TOP EVENTS:Print Version

Summer 2012

Ops A La Carte LLC
(408) 654-0499

Theme for this newsletter:
Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS)


SPECIAL OFFERS - One Hour of Free Consulting, Self Assessment
NEWS - 3 New Consultants, MD&M, SMTA, Webinar Highlights
FEATURED SERVICE - Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS)
RELIABILITY BLOG - Highlights of Last Quarter's Blogs
PROBLEM SOLVER - Who Did Not Use OPS Methodology?
JOB OPENINGS - Ops A La Carte, many others



Welcome to our 30th quarterly newsletter. Our newsletter comes out the first week of March, June, September, and December. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

This month we are introducing a new program called our Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS) where we help you discover problems BEFORE they happen. There are many reliability companies that claim they have the secret technique for doing this - companies that tout Physics of Failure, Design for Six Sigma, HALT, and more. But in reality it will take a combination of a number of different methods for you to achieve your reliability goal. And with our OPS program, through our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, we architect the proper reliability program to fit your specific needs. See our Featured Service section for more details as well as catch our upcoming OPS Webinar on Wednesday June 6 explaining the process in more detail. This is one you won't want to miss.

We hope you find value in the following newsletter. Our next newsletter will come out the first week of September. Thank you for your continued support and interest.

- Mike Silverman, Managing Partner/Founder


2012 Free monthly Webinar Series

About Event: Each month, we will bring you a free webinar topic. Below is our current line-up for this quarter. You can click on the registration page for each event.

FREE WEBINAR on Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS) Makes a Reliable Company, June 6, 2012, 11:30am-12:30pm
Click here to REGISTER

This webinar discusses our “Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS)” to provide you insight for ensuring perfect execution toward a Reliable Product from launch through end-of-life and a Reliable Company that can deliver consistently Reliable Products.

As one C-Level executive told us: "I want no surprises". The only way to accomplish this is to set a goal and then develop a plan to achieve this goal. That is what our OPS methodology is all about.

The implementation process is a set of steps that include 1) Assessing, Seting a Goal, and Writing a Reliability Plan, 2) Discovering through Analysis and Testing, 3) Monitoring and Continual Improvement, and 4) Training and Coaching.  Each one is integrated together perfectly to produce the most reliable product at the lowest possible cost in the least amount of time.

This webinar will be led by James R. Johnson, Director of Client Performance, Reliability and Quality Assurance. In this webinar, Jim will explore what makes a Reliable Product and a Reliable Company and how you can utilize our Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS) to achieve both.

Contact Us Info For more info or to register, please Contact Us InfoFor more info, go to our FEATURED SERVICE


Course: Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE) Preparation Course
Date(s): Aug 21 - Oct 2, 2012, ASQ CRE Exam is on Oct 6.
Time: 6pm-10pm one night a week, 7 weeks
Instructor: John Cooper
Length: 7 weeks
Cost: $1295. We offer 25% discount for those taking via webinar or for unemployed or for students not getting reimbursed.
Location: San Jose, CA and Offered via webinar for out of town students.

Description: Becoming certified as a Reliability Engineer (CRE) can be valuable to your employer and your career. We are offering this Exam Preparation Course. Students have found it very valuable in preparing for the exam. Even if you are not planning on taking the exam but need a good, in-depth course in Reliability Engineering, this can benefit you substantially.

Special new options:
Offered via webinar for out of town students.
Tutoring over the internet is now available.
Offered on-site for companies with 8 or more students (we did a class for NASA in Sept '11).

Course Webpage: CRE Course by Ops A La Carte. For more info or to register, please Contact Us Info

For information on other course offerings go to: Ops A La Carte Schedule. All our courses are offered as tailored seminars at our customer's location. To view a list of all all seminars, go to Ops Course List


IEEE Reliability Society Tour of Willow Garage - June 7, 2012

About Event: On June 7, 2:30-4:30pm, we will be touring Willow Garage in Menlo Park, CA. Willow Garage develops hardware and open source software for personal robotics applications.  They are pioneering Open Source Robotics with their open Robot Operating System (ROS).  Willow Garage's vision is to see personal robots as the next paradigm-shifting personal productivity tool.  Come join us for this fascinating tour and view into the robots of the future.

For more info, please Contact Us Info

Applied Reliability Symposium - June 13-15, 2012, New Orleans, LA

Ops A La Carte's Mike Silverman will be giving a presentation on "DFROI – Calculating ROI When Implementing a Design for Reliability Program".

For more info, pleaseContact Us Info

Accelerated Stress Test and Reliability (ASTR) Workshop - October 17-19, 2012, Toronto

Ops A La Carte's Mike Silverman will be giving a tutorial entitled "30 years of HALT - What Have We Learned?"

For more info, pleaseContact Us Info


Last quarter, we visited a number of different areas, including Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. If we missed you while we were in town, please let us know and we can make arrangements to come by again or talk with you on the phone.

This quarter, we will be visiting even more areas, including Toronto, Maryland, and Turkey. Whenever OPS visits a city, we offer 1 hour of free consultation to help you with any aspect of your reliability program. Please refer to the News section for the exact dates.

We will provide you 1 hour of Free Consultation with no strings attached. We will give you our expert advice on any issues you are having or trying to avoid.

In addition, we will offer you a free copy of Mike's book "How Reliable Is Your Product: 50 Ways to Improve Product Reliability" just for giving us the opportunity to speak with you.

Also, we have developed a new Self-Assessment tool. If you take it, we will also give you a free book.

If interested, Contact Us Info



All presentations that we gave can be found on the technical download section of our website at Technical Papers.

May 25, 2012 - Three New Consultants. We are growing rapidly in our project base, and to accommodate for this, we have brought on three new consultants in the last quarter.

Jim Nallan
Senior Quality/Reliability Consultant

Jim has over 22 years of experience in quality and reliability. He has In-depth experience in Total Quality Management, Program Management, global contract manufacturing and supply chain to continually enhance quality, reliability, profitability, and productivity by ensuring incoming, in process, and outgoing material/products efficiently meet business objectives and customer satisfaction. Led, fostered, and motivated teamwork cohesion to sustain design improvement and process efficiency with cost reduction, high yield, and low return rates at highest Quality Level. Teamwork cohesion for continual enhancement in design improvement, detail oriented quality, reliability, profitability, productivity, vendor approval, and supply chain management Proficient in the use of FMEA, CAPA, FDA, Six-Sigma, SIPOC, GR&R, RoHS, Safety, EMI/EMC; implementation and certification of TQM/ISO9001: 2000/TL9000; ISO14000.

Yoram Rubin, MS, MBA
Senior Reliability and RF Design Consultant

Yoram has 30 years of experience in reliability and RF design. Results-oriented leader with senior management experience in the Product and Test Engineering discipline within Operations. Demonstrated engineering, manufacturing and program management know how with proven track record of transferring and releasing new products from engineering to production and simultaneously increasing efficiency and yield of released products. Establish new products manufacturing process flow and introduce test infrastructure by second prototypes phase date to support engineering bring up. Able to quickly assess technical and yield challenges on complex products and develop a plan to resolve them while meeting committed customer ship dates. Experience in low volume/high mix system production testing as well as in high volume/low cost consumer products. Entrepreneurial management style, strong work ethic with positive can-do attitude. He has a BS and MS from USC and an MBA from Pepperdine.

Frank Sykes
Senior Reliability Consultant

Frank has over 30 years of experience in Reliability, Maintainability, and System Safety Program Plans and Prediction Analysis in Defense and Commercial Programs. In the early stages of his career he became a Process Trainer for TQMS implementation at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, Long Beach, CA, where he performed Stand up- training on Continuous Improvement Process involving, Standard Work techniques, Just- in-Time Manufacturing Techniques, Kan- Ban and Taguchi methodologies, as well a Statistical Process Control. Frank has extensive experience on the preparation and delivery of R & M Program Plans, System Safety and Fault Hazard Analysis, FMECA and Fault Tree development and analysis. In the last 10 years as an Independent Contractor, Frank has performed and delivered Hundred of DoD required documents for the Client in a short Turn-Around-Time.

MD&M East - May 22-24, 2012, Philadelphia, PA

Ops A La Carte's Mike Silverman gave a 3 hour class on "Medical Reliability Testing - Identifying Testing Requirements Early." Last year, Mike gave a similar talk at MD&M New York, MD&M Chicago, MD&M Minneapolis, and MD&M Anaheim.

SMTA Conference on Soldering and Reliability - May 15-18, 2012, Toronto

Ops A La Carte's Peter Arrowsmith gave a presentation at this conference on "Improving Product Reliability Using Accelerated Stress Testing". The paper was co-authorized by our client Bojan Randjelovic at AB Sciex.

Improving Product Reliability Using Accelerated Testing - Presentation

LUNCH SEMINAR / FREE WEBINAR on Managing Design Risks, May 17, 2012, San Jose

Successful new product development (NPD) involves the art of balancing schedules, resources, and costs to enable products that launch on-time, with desired performance and at the right cost. Inevitably, trade-offs and risks must be made along the way. Companies that manage these trade-offs and risks consistently outperform their competitors.

This panel of industry experts looks at how to identify all the risks in development, and shares their knowledge of the latest emerging risks. The panelists offer a variety of perspectives – ranging from Mechanical and Electrical Design, Product Reliability and Parts Fabrication. Practical issues of how upstream design decisions impact downstream performance, quality and costs will be explored.

This is part of the quarterly Product Realization Group Lunch Seminars

In addition, the PRG recently released a white paper on NPI Seven Best Practices.

FREE WEBINAR on Design for Robustness, Wed, April 4, 2012

This is part of our monthly FREE Webinar series

Robust Design (RD) Methodology is discussed for hardware development. Comparison is made with reliability engineering (RE) tools and practices. Differences and similarities are presented. Proximity to ideal function for robust design is presented and compared to physics of failure and other reliability modeling and prediction approaches. Measurement selection is shown to strongly differentiates RD and reliability engineering methods. When and how to get the most from each methodology is outlined. Pitfalls for each set of practices are also covered.

Design for Robustness - Presentation

FREE WEBINAR on Tribology and Reliability, March 7, 2012

This is part of our monthly FREE Webinar series

Tribology is the science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion.  In this seminar, we introduced the basics of Tribology, their impact on reliability and do so from the perspective of machine applications. Lubrication, film thickness, loads and Hertzian contact types effect the reliability of a design.  Weibull is frequently used to model wear characteristics, but is this always the best distribution for characterizing the reliability of machine elements?  All of these areas were explored.

Tribology and Reliability - Presentation

For more information on news, please visit our News Page or call (408) 654-0499.

Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS)

What do Computer Laptop Battery fires, Toyota Prius crashes, BP Oil Rig explosion have in common? They all did not use our Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS). Our OPS methodology, if used, will discover problems BEFORE your customers find them.

In today's world of product development, product cycles are shortening, product complexity is accelerating, and companies are relying more on outside resources. It is no wonder we are experiencing more catastrophic failures and recalls. In response to this, reliability firms around the world are claiming they have invented the "magic bullet". In the 80's it was HALT. Then in the 90's it was Six Sigma. Now the new buzzword is Physics of Failure. In fact, none of these tools by themselves will get you to your goal. Each may play a part, but it is when and how you use them in your reliability program that will decide your ultimate level of success.

In business, a recent study has shown that 95% of all projects and new businesses fail. If success could be defined as the perfect execution of both a reliable product and a reliable company, then you should use our OPS methodology to achieve both simultaneously.

Reliability has moved to higher levels of implementation throughout industry for good reason.  The Science of Reliability reduces waste and even prevents catastrophic failures when it is properly deployed.

As one C-Level executive told us: "I want no surprises". The only way to accomplish this is to set a goal and then develop a plan to achieve this goal. That is what our OPS methodology is all about.

A successful Reliability Program must be
1) properly defined and structured,
2) widely disseminated and applicable to stake holders,
3) implemented at all levels of the operations and
4) recorded with evidence throughout the supply chain 

All four of these will lead to the final metric - “full view" into potential field failures in line with warranty targets and performance claims, so as to succeed in "no surprises".

Since the act of planning, organizing, delegating, measuring, and delivering are the basic purposes of all management systems, our mission is to refine this to such a degree as to reduce cost and improve effectiveness by an order of magnitude. Improving implementation through concurrent, collaborative processes provides the means to do this in a more holistic approach that includes commitment from all levels of your team.

This article discusses our “Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS)” to provide you insight for ensuring perfect execution toward a Reliable Product from launch through end-of-life and a Reliable Company that can deliver consistently Reliable Products.

The implementation process is a set of steps that include 1) Assessing, Seting a Goal, and Writing a Reliability Plan, 2) Discovering through Analysis and Testing, 3) Monitoring and Continual Improvement, and 4) Training and Coaching.  Each one is integrated together perfectly to produce the most reliable product at the lowest possible cost in the least amount of time.

The Science of Reliability defines a reliable product and uses physics, chemistry, technology, engineering and statistics in support of discovering improvements that are implemented through the execution of the Reliability Plan while measuring reliability to within Six Sigma expectations.

The Science of Reliability can also define a Reliable Company using a similar process. We will determine the deficiencies through a gap analysis based on our years of experience and then implement the process and the metrics.

Most responsible companies will claim they are reliable.  They are right based on what they know and what they can measure. However, they do not know what they do not know because it hasn’t come to their attention yet because they have not deployed the necessary discovery processes correclty. Therefore, unknown failures are lingering in the product after launch. This creates risk for your unsuspecting customers days, months, or even years later.

C-Level Executives want to exceed best practices and show-case their success in their product launch.  They often take full and personal responsibility for Risk Management yet are often faced with the need to compress the schedules and/or reduce the cost of resources or materials purely based on market pressures.  If Management had a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) process for Risk Management, it would be possible to define a Reliable Company by this metric because FMEA is one of the most hard hitting, honesty provoking, planning instruments ever created.  Strategy plans are helpful but going through a full FMEA discovery process is not something most people, especially leaders, do naturally.  Fortunately that is one of the areas where we excel and have consistent proven results.

In our process, we utilize our Reliability Maturity Matrix as a means of measuring a management and engineering team's ability to successfully create a reliable product. This is a key tool we use in our Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS).

If we exam the product life cycle, you will discover failures along the process. By using our (OPS) methodology, you will discover these failures BEFORE your product is shipped so that your customers experience the outstanding reliability you strive for and they deserve.

So where do we begin? We begin by planting the seed and helping you grow your reliability program to reach your ultimate goal of full visibility into risks, which will result in not only satisfied but delighted customers.

In today's hyper-competitive world, you can't afford to take the chance that something may go wrong at your customers' site. With our (OPS) methodology, you don't have to. You will be able to sleep peacefully without the worry of what might go wrong.

Attend our FREE 1 hour information OPS Webinar to find out more. For more info, please Contact Us Info

Below is a summary of the Best of our Blog for last quarter - highlights of the best blog topics we had.

If you would like to contribute to our blog, please eitherContact Us Info or go to

Managing Design Risk by Mike Silverman, Walt MacLay, Mark Brinkerhoff, and Barbara Roberts
NPI Seven Best Practices by Mike Keer and the Product Realization Group (PRG)
Reducing Cost Through via Common Sense by Mike Gozzo
Functional Safety: Reliability Prediction vs. Reliability Demonstration by Andre Kleyner
Robust Design and Reliability Activities by Lou LaVallee

Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS)

In the Featured Service section, we discussed OPS and cited three well known examples of companies who did not deploy our Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS) and later paid a large price for this. Can you cite any other examples? The first 5 people to respond with a correct answer will get a free ebook version of Mike's book "How Reliabile Is Your Product: 50 Ways to Improve Product Reliability"

Last quarter's winner of our Problem Solver was Russell Lewis from HP. The question was "How many Reliability Symposia has Ops A La Carte held. The answer is 6. In May, 2012 we held our 6th annual reliability symposium.

Pavel Urban is running our Eastern Europe operations out of our Czech Republic office through his firm PDEE. PDEE is a product development oriented office providing services and products in innovation and product development phases. PDEE provides complex product development solutions for clients from idea identification to product launch with focus on product reliability and robustness, accelerating of time to market and cost reduction. Design for Reliability is key element of product development process and we bring this approach to our clients. PDEE offer several kind of cooperation like workshops, project participation, trainings.

Ops A La Carte and PDEE set up strategic cooperation in eastern Europe in sphere of reliability testing centre. HALT, HASS, HASA testing will significantly improve position of our clients within product development and increase product capabilities and confidence in reliability area.

In June, PDEE and Ops A La Carte will jointly deliver a HALT and HASS Seminar for one of Ops A La Carte's clients in Turkey.

Senior Reliability Management Consultant

Ops A La Carte is looking for Senior Reliability Managment Consultants around the world to join our team of consultants and work on some of the most exciting and challenging projects in the industry. We are especially looking for strong candidates with a background in architecting reliability programs. We will teach you our Ounce of Prevention Strategy (OPS) and you will help implement this at companies around the world.

If interested, email us via our Ops Job Search Contact Form or call (408) 654-0499.

For other available reliability jobs, visit

Ops A La Carte's newsletter goes out to over 13,000 subscribers. If you would like to put an ad or job opening in next quarter's "Reliability News", fill out our Job Openings Form or call at (408) 654-0499.

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