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

Issue 46, December 2004

*Hot Topics
*Reliability Basics
*Tool Tips
*Hot News
  *From the Edge
*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.

Hot Topics

Using Weibull++ and BlockSim to Calculate t0
A question that was posted on ReliaSoft's Discussion Forum asks whether ReliaSoft's Weibull++ software can calculate t0 for a data set provided in an article by another author and use the analysis to calculate a variety of results, including the optimum replacement time. This article presents ReliaSoft's response.

To read more, see 

Reliability Basics

Basic Concepts of FMEA and FMECA

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) are methodologies designed to identify potential failure modes for a product or process, to assess the risk associated with those failure modes, to rank the issues in terms of importance and to identify and carry out corrective actions to address the most serious concerns.

Although the purpose, terminology and other details can vary according to type (e.g. Process FMEA, Design FMEA, etc.), the basic methodology is similar for all. This article presents a brief general overview of FMEA / FMECA analysis techniques and requirements.

To read more, see 

Tool Tips
  • What is the difference between cumulative and instantaneous MTBF?

  • In regards to life data analysis, what type of analysis can be done when all of the data is suspended?

To read more, see 

Hot News
* RAMS 2005 ReliaSoft Corporation proudly announces its Diamond Level Sponsorship of the 51th Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS), to be held January 24-27, 2005 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Our esteemed scientists will be presenting technical papers during this event while also making themselves available for one-on-one interactions at our booth in the exhibitor area. Friendly interactions with old acquaintances and new make this event a pleasure each year. We hope to see you there! For detailed information on the symposium, please visit
* Deere & Company - John Deere continued to demonstrate its total commitment to reliability engineering practices by recently becoming an official ReliaSoft Global Corporate Partner. This agreement provides all John Deere employees, around the world, with full unlimited access to all stand-alone products offered by ReliaSoft. Welcome aboard, John Deere! Learn more about ReliaSoft's Corporate Partner License option at:
* 2005 Applied Reliability Symposium - The ARS Editorial Review Board has made its official selections from a distinguished group of presentation proposals. It was a very difficult process of selection this year, as we received many excellent topics. Letters of gratitude will be sent shortly to each and every person who so kindly took time from their busy schedules to participate. We will also be posting the selected presentation overviews at
* Prediction Software by ReliaSoft ReliaSoft's soon-to-be-released standards based reliability prediction software, Lambda Predict, will include MIL-HDBK-217, Bellcore (Telcordia), RDF 2000 and China 299B for the analysis of electronics and related components plus NSWC-98/LE1 for mechanical components. The software will also ship with an extensive collection of pre-defined component libraries. For more information on Lambda Predict, please visit
* New Editions from Dr. Wayne Nelson It has been brought to our attention that Dr. Wayne Nelson has published new paperback editions of the following reliability engineering classics!

Applied Life Data Analysis

Accelerated Testing: Statistical Models, Test Plans, and Data Analyses

These new editions include reliability engineering fundamentals and updated descriptions of modern software packages for various data types. We strongly recommend these reference publications, for we frequently refer to them ourselves here at ReliaSoft. To view additional recommended reading, please visit:
* Holiday Hours - Please note that our Corporate Headquarters in the U.S will be closed on Dec. 24th, 2004 and Dec. 31st, 2004. We wish you all a Happy Holiday Season!
* Public Training Event Calendar
December 2004
  - December 20 - 22: RS 401 in Shah Alam, Malaysia

     - Register through RS Asia

February - March 2005
  - February 28 - March 4, 2005: MSMT in Tucson, Arizona
April 2005
  - April 4 - 6, 2005: Advanced System Reliability, Maintainability and Availability Analysis  in Tucson, Arizona
  - April 7 - 8, 2005: Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis and Xfmea in Tucson, Arizona
From the Edge
In addition to the monthly Reliability HotWire, ReliaSoft publishes Reliability Edge, a printed journal that includes articles and information related to the field of reliability engineering. Articles of interest in the current edition:
  • Before launching a new product, the manufacturer is always faced with decisions regarding the optimum method to estimate the reliability of the product or service. Accelerated testing (with accelerated time or accelerated stress) might be the recommended or required approach. Conducting a quantitative accelerated life test (QALT) requires the determination or development of an appropriate life-stress relationship model. Moreover, a test plan needs to be developed to obtain appropriate and sufficient information in order to accurately estimate reliability performance at operating conditions, significantly reduce test times and costs and achieve other objectives. Nelson (1990), Meeker and Escobar (1998) and Nelson (2003) provide a substantial review of the literature on how to develop optimum QALT plans. Such plans are becoming very popular and are starting to be used in engineering, materials science and manufacturing industries. However, the rate of increase of this popularity has been slow due to the limited tools available at this time for designing optimum accelerated life testing plans.

    With the upcoming addition of a new utility, ReliaSoft's ALTA will be the only software package capable of analyzing, modeling, planning and evaluating a quantitative accelerated life test. This article demonstrates the use of ALTA's new accelerated life test planning module to investigate the procedure for designing QALT plans and applies the techniques to develop an example test plan for MOS capacitors. 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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