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Summer 2012

Welcome to our Summer 2012 Newsletter Summary

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.

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


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.

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.

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


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

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

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, please

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, please

Special Offers

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 one 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


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 were added to our team. 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

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

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.

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

Reliability Blog

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

Managing Design Risks 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

Czech Republic office

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.

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