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

Issue 47, January 2005

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

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Hot Topics

Life Cycle Cost Analysis

A life cycle cost analysis involves the analysis of the costs of a system or a component over its entire life span. Typical costs for a system may include acquisition costs (or design and development costs), operating costs (cost of failures, cost of repairs, cost for spares, downtime costs and loss of production) and disposal costs.

A complete life cycle cost (LCC) analysis may also include other costs, as well as other accounting/financial elements (such as discount rates, interest rates, depreciation, present value of money, etc.). For the purpose of this article, it is sufficient to say that if you have all of the required cost values (inputs), then a complete LCC analysis can be performed easily in a spreadsheet, since it really involves summations of costs and perhaps some computations involving interest rates. With respect to the cost inputs for such an analysis, the costs involved are either deterministic (such as acquisition costs, disposal costs, etc.) or probabilistic (such as cost of failures, repairs, spares, downtime, etc.). Most of the probabilistic costs are directly related to the reliability and maintainability characteristics of the system. Estimating the associated probabilistic costs is the challenging aspect of LCC analysis. BlockSim can be used to obtain such costs.

To read more, see 

Reliability Basics

Characteristics of the Lognormal Distribution

The lognormal distribution is commonly used to model the lives of units whose failure modes are of a fatigue-stress nature. Since this includes most, if not all, mechanical systems, the lognormal distribution can have widespread application. Consequently, the lognormal distribution is a good companion to the Weibull distribution when attempting to model these types of units. This article explains the characteristics of the lognormal distribution and its parameters.

To read more, see 

Tool Tips
  • While viewing the System Operation plot in RGA, how can the displayed systems be organized?

  • What are the dates and locations for ReliaSoft's 2005 public reliability training seminars?

  • Is there a listing of reliability-related Web sites?

To read more, see 

Latest Software Updates
New service releases are now available for BlockSim 6 (SR 6.2.10) and Xfmea (SR 2.0.8). To determine the compile revision of the application on your computer, select About from the Help menu.


Application Date Created Version
BlockSim 6    
BlockSim 12/20/04 6.2.10
BlockSim Update N/A SR 6.2.10
Xfmea 12/20/04 2.0.8
Xfmea Update N/A SR 2.0.8
Hot News
* RAMS 2005 ReliaSoft's team of expert engineers will be on hand to teach tutorials, present papers and moderate sessions during this very important annual event. Here is the line-up slated for this year:
R&M Successes & Failures
  moderated by Pantelis Vassiliou, CEO (Session 6B)
Reliability Predictions Based on Customer Usage Stress
  presented by Adamantios Mettas (Session 5A4)
Studies and Methods for Improving the Effectiveness of Reliability Tasks
  presented by Dr. Larry H. Crow (Session 5A3)
Modeling and Analysis of Repairable Systems with General Repair
  presented by Adamantios Mettas and Dr. Wenbiao Zhao (Session 7B3)
Predicting Reliability using Multivariate Degradation Data
  presented by Dr. Di Xu and Dr. Wenbiao Zhao (Session 9D4)
Understanding Accelerated Life Test Analysis
  presented by Pantelis Vassiliou and Adamantios Mettas (Tutorial 11C)
Innovation in Fault Trees and FMEA
  moderated by Lisa Hacker (Session 12B)
Reliability Growth Testing and Data Analysis
  presented by Dr. Larry H. Crow (Tutorial 13C)

The 51st Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS) will be held January 24-27, 2005 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Be sure to come by our booth to visit and review our suite of cutting edge analysis tools, including QTMS (FRACAS) and the most advanced Reliability Growth software package available today. See you there! For detailed information on the symposium, please visit

* International Applied Reliability Symposium Register now to attend the International Applied Reliability Symposium, coming to San Diego, CA May 1820, 2005. Each year, this event focuses on sharing applications, success stories and lessons learned in reliability and maintainability engineering. Past and present day information on this specialized event, including the 2005 program matrix, can be obtained at
* ReliaSoft's New Agreement with S.P.A.C. in Turkey - ReliaSoft is pleased to announce a new international sales/support agreement with S.P.A.C. Consulting. S.P.A.C. is a Turkey-based company that offers consultancy support and software sales in many areas of engineering. They will also be hosting ReliaSoft's MSMT training seminar scheduled for Feb. 28th, 2005! For more information please visit:
* Lambda Predict Software We have recently posted a set of examples, with screenshots, to provide a quick overview of our much anticipated standards based reliability prediction software, Lambda Predict. Simply visit the following link to peek at this new future release: The Lambda Predict package will include MIL-HDBK-217, Bellcore (Telcordia), RDF 2000 and China 299B standards for the analysis of electronics and related components, plus the NSWC-98/LE1 standard for mechanical components. It will also ship with an extensive collection of pre-defined component libraries.
* Chinese MSMT Training ReliaSoft China will be holding a localized MSMT training seminar in Shenzhen, China this coming March, 2005.  For complete details in Chinese, please visit:
* New Locations for International Reliability Training - ReliaSoft continues to address the international demand for reliability training. Locations recently added include Poland, Australia, Turkey and the UK! For a complete list of seminars planned this year, please visit:
* Public Training Event Calendar
February 2005
February 28 - March 4, 2005: MSMT Foundations in Tucson, Arizona
February 28 - March 4, 2005: MSMT Foundations in Istanbul, Turkey
March 2005
March 7 - 8, 2005 Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis and Xfmea in Melbourne, Australia
March 14 - 18, 2005: MSMT Foundations in Warsaw, Poland
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
April 18 - 20, 2005: Advanced System Reliability, Maintainability and Availability Analysis in Singapore
April 25 - 29, 2005: MSMT Foundations in Tucson, Arizona
April 27 - 29, 2005 QALT Boot Camp in Singapore
May 2005
May 2 - 6, 2005: MSMT Foundations in Melbourne, Australia
May 18 - 20, 2005: 2005 International Applied Reliability Symposium in San Diego, California

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. An article of interest in the current edition:
  • 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 as well. 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 for this type of analysis. 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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