In this issue:

Issue 67, September 2006

*Hot Topics
*Reliability Basics
*Tool Tips
*Hot News
*Contribute to HotWire

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Hot Topics

Analysis of Accelerated Life Tests with Competing Failure Modes
Accelerated tests that yield a mix of failure modes have long troubled reliability analysts. Oftentimes when dealing with accelerated test data, all failures, regardless of their cause or which part of the product they affected, are lumped under one category - failures. This approach does not provide a way to distinguish between failure modes and treat them separately. Also, lumping all failure types together might lead to the violation of a common accelerated life testing analysis assumption, the constant shape parameter. This article presents a simple approach to analyze accelerated life tests with competing failure modes using ALTA 6, Weibull++ and BlockSim.

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Reliability Basics

What Would Deming Do?
In this article, we examine principles set forth by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a pioneer in using statistical methodologies for reliability and quality improvement. Known for being the father of the Japanese post-war industrial revival and a leading quality guru in the United States, Deming helped Japanese industrial leaders and engineers transform world perception of Japan from a cheap manufacturer to a world class manufacturer producing innovative, high-quality products. In 1960, he was awarded a medal by the Japanese Emperor for his services. Deming returned to the U.S. and embarked on a mission to teach his philosophy and statistical techniques for quality to American manufacturers. In 1982, Deming published his book "Out of the Crisis," in which he presented his 14 Points. His philosophy is an important framework for implementing reliability, quality and productivity improvements. Even in the new age, there is still a lot to learn from these 14 points.

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Tool Tips
  • How can file import settings be saved in Weibull++ File Import Wizard Profiles?
  • What is the difference between subcharts and subroutines in RENO?

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Hot News
* Safe Sender List - Current feedback from dedicated readers indicates that e-mail filters are inadvertently blocking our newsletter with more frequency. If you find our newsletter informative and relevant to your engineering efforts, there are ways to take control. Go to the following link to obtain instructions on how to keep us on your "Safe Senders" list:
* ESREL 2006 - ReliaSoft will be present at the 2006 European Safety and Reliability Association Conference on September 18-22, 2006 in Estoril, Portugal. This year's topic will focus on Safety and Reliability for Managing Risk. The purpose of the conference is to present and discuss modern innovations, traditional methods and relevant applications. Goals include improving the design and operation of products, processes, equipment and installations from a safety point of view, while taking into account the realistic constraints on the available physical and economical resources. Societal factors influencing the use of risk assessment and risk management methods will also be addressed. ReliaSoft scientists will be available for one-on-one interactions at our booth in the exhibitor area. We hope to see you there! More information is available at:
* Coming soon: Weibull++ 7 DE (Developer Edition) - Scheduled for sometime in the Fall, this major version upgrade will be the newest release to our Reliability suite. You will soon be able to create your very own custom designed applications with the functionality of Weibull++ 7. This will allow you to automate data analysis in applications such as Excel or Access and/or create applications that link to corporate data centers and perform automated analyses. Weibull++ 7 DE provides access to ReliaSoft's Weibull++ engines and interfaces through API calls. We will keep you posted as we get closer to the product's release.
* Lambda Predict Training Course - A new training course has been added for engineers interested in Standards Based Reliability Prediction analysis and ReliaSoft's corresponding software, Lambda Predict. The first class will be held in Tucson, AZ November 30 December 1, 2006. True to form, ReliaSoft's RS 490 will provide hands-on learning as we explore topics such as BOM importation, creating system hierarchies, analyzing complex systems, viewing results and creating reports. Reliability prediction standards covered during this two-day course include MIL-HDBK-217, Bellcore, NSWC, RDF 2000 and China 299, with more focus on the first three standards.
* 2007 ARS Call for Presentations - The 2007 International Applied Reliability Symposium events in Frankfurt, Germany scheduled for April 11 - 13, 2007 and in San Diego, CA scheduled for June 20 - 22, 2007 are currently accepting presentation proposals that address the Symposium theme: "Sharing applications, success stories and lessons learned in reliability and maintainability engineering." The deadline for proposal submissions is November 10, 2006 for the Frankfurt event and December 8, 2006 for the San Diego event. Subjects that will be covered in the 2007 Symposia include, but are not limited to:
  • Warranty reduction
  • Reliability as an investment, not a cost
  • Specifying reliability and reliability metrics
  • Supplier management
  • Data collection, management and analysis
  • Reliability and safety
  • Reliability and market share
  • Reliability testing
  • Software reliability
  • Manufacturing reliability

For more information, please visit (Frankfurt), (San Diego) or e-mail

Public Training Event Calendar
September 2006
September 18 - 22, 2006: MSMT Foundations in Manchester, UK
September 18 - 20, 2006: RS 522 Advanced System Analysis in Tucson, Arizona
September 21 - 22, 2006: RS 470 FMEA/FMECA in Tucson, Arizona
October 2006
October 9 - 10, 2006: RS 401(C) Life Data Analysis (Condensed) in Bangalore, India
October 18 - 20, 2006: RS 525 Probabilistic Event Analysis in Tucson, Arizona
October 23 - 27, 2006: MSMT Foundations in Frankfurt, Germany
November 2006
November 6 - 10, 2006: RS 540 Advanced Reliability Analysis for Repairable Systems in Melbourne, Australia
November 13 - 17, 2006: MSMT Foundations in Tucson, Arizona
November 13 - 17 , 2006: MSMT Foundations in Melbourne, Australia
November 27 - December 1, 2006: RS 540 Advanced Reliability Analysis for Repairable Systems in Singapore
November 30 - December 1, 2006: RS 490 Intro to Standards Based Reliability Prediction and Lambda Predict in Tucson, Arizona
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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