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Special Anniversary Edition

Volume 12, Issue 1

New Analysis Capabilities in Synthesis Applications

With the release of Synthesis Phase I in Spring 2012, the In the following sections, we will use simplified examples
Version 8 releases of Weibull++, ALTA, BlockSim, Xfmea and to highlight four of the most anticipated new capabilities:
RCM++ were integrated into the groundbreaking new Synthesis Solving for design parameters based on a target reliability
Platform. This new framework provides intelligent integration (Weibull++ and ALTA).
between reliability program activities and tools, while
simultaneously facilitating effective information sharing and Using data from an FMEA to calculate the initial baseline
cooperation between engineering teams of any size. (Learn system reliability (Xfmea and RCM++).
more at Building fault trees and RBDs from data in an FMEA
Together with Synthesis integration, the Version 8
upgrades also offer an exciting collection of powerful new Improving maintenance task packaging (RCM++).
analysis capabilities that many of ReliaSoft's customers and We also provide a sneak peek at some of the new capabilities
partners have been waiting for. that will be added in the Synthesis Phase II release in 2013.

Solving for Design Parameters Based on Target Reliability New in Weibull++ and ALTA
For many years, Weibull++ and ALTA users have been This tool has now been extensively redesigned and
relying on the stress-strength analysis tool for situations when expanded in Version 8, giving users the ability to:
they need to estimate reliability by determining the probability
that the strength of the component will exceed the stress Save these analyses in the project for future reference.
expected in the operating environment. Generate a pdf plot to visualize the comparison.
Obtain confidence bounds on the calculated probability.

The Version 8 utility also provides two new integrated

capabilities that have very useful applications for Design for
Reliability (DFR) activities.
Please Turn to Page 7

Accelerated Testing with the Inverse Power Law Guest Submission

Harland MacKenzie suitability of a particular design and/or system for field usage.
Dana Corporation But if all that is taken away is an estimate of useful life (or time
to failure), the effort has been half wasted. Quite often, the
One of the keys to understanding how a system or
failure mode is actually more valuable than the time to failure.
component will react to conditions outside its validation
If design changes can be made to eliminate or significantly
envelope is the life-stressor slope. Generally, the useful life of
delay the onset of the "first failure," great gains can be made
a component decreases with increased levels of stress or
in system reliability.
"input." In essence, it comes down to developing a fatigue
curve for a particular system then exploiting the design margin Please Turn to Page 20
during testing. The hard part, quite often, is determining a
confident estimate for the life-stressor slope; because even a Also Inside...
small error results in predictions being quite far off. This article
will examine some of the basics of accelerated life testing and A New Multimedia Resource Portal for Reliability
some techniques to utilize the inverse power law to improve
Celebrating ReliaSoft's 20 Year Anniversary
testing time, cost and life prediction accuracy.
More New Analysis Capabilities in Synthesis Applications
What is Accelerated Life Testing?
Increasing Mandrel Life in a Cold Ring Rolling Process:
Accelerated life testing (ALT) exploits the fatigue properties An Application of DOE Principles to Reliability Analysis
of materials to aid in the design and validation process. The
general trend is to use ALT as a method to demonstrate the Information on the latest software product releases
In This Issue A New Multimedia Resource Portal for Reliability
Page 1 In recent years, more and more busy Step-by-Step Software Tutorials
professionals have come to rely on
New Analysis Capabilities in The site also features multimedia
videos and multimedia presentations to
tutorials that demonstrate, step-by-step,
Synthesis Applications provide a fast, convenient and enjoyable
how to use available software tools to
Accelerated Testing with the way to get up to speed (and stay up to
solve specific problems. These videos
Inverse Power Law date) with the latest advances in many
are meant to optimize the time that a user
different aspects of both their personal
spends learning a new software interface
Page 2 and professional lives.
by providing a direct visual demonstration
A New Multimedia Resource Introduced in early 2012, the that will hold the user's attention and
Portal for Reliability website has been established make it easy to follow along with even the
in order to bring these kinds of practical most complex examples.
From the Editor's Desk and effective multimedia resources to
professionals in reliability engineering Reliability Education Area
Page 3 and related fields. Another area of the site provides
Celebrating 20 Years of more in-depth educational videos on a
y Empowering the Reliability variety of reliability-related topics. These
Professional presentations offer a deeper dive into
e specific reliability techniques and theory,
Page 26 The site has been organized into but the content is still condensed for a
y Increasing Mandrel Life in a several distinct content areas that are quick, convenient learning experience.
Cold Ring Rolling Process: An intended to meet a variety of different
Partner Content Area
needs, both for ReliaSoft's direct
e Application of DOE Principles to
customers and for the overall reliability Finally, the site offers a designated
Reliability Analysis
community. area for individuals and organizations
= who are not directly affiliated with
Page 31 Introduce Specific Reliability Concepts
ReliaSoft to post their own multimedia
and Software Tools
= For Your Information content that will be of interest to the
Bulletin Board One area of the site has been reliability engineering community.
dedicated to providing high-level
Y Get Started Now
introductions for specific reliability
Reliability Edge is published up to four times a year.
engineering concepts and software tools. The website is up and running now
, To obtain a free subscription, send comments or
These targeted, concise multimedia
submit articles for consideration: with step-by-step examples and a variety
presentations offer an easy and engaging of other multimedia presentations.
ReliaSoft Publishing
way to become familiar with some of the Additional content is under development
1450 S. Eastside Loop
Tucson, AZ 85710-6703 USA most useful reliability techniques and as the site continues to expand. To get
Telephone: +1.520.886.0410 Fax: +1.520.886.0399 tools that are currently available. started, visit

Correspondence with the editor may be published, in

whole or in part, in future issues of ReliaSoft
publications. From the Editors Desk Platform integration and the Version 8
r upgrades for Weibull++, ALTA, BlockSim,
An electronic copy of this document can be viewed or 2012 has been a busy and exciting
downloaded from: Xfmea and RCM++.
year at ReliaSoft. As the year comes to a
For information about products and services: close, I'm pleased to be introducing this And please don't miss the practical
insights contributed by two Reliability
r ReliaSoft Sales
special edition of Reliability Edge to
commemorate the company's 20 year Edge readers Harland MacKenzie's
1450 S. Eastside Loop
Tucson, AZ 85710-6703 USA anniversary (1992-2012). reflections on using the inverse power
y Telephone: +1.520.886.0410 Fax: +1.520.886.0399 law model for accelerated test data
E-mail: In this issue, we've included a few analysis, and Tayfun Kocabas' case
Website: festive features to celebrate the 20 year study that applies DOE principles to the
This document may be reproduced without permission
milestone, but you'll find that the issue is reliability analysis of
provided that it is not altered in any way and all pages also packed with ideas for applying machine equipment.
are included in any reproduction. reliability analysis tools to meet real world
challenges. For example, we hope you'll As always, we
2012 ReliaSoft Corporation, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ReliaSoft, Reliability Edge,, Synthesis Platform, find some useful ideas in the short appreciate your interest
Synthesis Elements, Weibull++, ALTA, DOE++, RGA,
examples that highlight new analysis and support.
BlockSim, RENO, Xfmea, RCM++, FMEA Accelerator, MPC,
Lambda Predict, XFRACAS and Orion eAPI are registered capabilities made possible by Synthesis
trademarks of ReliaSoft Corporation. Lisa Hacker

2 Reliability Edge
Celebrating 20 Years of Empowering the Reliability Professional
Q & A with Pantelis Vassiliou, ReliaSoft President and C.E.O.
Q. What does ReliaSofts 20th Anniversary mean to you? package was the first commercial RCM software with
quantitative optimization engines. And the new Synthesis
A. Its been that long? Looking back, I am really proud of our Platform is the first commercial fully enterprise-capable
significant contributions to the reliability engineering integrated solution for reliability engineering using object -based
community, the products and services that we have provided, reliability modeling methodologies.
and most of all the way we did it that is, by always putting
customers first and providing a customer service experience Q. How would you describe the companys growth over
that is second to none. the last 20 years?

Q. How did ReliaSoft start? A. Our growth has been pursued in a planned and sustainable
fashion. As a result, over the past 20 years ReliaSoft has
A. It all started in 1991. At that time I was student in the Ph.D. grown to a company of more than 125 professionals on four
program in reliability engineering at the University of Arizona. continents with a customer base exceeding 6,000 companies.
During that time, I worked on a project to create an easy-to-use Attendance to Applied Reliability Symposia, which are
PC-based tool to solve for the mixed-Weibull distribution. sponsored and organized by ReliaSoft, has grown to exceed
Eventually, this led to the creation of a general software for 1,000 industry participants per year for all events, and
solving for most forms of the Weibull distribution. The first ReliaSofts Educational Services unit has provided training to
version was pretty much a student project and worked under more than 17,000 engineering professionals from more than
DOS on IBM-compatible PCs. By the end of 1992, the original 4,000 companies and government agencies worldwide.
DOS program was ported to Windows 3.1 and was made
commercially available as ReliaSofts Weibull+ Version 3. It is Q. What sets ReliaSoft apart from others?
interesting to note that, at that time, this was one of very few
engineering/math software packages made available on the A. What sets ReliaSoft apart from others is that we are
newly released Windows 3.1 platform. This single product multifaceted. We not only have the knowledge, experience
started the company. Twenty years later, we are the industry and expertise in reliability, but were also creating the reliability
leader with a full range of reliability solutions that spans 12 software ourselves and educating the users at the same time.
fully integrated software offerings, an extensive training
program in reliability theory and practice, expert consulting Q. What has been the core value of the company that has
services and a worldwide presence. led to its success over the last 20 years?

Q. What is ReliaSofts greatest influence on the reliability A. As a corporate philosophy, we have always valued our
engineering discipline? customers most and assured that they receive the product
quality and service that we would like to receive ourselves. As
A. The greatest influence ReliaSoft has had in this discipline per our mission statement, we work to empower our customers
is that we have provided a centralized location of practical and to apply reliability engineering methodologies in order to
useful tools and education, a one-stop shop for reliability maximize their profitability while assuring the safety, reliability
engineers to help them solve problems and improve their and quality of their products, processes and services.
products and processes. Prior to our company, there were a
few universities and textbooks to educate engineers on I want to take this opportunity to thank our thousands of
reliability, but there were not any really functional tools. We customers for their preference and support over the years,
fulfilled that need in the market early on, and in turn have and to also thank our loyal employees across the globe who
accelerated the industrys growth, as well as our own. have worked hard to take care of our customers in all aspects
of our business.
Q. What are some of ReliaSofts greatest achievements
over the last 20 years? ReliaSoft Customers Celebrate With Us
A. I believe that ReliaSofts unwavering commitment to Meeting and exceeding the expectations of our customers has
continuous investment in research and development and been a central focus of ReliaSofts efforts over the last 20
focus on innovation has produced a history of industry firsts. years. When we asked some of those valued customers and
We developed the first commercial Windows-based reliability partners to help us celebrate this anniversary milestone, we
software (Weibull++), the first commercial Accelerated Testing were overwhelmed by their supportive responses.
Analysis software (ALTA) and the first commercial Reliability
Growth Analysis software (RGA). We also released the first We invite you to review excerpts from their comments on the
commercial FRACAS software, which was also the first next two pages, or visit to
web-based reliability software (XFRACAS). Our RCM++ see the full remarks.
Please Turn to Page 4

Volume 12, Issue 1 3

What people are saying...
About ReliaSoft's 20 Anniversary
Congratulations on your 20th year. I look forward to many more Congratulations to you and the entire team. The range of tools has
years of applied reliability science innovation. enabled thousands of engineers to analyze reliability data properly and
Daniel C. Conrad / Hussmann Corporation make decisions that have improved innumerable products Looking
forward to another 20+ years.
RELIASOFT! Congratulations on achieving your 20 year Fred Schenkelberg / FMS Reliability
anniversary. In this short period of time you were able to position
your company and your team as a leader in the reliability Congratulations on ReliaSofts 20th anniversary. The balanced
community by providing the best reliability tools, consulting concept of powerful software, efficient trainings and international
services and support symposia is a key success factor for achieving this remarkable
Dmitry Tananko / General Dynamics Land Systems milestone. Thank you for being a reliable and helpful business partner
for many years.
I have found ReliaSoft products and people extremely helpful Mathias Probst / Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG
in providing practical analytical solutions to highly complex,
challenging reliability problems in both the Defense industry and On behalf of Alstom we extend to you our warmest wishes as you
US Government, Department of Defense applications. Thanks for a celebrate the 20th anniversary of founding ReliaSoft. We wish you
job well done! continued success as you celebrate this important milestone.
James M. Wasiloff / United States ARMY Rao Palakodeti / Alstom

Congratulations to everyone in the ReliaSoft family on your 20th anniversary! I previously had experience with other reliability products
and was very disappointed. I can honestly say that any success I have had in the field of Reliability. In my last four positions can be credited to
the fantastic tools and support at ReliaSoft. Wishing you many more years of continued success! Marty Fox / Hologic

Throughout my professional reliability engineering career, ReliaSoft has been a very supportive partner in the development
ReliaSoft has been a professional partner in providing reliability and application of tools for reliability analysis It is no wonder it
software tools, services, and training that I have used over the past is achieving the popularity it has today both in industry and the
20 years and have improved and honed my reliability skills. Thank academic world Congratulations on a very successful 20 years!
you and congratulations on reaching your 20th year milestone. James MacIntyre / Manitowoc Corp.
Rick Ramirez / ViaSat Corporation
The ReliaSoft suite has provided a comprehensive set of reliability
Congratulations to the ReliaSoft team. Your success is a testament analysis and test support tools with seamless data management across
to your teams ability to develop products that are user friendly and our product life cycle. While selling the value of a reliability program
analytically sound, resulting in a speed to market value proposition. can be a challenge in a non-regulated environment, selling the benefits
Thanks again for your support, mentoring, customer service and and productivity of the ReliaSoft suite to my senior leaders has never
outstanding portfolio of reliability products. been an issue.
Steve Brown / Lennox International Randolph Phillips / Baker Hughes

Congratulations on your remarkable achievements over the past 20 As a head of Global Quality and Technology Executive
years. Your products and support are world class and illustrate your Management, I want to thank you for the good work and the keeping
devotion and dedication to advancing the adoption and successful pace with technological changes in the industry. I am looking forward
implementation of reliability methods. Kudos to a job well done! to seeing more of your products in the decades to come.
Steve & Allise Wachs / Integral Concepts, Inc. Paul Wang / Mitac International Inc.

ReliaSofts MSMT Reliability Foundations Training Seminar provided not only a solid foundation for my reliability engineering career, but
it also yielded the groundwork for my dedication and ability to confidently address my clients reliability challenge Congratulations on
this momentous achievement and I look forward to the next 20 years of working side by side to emphasize and educate the masses on the
importance of reliability engineering. Andrew Foote / Alion Science and Technology Corporation - System Reliability Center

Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of ReliaSoft and the 18 years ago, I was looking for a Weibull analysis software package
value it has brought to the reliability discipline over the years. and stumbled on to ReliaSoft and Weibull++. That began one of the
On a related topic, I have totally enjoyed the format of the best partnerships between a supplier and customer I've ever been part
Applied Reliability Symposium that ReliaSoft has sponsored. This of in my career Congratulations to Pantelis and the team for all
symposium provides a great place for reliability practitioners to their accomplishments over the past 20 years! I can't imagine what
truly share best practices I always go home from this symposium you'll do in the next 20. Thanks and happy 20th anniversary!"
with another tool I have learned."
Stan Stephenson / Halliburton - Duncan Technology Center Dan Farley / Kraft Foods Cheese & Dairy

Over the last 20 years ReliaSoft has led the charge in making reliability, maintainability, and availability analysis accessible to a wide range
of companies and industries Their latest effort, Synthesis, has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the practice of reliability and
maintainability in the industry truly an integrated life cycle analysis tool!!" Edward Pohl / University of Arkansas
Congratulations to ReliaSoft for 20 years of attentive service to
reliability engineering functions in industries across the country
and around the globe! Your products have given not only statistical Congratulations to the folks at ReliaSoft on their 20th anniversary.
tools, but organizational and communication tools to an often Our partnership with ReliaSoft began over 15 years ago. This
cumbersome task Best wishes for the next 20 years of new and relationship has helped John Deere provide highly reliable products
improved products! to our worldwide customers. It is a pleasure working with Pantelis,
Jane Peterson / Woodward Inc. Doug, and the rest of the ReliaSoft crew.
Chuck Noel / John Deere Turf Care
Congratulations to ReliaSoft on your 20th anniversary. ReliaSoft
has been an invaluable partner to ASI for many of those years and Congratulations! Capstone has had a great history with ReliaSoft,
we appreciate all of your support. 20 years of survival in the software and we look forward to many more years! Our employees love
industry is a testament to your continued emphasis on innovation XFRACAS, and cant wait to see the upcoming changes.
and commitment to being leaders in the Reliability field. Keep up the Evan Franke / Capstone Turbine Corporation
good work!
JC Leverette / Andromeda Systems Incorporated It is a pleasure to witness how, in the past 20 years, ReliaSoft
developed from a small software company to a powerful global
corporation and a well-established center of reliability expertise
You and your fellow employees have provided me with tools that Today, ReliaSoft continues to be an undisputed leader in many
did exactly what you said they would, no nonsense sales puffery areas of reliability science and data analysis. Thank you, ReliaSoft,
and excellent support. Your training has been extensive and easily thank you, Pantelis and thank you to all the people who have made
understood. I am a completely satisfied customer! ReliaSoft the success story it is today.
David Payne / Haldex Brake Products Corporation Andre Kleyner / Purdue University

Today, the reliability engineers are tasked with not just spilling out a reliability number because a contract clause asks for it but they are
identifying the weak spots in products, developing qualifications tests, performing accelerated qualification tests, and supporting products
over short and long life cycles. The science and mathematics of these had been known by engineers for a long time but what delayed the
introductions of these methods were the lack of reliable, easy to use, and comprehensive tools sets. ReliaSoft has continued to identify and fill
that gap over the last 20 years. Michael Pecht / University of Maryland

It is great to see ReliaSoft celebrating their 20th anniversary. I I am not surprised that ReliaSoft has capped such an anniversary
have used several of their products for over 12 of those 20 years, with such a crowning achievement as Synthesis. This is one amazing
notably Weibull++ and BlockSim and found them effective and user feat that directly reflects on the vision and integrity that have
friendly Congratulations ReliaSoft on reaching this milestone. continually been behind their successes over the years. Salute!
Aron Brall / NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center Ken Millspaugh / Raytheon Company

During the course of 20 years, ReliaSoft has transformed the Congratulations ReliaSoft on 20 years and I want to wish you many
science of reliability engineering by creating a framework that is more years of continued success. ReliaSofts longevity speaks for itself
practical, coherent and intuitive. This single company, through its and you should also be proud of your role in helping to shape and
trinity of software, training and consulting has positively influenced support the reliability field. I have been associated with ReliaSoft for
the reliability of most of the products we use today and most of the many years and have always appreciated working with you and your
processes we rely upon. I expect nothing less for the next 20 years." employees because of your strong commitment to your customers.
Georgios Sarakakis / Tesla Motors Heres to the next 20 years!
Larry Crow / Crow Reliability Resources
I would like to congratulate ReliaSoft on achieving its 20th
anniversary. I had my first exposure to ReliaSoft during the 1996 As soon as ReliaSoft came out with Weibull++, I became hooked on
RAMS conference. I was impressed during that encounter with the their intuitive, and easy to use, reliability assessment software. I have
focus that you placed on your customers needs. This customer focus utilized many of ReliaSofts suite of tools in my work over the past 20
has been demonstrated numerous times over the years by all of the years within the high tech industry Congratulations for your 20
people with whom I have had the pleasure to interact. years and I am very grateful for your contributions to my career.
James Malm / Deere & Company Jeff Blanchard / Dot Hill Systems

Early on in my career, I looked for a mentor. I not only found that mentor in ReliaSoft, I found an entire organization of dedicated
reliability professionals and a friendship that I am proud to have. Congratulations to ReliaSoft on 20 years of contributions to reliability
knowledge, software tools, and professional education.
Jeffrey P. Lewis / Surgical Specialties Corporation (dba Angiotech)

I have known ReliaSoft since 1995, but as much as I've enjoyed It is not surprising that ReliaSoft is celebrating 20 years in business.
using the software, I have also enjoyed rich learning experiences The products and services they provide are first class. When dealing
from your staff and networked professionals. Your ability to put with ReliaSoft you will get a sense of passion for the technology of
forth industry-leading world class software is rivaled only by your reliability They are sophisticated and one of the friendliest groups
ability to put together teams of the best reliability, engineering and of people Ive had the pleasure to work with. Congratulations and
computer professionals " good luck in the future.
Jim Jauw / Stryker Corporation Jeff Barts / Universal Lighting Technologies
The standard for reliability life data analysisTM

Weibull++is the industry standard for reliability and life data analysis (Weibull analysis)for thousands of companies

Supports all forms of the Weibull distribution along with the exponential, normal, lognormal, generalized
gamma, gamma, logistic, loglogistic, Gumbel and Weibull-Bayesian distributions. The Distribution Wizard
helps you select the appropriate distribution for your data.
Supports rank regression and maximum likelihood estimation for parameter estimation and offers Fisher
matrix, likelihood ratio, beta binomial and Bayesian methods for confidence bounds.
Quickly returns calculated reliability results and automatically generates a complete array of related plots
and reports.
Provides integrated utilities for related analyses, including warranty analysis, reliability block diagrams,
parametric and non-parametric recurrent event data analysis, degradation analysis, non-parametric life data
analysis and reliability test design.

Accelerated life tests... quantifiable resultsTM

Accelerated life testing techniques, in conjunction with powerful quantitative accelerated life data analysis
methodologies, give design and reliability engineers the power to significantly reduce test times, which can provide
faster time to market, lower product development costs, lower warranty costs and many other benefits.

ReliaSoft's ALTA is still the only commercially available software tool designed expressly for quantitative accelerated
life testing data analysis using rigorous scientific analysis methods. The software is available in two versions:
ALTA Standard provides the life-stress relationship models required to analyze accelerated life test data
with 1 or 2 constant stresses.
ALTA PRO offers advanced capabilities for analyzing accelerated life test data with up to 8 simultaneous
stress types where stress is constant or varies with time!

Both versions provide a complete array of utilities for designing accelerated life tests, evaluating the fit of the model,
calculating reliability metrics, generating plots and performing related statistical analyses.
Continued from Page 1:New Analysis Capabilities in Synthesis Applications
Target Reliability Parameter Estimator: Allows you to Solve for the Necessary Strength Distribution
solve for the design parameters that would enable a The next step is to use the new integrated Target
component to meet the reliability goal (i.e., determine the Reliability Parameter Estimator to determine how strong the
parameters of the strength distribution that would yield the component needs to be in order to meet a reliability target of
desired probability that strength will exceed stress). at least 99.999%. The next picture shows the results.
Direct Integration with the Test Design Folio: Makes it
easy to design a reliability demonstration test (e.g., a
zero-failure test) to demonstrate that a component has the
desired strength.

Application Example
A design group needs assistance with selecting and
qualifying a steel component for a new product. Their main
concern is the component's ability to withstand the tensile
stresses in its intended application. The circumstances are as
follows: Assuming that beta is similar to the value calculated from
the original 6 specimens (2.732021), the utility calculates that
Reliability Target: The requirement for the component is a the value of eta needs to be 356.417269 Mpa. In other words,
probability of failure of 1 in 100,000 due to tensile loads (or a when the engineers test the remaining 10 specimens and
reliability of 99.999%). analyze the data, an eta of 356.42 Mpa or higher is estimated
to be sufficient to use stress-strength analysis to demonstrate
Stress Distribution: By estimating that the median tensile
the target reliability.
stress is 75 Mpa and the worst case load (99th percentile
case) is 150 Mpa, they obtain a Weibull stress distribution with Design a Reliability Demonstration Test
beta = 2.732021 and eta = 85.767713 Mpa.
The last step is to design a reliability demonstration test
Strength Distribution: The engineers have already tested 6 for the remaining 10 specimens. The Version 8 stress-strength
specimens and they have 10 more available for testing if the folio contains a new quick access icon that automatically
current information is not sufficient to demonstrate the reliability creates a Reliability Demonstration Test (RDT) folio and
target. The first 6 specimens failed at the following tensile populates the test plan with the tensile strength the team
stress levels (in Mpa): 212, 236, 248, 254, 271 and 287. wants to be able to demonstrate. Because the software has
automatically populated all of the inputs required for a
If the current data set is not sufficient to demonstrate the parametric binomial test plan, the analysts simply need to
reliability target, the engineers need to design a reliability specify the sample size (10), the maximum number of failures
demonstration test for the additional 10 specimens. (0) and the value they want to solve for. They select to solve
for the required test time because, in this case, the "time" is
Perform the Stress-Strength Analysis with Available Data the tensile strength that the specimens must experience
The first step is to perform the stress-strength analysis for without failure.
the available data to see if it is sufficient to demonstrate the The results are shown next. The analysis indicates that if
reliability goal. The next picture shows the results. the engineers test 10 specimens at a tensile stress of
307.990113 Mpa and there are no failures, then the desired
strength to achieve the required reliability will have been
demonstrated with a 90% confidence.

The estimated reliability is 99.980787%, which is close to

the target reliability, but not close enough.
Please Turn to Page 9

Volume 12, Issue 1 7

Expert support for all types of FMEA and FMECATM

Xfmea facilitates analysis, data management and reporting for FMEA, FMECA and related analyses.

Supports the major industry standards, such as SAEJ1739, AIAG and MIL-STD-1629A, for all types of
FMEA/FMECA. Provides extensive capabilities to customize the interface and reports.
Supports Risk Priority Numbers (RPNs) and Criticality Analysis for risk assessment.
Provides a complete set of print-ready reports generated in Microsoft Word or Excel, a variety of
pareto (bar), pie and matrix charts and a flexible query utility.
y Supports related analyses such as Control Plans, Design Verification Plans and Design Review Based on
Failure Mode (DRBFM).
e Allows multiple users to work cooperatively on the analysis and provides numerous ways to leverage the
lessons learned from previous analyses, including copy/paste, import/export, etc.

Putting the reliability back into reliability centered maintenanceTM

RCM++ facilitates analysis, data management and reporting for Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)analysis.
Supports the Equipment Selection, Failure Effect Categorization and Maintenance Task Selection logic
from the major RCMstandards and allows you to customize the logic to meet specific needs.
r Provides simulation-based calculations to compare maintenance strategies based on cost and average
availability over the life of the equipment and to calculate the optimum interval for preventive
y maintenance.
Provides a complete set of print-ready reports generated in Microsoft Word or Excel, a variety of
pareto (bar), pie and matrix charts and a flexible query utility.
Allows multiple users to work cooperatively on the analysis and provides numerous ways to leverage the
lessons learned from previous analyses, including copy/paste, import/export, etc.
Incorporates FMEA/FMECA capabilities, including Risk Priority Numbers (RPNs), Criticality Analysis,
recommended actions tracking, etc.
8 Reliability Edge
Continued from Page 7:New Analysis Capabilities in Synthesis Applications

Using FMEA to Calculate the Baseline System Reliability New in Xfmea and RCM++
Most reliability engineers have recognized the potential to For example, the FMEA team used an occurrence rating
make more effective use of the valuable product reliability of O = 6 if the probability of failure was estimated to be
knowledge captured in a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis approximately 2 per thousand items. This equates to a
(FMEA). For many years, ReliaSoft's database-driven Xfmea quantitative value of 1/500 or .005. Likewise, a rating of O = 7
and RCM++ software tools have greatly improved an was used when the probability of failure was expected to be
organization's ability to store this information in a centralized around 10 per thousand items, for a quantitative value of
location that enables engineers to search for and extract the 1/100 or .01. And so on throughout the rest of the scale.
data they need. Now, with the transition to the Synthesis
Platform in Version 8, the software provides even more
opportunities to leverage the information from FMEAs.
The Failure Modes and Reliability Analysis (FMRA) is
one of the most versatile new integration features. This new
interface combines data from the system configuration and
FMEAs in order to display all of the assemblies, components
and failure modes that could have an impact on the overall
system reliability in a single hierarchical tree. This provides a
powerful and flexible new tool that can be used to facilitate a
variety of more advanced reliability analyses.
One innovative application for the FMRA is to use the
occurrence ratings from the FMEA's risk priority number
(RPN) calculations to generate a preliminary baseline reliability
estimate for the overall system very early in the development
process. The FMRA also makes it possible to integrate new
and better information as it becomes available, which enables Based on these probabilities, a reliability engineer could
design teams to continue to improve the reliability estimate as easily build a 1-parameter exponential reliability model for
the design matures. each failure cause as follows:

Application Example
A design group wants to start estimating the expected
reliability for a new system but it is too early in the development
process to have data from reliability testing. At this stage, only
the following information is available:
Design FMEA performed by a cross-functional team. This gives a simple failure distribution that can be assumed as
a starting point for each potential failure mode until better
Information about the reliability of some components when information becomes available to model the probability more
used in prior designs. accurately.
Engineering judgment and other design-stage analyses,
such as DOE and physics of failure. Creating the "First Draft" FMRA
The next step is to use the failure distributions defined for
They decide to utilize this information and the new FMRA
the potential failure modes in order to estimate the reliabilities
interface in Xfmea to build an initial reliability estimate based
of the components and subsystems, and then finally to
on the information that is currently available. They will use this
estimate the reliability of the system overall.
baseline calculation as a starting point, and continue to
improve the estimate as better data becomes available. Assuming that any one of the failure modes defined in a
component's FMEA could cause the component to fail (i.e.,
Defining Quantitative Values for FMEA Rating Scales the failure modes are considered to be reliability-wise in
The first step is to define a quantitative value to be series), an initial reliability estimate at any given time can be
associated with each rating in the FMEA occurrence scale. obtained by combining the cause probabilities to get the
The following figure shows the rating scale that was used by reliability of the component, and then combining the probabilities
the cross-functional team when assigning occurrence ratings for components and assemblies until we reach the system
to calculate Risk Priority Numbers (RPNs) in the Design level.
FMEA. As you can see, the rating scale criteria already
includes quantitative values that the team used as a guide
when performing the FMEA.
Please Turn to Page 10

Volume 12, Issue 1 9

Continued from Page 9:New Analysis Capabilities in Synthesis Applications
Because it is based only on the occurrence ratings Synchronizing with BlockSim
obtained directly from the FMEAs and assumes a series
If further analysis is required, the engineers have the
reliability-wise configuration for all failure modes, we will call
option to transfer the FMRA to BlockSim, which automatically
this the "first draft" FMRA. The following picture shows a highly
creates a reliability block diagram (RBD) based on the current
simplified example that makes it easy to see how the
information. The RBD can be used to calculate a variety of
calculations roll up to the failure mode, component and
system reliability metrics of interest (such as BX% Life and
assembly (subsystem) level.
Mean Life), and generate plots that are available in BlockSim
(such as Reliability vs. Time and Static Reliability Importance).

Vetting and Revising the "First Draft" FMRA
The next and most crucial step is to evaluate the
"first draft" FMRA and make the adjustments necessary to
ensure it reflects the best possible estimate of the system
reliability based on the information that is currently available.
= Furthermore, if the calculated baseline reliability is lower
Some (but not all) of the recommendations for "vetting" the
than the required reliability, the engineer can use reliability
automatically generated FMRA include:
importance measures to identify critical components or causes,
Discount or eliminate issues from the FMEAs that have no add redundancy to the system by using a parallel configuration
impact on reliability. or perform reliability allocation in order to determine which
Y components need to be improved in order to meet the target.
Incorporate other issues that impact reliability but were not
considered in the FMEAs.
Account for "common causes" that may appear multiple
times in the FMEAs but actually all represent the same
failure cause.
Review the occurrence ratings and cross-reference them
against any available data or past experience. If
appropriate, coordinate with the FMEA team when
assigned ratings may need further consideration.
Question the exponential distribution assumption (i.e.,
r constant failure rate) and replace the automatically
generated failure models with more appropriate
distributions when applicable. For example, if beta is
known, you can use a 1-parameter Weibull distribution
r coupled with the stated probability.
If the reliability-wise relationship between failure modes The FMRAs in BlockSim and Xfmea can be synchronized
y cannot be modeled with a simple series configuration, use so that any changes made in one tool can be reflected in the
the built-in synchronization with BlockSim (discussed in other. A case where this would be useful is if the performed
the next section) to define a more appropriate configuration FMEAs are at some point updated with additional failure
(e.g., for parallel redundancy). modes or causes, or if the occurrence ratings for specific
causes are revised. Additionally, as test data becomes
Once the analysis has been updated to consider all of the available, the engineers can update the component failure
data and past experience currently available to improve the distributions in the RBD in BlockSim in order to rerun the
analysis, the FMRA will represent at least a partially data-driven analysis and at the same time have this new information be
starting point that can continue to be updated as the product reflected in corresponding FMEAs that include this component.
design matures. Please Turn to Page 11

10 Reliability Edge
Continued from Page 10:New Analysis Capabilities in Synthesis Applications

Building Fault Trees and RBDs from Data in an FMEA New in BlockSim
Another powerful application for the direct integration A cross-functional team has been assembled to evaluate
between Xfmea/RCM++ and BlockSim within the Synthesis the risk in the new design. As part of that effort, they want to
Platform is the ability to automatically build fault trees and/or use the data from the FMEAs to:
reliability block diagrams (RBDs) based on data from FMEAs Build fault trees in BlockSim for the high severity effects of
performed at any level in even the most complex system most concern in order to a) clearly depict all of the "failure
configuration. With the release of Version 8, there are now two paths" in the system that might lead to the particular effect
automated utilities designed to facilitate this data sharing: and b) obtain a preliminary estimate of the probability of
Use the Build Effect Fault Trees from Synthesis utility occurrence.
when you need to calculate the probability of occurrence Build a set of RBDs (i.e., diagrams and subdiagrams) that
and understand the risk associated with particular high represent the entire system configuration and all of the
severity effects that the organization is concerned about. completed FMEAs so the team can identify the components
Automation of this process is particularly useful when that have the biggest impact on the system reliability and
dealing with complex systems where multiple FMEAs are perform other system-level analyses.
performed for different subsystems and components, and
the same severe effect may be present in multiple Quantify Occurrence Probabilities for Failure Modes
The first step is to assign a quantitative failure probability
Use Build RBDs and Fault Trees from Synthesis when to all of the potential failure modes that have been identified in
you need to build a diagram to represent the entire system the FMEAs.
configuration and all of the FMEAs that have been
performed. You can use these RBDs or fault trees to If information about the failure probability is already
perform a variety of more complex system analyses, available, it can be used to define a statistical model for each
which can be used for reliability importance measures, failure cause. For example, if the engineers already have data
reliability allocation, maintenance planning and more. about the probabilities of failure for known failure modes that
have occurred when the component was used under similar
The following simplified example illustrates both of these circumstances in the past, they can analyze the data in
potential applications. Weibull++ and use the Synthesis Platform to "publish" models
that can be linked from the failure causes in the FMEA.
Application Example
If time-to-failure data is not yet available for all of the
The picture below shows part of a turbofan engine system
components and potential failure modes, the occurrence
configuration that was built in Xfmea to manage the FMEAs
ratings from the FMEA's risk priority number (RPN) calculations
performed for critical assemblies/components. Items identified
can be used as a starting point for those modes.
with a blue "F" icon have a completed FMEA. Overall, there
are more than thirty FMEAs for the system. In this case, the engineers review the criteria used by the
FMEA team when setting the occurrence ratings, and they use
Xfmea to associate a quantitative value with each rating, as
shown next.

Please Turn to Page 13

Volume 12, Issue 1 11

The ultimate system visualization and analysis toolTM

BlockSim provides a comprehensive platform for system analysis using the exact system reliability function or discrete
event simulation. The software provides sophisticated and flexible capabilities to model systems using a Reliability
Block Diagram (RBD) or Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) approach... or a combination of both!

Supports all relevant RBD configurations and FTAgates/events, along with advanced capabilities for complex
configurations, load sharing, standby redundancy, phases, duty cycles and more.
Exact reliability results and plots based on the exact system reliability function (using an exclusive algorithm
pioneered by ReliaSoft).
Extensive simulation options for analysis of repairable systems with a variety of results and plots to support
decision making, including uptime/downtime, availability, expected failures, spare parts requirements, optimum
replacement interval, life cycle cost summaries and throughput estimations.
y Powerful features for determining the optimum reliability allocation strategy, identifying components that may
require improvement and performing what-if analyses to evaluate different scenarios.

Reliability growth and repairable system analysis

RGA was developed in cooperation with Dr. Larry Crow, the leading authority in the field of reliability growth
r analysis, as well as key development partners in government and industry. The software provides all the tools you
need to plan your reliability growth strategy and analyze data from developmental tests. RGA also applies reliability
growth models for fielded repairable system analysis, which provides optimum overhaul times and other results
without the detailed data sets that normally would be required.
y Comprehensive platform for traditional reliability growth analysis using the Crow-AMSAA (NHPP), Duane,
Gompertz, Modified Gompertz, Lloyd-Lipow or logistic models.
Exclusive support for innovative approaches that facilitate reliability growth projections, reliability growth
program planning and multi-phase reliability growth analysis. Also offers an operational mission profile
feature for creating balanced test plans and tracking the actual testing against the plan.
A Design of Reliability Test (DRT) utility for repairable systems and a method for analyzing the system's
reliability behavior over time in order to calculate optimum overhaul times and other metrics of interest.
12 Reliability Edge
Continued from Page 11:New Analysis Capabilities in Synthesis Applications
Build Fault Trees for High Severity Effects The Show Results option in the control panel allows the
analysts to use the fault tree diagram to estimate the
The next step is to open the new Build Effect Fault Trees
probability of an uncommanded shutdown at 3,000 hours, as
from Synthesis utility that is now available in BlockSim 8.
shown next.
This window allows the user to type any text criteria to identify
the effect(s) of interest within the FMEA.
As an example, the "uncommanded engine shutdown"
failure effect appears multiple times across different FMEAs,
and it is a major safety concern. The FMEAs did not
consistently use the exact same terminology to describe every
situation in which an uncommanded engine shutdown might
occur. However, the analysts believe that all instances contain
the word "uncommanded" somewhere within the effect
description. In the new BlockSim utility, they specify Effect
then contains then uncommanded for the filter criteria. The
results are displayed as shown next.

The team then uses a similar process to build fault trees

for the other high severity effects of interest.

Build RBDs to Represent the Entire System

The last step is to build reliability block diagrams that
represent the entire system configuration and all of the
completed FMEAs. For this purpose, BlockSim 8 provides
another utility called Build RBDs and Fault Trees from
Synthesis. With this tool, the engineers select their preferences
on the first page then proceed to the next page to see the
hierarchical representation of the diagram that will be created.
At that point, the user has an opportunity to exclude specific
By scanning through the query results, the analysts
data from the analysis, if desired, by clearing check boxes in
confirm that all of these effects are of interest except
the hierarchical tree. The following picture shows a portion of
"uncommanded acceleration" so they clear the check box for
the hierarchical representation for the RBDs that will be
that record and click Next to create the fault tree. The next
created for the turbofan engine.
figure shows part of the fault tree for the "uncommanded
shutdown" effect.

The top gate represents the effect of interest, the gates

Once the diagrams are created, the team uses them to
on the next level represent the failure modes associated with
perform a variety of system reliability analyses, such as
the effect (in any of the FMEAs for the system) and the end
identifying the components and failure modes that have the
events represent all the causes of the failure modes. Each
biggest impact on system reliability (and unreliability).
event in the fault tree contains the cause occurrence
probabilities as defined in Xfmea. Please Turn to Page 14

Volume 12, Issue 1 13

Continued from Page 13:New Analysis Capabilities in Synthesis Applications

Improving the Effectiveness of Maintenance Task Packaging New in RCM++

Task packaging is the process of combining discrete that are needed, revise existing tasks to be more effective and
maintenance tasks into an efficient, effective and executable remove any tasks that were found to not provide additional
maintenance program. Concurrent tasks are combined into a value. After all maintenance tasks have been defined, the
set of work packages in which the objective is to minimize team decides to create task packages to make the maintenance
downtime and optimize the use of resources. effort more efficient.
With the release of Version 8, RCM++ now offers a new First, they decide to group the tasks that take place in
task packaging tool that provides more flexibility for critical locations. For example, the maintenance of the fuel gas
experimenting with possible packaging strategies. Users can system results in an interruption of operation; therefore, all
group tasks based on task interval, specific task properties, or tasks for this system are set to be performed at the same time.
some combination of both. The remaining tasks are chosen to be grouped automatically
by the tool into 12 groups based on their proposed task
Group by Task Interval: When grouping based on task
interval, you can specify a number of time clusters and the
software will automatically propose groups based on the The team then reviews the suggested groups to determine
defined intervals for all unpackaged tasks. If these intervals whether further adjustments are needed. They find that
are too wide, you can automatically bisect specific groups as although most of the proposed packages are appropriate, the
needed until you reach a practical strategy. You also have the range of task intervals is too wide in some of the automatically
e option to specify exact intervals and the software will created groups. Therefore, they choose to ungroup those
automatically group the tasks that meet the specified criteria. tasks and manually set time intervals that are more appropriate.
y Group by Properties: The utility also provides the option
Finally, they update each package to fit the practical
circumstances and apply a suitable name (e.g., 2937 hours
to group tasks based on the task type (failure finding, condition
e gets rounded down to 2880 and becomes "4 month
based, etc.), or based on the location of the maintained
maintenance interval").
equipment using the Zone or Access task properties. This
= packaging option can be very useful in cases where maintaining The figures below show part of the finalized set of
a specific piece of equipment requires considerable effort or packages, along with the options at the top of the window that
has a significant effect on system operation (e.g., if the are available for experimenting with different groupings. When
maintenance for a specific piece of equipment significantly the team decides to apply the packaging strategy that is
reduces or halts production). currently displayed in the window, the software automatically
Y updates the properties of each task record to reflect the time
Application Example interval of the package it belongs to. In the figures below, this
, An engineering team has just concluded an RCM analysis is demonstrated for the "Dump valve overhaul" task, where the
of a gas compression system. The team performed FMEAs on originally proposed interval of 883.602 hours gets superseded
the most critical equipment and used the information about by the 960 hours interval that was defined for the "40 day
important functional failures to identify new maintenance tasks maintenance" package.
Please Turn to Page 15

14 Reliability Edge
Continued from Page 14:New Analysis Capabilities in Synthesis Applications

What's Coming in Synthesis Phase II?

Lastly, we wanted to take this opportunity to give you a Measurement system analysis, including gage R&R,
sneak peek at what's coming in the Phase II Synthesis release linearity and bias study, and gage agreement study.
that is currently expected to be available by the end of 2Q Optimal design, including D-optimal and distance-based
2013. This will include major version upgrades for ReliaSoft's optimal design.
XFRACAS, DOE++, RGA, RENO, Lambda Predict and MPC.
New optimization tool that can optimize the life response
In the new version, these applications will be integrated and other responses simultaneously.
into the same platform with Weibull++, ALTA, BlockSim,
Xfmea and RCM++, and they will have all of the integration RGA
and data management features that were introduced in Reliability Growth and Repairable Systems Analysis
Synthesis Phase I (such as centralized data storage, Improved interface for reliability growth planning.
simultaneous access by multiple users, etc.). With this release,
we will also introduce the ability for all Synthesis applications Increased the maximum number of test phases to 10.
to share specific resources with any analysis project in the
entire data repository (in addition to the resources that can
Simulation Software for Probabilistic Event and Risk Analysis
already be shared at the project level in Phase I applications).
Ability to define global variables that allow for dynamic
Here is a brief sampling of some of the new capabilities
changes to the characteristics of models during simulation.
that will be added to individual applications in Phase II.
Ability to use BlockSims simulation and analytical
XFRACAS diagrams in RENO simulations.
Failure Reporting, Analysis and Corrective Action System
Lambda Predict
Enhanced utilization of FRACAS-sourced data used in
Standards Based Reliability Prediction
other Synthesis applications (e.g., Weibull++ and RGA).
New FIDES module.
Enhanced reporting.
Support for Telcordia SR-332, Issue 3.
Multi-chart dashboards.
Support for Chrome and Firefox web browsers. MPC
MSG-3 Aircraft Maintenance Program Creation Tool
Experiment Design and Analysis Support for MSG-3 Revision 2011.1.
Design evaluation, including power study and D-efficiency Addition of structural analysis.

Register Now!
Applied Reliability Symposium
"Sharing applications, success stories and lessons learned in
reliability and maintainability engineering."

2013 ARS, North America

June 5 - 7, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
The program for ARS, North America will provide a choice of results-oriented presentations and expert
tutorials. The Symposium also provides many opportunities to engage with fellow reliability professionals and
to visit exhibitor booths for information about available analysis tools and reliability engineering services.

Volume 12, Issue 1 15

An Analysis Platform, Knowledge Repository
and Intelligence Center, all rolled into one powerful
enterprise-capable reliability system.

A successful workplace thrives on
teamwork, efficiency and innovative
ideas. Why should reliability
noun (from Greek )
engineering be any different?
1. The combining of separate elements
Created with your business needs or substances to form a coherent
in mind, Synthesis is an integrated
reliability platform that can unite any 2. The act of combining separate ideas,
beliefs and styles, etc.
or all of ReliaSoft's "best-in-class"
reliability engineering applications into
a powerful, easy-to-deploy, enterprise-capable, integrated reliability solution.

This groundbreaking new framework provides intelligent integration between

reliability program activities and tools, while simultaneously facilitating effective
information sharing and cooperation between engineering teams of any size.

The end result is the ability to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of
reliability activities, which results in time savings, agility and reductions in
both time-to-market and cost, while maximizing the achieved reliability and
associated ROI. Thats the power of the Synthesis Platform!
Introducing the Synthesis Platform
The Synthesis Platform is the result of a multi-year R&D effort focused on developing the right
processes, analysis tools and IT framework to synthesize discrete reliability activities into a
continuously self-improving reliability program with significant contributions from each activity.

Designed to address the feedback and needs expressed by thousands of reliability practitioners in
virtually every industry, the new platform leverages classical reliability engineering methodologies and
existing best practices coupled with a new and intelligent approach to integration.

Eliminates "Islands" of Information

In todays dynamic and knowledge-driven business
world, data and information sharing are essential
for innovation and improvement in products,
services and processes.

Without an effective infrastructure in place

to facilitate collaboration between engineers
with different responsibilities and subject
matter expertise, too many organizations
face the problem of disconnected "islands" of
reliability information that limit their ability to meet and
exceed reliability and productivity goals.

The Synthesis Platform eliminates these barriers by providing a structured, flexible and secure
back-end database that promotes information sharing between teams of any size, with related or
different subject matter expertise, and coming from the same or different organizational units.

Facilitates Effective Collaboration Between Subject Matter Experts

Data sharing in itself does not guarantee that the information will be used correctly and effectively by
everyone involved. When the organization employs different subject matter experts for different reliability
activities, how do you ensure that the often complex information and knowledge shared by one expert
will be understood and used appropriately by other practitioners who need it?
The solution is the revolutionary object-based reliability modeling (OBRM) concept pioneered by
ReliaSoft, which hides activity-specific complexity while exposing what is useful for others to leverage.
With OBRM, each application "knows" what information to provide to other activities, as well as how to
use the information it receives.

Intelligent Integration Without Sacrificing Analytical Power

Traditionally, software integration has meant that a certain amount of core functionality was sacrificed or
at least compromised. That is certainly not the case with the Synthesis Platform.
Individually, all of the Version 8 ReliaSoft applications (called "Synthesis Elements") continue to stand
out as the most powerful, functional and user-friendly reliability software on the market. When
used together, they retain their own unique strengths while leveraging relevant information from the
entire suite of products to achieve an integrated solution that truly is greater than the sum of its parts.
Fluidly Shares Information Between Reliability Activities
Whether you are a lone reliability engineer in a small organization or an executive with thousands of
engineers working together on many different product lines, the Synthesis Platform was designed to
meet your needs. The platform and software tools offer both the depth and breadth of reliability
functionality necessary for a successful reliability program implementation from cradle to grave.

Finally, engineers with different expertise and responsibilities (and even if they're working in different
departments or facilities across the globe) can take advantage of a centralized and structured framework
to facilitate the transfer of reliability knowledge throughout the product life cycle.

Consider just a few basic examples of the many different ways your organization may choose to
use the Synthesis Platform to facilitate, support and enhance Design for Reliability (DFR) and/or
Asset Performance Management (APM) activities.

Working in Weibull++ and ALTA, reliability engineers analyze available data to quantify the probability
of occurrence for known failure modes. This information is then available in Xfmea where...

The Design FMEA team links directly to available analysis results in their efforts to understand
and reduce the risk in the design. Then the FMEA data is available for BlockSim where...

Design engineers leverage the knowledge recorded in the FMEA to build RBDs and/or fault
trees for critical tasks such as estimating the baseline reliability, identifying critical failure modes,
allocating reliability requirements, evaluating risk and planning maintenance strategies...

This type of collaboration continues throughout all other reliability activities and life cycle stages.
As the body of knowledge improves in each stage, automated feedback mechanisms ensure that
the most up-to-date information continues to be available to all activities, providing a continuous,
self-improving, closed knowledge loop.
Automatically Builds a Reliability Knowledge Repository
At the same time that the Synthesis Platform is facilitating information sharing and collaboration for
ongoing projects, the system is simultaneously building a secure, permission-based and searchable
corporate repository of reliability knowledge.

The data, analysis and lessons learned that are captured by the repository can be accessible to
engineers throughout the organization, providing a huge head start on future projects by making it easy
to reuse and build upon existing information.

This instant access to versatile, organization-wide reliability data provides a strong foundation that will
not only save a tremendous amount of time, it will also greatly improve the outcome of future

Robust & Scalable Architecture:

Single-User, Multi-User or Enterprise Deployments in One
The Synthesis Platform and applications were designed from the ground
up to be "connection aware" and to adapt automatically to single-user,
multi-user and enterprise configurations.

The exact same software solution that

you might deploy for a single reliability
engineer on a single computer can
be scaled to a global enterprise with
thousands of engineers on a server farm
functioning as a corporate repository. This
provides both complete deployment
flexibility and, best of all, true

The full functionality is available with every license type

(you do not need to purchase a special "enterprise
license"). Both SQL Server and Oracle enterprise
database platforms are supported; users can also share
the platform's built-in standard repositories through their
own networks with no special configuration required.

Built by Reliability Engineers for Reliability Engineers:

A Revolutionary Reliability Solution That Will Continue to Evolve
The groundbreaking new features and robust enhancements of the Synthesis
Platform are just the latest chapter in ReliaSoft's 20+ year history of innovation
and support for engineers engaged in reliability activities throughout all stages of
the product life cycle. Our unwavering commitment to continuous investment in
R&D and our focus on developing practical solutions means that you can expect
to see even more result-driven concepts and innovative additions to the Synthesis
Platform for years to come.
Continued from Page 1:Accelerated Testing with the Inverse Power Law"
Accelerated testing is not about detecting PPM (parts per Understanding the failure criteria is a prerequisite for most
million) level faults. Most test programs run few parts, perhaps testing. Obviously, if the component is in multiple barely
a dozen or fewer. Considering that the probability of finding a recognizable pieces at the end of the test, failure will be easy
PPM level issue with 12 samples approaches the odds on to conclude. Many other cases can also be considered as
some lotteries the chance of success is low. That said, test failure; for example, if a frozen but not burst water pump will
conditions can be set up that occur rarely in the field probably return to normal output when it thaws, does that
(temperature extremes, for example) and therefore may be constitute a failure?
able to induce failure modes that are difficult to detect when
testing within the design envelope. It is important to have a firm grasp before testing starts as
to what will be considered a failure and result in the termination
Another useful application for the ALT data is to aid in of the test. Three principle types of failure to consider are:
determining the effect of operating a system outside its original
design conditions. Generally, this allows the development of 1. Hard Failure the component ceases to function and
reasonably accurate estimates of life when operated at higher does not return to usable status when the stress is
loads. removed. This is generally called a destructive failure.
Example: A frozen and burst water pump.
What is Stress?
y 2. Soft Failure the component ceases to function while the
Simply put, stress is anything that can cause a component
or system to fail. Some of the obvious factors are: elevated stress is applied but returns to function at normal
e levels of stress. Example: A frozen but not burst water
Mechanical loads (e.g., stress / strain / force) pump.
y Hydrostatic / dynamic forces (e.g., pressure / wind loads)
3. Performance Failure the component continues to
Temperature extremes and thermal shocks function but at a reduced level of performance while the
e stress is applied. Performance may return to "normal"
Vibration inputs (e.g., GRMS road load / engine vibration)
once the stress is removed but a permanent reduction in
= Corrosive environments (e.g., sea water / road salt) performance is also a possibility. Example: A water pump
that functions but at a lower output.
These are probably some of the first factors that come to
= mind when evaluating the "strength" of a particular design. It is important to keep the end user in mind when
But, depending on the usage and the material, just about determining if an outcome is a failure. Something that is a
Y anything can cause the system to degrade or fail prematurely, concern to the design team may not be detected by the end
so one needs to keep an open mind when developing user; so is it a failure? A good example of this is the failure of
, accelerated life tests. a single pixel in an LCD TV array possibly an indication of
In the field, unlike the lab where single stress testing is design issues but probably unnoticed by someone watching
common, multiple stresses are quite often applied at the same the latest Hollywood release. Even if multiple pixels fail, they
time. The combination of multiple stresses can interact and may not be noticed unless they are grouped together. It is
essentially increase the effective stress applied. It is also important not to overestimate the sensitivity of end users to
possible to add in the lab stressors that are not present in the "engineering" failures.
field to further speed up testing. The problem comes when it
is time to determine the lab-field correlation, or how many In most components and just about all systems, there will
hours in the field is equivalent to an hour on test. be more than one failure mode possible. These failure modes
may interact (mask or enhance each other), and are generally
r One good example of this is in corrosion testing where thought of as "competing" failure modes. In these cases, it is
acetic acid is added to the salt fog solution in SWAAT (ASTM best to focus on the end user's experience. A very effective
G85 - Annex 3) type tests for automotive radiators. While the system model can be derived if all failure modes that lead to
r lower pH of the solution accelerates corrosion, outside of a the same outcome are lumped together for analysis purposes.
few situations, little "salad dressing" is actually seen on the The motorist may not care about the details as to why the car
roads. In this case, much work is needed to relate the life of a will not start but will certainly notice when it does not.
y component in the test chamber to that on the road. For this
reason, it is generally better not to introduce artificial factors Life-Stress Relationships
early in the development of an accelerated life test program or
Generally speaking, the "life" of a component will go down
as stress goes up. While this is not a hard and fast rule, very
What is Life? few systems do not behave in this intuitive fashion. This allows
for shorter test times at higher levels of stress. With solid
Life is basically any quantifiable measure of durability for knowledge of the life-stressor relationship, effective predictions
a component or system. The end of life does not necessarily of life at normal or usage conditions can be made.
need to be the destruction of the component.
Please Turn to Page 21

20 Reliability Edge
Continued from Page 20:Accelerated Testing with the Inverse Power Law
Probably the most important and widely used model for With this example, if testing were conducted at 4 g of input
mechanical systems is the inverse power law (IPL). acceleration, the expected life would be about 35 hours. This
can be related back to a prediction at the operating conditions
(1 g) to a life of about 10,000 hours. The acceleration factor is
256, or 1 hour at 4 g is equivalent to 256 hours at 1 g.

The most critical factor is n, the life-stressor slope with s Basically, using this data, we can test any number of
being stress applied to the system. A is a convenient components to failure in a few days and get feedback about
mathematical constant; in reality it relates the basic mechanical durability at base conditions without testing for 416+ days. In
strength of the design to resist the stress applied to it. practice though, acceleration factors much above 100 can
prove problematic by producing false failures that would not
More generally, if multiple stressors need to be considered, be seen in the field.
the model is given by:
Adding Up Damage Miners Rule
Most systems and components do not see constant stress
input throughout their service lives. In most cases, there are
low high low periods of loading. Likewise in testing, it may
Since most fatigue testing generally fits a Weibull
not be practical to always run at fixed levels of input. At lower
distribution, it may be best to consider the life being modeled
levels, closer to field conditions, the time required to run until
as the mean or B10 life of the component.
failure may be prohibitive. In these cases, it may be
An important measure often used in life testing is the advantageous to "step" or increase the stress over time. The
acceleration factor (AF), which relates how one cycle or hour problem comes down to analyzing the resulting data and
at an elevated stress level (S ) relates to the usage, or base, relating back to field or base conditions.
level (SBase ).
One way of dealing with these sorts of situations is to use
a damage model. The foundation of most damage models is
that each cycle or hour of stress exposure accumulates
damage leading to eventual failure. One of the most popular,
There are many other life-stress relationships that are and easiest to interpret models is Miners rule.
commonly employed based on the underlying physics of
failure. See references [1] and [3] for more information.

Inverse Power Law in Action

The practical application of the IPL allows "scaling,"
through the acceleration factor, of data and predictions from When applying Miners rule, each constant stress step
one stress level to another. In general, this is used to predict accumulates damage based on the ratio of the duration of the
the life of a component at a stress level lower than was tested. step (Ni ) to the life of the component if the whole test had
The following plot depicts a typical IPL relationship (with a life been run at that level (Li ). The failure point is predicted to
stress slope of 4) that could represent the life of a component occur when the total damage (DTotal summed from each step)
or a full system. In general, the data are plotted using a log-log reaches unity. Using the slope and data model from the
representation, with the stressor as the abscissa (horizontal previous plot as a simple three-step example:
axis) and the life as the ordinate (vertical axis).
Stress Time Life at Level
Step [g] (hr) (hr) Step Damage
1 2 10 625 0.016

2 3 10 124 0.081

3 5 10 16 0.625

Total Damage 0.72

The total damage sums to 0.72 so the component would

not be expected to fail. Another way of looking at the same
data is that 30 hours of testing time (3 x 10 hour steps) would
accumulate a similar amount of damage as if the unit had run
for 425 hours at the lowest level of 2 g. This large acceleration
factor comes from the sensitivity of the component to stress
being quite significant n is 4 in this example.
Please Turn to Page 23

Volume 12, Issue 1 21

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Apply the most effective reliability, availability and maintainability (RAM) analysis techniques including, but
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22 Reliability Edge
Continued from Page 21:Accelerated Testing with the Inverse Power Law
Obviously, this simple tool has limitations but it can be
used surprisingly effectively to aid in developing test plans and
in relating results of similar tests run at different levels. In
general, not all samples in any given fatigue-based test will fail
at the same time. Miners rule is probably best used to predict/
scale either B10 or mean life, much like working with the IPL.

Determining the IPL Slope

The three methods outlined next can be used to determine
with reasonable accuracy the slope of the life-stressor line for
a particular design or material.

1. IPL Slope from Datasheets

The easiest means of determining the life-stressor slope is
to simply "look it up." For mechanical types of loads that
translate into basic stress and strain in the base materials of For example, if the whole range of the presented data is
the components, data from textbooks and datasheets can be used (red line) that results in a S-N slope of about 0.08, which
used to give guidance. In general practice, S-N curves can be translates into a life-stress of n = 12. On the other hand if we
quite limited to generic materials and may not adequately know that the operational and test regime will be in the high
represent the stress state of a component in use. While a cycle fatigue range then the blue line is a better choice from
significant data set is available for most metals, often little data this data. With that assumption, a life-stress slope of about
will exist for other materials. In cases where data can be 10:1 is found. This is quite a large difference, especially when
found, it most likely will not incorporate effects of mean stress you recall that this is the exponent in the equation. Since very
and probably was determined through the use of bending or few systems are designed to survive only a few cycles, when
uniaxial tension on standard coupons. in doubt bias the fit towards the lower stress, high cycle data.
The following plot is representative of what is typically It is best to use textbook data only as a starting point or for
available from open literature. While we are interested in life- rough estimates. There are just too many factors at work for
stress relationships, most of the data to be found is plotted in accurate predictions, even in non safety-critical systems.
the "opposite" direction, as stress-life or S-N data.
2. IPL Slope from Material Testing
The second method for determining the life-stress slope is
to perform simple experiments with samples of the actual
material in use. This has the advantage of being able to
closely resemble the stress state in the field and may be the
only choice if "textbook" data is not available for the material
of concern. One other advantage is that it presents the
opportunity to gather data using field equivalent types of
loads, such as GRMS values for vibration over a more generic
mechanical stress. This may also be the only choice if the life-
limiting stress is unconventional, such as the exposure of
aluminum to mild acid solutions previous discussed.
The following plot (page 24) is based on data taken from
an experiment with an aluminum brazing sheet used at Dana
Corporation to make oil cooler brackets little fatigue data
The first problem one encounters with textbook data is existed for this material in post-brazed conditions. It was most
that it generally covers a wide range of stress/strain conditions, expedient to construct a small series of tests with weighted
from low cycle fatigue up to "infinite" life. Depending on the strips of material attached to the shaker table hence they
application of the system under investigation, choosing which were called the "flapping strip" experiments.
portion of the data to use for your estimate can be critical.
The experiment was quite simple. 10 coupons 6 long
Because the life-stress slope is usually quite different in were mounted vertically on a shaker table and a sine sweep
low cycle fatigue regions than in high, it is important to have from 10 100 Hz was performed. Four levels of input were
an idea of the stress state (high vs. low) that the components used from 2.5 up to 4 gPeak. These levels and the frequencies
will see during field use. Consider the plot shown next. There involved do not differ much from some of the inputs seen from
are many possible ways to fit a straight slope to the data for actual road load testing of full cooler systems.
this plot; each will result in significant differences. Please Turn to Page 24

Volume 12, Issue 1 23

Continued from Page 23:Accelerated Testing with the Inverse Power Law"
2. Run all samples to failure. The added information from
failure analysis is quite valuable for future designs. This
not only aids in understanding of failure modes but
working towards eliminating those failures also generally
improves the reliability and durability of the product.

3. Watch for failure mode switches at higher input

levels. This might be a sign that you have exceeded
reasonable limits of testing or switched to a low cycle
fatigue regime. It is important to be careful not to induce
foolish failures use common sense when examining
results and developing testing levels. If a failure mode
that is impossible to occur in the field is forced, what truly
is gained in the exercise?

4. Work with multiple levels of fixed stress. Each

y component should only see one stress level during the
test. While it is possible to use Miners rule to help analyze
e Due to the abstract nature of the experiment, little more step-stress or variable stress testing, it adds another level
than the slope of the life-stress line (3.5 in this case) is of of analysis in determining the life-stressor slope.
y value in future designs and testing analysis. One interesting
observation is that if textbook data had been used to estimate As pointed out above, the switch from high to low cycle
e the slope for this material, a slope of closer to 10 would have fatigue can be problematic and represents the practical upper
been found a great deal different than what the experiments limit of acceleration that can be achieved. In general, the
showed. Had the higher estimate been used, gross errors in switch is not a clear cut-off point but a gradual transition.
= predictions would have been made that could have led to Thus, it is important to look for signs of this transition in data.
debate on the validity of the test, or worse, the suitability of the
= component. The investment of a day or so in effort to organize The first plot below comes from a case study into the
and a couple days of shaker time was well worth the results. durability of an oil cooler exposed to cyclical pressure. In this
Y analysis, if all the data points are considered to fit one model,
3. IPL Slope from System Testing a life-stress slope of ~ 2.8 is found. It is apparent that not all
, The final method to determine the life-stressor relationship of the data, especially at the limits, fits the model very well.
is to perform system or sub-system level testing. This tends to
be the most costly and time-consuming method but also The second plot (page 25) is the same data set but
produces data that most closely represents field usage. broken into two sections, a high and low stress regime. The
data set fits a high-low model much better. The key is to
If the components have a significant design margin understand where the operating point of the system lies to
(especially a safety-critical item) then running at operation choose which model, the low (n = 2) or the high stress model,
conditions may be impractically long but unfortunately provides where there is more sensitivity to stress.
the most useful data point. Working with components as close
Please Turn to Page 25
as possible to production design generally produces results
r and uses inputs that most closely resemble field conditions.

The inputs and outputs do not need to be abstract

concepts such as stress and strain, but rather engineering
r and user inputs such as temperature, button pushes, speeds
and on-off-on cycles. Having easy-to-interpret results, such
y as hours or days to failure, also helps in relating testing and
predictions to full system analysis and field conditions.

Some tips to consider for system testing:

1. You can never have too much data. Run at least two
samples at a minimum of three different stress levels. Run
at least one set as close to the field conditions as possible,
even if you do not have time to run to failure. Bias your
samples towards the end of the range. For more, see [1].

24 Reliability Edge
Continued from Page 24:Accelerated Testing with the Inverse Power Law
1. W. B. Nelson. Accelerated Testing: Statistical Models,
Test Plans, and Data Analysis, USA: Wiley-Interscience,
2. H. W. McLean. HALT, HASS & HASA Explained, USA:
ASQ Quality Press, 2000.
3. ReliaSoft Corporation. Accelerated Life Testing Reference,
Tucson, AZ: ReliaSoft Publishing, 2007.

About the Author

Harland MacKenzie is the reliability manager for Dana
Power Technologies in Oakville, Ontario. He acts as a resource
Recommendations to the company in areas of testing, reliability and statistics. His
primary interests are centered around using and developing
Accelerated life testing can save time and cost during the
techniques to improve design and development testing, with a
design and development validation phase in many industries.
focus on improving product performance and reducing warranty
With little effort, basic life-stressor models can be developed
cost. Harland has presented at several Applied Reliability
using the inverse power law model. Having a firm grasp on
Symposium (ARS) conferences over the past several years on
the sensitivities to exposure at different levels of field stresses
the subject of accelerated life testing. He also teaches courses
is a valuable tool to assess suitability to "off-design" conditions.
within Dana and has several publications in the area of testing
This can then be used to explore sensitivity of a system to its
and specification development for automotive components and
"inputs" and thereby develop more robust components.
systems. He can be reached at

DOE Software Designed with Reliability in Mind!SM

DOE++ facilitates traditional Design of Experiments (DOE) techniques for studying the significant factors that affect a
product or process in order to optimize test plans and improve designs. The software also expands upon standard
methods to provide the proper analysis treatment for interval and censored data a major breakthrough for
reliability-related analyses!
Supported design types include:

One Factor Designs Response Surface Method Designs

Factorial Designs Central Composite
Two Level Full Factorial Box-Behnken
Two Level Fractional Factorial Reliability DOE Only in DOE++
Plackett-Burman One Factor Reliability Designs
General Full Factorial Two Level Full Factorial Reliability Designs
Taguchi Orthogonal Array Two Level Fractional Factorial Reliability Designs
Taguchi Robust Design Plackett-Burman Reliability Designs

Volume 12, Issue 1 25

Increasing Mandrel Life in a Cold Ring Rolling Process Guest Submission
An Application of DOE Principles to Reliability Analysis

Tayfun Kocabas Life Data Analysis of Mandrels Before the Study

SPAC Consulting, Ltd. Prior to the study, we analyzed 24 complete data points
Improving the life of machine equipment means a lot to using the Weibull++ software. The life distribution of mandrels
process owners. With an increased life the number of with diameter 15mm followed a 2-parameter Weibull
breakdowns during the shift decreases and thus equipment distribution with a shape parameter () = 1.925 and scale
effectiveness and efficiency increase. This is the operational parameter () = 972 cycles.
side. On the other hand, you can accomplish shortened
process lead times and hence satisfy your customers orders Multiple Responses
on time. There are two responses for this DOE study. One is the
In the center of this study we life of the mandrel (cycles) and the other is the cycle time of
have a cold ring rolling machine the process (seconds/piece). At the end of this study, the life
that is used to form the inner and of the mandrel should be increased, but at the same time the
the outer rings of ball bearings. The process cycle time must not get longer. Therefore the DOE
y rings are rolled on cylindrical model must be solved for multiple responses.
equipment called a mandrel. After
Experiment Design
e a certain number of rings have
been rolled, the mandrel breaks Using the DOE++ software, a fractional factorial experiment
down into two pieces. was designed with the properties shown next.
Our aim is to increase the life of the mandrel by designing
e an experiment that includes the controllable process
parameters and different materials used to produce the
mandrel. Although increasing the life of the mandrel is in the
core of this study, the cycle time of the process, which is
another output, should not be increased. So the multiple
= response optimization method is used to solve the problem.
Throughout the study, ReliaSoft's DOE++ and Weibull++
Y software are used to analyze life characteristics and to obtain
the best factor combination.
, Cold Ring Rolling Process
In the cold ring rolling process, the machine forms rolls
inside and outside of the ring by a mandrel and forming roll.
The work piece expands about 20% at
the external diameter by form rolling. Because running a full factorial experiment is expensive
Sizing is done after form rolling and the and time-consuming, we used a fractional factorial design in
work piece drops from the machine the study. The team also checked the curvature effect by
outlet. using center points in the design. Table 2 summarizes the
r The inner diameter of the preform seven factors used.
ring determines the outer diameter of Table 2: Seven factors in the fractional factorial design
the mandrel. If the inner diameter of the
preform is small, the outer diameter of ID Name Low Level High Level
the mandrel should also be small. The A Hardness 56.5 61.5
smaller the outer diameter of the B Pressure 4 7
y mandrel, the shorter the life. C Speed 2 4
D Machine E502 Y522
Holding the size of the preform E Length 130 133
rings constant, this article describes F Flatness 2 4
how a Design of Experiments (DOE) G Material Material2 Material1
analysis was done to increase the life of
the mandrel while keeping the cycle Factor A is the hardness of the mandrel. Factor B is the
time to a reasonable level. pressure level of the rolling machine. Factor C is the feed rate
of the rolling machine. Factor D is the condition of the rolling
Please Turn to Page 27

26 Reliability Edge
Continued from Page 26:Increasing Mandrel Life in a Cold Ring Rolling Process
machine (where E502 is the old one and Y522 is the new Obtaining the DOE Model
one). Factor E is the length of the mandrel. Factor F is the
In the first phase of analysis, the solution model was
flatness of the mandrel design. Factor G represents the two
obtained with respect to the life response. By reducing the
new materials used to produce the mandrel.
model terms according to the statistical significance (=5%),
Carrying Out the Experiment the results obtained are shown next.

When the test was designed, the hardness factor was

assumed to be controllable by the team, and therefore the
recommended test design had 44 runs with 7 factors. However
when the measurements were done, the hardness of the
mandrels was not exactly at high or low levels. Since this
factor was found to be not controllable, the team decided to
treat the hardness column as a covariate during the analysis.
This keeps the design "orthogonal" for the other 6 factors, and
requires the assumption that the hardness covariate does not
interact with other factors in the model. The results for all 44
This model has an explanation power of the life response
runs were automatically imported to DOE++ using the File 2
as R adj=65.6% and =1123. The best combination that
Import Wizard, as shown below. Then the data were analyzed
maximizes the life response is Machine Y522, Material 1,
as 6 factors with 1 covariate.
Speed=2, Pressure=4, Flatness=2 and Length=130. With this
combination, the average life is predicted to be 10,358 pieces.
However, this combination results in 13.5 seconds/piece
cycle time, which is nearly two times the current cycle time.
So this treatment is not an acceptable solution.
Very long CT=13,5 sec.

Reliability DOE vs. Classical DOE

The DOE++ software offers an analysis approach called
Reliability DOE that has two basic advantages over classical
DOE. First, suspended data can be incorporated into the
model calculations along with complete data. Secondly, Then the runs were solved for the second response,
responses do not have to be distributed normally at any which is cycle time. The results obtained are shown next.
treatment level.
In this study, because one of the responses is the life of
the mandrel, other distributions such as Weibull, exponential 9,7688 0,2112 9,3374 10,2001 46,2521
A:MACHINE 0,15 0,075 0,1801 -0,2928 0,4428 0,4164 0,6801
or lognormal are also possible. However, after considering the C:MATERIAL -0,5318 -0,2659 0,1801 -0,6338 0,1019 -1,4763 0,1503
options, the team chose classical DOE for the following -1,3625 -0,6812 0,2112 -1,1126 -0,2499 -3,2255
E:PRESSURE 0,7625 0,3812 0,2112 -0,0501 0,8126 1,8051 0,0811
reasons: 0,9125 0,4562 0,2112 0,0249 0,8876 2,1602
-1,025 -0,5125 0,2112 -0,9438 -0,0812 -2,4265
All the data are complete (no suspensions). -1 -0,5 0,2112 -0,9313 -0,0687 -2,3674
1,1625 0,5812 0,2112 0,1499 1,0126 2,752
The two responses should be optimized together. -0,9875 -0,4938 0,2112 -0,9251 -0,0624 -2,3378
1,075 0,5375 0,2112 0,1062 0,9688 2,5449
While life follows the Weibull distribution, cycle time -0,9625 -0,4812 0,2112 -0,9126 -0,0499 -2,2786
-1,1375 -0,5688 0,2112 -1,0001 -0,1374 -2,6929
follows the normal distribution. -0,9438 0,4044 -1,7697 -0,1178 -2,3335

Currently there is no available DOE software that optimizes

The best combination that minimizes the cycle time
the results coming from different distributions.
response is Machine E502, Material 1, Speed=4, Pressure=4,
For the life response, the normality assumption is not Flatness=2 and Length=133. With this combination, the
violated strongly. average cycle time is predicted to be 5.75 seconds/piece.
Please Turn to Page 29
Volume 12, Issue 1 27

source for reliability.

Is your organization faced with any of the following?

Specifying the reliability of an item you are contracting to an
outside vendor.
y Developing a reliability program plan that focuses on cost
effective reliability tasks.
Leveraging the lessons learned from historical data.
Balancing deadlines associated with RMS tasks using
an overburdened staff.
Establishing best-in-class RMS practices without
fully understanding the steps to reach this goal.
e Performing maintenance practices with limited
resources while ensuring that requirements are
= not compromised.
Quantifying the reliability of your product
= through effective accelerated life tests.
Identifying the root cause of repeated warranty
Y claims against your product.
Alion SRC consulting services address reliability,
, maintainability and supportability (RMS) challenges.
Since 1968, Alions staff has provided integral support to
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y System & Part

Data Resource


Alion System Reliability Center

2007 Alion Science and Technology Corporation
Reliability Edge
Continued from Page 27:Increasing Mandrel Life in a Cold Ring Rolling Process
However, this combination results in a life of 3,897 pieces per Table 3: Confirmation runs
mandrel. This result for life is very low compared to other
Pressure Speed Machine Length Flatness Material Life Cycle
4 2 Y522 130 2 Material2 10,490 7.1 sec
4 2 Y522 130 2 Material2 10,200 8.2 sec
4 2 Y522 130 2 Material2 11,200 7.5 sec

Very short
life=3897 pcs.
= 1123

10200 pcs 10490 pcs 11200 pcs

8,2 sec 7,1 sec 7,5 sec

Concluding Thoughts
This study is a good application of DOE principles to the
(Note: Observant readers may notice from the figure on reliability analysis of machine equipment. In order to improve
page 27 that curvature was found to be significant in the the life characteristic of the mandrel, process parameters
analysis for the cycle time response. This was not a cause of such as the speed of the machine or the material used to
concern for the purposes of this study because the primary manufacture the mandrel are changed in a systematic manner
objective was to improve the life of the mandrels and it was and also noise factors such as the hardness of the material
only necessary to control the cycle time at reasonable are taken into consideration. Optimization of the process
parameters is done with respect to both life and cycle time
responses. By the use of the multiple response optimization
When both of the single-response analyses were found to technique, the life of the mandrel was improved by nearly nine
be inadequate, the team decided to perform a third analysis times while keeping the cycle time at reasonable levels.
that considered both life and cycle time together. This analysis
utilized the multiple response optimization features of DOE++, References
and the next figure shows a plot of the optimal solution. 1. ReliaSoft Corporation. Experiment Design and Analysis
Reference, Tucson, AZ: ReliaSoft Publishing, 2008.
2. ReliaSoft Corporation. Hands On: Reliability DOE with
Covariates. Internet:
issue99/hottopics99.htm, May 2009.
3. ReliaSoft Corporation. Importing Data from Excel Files to
DOE++. Internet:
issue107/hottopics107.htm, January 2010.
4. S. R. Schmidt and R. G. Launsby. Understanding Industrial
Designed Experiments, 4th ed. Colorado Springs, CO: Air
Academy Press, 2005.

About the Author

The resulting combination that both optimizes life and Tayfun Kocabas is currently working as a consultant at
cycle time is found to be Machine Y522, Material 2, Speed=2, S.P.A.C. Consulting, which he joined in 2007. He holds a B.S.
Pressure=4, Flatness=2 and Length=130. With these factor in Industrial Engineering from Middle East Technical University
levels, the mandrel has an average life of 9,069 pieces and and an M.B.A. in Business Administration from Dokuz Eylul
cycle time of 8.7 seconds/piece. University. He had worked in the automotive industry and the
domestic appliance industry. His primary areas of interests are
Confirmation Runs Reliability Engineering, Six Sigma applications, Design of
Experiments and Accelerated Life Tests. He is a registered
We have made three confirmation runs in the best Certified Reliability Professional (CRP) by ReliaSoft and is
combination that maximizes life and minimizes cycle time. currently serving as a representative and distribution partner for
Table 3 gives the results. These results show that the best ReliaSoft in Turkey. For additional information, he can be
factor combination of the experiment is confirmed. reached at
Volume 12, Issue 1 29
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MIL-217 * Bellcore/Telcordia * NSWC Mechanical

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30 Reliability Edge
For Your Information Bulletin Board
Depending on the software product and ReliaSofts Software Products
your particular needs, ReliaSoft offers a variety
Weibull++ Life Data Analysis
of license options, including single user
8.0.8 17-Dec-12
licenses, network licenses, unlimited licenses
(for a site, division or corporation) and rentals. ALTA AcceleratedLife Test Data Analysis
With the release of the Synthesis Platform, 8.0.8 17-Dec-12
ReliaSoft has introduced more intelligent and DOE++ Experiment Design and Analysis
flexible network license management options. 1.0.7 8-Feb-11
For example, standard network licenses are BlockSim System Modeling and Analysis
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7.6.1 24-Feb-11
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usage. You now also have the flexibility to 8.0.8 17-Dec-12
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product suites that offer significant savings 3.0.17 24-Apr-12
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the final report document.
An intuitive hierarchical structure to manage the system configuration and functional failure analysis.
Built-in logic for identifying maintenance significant items (MSIs), failure effect categorization (FEC) and
maintenance task selection.
Centralized data storage allows multiple users and/or groups of users to work cooperatively.
Time-saving capabilities to reuse text descriptions and portions of existing analyses.

Volume 12, Issue 1 31

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Special Anniversary Edition

Volume 12, Issue 1