The Variety of Statistical Tools

The Variety of Statistical Tools to Support Your Decision Making

My wife and I moved to a new home last year. We have yet to organize our tools.

The bedroom and kitchen are now organized. We, for the most part, can find the sweater or pan that we’re seeking.

No so for our tools in the shop. We have an assortment of hand tools for painting, home maintenance, yard work, and woodworking. In our previous home, we had the tools on pegboards, on shelves, in cabinets. We could find the right tool for the job at hand quickly. We’ve avoided the tool aisle at the hardware store recently, as we were sure we had the tool we need in the jumbled mess in our garage already. Still haven’t found it, though.

Have you noticed the number of statistical tools available? It’s like visiting a well-stocked tool store. There are basic tools like trend charting and advanced tools like proportional hazard models. Let’s explore the available tools a little so you can quickly find the right tool for the question or problem you are facing today. Continue reading “The Variety of Statistical Tools”

Thoughts on Testing One Sample and No Failures


14598506379_df6e4e22e0_zReliability Testing with Constraints

In some cases we have to conduct testing and are asked to not break the product. Now, that isn’t all that fun as a reliability engineer. We want to find what fails and understand it. Or, we want to confirm what we expect will fail, actually does as expected.

So, what do we do when confronted with a very small sample size (that is one issue) and are expected to conduct failure free testing (second issue)? Let’s explore each issue separately and come up with a few suggestions on how to proceed.

Thanks to Олег (@OlegV_Ivanov) via Twitter for the article suggestion. Thanks for the idea  Олеr. Continue reading “Thoughts on Testing One Sample and No Failures”

Why success with HALT begins long before doing HALT

HALT is a BIG change

Implementing a new reliability development paradigm in a company which is using traditional, standards-based testing can be a perilous journey.  It is especially true with introducing HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) in which strength against stress, and not quantifying electronics lifetimes is the new metric.  Because of this significant change in test orientation, a critical factor for success begins with educating the company’s top Continue reading “Why success with HALT begins long before doing HALT”

Question use of reliability testing standards

Each of us have seen product life or component reliability claims on product literature or data sheets. We may even have received such claims stated as goals and been asked to support the claim with some form of an experiment. Standards bodies from ANSI, BSI, ISO, IEC, and others from around the world provide standard methods for testing products. This includes product life testing in some cases. Continue reading “Question use of reliability testing standards”

For Maximum Test Value, Take it to the Limit!

When we go to an automobile race such as the Indianapolis 500, watching those cars circle the track can get fairly boring. What is secretly unspoken is that everyone observing the race is watching for a race car to find and sometimes exceed a limit, finding a discontinuity. The limit could be how fast he enters a curve before the acceleration forces exceed the tires coefficient of friction, or how close to the racetrack wall, he can be before he contacts it and spins out of control. Using the race analogy, Continue reading “For Maximum Test Value, Take it to the Limit!”

No Evidence of Correlation: Field failures and Traditional Reliability Engineering

Historically Reliability Engineering of Electronics has been dominated by the belief that 1) The life or percentage of complex hardware failures that occurs over time can be estimated, predicted, or modeled and 2) Reliability of electronic systems can be calculated or estimated through statistical and probabilistic methods to improve hardware reliability.  The amazing thing about this is that during the many decades that reliability Continue reading “No Evidence of Correlation: Field failures and Traditional Reliability Engineering”