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Forum: Reliability & Maintainability Questions and Answers

Topic: Reliability & Maintainability Questions and Answers

Topic Posted by: Reliability & Maintainability Forum (src_forum@alionscience.com )
Organization: System Reliability Center
Date Posted: Mon Aug 31 12:47:36 US/Eastern 1998

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Original Message:

Posted by: Chris Wright (christopher.d.wright@baesystems.com )
Organization:BAE SYSTEMS
Date posted: Mon Sep 10 15:18:41 US/Eastern 2001
Subject: PRISM - Software or Methodology? Why so secret?
Message:
I have installed the PRISM Demo and it hasn't helped me at all to decide to purchase it. I see input forms for models with a whole bunch of Pi-factors aka MIL-HDBK-217. But what are they? Where are the technical papers that describe these models in detail? When folks ask for detailed info, all I see for responses is quotes from the brochure. It is not acceptable to me to use something because "it has gained wide acceptance". Maybe they have only gained acceptance because they result in lower failure rates. I don't know. If these models were developed under an Air Force contract, why are they being treated as proprietary? I wouldn't mind buying a technical book that describes them. But why can I only get the models if I buy your software? I am thinking of putting in a request under the Freedom of Information Act. A frustrated Reliability Engineer (16+ years experience)


Reply:

Subject: PRISM is not a Secret
Reply Posted by: Patrick Hetherington (phetherington@alionscience.com )
Organization: Reliability Analysis Center
Date Posted: Tue Sep 11 8:57:48 US/Eastern 2001
Message:
We are very sorry that that the demo did not answer all your questions. We would like every opportunity to answer all your concerns. Papers have been published in the RAMS 2001 Proceedings and March 2001 Reliability Review on the methodology. We send a copy of this paper to each person that downloads the demo. You may have picked up the PRISM CD at one of the symposiums therefor, not received the paper. We will make the paper available on the web site very shortly. The demo is a fully working program with few limitations such as printing and saving. The models in the demo are same as the release version. We appreciate your comments and will take every opportunity to improve and expand the information we provide to allow researchers to make informed decisions. The models were not developed under an Air Force contract, but rather under the operation of the Reliability Analysis Center (RAC), a DTIC Information Analysis Center in operation for over 30 years. The RAC operates under a cost recovery basis to recoup the investment in development of new R&M products to serve the community. Hundreds of products have been produced and distributed in this manner. RAC elected to distribute the product in software due to the complexity of the models and methodology. Publishing the models in a handbook and in software would cause most customers to pay twice. PRISM contains new component models, a system level model, RAC component databases, complete documentation manuals including technical background and free training to licensed users. We feel the product provides tremendous value and provides a sustainable service to the R&M community in the absence of support for MIL-HDBK –217. I would be very happy to provide you an extensive list of people from your company that have either purchased PRISM or downloaded the demo for you to converse with. I have e-mailed you a copy of the paper and portions of the User’s Manual for your review.


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