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

Issue 44, October 2004

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

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Hot Topics

Data Analysis and Reporting

The manner in which reliability data is analyzed and reported will largely have to be tailored to the specific circumstance or organization. However, it is possible to break down the general methods of analysis/reporting into two categories: parametric analyses and non-parametric analyses. Overall, it will be necessary to tailor the analysis and reporting methods by the type of data as well as to the intended audience. Managers will generally be more interested in actual data and non-parametric analysis results, while engineers will be more concerned with parametric analysis. Of course this is a rather broad generalization and if the proper training has instilled the organization with an appreciation of the importance of reliability engineering, there should be an interest in all types of reliability reports at all levels of the organization. Nevertheless, managers are usually more interested in the "big picture" information that non-parametric analyses generally tend to provide, while not being particularly interested in the level of technical detail that parametric analyses provide. On the other hand, engineers and technicians are usually more concerned with the close-up details and technical information that parametric analyses provide. Both of these types of data analysis have a great deal of importance to any given organization, and it is merely necessary to apply the different types in the proper places.

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Reliability Basics

Comparison of RBD and Fault Tree Simulation

The slightly modified constructs in BlockSim FTI erase the distinction between reliability block diagrams (RBD) and fault trees. Given this, any analysis that is possible in a BlockSim RBD (including throughput analysis) is also available when utilizing fault trees. In this article, the simulation of an RBD and its corresponding fault tree will be compared.

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Tool Tips
  • What is the meaning of a start time greater than zero when entering data for fielded systems in RGA?

  • When analyzing failure times data during reliability growth analysis in RGA, should the non-cumulative times-to-failure for the individual systems be transferred and analyzed using Weibull++?

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Latest Software Updates
New service releases are now available for BlockSim (SR 6.2.9) and Xfmea (SR 2.0.7). To determine the compile revision of the application on your computer, select About from the Help menu.


Application Date Created Version
BlockSim 9/30/04 6.2.9
BlockSim Update N/A SR 6.2.9
Xfmea Standard 10/1/04 2.0.7
Xfmea Standard Update N/A SR 2.0.7
Hot News
* Reliability Engineering Specialist - We are very pleased to announce the addition of Carl S. Carlson to the ReliaSoft team as a consultant and instructor. He has 20 years experience in reliability engineering and management positions at General Motors, most recently Senior Manager for the Advanced Reliability Group. His responsibilities at GM included Design FMEAs for North American operations, developing and implementing advanced reliability methods to achieve and demonstrate reliability requirements and managing teams of reliability engineers. Carl also co-chaired the cross-industry team to develop the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1739 for Design, Process or Machinery FMEA and participated in the development of the SAE JA 1000/1 Reliability Program Standard Implementation Guide. Expanded biographies on ReliaSoft's consultants can be viewed at:
* 2005 Public Training Dates Are Posted - Planning next year's training schedule has never been easier as you can now view ReliaSoft's public training seminars by class, date and location. Please visit to find the class, date and location that work best for you.
* 2005 International Applied Reliability Symposium - The 2005 International Applied Reliability Symposium is still accepting presentation proposals that address the Symposium theme: "Sharing applications, success stories and lessons learned in reliability and maintainability engineering." The milestones that have been set include:
  • Submit Proposals - November 1, 2004
  • Submit Presentation Draft - January 12, 2005
  • Submit Final Presentation - March 11, 2005

For more information, please visit the ARS Web site at or e-mail

* Calendar of Public Events:
  October RS 511 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - Reliability growth analysis, repairable systems data analysis and the RGA software: October 20 - 22, 2004 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Please contact ReliaSoft Brasil for additional information:
  November MSMT in United Kingdom - In an effort to meet the demand for more training in Europe, ReliaSoft is proud to announce a public Master the Subject, Master the Tools Foundations Series seminar in the United Kingdom hosted by Maintain-IT. This series provides basic courses for a solid foundation in the fundamental principles and theory of important reliability engineering topics. Attending this training seminar will help you increase your capabilities and productivity while providing you with a fresh look at your career in reliability engineering. This seminar is scheduled for November 1 5, 2004. Please contact Maintain-IT for additional information:
    Master the Subject, Master the Tools Training Seminar (MSMT) - Life data analysis, Intro to accelerated life data analysis, reliability growth and system analysis: November 15 - 19, 2004 in Tucson, AZ. For more information, see
    MSMT in Singapore - A public Master the Subject, Master the Tools Foundations Series seminar in Singapore is scheduled for November 29 - December 3, 2004. For more information, see
  December QALT Boot Camp  Dec. 6 - 8, 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 Dec. 6 - 8, 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, developmental testing and customer field use. Hands-on use of RGA 6 PRO will enhance the learning process. For more information, see
    MSMT in Melbourne, Australia - A public Master the Subject, Master the Tools Foundations Series seminar in Australia is scheduled for December 6 - 10, 2004. For more information, see
    MSMT in Penang, Malaysia - A public Master the Subject, Master the Tools Foundations Series seminar in Malaysia is scheduled for December 13 - 17, 2004. For more information, see
    RS 401: Life Data Analysis and Weibull++ in Penang, Malaysia - The RS 401: Life Data Analysis and Weibull++ training course will be offered in Penang, Malaysia on December 20 - 22, 2004. For more information, 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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