Brian Haan is the reliability manager for LaserComm Inc. In addition
to developing and managing the reliability program, he is
responsible for identifying means to raise device reliability beyond
current industrial standards. Prior to his current assignment, Mr.
Haan served as reliability engineering manager for G.E.
Harris-Harmon, and as a reliability engineer for Harmon Industries,
SAIC, Lockheed-Martin and Loral Space Information Systems.
Haan earned an MSEE at Louisiana State University for a thesis on
evaluating network reliability of massively distributed systems
and a BS in Applied Optics from Rose-Hulman Institute of
Which ReliaSoft applications do you currently use, and how long have
you been using them?
using ALTA after attending a course on accelerated testing taught by
[ReliaSoft President/CEO] Pantelis Vassiliou in June of 1999. What
immediately impressed me was balance between ease-of-use and
versatility. My satisfaction with ALTA led me to evaluate and then
adopt Weibull++ a few months later. I began using BlockSim shortly
after it was released.
any, reliability analysis software packages did you use prior to using
adopting the ReliaSoft tools, I most frequently relied on Excel, MathCAD,
Relex and RAPTOR. Excel and MathCAD really served as the analytical
backbone. The Relex package was adequate for the part-count activities but
I never learned to trust its RBDA [reliability block diagram analysis]
function. The version of RAPTOR I was using at the time could not support
analysis of the system complexity I desired. I had evaluated demonstration
versions of other packages geared towards the reliability professional but
found they lacked the value proposition that the ReliaSoft tools would
What are the goals of your reliability program and what role do ReliaSoft
applications have in achieving these goals?
products are built around a unique technology that helps overcome many of
the historical limits of advanced optical networks. The ultimate goal of
LaserComm's reliability program is to ensure that optical networks are
inherently more reliable when they apply our
products. LaserComm's reliability tests and analyses are engineered
so that device performance under test conditions can be accurately
translated into forecasts of device reliability in the specific context of
a customer's system. To successfully deploy these reliability tests
requires both a thorough understanding of the device and a competent
assessment of the test data. The ReliaSoft applications help us assess the
test data by providing the analytical horsepower for processing intangible
test data into findings that result in measurable reliability growth. For
example, a typical analysis requires fitting and assessing test data
against a reliability model to generate findings that can be leveraged to
improve product reliability. ALTA quickly and accurately fits the test
data to the desired life-stress model and solves for unknown parameters.
Because ALTA handles the mathematics used to find parameters for the
abstract reliability model, LaserComm can focus its attention on
interpreting findings and continuing to improve the device.
What is the greatest challenge faced by your reliability program and how
do ReliaSoft applications help you meet this challenge?
challenge LaserComm faces with its reliability program is rooted in the
revolutionary nature of its technology. Revolutionary technology often
carries the potential to make dramatic gains in reliability per unit of
performance. The challenge is to learn how to leverage this new technology
to raise reliability beyond the current industrial standard. Because
LaserComm's technology is unique, there is very little field-history to
draw upon. Therefore, the reliability models must be derived from theory
and the model parameters determined through testing. ReliaSoft
applications are critical to this analysis because they bring the
computational power to empirically model product reliability that
challenges our theoretical understanding. By using the ReliaSoft tools in
concert with our device knowledge, we can
identify which parameters had the most effect on the reliability test
results, resulting in extraordinary and sustained reliability growth.
How do ReliaSoft applications help your reliability program prepare for
products allow for flexibility in the design of the optical network. This
flexibility opens up design options not available today and has the
potential to change the context in which device reliability is assessed.
ReliaSoft applications are versatile, easy to use, and precisely
engineered, enabling LaserComm to easily tailor the analyses as the
context of reliability changes. In order to sustain continuous
improvement, the reliability organization must have the capability of
evaluating device reliability from multiple contexts. To a considerable
degree, this evaluation can be accomplished with BlockSim. BlockSim's
ability to provide exact system solutions translates into an ability to
build a logic model of device reliability under multiple contexts. Logic
models can then be placed in phantom systems from which an importance or
optimization calculation shows where to place engineering focus. This
helps assure that we both provide our customers an inherently reliable
device and also empower our customers to leverage our technology
throughout the system to make their systems more competitive with respect
to reliability, cost and performance.
What do you
like the best about ReliaSoft applications?
What I like
best is the reliability engineering expertise and innovations that get
built into the reasonably-priced applications. ReliaSoft applications
provide a sophisticated data analysis capability with a solid base in the
fundamentals of reliability engineering.
you like to see ReliaSoft do in the future to improve current
applications, or add to the current family of tools?
I'll sum up a
few of the bigger wishes by product:
Weibull++: On the contour charts, I would like to be able to set up a
reliability target contour. For example - given a failure distribution and
a reliability target expressed as a probability at some time, I would like
to see which combinations of distribution parameters would meet the
BlockSim: An option to have importance calculations drill down multiple
layers in an RBD hierarchy. Also, adding life-stress relationships to the
blocks to assess system reliability at differing levels of stress
(basically, build a bridge between ALTA and BlockSim).