis with the Weibull distribution) can be used in a financial context by examining its utility in conducting intangible asset valuation. Potential applications for intangible asset valuation include credit card default rates, season ticket renewal rates for sports and entertainment venues, stock brokerage accounts and life insurance. This article uses the example of a newspaper's subscription accounts to explore the methods and results of this analysis type.

To read more, see 

Reliability Basics  
Specifications and Product Failure Definitions
Before life data can be analyzed or even collected, the definition of failure must be established. While this may seem like a simplistically obvious piece of advice, lack of generally accepted definitions for performance-related failures can result in misunderstandings over validation and reliability specifications, wasted test time and squandered resources. The process of characterizing the reliability and defining the failures for a product is directly related to the product's mission. Essentially, reliability can be defined as the ability of the product to perform its intended mission without failing. The definition of reliability springs directly from the product mission, in that product failure is the inability of the product to perform its defined mission.

To read more, see 

Tool Tips  
  • Can I have circular references in my BlockSim RBD?

  • Where can I get information on the theory behind the calculations and analyses being performed in ReliaSoft's applications?

To read more, see 

Latest Software Updates
New service releases are now available for BlockSim (SR 6.2.3), Xfmea (SR 1.0.8) and Weibull++ MT (SR 6.1.8). To determine the compile revision of the application on your computer, from the Help menu select About.


Application Date Created Version

BlockSim 6

BlockSim 6

1/12/04 6.2.3

BlockSim 6 Update

N/A SR 6.2.3
Weibull++ 6 MT
Weibull++ 6 MT 1/9/04 Weibull ++ 6.0.11 - MT 6.1.8
Weibull++ 6 MT Update N/A SR 6.1.8
Xfmea 1/6/04 1.0.8
Xfmea Update N/A SR 1.0.8
Hot News
* 2004 Applied Reliability Symposium, "Sharing Applications, Success Stories and Lessons Learned in Reliability and Maintainability Engineering." The ARS Board of Directors is pleased to announce Rear Admiral Michael C. Bachmann, Assistant Commander for Aviation Logistics, United States Naval Air Systems Command, as the keynote speaker for this years Symposium. The Symposium will be held June 16-18, 2004 at the Catamaran Resort on Mission Bay in San Diego, California. ARS provides a forum for expert presenters from industry and government to come together with reliability practitioners from all over the world to discuss the application of reliability principles to meet real world challenges. A complete electronic program brochure is available at:

In addition, the Symposium event details are growing! You can now navigate the ARS Program Matrix by Title, Presenter or Session ID. Further exploration will then lead to presentation overviews. Please visit the Symposium Web site at to learn more.

* ReliaSoft in India - ReliaSoft now has local representation in India. Areas served include India and Sri Lanka. You can contact this office at:

ReliaSoft India

No.36, Gandhi Mandapam Main Road,

Basement, Kotturpuram, Chennai - 600 085

Tamil Nadu, India

Phone: +91 44 5208 7785

Fax: +91 44 5208 7785



* RGA Software Update As the developers finish the final touches on our soon to be released Reliability Growth Analysis software, orders and requests for evaluations are being accepted. To learn more about RGA Standard and RGA PRO, please visit:
* 50th Annual Reliability & Maintainability Symposium - It is that time of the year again! ReliaSoft's President and CEO, Mr. Pantelis Vassiliou, and senior engineers will be presenting at this prestigious gathering in celebration of the Reliability & Maintainability Symposiums' 50th anniversary. Here are the topics slated this year for ReliaSoft:

  • Reliability Importance of Components in a Complex System
    Dr. Wendai Wang (GE), Dr. James Loman (GE) and Pantelis Vassiliou (Session 5B2)
  • An Extended Reliability Growth Model for Managing and Assessing Corrective Actions
    Dr. Larry Crow (Session 6B1)
  • Understanding Accelerated Life Testing
    Pantelis Vassiliou and Adamantios Mettas (Tutorial 7D, Special Topic)
  • Application of Quantitative Accelerated Life Models on Load Sharing Redundancy
    Pantelis Vassiliou and Adamantios Mettas (Session 8D3)
  • Modeling Accelerated Testing Involving Performance Degradation Under Competing Risks
    Dr. Wenbiao Zhao (Session 9D1)
  • System Risk Assessment
    Pantelis Vassiliou (Session 11B)

ReliaSoft will also have a booth in the exhibit area to provide you with information and demonstrations of ReliaSoft's products and services. RAMS 2004 will be held at the Airport Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Current state-of-the-art methods for achieving R&M objectives, plus historical perspectives on the last 50 years of R&M, will be presented on January 26 - 29, 2004. For more information including the program brochure, see

* Calendar of Public Events:
February Master the Subject, Master the Tools Training Seminar (MSMT) - Life data analysis, accelerated life data analysis and system analysis: February 23 - 27, 2004 in Tucson, AZ. For more information, see
  March Advanced System Analysis and BlockSim Training Seminar - March 22 - 24, 2004 in Tucson, AZ. An intensive theoretical and hands-on course (utilizing BlockSim), which exposes the attendee to the advanced concepts, principles and requirements for performing detailed system reliability, maintainability, availability and related analyses. For a detailed course overview, see
    FMEA/FMECA Analysis and Xfmea Training Seminar - March 25 - 26, 2004 in Tucson, AZ. This course offers an overview of FMEA/FMECA analysis procedures with emphasis on the use of the Xfmea software. For a detailed course overview, see
  April China - Master the Subject, Master the Tools Training Seminar (MSMT) April 12 - 16, 2004 in Shanghai, China. Life data analysis, accelerated life data analysis and system analysis. This seminar is primarily in Chinese. For more information, see
    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, development testing and customer field use. Hands-on use of RGA PRO will be used to enhance the learning process. For a detailed course overview, 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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