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

Issue 8, October 2001

*Hot Topics
*Reliability Basics
*Tool Tips
*Hot News
*On the Hot Seat
*Contribute to HotWire

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Hot Topics  
Estimating Availability Through Simulation
Availability is a metric that combines the concepts of reliability and maintainability. Availability gives the probability of a unit being available - not broken and not undergoing repair - when called upon for use. Industries that rely on certain key pieces of equipment have a powerful interest in being able to model and track the availability of these machines. So do the manufacturers of repairable systems, whose customers will have a keen interest in the availability of the products they are buying. Availability estimation is most frequently done through simulation. In this article, we look at the way ReliaSoft's BlockSim software conducts availability simulations.

To read more, see 

Reliability Basics  
The purpose of this section is to offer background and advice to the novice reliability engineer. 

Probability Plotting
In last month's Reliability Basics, we examined the reliability function - what it is and how it can be used. In this issue, we will look at how we can begin determining the reliability function, and other functions, from raw life test data. The simplest and longest-used method is that of probability plotting. This methodology involves plotting the failure times on a specially constructed plot to determine the fit of the data to a given distribution and, if applicable, estimates of the distribution's parameters.

To read more, see 

Tool Tips  

The Tool Tips section addresses helpful hints and frequently asked questions about ReliaSoft software products.

  • What is the best way to import plots from ReliaSoft applications into Microsoft applications such as Word or PowerPoint?

  • How can I repeat the results I get when performing simulations in BlockSim? 

  • What does the "Use True 3-P MLE on Weibull" option in Weibull++ do?

To read more, see

Hot News
* ReliaSoft Announces the Release of Weibull++ DE (Developer Edition) - Use the Weibull++ DE (Developer Edition) software to integrate Weibull++ 6 and/or Weibull++ calculation and plotting engines into your custom designed applications. Now you can incorporate Weibull++'s powerful life data analysis and plotting capabilities into your own quality/reliability system, Excel spreadsheet, Access database or other custom software. Software developers can use any programming environment or other application that supports ActiveX components (e.g. Visual Basic, Visual C++, Excel, Access, etc.). For more information, see
New Reference in the Reliability Knowledge Base - The Reliability Growth Analysis Online Reference is now available in the Reliability Knowledge Base on For more information, see

Next Seminar in Tucson, December 10 - 14, 2001 - ReliaSoft's next "Master the Subject, Master the Tools" seminar will be held in Tucson, Arizona from December 10-14, 2001. Topics for this five-day seminar include Life Data Analysis, Accelerated Life Testing, and System Reliability, Maintainability and Availability. For more information on course content and how to register, see

* Advanced accelerated testing analysis training available with QALT Boot Camp - ReliaSoft will offer an intensive course on advanced topics, concepts and applications of quantitative accelerated life testing (QALT): QALT Boot Camp. This three-day seminar covers advanced topics in accelerated test data analysis ( such as time-varying stress and multiple stress testing) as well as the use of the ALTA and ALTA PRO software for performing these analyses. The next QALT Boot Camp will be held in Tucson, November 14-16, 2001. For seminar details, see For ALTA product information, see
On The Hot Seat  

From time to time, Reliability HotWire features "On The Hot Seat," where reliability professionals share their experiences with ReliaSoft applications, and relate how they have improved their day-to-day job assignments.

This time on the Hot Seat is John Keller, a quality/reliability engineer for Motorola Inc. His primary responsibility is for the reliability of new product introductions for Motorola's Sensor Products Division.

To read more, see 

Contribute to Hotwire
Contributions Welcome
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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