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

Issue 39, May 2004

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

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Hot Topics
Introduction to Reliability Growth
In general, the first prototypes produced during the development of a new system contain design, manufacturing and/or engineering deficiencies. In order to identify and correct these deficiencies, the prototypes are usually subjected to a rigorous testing program. During this testing, most problem areas are usually identified and appropriate corrective (or redesign) actions are taken. During the first phases of a product's development, the estimate of the product's final reliability is typically called the "reliability goal." To reach this goal, the product must undergo comprehensive testing and appropriate corrective actions must be implemented. This well structured process of finding reliability problems and monitoring the increase of the product's reliability through successive phases is commonly called "reliability growth."

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Reliability Basics

Foundations of Reliability

There are a certain number of "up-front" activities that need to be undertaken in order to be able to successfully implement a reliability program. Most of these activities are relatively simple, but they are vital to the design and implementation of a reliability program. It is like the foundation of a house: relatively inexpensive and largely forgotten once the major construction has begun, but vital to the structure nonetheless. The reliability "foundation building" concepts need to be addressed in order to put a strong reliability program in place.

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Tool Tips
  • Is there a way in Xfmea to integrate my FMEA with the requirements of the Advanced Product Quality Planning guidelines?

  • Can I search for and import previously analyzed components into a new system configuration in Xfmea?

To read more, see 

Latest Software Updates
A new service release is now available for Xfmea (SR 2.0.2). To determine the compile revision of the application on your computer, select About from the Help menu.


Application Date Created Version
Xfmea Standard 4/9/04 2.0.2
Xfmea Standard Update N/A SR 2.0.2
Hot News
* 2004 International Applied Reliability Symposium The International Applied Reliability Symposium, June 16 - 18, is rapidly approaching! This Symposium is intended for engineers, managers and students who are interested in reliability engineering and includes 20 results-oriented presentations, four reliability analysis tutorials and an evening reception on a Mississippi-style sternwheeler. The Symposium will be held at the Catamaran Resort, which is conveniently located on Mission Bay and across the street from the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, California. Register now for this summer event at:
* RGA 6 Training Guide Now Available Online - The RGA 6 training guide is now available online for engineers who are interested in the exploration of reliability growth and repairable system data analysis and the RGA 6 software. This training guide provides step-by-step examples that are designed to introduce you to the features available in RGA 6 Standard and RGA 6 PRO. To download a free copy of the RGA 6 training guide (*.pdf format), 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:
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:
  • Analyzing the Effect of Inspection Intervals on Availability - Scheduled inspections can be an important part of a maintenance program because they provide a way to discover dormant failures and/or degradation that is likely to result in the imminent failure of the component. As with other maintenance activities, it is important to determine the appropriate inspection schedule to meet the performance expectations for the system with the lowest possible cost (in terms of personnel, spare parts, downtime, etc.).

    This article presents an example designed to study the effects of various possible inspection intervals on the availability of a component. Such analyses can contribute to an organization's decisions regarding optimal inspection intervals for components. 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.

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