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

Issue 62, April 2006

*Hot Topics
*Reliability Basics
*Tool Tips
*Latest Software Updates
*Hot News
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Hot Topics

Modeling Periodical Inspection and Early Failure Detection in BlockSim

To improve availability, integrity, productivity and safety, many organizations implement regular monitoring of critical parts of the system, enabling regular feedback about the status of the equipment and the degradation over time before reaching failure. This allows quick response to disturbances and helps avoid unplanned shutdowns or safety problems.


There is an increased trend toward introducing modern censoring and early failure detection techniques into the design of advanced control centers in various applications such as manufacturing, navy ships, process industry and nuclear plants. The role of these computerized systems is to detect faults and degraded performances and alert the operators to anomalies in the system to help them manage the problems as quickly as possible with minimal adverse consequences. This article presents an approach to modeling periodical monitoring of a system and early detection of failures using BlockSim.

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Reliability Basics

Component Reliability Importance in System Reliability Analysis

Once the reliability of a system has been determined, engineers are often faced with the task of identifying the component(s) that cause the most problems to the system in order to prioritize improvements in the design and channel resources and efforts of system improvement to the areas that will have the most impact on the system's performance. In simple systems such as a series system, it is easy to identify the weak components. In more complex systems, however, this becomes quite a difficult task. Identifying the weakest component is an exercise that is based on understanding both the reliability of each component and the roles the components play reliability-wise in the system, which is determined by their location in the reliability block diagram (RBD). For complex systems, the analyst needs a mathematical approach that will provide the means of identifying and quantifying the importance of each component in the system. (Note: the cost of improving the reliability of the component is not considered. Cost of improvement is covered in the Reliability Allocation section of the online Life Data Analysis Reference.) In this article, BlockSim is used to generate plots that assist in understanding the reliability importance of each component in the analyzed system.

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Tool Tips
  • Why don't the failure rates of the system components add up to the system failure rate in Lambda Predict?

  • How can the status display in the RENO Simulation Console be adjusted?

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Latest Software Updates
A new service release is now available for Weibull++ (SR 7.1.1). To determine the compile revision of the application on your computer, select About from the Help menu. More Software Downloads...


Application Date Created Version
Weibull++ 7    
Weibull++ 7 4/13/06 7.1.1
Weibull++ 7 Update N/A SR 7.1.1
Hot News
* 2006 ARS Keynote Speaker This year's keynote speaker at the Orlando, Florida International Applied Reliability Symposium is Ernest A Seglie, PhD. Dr. Seglie currently serves as the Science Advisor for Operational Test and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense. He provides scientific and technical guidance on the overall approach to Department of Defense (DoD) evaluation of the operational effectiveness and suitability of major DoD weapon systems; provides technical review of test reports; and serves as chief technical advisor to the Director, OT&E. He has worked for the Institute for Defense Analyses as a Research Staff/Project Team Leader and been a Post Doctoral Fellow/Instructor at Yale University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Seglie's keynote address is titled Reliability Program: Successes and Failures, What Makes a Difference? This year's Symposium at the Sheraton World Resort in Orlando, Florida USA, June 14 - 16, 2006 will also include 22 Presentations, 4 Tutorials and a festive poolside reception. Additional information is available at:
* 2006 ARS Hotel Accommodations - The special reduced rate of $98 per night for ARS participants at the Sheraton World Resort in Orlando, Florida will expire on May 22, 2005. Interested parties are advised to make their reservations early to secure this special rate.
* Multi-Lingual Weibull++ 7!! - ReliaSoft has once again embraced the world's need to work efficiently within the discipline of life data analysis. Registered end-users of the Weibull++ 7 software can now obtain a free update that will allow them to easily switch between languages from the User Setup. All software menus, internal text and dialog boxes can be viewed in German, French, Portuguese, Spanish or Chinese. Update information and screenshots can be reviewed at:

Announcing New European Distributors - We are excited to announce that we have added two more distributors to address the growing European market's need for local representation.

RAMS Consultancy di Roberto Riva
Mail:  Via dei Ponticelli 3, 60010 Ostra (AN), Italy
Phone:  (+39) 071 7980221 
Fax:  (+39) 071 7980721
Web site:
StatXpert SARL
Mail:  215D rue F. Sevene, 33400 Talence France
Phone:  (+33)(0)5 579 678 18, Mobile: +33(0)6 624 840 26
Fax:  (+33) (0)5 579 678 18
Web site: Pending

Reliability Conference in France - The ALT2006 International Conference on Degradation, Damage, Fatigue and Accelerated Life Models in Reliability Testing is scheduled for May 22 - 24, 2006 in ISTIA, Angers, France. The ALT2006 is an international conference for presentation of new scientific results and applications in reliability testing. The intent of the conference is to assemble researchers and practitioners from universities, institutions and industries working in this field. Theoretical issues and applied case studies presented at the conference will range from academic considerations to industrial applications. ReliaSoft's partner, StatXpert SARL, will also be present during this event. More details about this conference are available at:

Public Training Event Calendar
April/May 2006

April 24 - 28, 2006: MSMT Foundations in Tucson, Arizona

April 24 - 28, 2006: MSMT Foundations in Taipei, Taiwan
May 11 - 12, 2006: International Applied Reliability Symposium in Salvador, Bahia, Brasil
May 17 - 19, 2006: RS 511 - Reliability Growth Analysis, Repairable System Data Analysis and RGA in Tucson, Arizona
May 17 - 19, 2006: RS 521 - Advanced QALT Data Analysis and ALTA PRO in Tucson, Arizona
May 18 - 19, 2006: RS 440 - Applied Reliability for the Semiconductor Industry in Muntinlupa City, Philippines
June 2006
June 5 - 9, 2006: RS 540 - Advanced Reliability Analysis for Repairable Systems in Manila, Philippines
June 12 - 16, 2006: MSMT Foundations in Penang, Malaysia
June 14 - 16, 2006: International Applied Reliability Symposium in Orlando, Florida
June 26 - 30, 2006: MSMT Foundations in Warsaw, Poland
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