How Confident Are You In
Your Results?

Inaccurate Fault Tree software replaced
with ITEM ToolKit.

In any Reliability or Risk analysis, confidence in the results is paramount. Once the trust in software tools results are compromised, questions arise in every aspect of the tools integrity.

In 2002 a Government Lab purchased a non-ITEM ToolKit Fault Tree software tools to assist them in Safety Critical Analyses. As one would expect, under the rigors of providing safe and reliable defense systems, the requirements of the national lab were comprehensive and included:

  • Multiple analysis techniques and methods
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Flexible printing and documentation

They selected what appeared to be "the intuitive solution". However once the software was used on a real project to support a series of design reviews; this tool was found to be challenging and less than intuitive.

In the midst of critical design reviews, it was uncovered that the software platform was unstable, printing of simple reports and diagrams were impossible and often cut sets were missing from the results. This led to questioning of the accuracy of results and loss of trust in the software tool itself. In the end, engineers had to abandon the tool and resorted to spreadsheets and graphical tools to conduct the analyses.

ITEM Software Chosen

Out of frustration, the Safety Assurance group started looking for an alternative. As one Assurance Engineer stated "We were looking for a tool that was painless to use for the casual user without the need for re-learning". Commenting about his frustrations with the use of their earlier fault tree tool, he continued "simple actions of deleting a few events and printing of a tree used to require technical support assistance which usually resulted in unsatisfactory output".

As a replacement to the abandoned tool, the National Lab evaluated, tested and selected ITEM ToolKit. Within weeks of the purchase, the ITEM Software team was on site providing cost-effective training and bringing the user community rapidly up to speed.

"The ITEM ToolKit Fault Tree Module provides a variety of analysis methods supporting both simple calculations and complex analytical solutions" as one engineer stated. In comparing his experiences, he continued, "As a casual user I am able to easily modify my analyses and print out reports and diagrams without a painful experience. We certainly like the "one-click" creation of fault tree diagrams into Word documents". He concluded, "Item Software is a better way to go instead of being tied to our previous tool vendor, we finally have confidence in the results".

About ITEM Software

We were established in 1986 with the mission of becoming a leading, global vendor of software tools for risk assessment applications with a focus on reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS). Today our solutions are widely used throughout the world by major companies and government agencies in sectors like defense, aerospace, electronics, telecommunication, energy, medical and transportation. We pride ourselves for our exceptional customer loyalty, which is a direct result of our total commitment to product quality and outstanding customer support. We service our clients from our regional offices in California, Maryland and the United Kingdom, and our affiliates in Asia, Australia and South America.

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