TOP STORY: Free RoHS Seminar on March 7th

Winter-Spring 2006

Ops A La Carte LLC
(408) 472-3889
Fax: 408-255-5789

Theme this newsletter:

COURSES and SEMINARS- Both public and in-house courses
EVENTS - Workshops and Symposiums
Free Admission to DfR Seminar
Software Reliability
Packaging Design and Testing
Field Data Analysis
Regulatory Compliance Testing and Certification
NEWS - Ops A La Carte in the news
FEATURED SERVICE - Software Reliability
PROBLEM SOLVER - Solve this month's problem and win a prize
ADVERTISEMENTS - Advertise here and watch your business grow
JOB OPENINGS - Looking for a job? Check our new section here !


Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) Preparation Course (pdf) - Apr 4 - May 23, 2006
To register, email us at
For details see the Ops A La Carte Schedule


The following is a list of all our public seminars for the the next few months. Most of our seminars are taught as in-house tailored seminars. To view a list of all our seminars, please go to the Ops A La Carte Course List

Design for Reliability (2 days)
Mar 20-21, 2006 Tampa, FL (with Hobbs Engineering)
April 6-7, 2006 Sunnyvale, CA (with De Anza College CACT)
May 1-2, 2006 San Jose, CA (with Hobbs Engineering)

This seminar will highlight a series of Selected Reliability topics and will answer the question of why each technique is important. We will also introduce how to use each technique. The major topics we will cover are: FMEA, Design Defect Tracking (FRACAS), Thermal Design, Component Stress Derating, Design of Experiments/Reliability Statistics, Supplier Reliability Management, Environmental Testing, and HALT. This seminar will help you define reliability goals, metrics, plans and schedules and then manage the activities, all within a product life cycle perspective. It will also monitor and improve processes to measure reliability related costs. From this seminar, you will be able to establish and monitor processes to track reliability growth as well as assist production and supply chain groups in reliability assurance strategy development. This seminar is targeted at the engineers responsible for product reliability who will be using these reliability techniques.

For details see the Ops A La Carte Schedule

OTHER SEMINARS COMING IN 2006 - inquire if interested at
Mechanical Design for IC Packaging
Design for Manufacturability (DfM)
Design for Testability (DfT)
Design for 6 Sigma (DfSS)
Design for 'X' (DfX)
Design of Experiments (DoE)
HALT and HASS Application
Statistics for 6 Sigma
Design for Climatic Conditions
Design for Vibration and Shock
Software Reliability

For details on these NEW seminars, see the Ops A La Carte Course List


RoHS: The Countdown to Compliance - Special FREE Seminar on Last Minute Details You Need to Know before the Deadline - March 7, 2006 at Paramit Corporation
We were so successful with the first set of series in February (148 attendees came to our February 9th event) that we have decided to do this once more.

The rest of the electronics industry, your products will transition to Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliance prior to the deadlines in 2006. This includes the transition to Lead-Free Solder, and at this time, there are significant reliability uncertainties around Lead-Free Solder. Even if your product does not need to be compliant, the materials and processes that make up your product are changing. As one major consumer product team concluded, doing nothing would double the field failure rate of the electronics. During this time of rapid transition, there is a significant new body of knowledge to understand to determine the areas of greatest risk to the reliability of your product. In this presentation, we will highlight a few of these significant risk areas and how to best mitigate these risks during the transition. Email us at to register.

Warranty Chain Management (WCM) Conference - Largest conference of the year devoted to warranty issues - March 1-2, 2006, Las Vegas
Ops A La Carte shall be participating in and presenting at the 2006 Warranty Chain Management Conference. This conference is the single largest conference dedicated to warranty issues. The theme this year is "Adding Value to Warranty Management Through Process Improvement". Check website for details on the schedule of events.

Warranty is no longer just a concern for automotive and appliance companies. Practically every industry has to deal with warranty these days.

Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Tour of a HALT Facility - Mar 16, 4-6pm, 2006, Santa Clara
Visit the oldest HALT facility on the West Coast (founded in 1995) and the only test facility in Northern California with QualMark's patented xLF low frequency vibrators. Email us at to register for this FREE event.

International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED) - March 28, 2006, 1pm-6pm, San Jose
at the DoubleTree Hotel. We shall be exhibiting at this symposium, so please stop by our booth. For more details, please go to Email us at for more information on this event.

International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) - March 28, 2006, 7:30pm-9:30pm, San Jose
We shall be presenting two topics - 1) RoHS and its effects on IC Manufacturers and 2) Lot Acceptance Testing for Complex IC's. The conference will be at the McEnery Convention Center March 26-30. For more details, please go to Email us at for more information on this event.

Design for Manufacturability (D2M) Conference - April 5, 2006, San Jose
This conference is part of the larger Embedded Systems Conference being held at the McEnery Convention Hall in San Jose on April 5th. Our presentation will be on reliability issues and status of Pb-free manufacturing. We shall also be exhibiting at this symposium, so please stop by our booth. For more details, please go to Email us at for more information on this event.

Designing for Warranty Cost Reduction (1/2 day) - Special FREE Seminar - April 11, 2006, 1pm-5pm
with De Anza College CACTand Paramit Corp) at Paramit Corporation, Morgan Hill.

Warranty costs for the computer and other high tech industries were greater than $6.2 billion in 2004. Less than 35% of that was material costs; the majority was related to support process costs. Consequently, product design teams are being challenged to reduce the warranty costs by both improving product reliability (AFR) and designing in less expensive warranty support processes (i.e., customer self diagnostics and repair). This 1/2 day FREE seminar will introduce a proven warranty event cost model and supporting methodologies that help teams identify warranty cost reduction solutions which integrate both component failure rate reduction strategies and strategies that shift the support process mix to less expensive processes. The warranty cost model constructs the cost of warranty events from both event frequencies and the specific support process costs used to resolve each event. Case studies will be presented describing how teams used this model to: analyze warranty costs by event type, prioritize what events needed cost reduction options, and develop cost saving estimates for each prioritized event. In the afternoon the class will explore and practice using methods to rank the feasibility of proposed design options by identifying all diagnostic tools, product features and support tools/capabilities needed to realize its potential cost savings. Finally, how these models and tools integrate with FMEA and other reliability planning tools will be explored. Email us at for more information on this event.

Applied Reliability Symposium - June 14-16, 2006, Orlando, FL
Our presentation will be on Lot Acceptance Testing for Complex IC's. We shall also be exhibiting at this symposium so please come by our booth. For more details, please go to Email us at for more information on this event.

For details on these events, go to Ops A La Carte Events


This month, we have a special offer:

Half-Off Admission to the "Design for Reliability (DfR)" Seminar In this newsletter, our featured article is on Software Reliability and in conjunction with this, we are offering half-off admission to our "Design for Reliability" seminar to the first 3 people that email us with the correct answer to our question in the "Problem Solver" section of this quarter's newsletter. This is a $600 value. Please email your solution to


- Feb, 2006
Ops A La Carte introduces 4 new services

- Software Reliability
- Packaging Design and Testing
- Field Data Analysis
- Regulatory Compliance Testing and Certification

- Feb, 2006
Ops A La Carte has been invited to present at the annual IRPS Conference on March 28th. We shall present at one of the workshop sessions at the annual International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) on March 28th from 7:30pm-9:30pm. We shall be presenting two topics - 1) RoHS and its effects on IC Manufacturers and 2) Lot Acceptance Testing for Complex IC's. The conference will be at the McEnery Convention Center March 26-30. For more details, please go to

- Feb, 2006
Ops A La Carte has been invited to give a presentation on RoHS at the Design for Manufacturability (D2M) conference. This conference is part of the larger Embedded Systems Conference being held at the McEnery Convention Hall in San Jose on April 5th. Our presentation will be on reliability issues and status of Pb-free manufacturing. For more details on the workshop, please go to

- Feb, 2006
Ops A La Carte has been invited to give a presentation at the Applied Reliability Symposium (ARS), in Orlando, FL on June 14-16th. Our presentation will be on Lot Acceptance Testing for Complex IC's. We shall be exhibiting at this symposium as well so plesae come by our booth. For more details on the workshop, please go to

- Feb, 2006
Ops A La Carte shall be exhibiting at the International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED), at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose on March 28th. Please stop by our booth. For more information, please go to

- Feb 9-10, 2006
Ops A La Carte holds an RoHS Workshop and 148 people attend. What do you do when you book a room for 50 people and 197 people sign up. Well, that's the problem we were faced with so we split the conference into 3 sessions. And there were a number of people that couldn't make it, so we have scheduled a 4th session on March 7th. See Ops A La Carte Events for more details.

- Feb 2006
Ops A La Carte welcomes 3 more consultants to our team. Please welcome David Thysen, Hal Judy, and Henry Walaszczyk. David brings a new dimension to our team with over 20 years of packaging design experience, this will help in our qualification testing immensely. Hal has many specialized talents in reliability including Markov analyses for complex systems as well as Weibull and Lognormal analysis of infant mortality and EOL (end-of-life) failure modes. And Henry comes to us from the Semiconductor Manufacturing industry, leading teams at Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor through transition towards the quest for higher quality and reliability. Each consultants' profile is shown on our Our Team's webpage.

- Jan 25, 2006
Ops A La Carte presents a paper at the 52nd Annual International Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS) in Newport Beach. You can download a copy of this paper on our website at

- Jan 23-25, 2006
Ops A La Carte exhibits for the first time. Ops A La Carte exhibits at the 52nd Annual International Reliability and Maintainability Symposium. Over 125 participants to the symposium stopped by and chatted with us, more traffic than at any other booth. Due to this success, we have picked out 4 more shows to exhibit at this year. You can see us at the following upcoming shows:

- International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED) on March 28 at the DoubleTree Hotel, San Jose, CA. For more details on the symposium, please go to

- Design for Manufacturability (D2M) conference (part of the Embedded Systems Conference) on April 4-6 at McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA. For more details on the workshop, please go to

- Applied Reliability Symposium (ARS) on June 14-16 in Orlando, FL. For more details on the symposium, please go to

- Accelerated Stress Test (AST) Workshop on Oct 4-6 at the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. For more details on the workshop, please go to

- Jan, 2006
Ops A La Carte brings on its first Project Manager. Please welcome Sara Isenberg to our team. Sara spent many years at HP developing her project management skills. In December, 2005, we crossed the 50 project mark - working on 50 projects at one time, so to keep up with this growth, we added a much needed Project Manager to manage many of our large acounts. Sara's profile is shown on our Our Team's webpage.

- Dec, 2005
Ops A La Carte releases our new Warranty services. In conjunction with this new service, we wrote a feature article on Warranty in our Fall 2005 Newsletter and updated our service pages following links: Design for Warranty and Warranty Performance Analysis.

Presentations for the above events are available for download on the Resources Page of our website.

For more information on news, please visit our News Page or call (408) 472-3889.

Software Reliability Services

Software testing generates a wealth of defect information that can give invaluable insight into the effectiveness and efficiency of the software development process. This service leads development teams through a structured analysis of thiect information to both identify high impact improvements to their development process and then to develop actionable plans to realize these improvements.

Software Root Cause Analysis (RCA), while sharing many of the process concepts with its hardware brethren, is different. RCA in the hardware domain is focused on the detailed analysis of a specific failure usually of a specific component or manufacturing process. The goal is to understand, completely, how and why a component or process failed so that specific remedies can be devised to avoid it in the future. Software RCA is different. It is focused on the systematic categorization and organization of the plethora of failure and defect information that comes from software testing. Software RCA is focused on analyzing patterns in the sources, types, and causes of defects so that root causes for these patterns can be identifies. In most cases, the remedy is a process change. This focus can be best exemplified by considering the following case study.

A certain software development team had just finished a major product enhancement release. While they had met their software reliability goals during software reliability demonstration testing, their newly implemented inspection program at the requirements, design and coding phases had failed to detect 1/2 the defects that they had expected when compared to published benchmarks. This resulted in a test phase that was 30% longer and 30% more expensive than planned. The development team asked us to perform a Software Root Cause Analysis and help them develop an action plan to improve their inspection processes for the next product development cycle.

For this software root cause analysis, we started with 75 randomly chosen failures found during test. We first walked a team of development engineers through the process of classifying each defect (fault) with respect to:

1.Where the defect was introduced (its origin

2. What type of defect it was (its type)

3. Why it was a defect ( its mode/reason)

When analyzing this data to identify any major trends, a number of significant and unexpected patterns emerged. First., the vast majority of defects were introduced during either the design or coding phase. Yet, the number of defects not detected in the requirements phase inspections was quite small!

Secondly, the largest types of missed defects during inspections were interprocess communication defects during the design phase and logic errors during coding inspections.

Finally, the two primary reason classifications the defects were either to wrong logic or missing IPC design elements. Altogether, this is an unusual combination.

With this information, the team chose to perform root cause analysis on both the cause of logic defects and for interprocess communication type defects. We then led the team through a typical TQC process of identifying potential root causes (documented by annotated fish bone diagrams) for each problem. We then interviewed members of the development team to identify the most probable root causes for both. After inspection of all review log reports, both problems had three identical and dominate most probable root causes:

- Overly complex, not well understood and poorly documented architecture

- Wrong people participating in design reviews

- Key objects/components are too large and complex

The following corrective action was taken for the next product development cycle.

- The architecture documentation was redesigned for ease and effectiveness of use by the design engineers, then updated and used in the next development cycle.

- Implemented a mandatory architecture training class for all engineers

- Assured needed mix of reviewers at inspections for all critical use operations identified in both the project's software reliability plan and the software reliability demonstration test.

The team is now in the testing phase for the current release. Preliminary metrics confirms a 2X improvement in inspection defect detection rates for both design and code reviews. Initial failure rates (intensities) at system test are correspondingly 1/4 the expected magnitude as estimated from the previous releases. The team will meet their failure rate objectives for all critical operations in their operational profile well before the end of the software testing phase. Current estimates are that software testing phase can finish 20% early with similar savings for the test costs.

For more information on these services, please click on the following link: Software Reliability. You can also email us at or call (408) 472-3889.


A product development team is going to build the next generation of their product. The software will be completely rewritten, not ported from the old product.

It will be an object oriented design using c++. They know they will not have the time to do 100% inspections at each development phase. They have both testing and post-release failure and defect information from the last two enhancement releases for the current product. They also have accurate operation (user logical tasks) use profiles from the current product.. They know that they will allocate inspections. proportional to the operation use profile. They need to document their defect prevention strategies and plans in their Software Reliability Plan. Specifically, they need to allocate inspection priorities by software components and by development phase.

How could they use the Software Root Cause Analysis technique to further tune and improve their inspection strategies, plans and process?

Link Silicon Valley, LLC (LinkSV) is an online networking resource for researching, identifying and contacting the companies and people within the 6,000 plus active & inactive companies in the greater Bay Area. Our company records identify the senior team, board members, financing, key partners and customers. There are many features which allow you to view the information from different angles and "connect all the dots".

LinkSV helps you tap into previously scarce and extraordinarily hard-to-find information on early stage companies and the key people associated with them. This will improve your effectiveness without the hassle and time of trying to do it all on your own. LinkSV is ideally suited to help you quickly identify and leverage your own connections in career search, in identifying new business opportunities, new investors and Board members.

The Reliability, Maintainability, and Supportability Partnership (RMS/P) organization's goal is to enhance communication, coordination and collaboration between industry and government in a manner that will encourage individuals and organizations to adopt an integrated systems engineering approach, or end-to-end management approach, when addressing RMS issues. The RMS Partnership also encourages individuals, professional societies, and industry associations to develop, use and maintain world-class RMS non-government standards. The RMS Partnership publishes a quarterly newsletter which is freely available on the Web site. Membership in the RMS Partnership is open to individuals and organizations interested in being on the cutting edge of RMS issues and initiatives both nationally and internationally.

Ops A La Carte's newsletter goes out to over 4500 subscribers. If you would like to advertise in next quarter's "Reliability News", email us at or call at (408) 472-3889.

Principal Engineer for Reliability and Test Development

Intuitive Surgical, based in Sunnyvale, California is the leader in the emerging field of robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery

Our Quality and Regulatory Affairs Division is in a growth mode, and we need to hire a Quality System/Regulatory Wizard - Back To The Future

Fast Forward One Year - Intuitive Surgical would like to thank you for doing a remarkable job of growing our Quality and Regulatory Affairs Department while keeping up with our tremendous revenue growth and demand for our robotic da Vinci Surgical System throughout the world! It was your desire to be the compliance expert and establish corporate corrective and preventative action systems, your ability to work with sophisticated computer systems and instruments such as our robotic equipment, and manage internal audit processes in accordance with company procedures for compliance with ISO which had lead to yours and our success. Everyone in the company would like to thank you for the effort and respect you showed everyone.

Back To Today - If you'd like this story to be yours, send us your resume with a half-page write up of your most significant Quality Systems accomplishment. While we are less concerned with typical job titles and said skills, we won't compromise on your ability to deliver results.

You might want to check out our Web site- - for some insight into what we are doing. We think you will be as excited as much as by where we are today, the opportunity for you to excel and be recognized for doing some of the most outstanding work of your career.

Email resumes to: or visit our web site: and click on company/careers/opportunities/clinical/regulatory affairs and quality and submit your resume on line. Intuitive Surgical 950 Kifer Road Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Reliability Engineer


MRAM R&D is seeking Reliability Engineer with actual work exprience background in physics statistical analysis, mathematics, and data analysis. R&D oriented. PhD, or MSEE ideal. Test development, mathematical model construction, data analysis, physics of failure and design of experiments. Masters Degree EE/Physics + 2 years of experience in technology development. Preferred requirements: MSEE and/or PhD

ABOUT FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR: Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (NYSE:FSL, FSL.B) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets.

CONTACT: Dave Mendoza, Global Talent Consultant Freescale

Quality and Reliablity Engineer IV

Location: Santa Clara, CA Job Specific Knowledge and Experience Knowledge for the reliability function necessary to perform job includes: understanding of the application and theory of most of the following including statistical concepts (discrete and continuous probability distributions, weibull analysis, DOE), modeling and prediction (allocation, fault tree analysis), data collection and analysis (advanced laboratory instrumentation, data acquisition and control), reliability design tools (failure modes and effects analysis), reliability testing (highly accelerated testing, environmental stress screening), product safety and liability (analysis of safety issues, risk assessment), physics of failure (failure analysis, surface and bulk analytical techniques); basic knowledge of Computer Aided Design tools; and general understanding of other engineering sciences. Thorough understanding and application of engineering principles, including electrical, mechanical, process, and vacuum; and utilization and thorough understanding the interrelationship of technologies and their effect on product reliability. Strong knowledge of project management skills. Knowledge for the Quality function includes the ability to frequently contribute to the development of new theories and methods. Employs expertise as a generalist or specialist.

If interested, call Ellen Wiegert Employment Marketing Global Staffing Programs Applied Materials, Inc. (408) 563-4627

Senior Reliability Consultants Needed !

Ops A La Carte is looking for Senior Reliability Consultants around the world with their own consulting practice to join our team of consultants and work on some of the most exciting and challenging projects in the industry.


- Set your own hours

- Control your own future

- Work on fascinating projects in new industries

- Travel as little/much as you'd like

- Be looked upon as an expert

- Work with the best consultants in the industry

- Run your own business

- Eligible for free seminars and symposia

- Freedom to work on whatever you want

If interested, please email or call (408) 472-3889.

Ops A La Carte's newsletter goes out to over 4000 subscribers. If you would like to put a job opening in next quarter's "Reliability News", email us at or call at (408) 472-3889.

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