In this issue:

Issue 73, March 2007

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

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Hot Topics

Usage-Based Warranty Analysis
Warranty data analysis is a central activity in reliability analysis for manufacturing companies. It is one of the most important ways for companies to keep track of their products' behavior in the hands of customers and to perform reliability analysis and forecasts that are in line with the realities seen in the field. Warranty data analysis relies on the estimation of a failure distribution based on data including the age and number of returns and the age and number of surviving units in the field. When working in the time domain, this is relatively simple, as one has knowledge of the time a part failed or survived as of the analysis date. When the driving factor of reliability is usage rather than time, however, the analysis becomes more involved. This article presents an approach for analyzing usage-based warranty data.

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Reliability Basics

Basic Steps of Applying Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) Part II
The previous issue of Reliability HotWire discussed the DEFINE stage (prepare for the analysis, select equipment to be analyzed and identify functions) of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM).This article covers the ANALYZE stage: identify functional failures, identify and evaluate effect of failures and identify causes of failure.

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Tool Tips
  • How can Definitions and Constructs in a RENO project be edited without having to open each one?

  • What options are available in Xfmea/RCM++ to prioritize issues identified by the FMEA?

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Latest Software Updates
A new version of BlockSim (7.0.1) is available. To determine the compile revision of the application on your computer, select About from the Help menu. More Software Downloads...


Application Date Created Version
BlockSim 3/6/07 7.0.1
BlockSim Update N/A N/A
Hot News

BlockSim 7 Now Available - With the new release of Version 7, BlockSim provides many new features that enable you to perform more powerful and realistic system analyses and simulations than ever before. Some exciting enhancements include the ability to use Phase Diagrams to model systems that go through different phases during the course of their operation (e.g. take-off, cruising and landing or day shift/night shift), additional simulation factors, such as "Duty Cycles," and support for five additional lifetime distributions.

True to form, BlockSim 7 still provides a sophisticated graphical interface that allows you to model the simplest or most complex systems using Reliability Block Diagrams (RBDs), Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) or a combination of both approaches! The software then algebraically computes exact system reliability results and optimum reliability allocations. BlockSim also provides a sophisticated discrete event simulation engine for reliability, maintainability, availability, throughput, life cycle cost summaries and related analyses. For more information please visit


Advanced ARS Registration Expires in April! Act now to take advantage of the $200 discount for this year's International Applied Reliability Symposium, North America, which will be held June 2022, 2007 at the Catamaran Resort on Mission Bay in San Diego, California. Register before April 20th, 2007 for this special rate (more details). Hotel rooms at the Catamaran Resort on Mission Bay will also need to be reserved by May 18th to be eligible for the special Symposium rate.

The International Applied Reliability Symposium - North America provides a forum for expert presenters from industry and government to come together with reliability practitioners from all over the world to discuss the application of reliability principles to meet real world challenges.

Your company still has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to reliability engineering, as we have a few corporate sponsorship opportunities available. The ARS 2007 introductory sponsorship package provides your company with targeted visibility while also allowing a number of your engineers to attend the event at no additional cost. Send a quick message to if you are interested in benefiting your engineering team and company with this simple solution.


ALTA 7 Soon to Be Released - ReliaSoft is just days away from the much-anticipated release of ALTA 7. Here are just a few of the many items we are excited about: ALTA 7 provides a powerful new Accelerated Life Test Planning utility to help you design an efficient testing plan, which accounts for the type of stress, method of applying stress, stress levels, number of units to be tested at each stress level and an applicable accelerated life testing model that relates the failure times at accelerated conditions to those at normal conditions. We've also added the ability to analyze multiple time-varying stresses within the cumulative damage model (available in ALTA PRO) as well as support for interval- and left-censored data, the generalized Eyring life-stress model and degradation analysis with the Gompertz and Lloyd-Lipow models. All of this is presented in an easy-to-use enhanced interface that offers template-based report generation and the ability to work more closely in conjunction with Weibull++ 7 than ever before! For more information, please visit  


RS 522 Advanced System Reliability/Maintainability Analysis and BlockSim March 26 - 28, Tucson, AZ.
This training course considerably expands upon the basics of system reliability, maintainability and availability analysis (presented in RS 403) in a three-day intensive theoretical and hands-on course (utilizing BlockSim 7) and exposes the attendee to the advanced concepts, principles and requirements for performing advanced quantitative system analyses using a reliability diagram (RBD) analysis approach.


RS 470 Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis March, 29 - 30, Tucson, AZ.
This two-day training session provides a thorough understanding of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA). Training includes the basics of FMEA and risk assessment, including how to perform successful FMEA projects by identifying the key factors that make them successful, based on the best practices from major companies and knowing how to avoid common pitfalls. This course also includes instruction in the use of ReliaSoft's Xfmea software for automated data management and reporting to significantly improve productivity and efficiency. Strong emphasis is placed on the practical application of FMEA for product and process improvements.

Public Training Event Calendar
March 2007
March 26 - 30, 2007: MSMT Foundations in Malaysia
March 26 - 28, 2007: RS 522 Advanced System Analysis in Tucson, Arizona
March 29 - 30, 2007: RS 470 FMEA/FMECA in Tucson, Arizona
April 2007
April 11 - 13, 2007: International Applied Reliability Symposium in Frankfurt, Germany
April 19 - 20, 2007: International Applied Reliability Symposium in Chennai, India
April 23 - 27, 2007: MSMT Foundations in Tucson, Arizona
May 2007
May 3 - 4, 2007: RS 490 Intro to Standards Based Reliability Prediction and Lambda Predict in Tucson, Arizona
May 7 - 11, 2007: MSMT Foundations in Singapore
May 9 - 11, 2007: International Applied Reliability Symposium in MG, Brasil
May 16 - 18, 2007: RS 521 Advanced QALT in Tucson, Arizona
May 16 - 18, 2007: RS 511 Adv. Reliability Growth Analysis in Tucson, Arizona
May 28 - June 1, 2007: RS 540 Repairable Systems Analysis in Cairns, Queensland, Australia
May 31 - June 1, 2007: RS 480 Reliability Centered Maintenance 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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