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Ops A La Carte Newsletter Summary: Late Summer 2007

Ops A La Carte has had a busy summer with courses and seminars and other trade events keeping us on the go. We also launched a new division this summer, the Reliability Contractor Division, which is off to a great start and quite busy. More on this, and other developments, below:

Our busy summer began in May when Ops A La Carte opened a new office in Singapore. Managing Partner Mike Silverman traveled to Singapore and spent time with customers and setting up the practice. Silverman reports that the potential for consulting in Singapore is vast, because of the huge manufacturing industry there; Taiwan is also on the Ops A La Carte radar, and there are also plans to expand offices into India.

In June 2007, Ops A La Carte opened its Reliability Contractor Division. Ops A La Carte had been, until this point, focused on project-oriented consulting, but recognized our clients' needs for contractors and consultants to be available on a monthly basis for ongoing projects. The Reliability Contractor Division makes this possible; companies can keep a consultant on retainer at an affordable rate and keep their projects moving forward smoothly. The Reliability Contractor Division has already attracted a great deal of interest, and we're pleased and proud of its success. For more information on the Reliability Contractor Division of Ops A La Carte, please email news@opsalacarte.com.

Also in June, leaders from Ops A La Carte were featured presenters at the International Applied Reliability Symposium that was held in San Diego, CA. Fred Schenkelberg gave a talk entitled "Trapped by MTBF," about MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures), its usefulness in reliability plans, and how it can be supplemented or replaced by other metrics such as Reliability, DOA (Dead On Arrival), AFR (Annualized Failure Rate), or Life (to name a few); and Mike Silverman and Doug Farel spoke on "Using Competitive Analysis to Get the Competitive Advantage." In this talk, Mr. Silverman and Mr. Farel discussed Competitive Analysis, Teardown Analysis, HALT, FMEA, and other matters relating to workmanship, manufacturability, and the design of models. These talks were delivered on Friday, June 22, 2007. Both Ops A La Carte presentations were delivered on Friday, June 22, 2007. For more information on either presentation, please visit www.arsymposium.org/2007/ars2007_matrix.html.

In July, Ops A La Carte worked with SigmaQuest, a data extraction and tracking company based in Sunnyvale, CA, to present a webinar on RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and its impact on RMA/Warranty. The webinar focused on the questions surrounding the process of reviewing RoHS return data so as to assess the reliability impact after implementation. This question is significant for many operations: if a product is weakened or made faulty through the process of meeting RoHS requirements, the product must obviously be redesigned and redeveloped - a highly costly and undesirable circumstance. Ops A La Carte and Sigma Quest discussed the factors that can lead to this situation and planning and testing methods to avoid it in this important webinar, which was held on July 25, 2007; for more information on it please send an email to events@opsalacarte.com. Another webinar in this series, also organized by Ops A La Carte and Sigma Quest, will discuss the use of field data in fine-tuning HASS (Highly Accelerated Stress Screen, tests that are performed on a product before shipping).

Ops A La Carte continues offering its CRE Exam Preparation Course this summer. The upcoming course to aid you in becoming a Certified Reliability Enginerr (CRE) will begin on August 21, 2007. Instructor Doug Farel will lead eight class sessions on Tuesday evenings from August 21st through October 16th. All classes will be held at the Ops A La Carte HALT laboratory in Santa Clara, CA, and the cost of the course is $1295.00. Discounts are available. The course fee doesn't include the examination fee, which is paid directly to ASQ in time for their October 20th exam date. Interested parties should send an email to creprep@opsalacarte.com or telephone 408-472-3889.

Ops A La Carte is gearing up for events scheduled for Autumn 2007. In October, Ops A La Carte will be busy in Asia. We will be in Taipei October 15-18. Meet with SGS Taipei to review processes, provide training, carry on business development, and visit customers. This will be a follow-up meeting to the last one we had in September 2006. However, now we will go further with the training and we will line up some customers to visit and work on our joint sales pitch together so that we can start growing the business in the region.

On October 19 Ops A La Carte will be in Singapore for a day workshop put on by SMA (Singapore Manufacturers Federation) http://www.smafederation.org.sg.
We can also advertise on our own and have Paul Yeow and the team in Singapore invite some of their customers to this. The workshop will be free to SMA members and there will be a small fee to non-members. This is meant to be a much more targeted seminar both in terms of our message as well as who we are delivering the message to. Most of the audience will be managers/decision makers.

We will extend our presence in Singapore on October 22-24 to visit customers, partners, and consultants.

Also in Singapore on October 25-26 we will be involved with the Applied Reliability Symposium. We have arranged to purchase 10 tickets in advance and give to customers, partners (Paul Yeow will get one), and members of our team. This will be a major networking event for us to meet new customers and develop new business in Singapore. Here is the link to the site for more info on this event http://www.arsymposium.org/asia/index.htm

Ops A La Carte is on the planning committee for the 2007 AST Workshop in Washington, DC. The Accelerated Stress Test Workshop will be held from October 31 through November 2 at the Greenbelt Marriott just outside of our nation's Capitol. The subject of this year's conference is "Accelerated Life Testing, Its Role, Challenges, Attributes, and Interaction with Qualification Testing." The workshop is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Components, Packaging, & Manufacturing Technology group, in concert with the ASTR (Accelerated Stress Testing and Reliability) Committee, co-sponsored by UC Santa Cruz. Ops A La Carte's Mike Silverman will be a featured speaker in the Reliability Session and also in the Case Study Session.

As summer begins to wind down and we look toward autumn, Ops A La Carte looks forward to seeing you in classes and at workshops and seminars. If you have questions about any of our presentations or our services offered, please contact us directly; we can be reached by telephone at 408-472-3889 or emailed at info@opsalacarte.com.

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