INDEPENDENT

Newsletter of the IEEE Los Angeles & Orange Counties Consultants Network

April-May 2002

 

 

Editorial, by Robert Poltz

 

I’ve been asked previously to discuss PATCA as a model for the IEEE CNs in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and while met with initial enthusiasm, the Board of Directors considered, but did not implement these ideas, citing cost and contentment with status quo. Since I was asked to extol its virtues by several Board members, I have to believe that there is an interest in expanding the coverage and member base, that only a re-designed IEEE CN can accomplish. We are simply not reaching the potential client base that all consultants need to succeed in business. This is a universal problem in consulting, regardless of region, expertise or market served. It is up to the membership of IEEE CNs to voice their opinion as to whether they want improvements in services and benefits designed for Consultants.

 

Here is a description of PATCA, the Professional And Technical Consultants Association.

 

PATCA has been around for quite few years and is located in the Bay Area of California, formed in 1975, with a current membership of over 250 members. Some of the benefits offered are:

 

  • Directory of Consultants, cross-indexed by name/business, and consulting skills
  • Internet Website with searchable Consultants Directory
  • Referral Service with email notification
  • Quarterly News Journal
  • Monthly Meeting with speakers on subjects important to Consultants of all disciplines
  • Insurance discounts
  • Educational seminars and workshops
  • Kick-start program for new and existing consultants
  • Mentor Program
  • Government Affairs Lobbying

 

PATCA is organized as a non-profit and can be found on the web at www.patca.org

 

What distinguishes PATCA from IEEE CNs is the depth and breadth of activities presented to its member base on a regular monthly basis. Because it is staffed full-time by a management company that services the membership and clients, primarily in Silicon Valley, there is always someone available to answer questions and service member needs. This is a paid staff and not volunteers as is the case with IEEE CNs.

 

It’s membership spans outside the Bay Area, too. I am a full-member Consultant of PATCA, although I reside in Los Angeles. In these modern times of cyberspace it is not uncommon to perform under a contract with regionally distant companies using the internet email to accomplish most tasks. Since September 11th, many companies are finding that more and more attractive.

 

From my perspective, the Directory listing and web presence, plus the email referral notification are major assets to a serious Consultant, desiring success. It’s all well and good for those IEEE CN Consultants who are well-established, but what of the new consultant desiring to learn the business. The IEEE CNs do not have a mentoring program for new consultants or even established consultants desiring to learn more about conducting business.

 

PATCA provides a diverse membership not constrained to only one discipline or specialty, whereas IEEE CNs are, by design, made up of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, as the name states, making for interesting meetings. PATCA members are more entrepreneurial by and large, since they are all small businesses, as well as consultants.

 

So what is the downside of PATCA membership or constructing the CNs to be like PATCA?

 

First, and foremost, it costs more to belong. Full membership now costs $395.00 a year.

 

Next, it is regionally centric to the Bay Area, but membership is enjoyed across the continental USA. There are many members of PATCA that also belong to an IEEE CN, as do I.

 

PATCA Consultants provide services, primarily to smaller businesses, although some work with large corporations like Motorola and Cisco.

 

Lastly, PATCA is expanding and revising its web pages for member services, and reaches a broader base of clientele than does IEEE CNs, largely because of its years in service and marketing effectiveness.

 

Below is a sample of the “Friday Update” sent via email to all its members.

 

Now here’s my challenge to the readers and members of any IEEE CN in California. Are you satisfied with your Consulting Practice position in your marketplace? Do you feel you need external marketing campaigns, but either don’t know how or can’t afford one that reaches hi-tech companies? Are you getting the practice developments training and seminars regularly that enhance your professionalism? You may be technically proficient, but I wager that none are accustomed to being in business for themselves, and are struggling to find new clients.

 

Would regular email referrals help your practice?  How about the early morning Kickstart Club, where experienced consultants mentor other interested consultants and “wanna-be’s.”  This is my short list of benefits, whether deciding to join PATCA or just emulate the structure and benefits. The IEEE CNs, in my opinion, do not service the consultant population adequately for anyone wanting to begin, maintain or expand their business horizons. The IEEE CNs are still thinking and behaving like a technical society, and not that of a professional services organization. But then, why would it? It is, afterall, an IEEE sponsored group, and the IEEE is a technical society. I think we, as consultants and IEEE CN members, deserve more, if we are to succeed as consultants.

 

Okay, I’ll climb off of my soapbox and turn the microphone over to you, the readers and members of IEEE CNs, for comments and opinion. You can write me, at rpoltz@ieee.org or any one of the IEEE CN officers in your area.

 

Example-

“Professional and Technical Consultants Association

Friday Update

 

1)       1)       Independent Consultants’ Clinic on the Rebounding Economy  Monthly dinner meeting April 11th 

2)      2)      Get What You Paid For – Referral Access Policy a must

3)      3)      The Hope of the Future – PATCA rewards engineering talent

4)      4)      Looking to Get Noticed  - Send us your ideas for getting PATCA in the public eye

5)   Nurturing Genius – Former Napster CEO shares insights

6)   Look Ahead – Upcoming Events

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  Details below

 

1)– Independent Consultants’ Clinic on the Rebounding Economy  -  Monthly dinner meeting April 11th

What are the signs that the economy is rebounding?  What are the consulting issues during this recovery period?  A panel of Senior consultants (Carl Angotti, Brian Berg, Thomas Iddings) will be joined by Senior Technical Recruiter, Troy Rhynes when they take on the topic: Independent Consultants’ Clinic on the Rebounding Economy.  Each panelist will focus on a business issue they have faced in recession/recovery climates, such as holding the line when others are low-balling rates. Each panelist will share what evidence they see of a turn-around.  See more about the program on the PATCA website at http://www.patca.org/committees/programs.htm.  A reservation form is included at the end of this e-mail.  RSVP before April 9th.   

 

2) Get What You Paid For – Referral Access Policy a must

According to policy formulated by the PATCA membership, only members who have signed and returned the Referral Access Policy statement are eligible to receive incoming referrals.  The statement is included with renewal notices, but members who call in credit card numbers to pay for their PATCA membership are especially susceptible to overlooking this required aspect of sharing PATCA referrals.  April 15th is the cutoff date for members to return their signed statements. 

 

3) The Hope of the Future – PATCA rewards engineering talent

The Second PATCA “Excellence in Engineering Award” went to Emily Stover, a 6th grade student at West Lake Elementary.  Emily was recognized at an awards dinner for participants in this year’s Santa Cruz County Science Fair last Tuesday night.  She impressed the judges with her design and documentation of a centrifuge to expel anthrax from letters in a mailbox.  Honorable mention went to John Hiesey, an 8th grader at Pacific Collegiate School.  He impressed the judges with a analog/digital i/o board and external circuitry to test the impact of varying voltages on the longevity of raw lightbulb filaments at different temperatures and low pressures.  The first PATCA recognition award went to participants in the Santa Clara County Science Fair earlier this month.    

 

4) Looking to Get Noticed  - Send us your ideas for getting PATCA in the public eye

Low cost, high visibility ideas for getting PATCA noticed are being sought by PATCA’s Marketing Committee.  Forward your ideas about events that need engineers or other technical experts as judges; or opportunities to showcase PATCA as a team, such as events at the Tech Discovery Museum or on public television.  E-mail inspirations to Bandit Gangwere at bandit@cruzio.com.  

 

5)   Nurturing Genius – Former Napster CEO, Eileen Richardson, shares insights at the AeA breakfast on April 10, on the topic of : "Napster and Beyond: Finding and Nurturing Tech Genius".  Breakfast & Networking 7:15-8 a.m; Speaker: 8-9:00 a.m. at the Santa Clara Westin Hotel -Tasman & Great America.  Pre-registered PATCA members enjoy the $30 “partner” price.  Walk-ins are $40 on the day of the event.  Sign up one of three ways: 1) on their website(www.aeanet.org), 2) E-mail (susan_martindill@aeanet.org) or call (408-987-4247) with the following information: Name, Credit Card Type (Visa, MasterCard or American Express), Credit Card Number, Expiration Date, or 3) Mail a check to: Susan Martindill, Global Breakfast Series, AeA, 5201 Great America Pkwy #520, Santa Clara, CA 95054. Please include your name, title, company, phone and email, as well as your partner affiliation (PATCA).  As CEO of Napster, Eileen Richardson helped turn Shawn Fanning's idea into a

company with more than 20 million users. Today Eileen is CEO of Infravio, a hot Web services startup whose product sprang from the groundbreaking research of a Stanford University graduate student. With ten years of experience as a venture capitalist, Eileen was also an early board member and instrumental in the success of companies such as Interwoven and Andromedia and involved with

investments in Exodus and CommerceOne.

 

6)  Look Ahead – PATCA meetings for the upcoming months

 

** PATCA’s Board of Directors meet at the Mt. View Chamber of Commerce on the first Tuesday of each month to conduct the Association’s business.  April’s meeting is an exception.  It is Monday, April 1st (no fooling).

 

** Dinner Meetings take place on the second Thursday of each month.  The dinner meetings occur at the Embassy Suites, Santa Clara, 2885 Lakeside Drive, 408.496.6400.  Networking & announcements begin at 6:30; Dinner is served at 7:15; and the Program begins at 8:00 p.m.

 

** The Kickstart Club is a monthly meeting for members who want to sharpen their consulting skills by sharing problems and solutions in an informal atmosphere.  President Charlie Gray hosts the meetings at The Country Gourmet (1314 S. Mary Ave., Sunnyvale, 408.733.9446) each Wednesday following the monthly dinner meeting.  Contact Charlie Gray (email@cegcs.com) for further information.”

 

 


 

SPECIAL INTEREST ANNOUNCEMENT from Mike Morehouse

 

Here is an announcement of general interest from Lockheed-Martin Aerospace to its vendors attending the recent Small Business Conference. For more information, contact Ron Oglevie, ronoglevie@aol.com or Mike Morehouse, QCTEK@aol.com .

 

Mike Morehouse gave a Marketing Presentation at IEEE CN meeting. Many  questions were left unanswered, in Mike’s opinion, regarding how to find the applicable Purchasing Agent that handles your "commodity" (Hardware/Software).

He asked a Purchasing Agent with Lockheed Martin-Aeronautics how to become a Supplier to Lockheed Martin-Aeronautics? This is what he was told:

1) Complete Form "L" from the SBA. (See Attachment (SBA.DOC)

2) During the completion process,  you'll be requested to refer to:
            a) New NAICS Code database at (http://www.naics.com/).
            b) Determine if your business is located in HUBZONE.
                Refer to (http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov/hubzone/).

 3) Sign and Date form;  Enter your title;  And enter your Phone & Fax numbers.

 4) Certifications are Faxed or emailed (For Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth)
            to Emma Stevens at 817-762-9520 or (emma.j.stevens@lmco.com).

 5) With this document,  you should FAX or E-Mail a Letter to the applicable individual on your "Letter Head" describing your company and its products and/or Services.

 

6) The following documents may be required:
            A) Business Plan.
            B) Quality Assurance Manual (Either MIL-I-45208A or ISO-9000
                 based).
            C) Quality Assurance Procedures.
            D) For Software, a full set of procedures detailing how you
                 Design, Develop, and "Manufacture" Software.

Then, the SBA Business Rep. will prepare a document package on the Supplier's Database; and each LMC's division will have access to your data.


 


TO:     All Active LM Aero Suppliers

                         

 

 

SUBJECT:     SBA Publishes New Rule Replacing SIC Codes with NAICS Codes

                        Source: Federal Register [65 FR 30836] Issued: May 15, 2000

 

Dear Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Supplier:

 

All Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company suppliers must complete the attached form to recertify under the new North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Please complete and return this form by January 31, 2001. You may not receive contracts from Lockheed Martin if you do not complete this certification or if it is not returned complete.

 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) published a final rule (effective October 1, 2000) that completely replaces reliance on Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes with the NAICS codes for the purpose of determining small business status. Under section 3(a)(2) of the Small Business Act, SBA establishes small business definitions, or size standards, by industry category and varies size standards as necessary to reflect industry differences to determine small business eligibility for Federal programs. The current table of size standards uses SIC industry descriptions as the basis for the size standards. Because Federal agencies now use NAICS for collecting economic data, SBA decided to use the NAICS to establish criteria for small business classifications.

 

This rule will have a significant affect on subcontracting.  Since the SIC system is currently used to determine subcontractor eligibility for classification as a small business, subcontractors must recertify under the applicable NAICS codes to ensure compliance. 

 

In accordance with Government regulations and prime contract requirements, we must verify certain information about our suppliers. To help you complete the profile and to convert SIC codes to the NAICS codes, refer to website at http://www.naics.com/.  To help you determine if you are in a HUBZone, refer to the website at http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov/hubzone/.

 

Notice: Under 15 U.S.C. 645 (d), any person who misrepresents a firm’s status as a small business concern in order to obtain a contract to be awarded under the preference programs established pursuant to sections 8(a), 8(d), 9, or 15 of the Small Business Act or any other provision of Federal law that specifically references section 8(d) for a definition of program eligibility, shall (1) be punished by imposition of a fine, imprisonment, or both; (2) be subject to administrative remedies, including suspension and debarment; and  (3) be ineligible for participation in programs conducted under the authority of the Act.

 

Please fax or email the forms to Emma Stevens at 817 762-9520 or emma.j.stevens@lmco.com, or direct questions to Jim Randle, Small Business Programs Manager at 817 762-1603 or jim.w.randle@lmco.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CERTIFICATION – NORTH AMERICAN INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM

 

LM Aeronautics Supplier Numbers (F/M/P): 

 

1.  Business Organization

 

Business Name:   _____________________________________________________________________

Address:  _________________________________________________________________________________________________

E-Mail Address:  ________________________________   Web site:  _______________________________________

List Present SIC code(s): _______________________

List New NAICS code(s) (refer to http://www.naics.com/ ): _______________________________________________________

Company operates as:   A corporation incorporated under the laws of what state:  ______________________

 

  Individual

  Sole-Proprietor

  Partnership

  Joint Venture

 Independent Contractor

 

Non-profit:

 

  Educational Institution (Public)

   Educational Institution (Private)

  Other Non-profit

  State or Local Agency

  Federal Agency

 

2. Foreign Ownership

If supplier or a parent company (if any) is foreign owned, please complete the following:

Is supplier owned by a foreign Government?

  Yes

  No

If No, is supplier an agent or instrumentality of a foreign Government?

  Yes

  No

If Yes as to either of the foregoing questions, what Government? 

What percentage of ownership is held by the Government

  All

  %

Is supplier owned by a foreign corporation?

  Yes

  No

If Yes, what country? 

 

3.  Acquisition From the Blind and other Severely Handicapped (Javitts-Wagner-O’Day Act)

The supplier represents that the supplier is:

  A Workshop for the Blind

  A Workshop for the Other Severely Handicapped

  Not Applicable

 

4.   Socioeconomic Information

Indicate your company size by the definitions section:

Required Data – check applicable Block

  Large Business Concern

  Small Business Concern

Is your company Woman-owned?

Is your company located in a HUBZone? http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov/hubzone/

If yes, is your company certified by the Small Business Administration?

  Yes

  Yes

  Yes

  No

  No

  No

Is your company a small disadvantaged business?

  Yes

See Below

  No     Registered with SBA  Yes    No    Certified by SBA  Yes    No

  Hispanic American

  Black American

  Native American              

  Subcontinent Asian American

  Asian-Pacific American

  Other  

Specify:

 

5.   Other Socioeconomic

Is the supplier a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Minority Institution (MI) or Tribal College or University (TCU)?    No 

 Yes (HBCU)   Yes (MI)    Yes (TCU)

 

6.   Veteran Business Concern

Veteran   Yes  No                        Disabled Veteran?   Yes   No

 

The following terms used in this supplier profile have the definitions indicated in the provision of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) or department of Defense FAR supplement (DFARS), Asian Pacific American. (See FAR 19.001), Black American (See FAR 19.001), Hispanic American ( See FAR 19.001), Historically Black College or University (See DFARS 252.226-7000) HUBZone  (See FAR 19.001), Minority Institution  (See DFARS 252.226-7000), Native American (See FAR 19.001), SIC Code.  (See FAR 19.102), NAICS, (See Federal Register [65 FR 30836, issued May 15, 2000,]Small Business Concern (See FAR 19.001), Small Disadvantaged Business Concern (See FAR 19.001), Women-Owned Small Business   (See FAR 19.001), Veteran and Disabled Veteran Business concerns (FAR 501(c), 502(a)(2) and 604(d), Workshop for the Blind (See DFARS 219.703), Workshop for the Other Severely Handicapped (See DFARS 219.703).  For definitions, refer to http://farsite.hill.af.mil

 

The supplier certifies all the foregoing representations and certifications are correct.  The supplier agrees to notify Lockheed Martin of any changes to this certification.

 

Authorized Signature _________________________________________ Title____________________________ Date_____________

Phone _______________________              Fax _______________________  

 

Certifications may be faxed or e-mailed to Emma Stevens at 817 762-9520 or emma.j.stevens@lmco.com     Phone 817 762-1812


Fault Tree Analysis
by  Robert Poltz , Reliability Consultant  
mailto:getreliability@designanalytx.com 

Fault tree analysis was created and developed in the 1960s, and was adopted by the nuclear power industry to analyze the safety of their electric power systems. Fault tree analysis is a probabilistic deductive systems analysis tool that provides a pictorial system representation using Boolean logic gates in a vertically oriented tree formation.

Starting at a top-level event, fault tree analysis depicts the system operation graphically. Then, flowing backward through the system, it uses logic gates to depict events that must occur for proper system operation. It is typical during an analysis to create a function tree first that displays the proper operation of the system.

The analyst then takes each positive event and reverses the outcome, making it a fault or failure, and redraws the subordinate events that contribute to the upper-level event failure, until a Basic Events block is reached. At that point, the analysis for that leg is concluded.

There will be many legs to be analyzed, spreading from the top-level event, resembling a triangle or a "tree"—hence the name fault "tree" analysis.

These logic gates are used in fault tree analysis.

·         AND gates—output event occurs if all input events occur.

  • OR gates—Output event occurs if any one of the input events occurs.
  • Majority-Vote OR gate—output event occurs if a majority of the input events occur.
  • Exclusive OR gate—output event occurs if one but not both input events occur. "Either or, never both," is the rule.
  • Priority AND gate—output event occurs if all input events occur in sequential order from left to right.
  • NOT gate—output event occurs if the input event does not occur.
  • Description Box—describes system or component.
  • BASIC circle—used to describe a basic event at the root of the tree where failure and repair data are available for the basic event.
  • Diamond-shaped block—undeveloped, represents a system event that is yet to be developed.
  • Conditional (elliptical shape)—similar to basic event, but represents a conditional probability connected to an inhibit gate, terminates a branch.
  • Diamond inside a diamond—similar to a basic event, but indicates that the event represents a dormant failure.
  • Equilateral Triangle—indicates that this part of the fault tree is developed in a different part of the diagram or on a different page of the analysis.

Construction Guidelines

1.       Define the bounds of the system to be analyzed and the level of complexity to which failures will be resolved.

  1. Identify the TOP-level event of the system to be analyzed. The TOP-level events of the system represent those events for which reliability and availability predictions are required.
  2. Using a top-down deductive-reasoning approach, identify all the immediate causes of the TOP-level events.
  3. Now define the immediate causes of the new system events. It is important that intermediate system events are not missed out when defining the immediate causes. In this way, the levels of the fault tree progress systematically from major system events, through intermediate levels of complexity, to the basic events representing component failures at the roots of the fault tree.
  4. Continue this process of defining the immediate causes of system events until all the roots of the fault tree are terminated by Basic, Conditional, Undeveloped, Dormant, and Transfer events.
  5. Avoid abstract events.
  6. Identify all distinct causes for an event.
  7. Resolve an event into more elementary events.
  8. Always provide a complete description of the system or component event in the rectangular description block above each fault tree symbol.

Minimal Cut Sets

The first step of the fault tree analysis process is to produce the minimal cut sets for each system TOP-level event. The minimal cut set is the minimum combination of failures that cause the TOP-level event to occur.

Component failure and repair data are not required when evaluating the minimal cut sets of the system unless a probabilistic cut-off is being applied to eliminate highly improbable failure combinations. Cut-offs are applied to reduce the number of minimal cut sets to a manageable size when evaluating large trees.

Minimal cut sets for fault tree analysis may be obtained using Boolean algebra techniques. These techniques involve representing the gates in a fault tree with equivalent Boolean expressions. The Boolean variables in an expression will represent the gates and basic events in a fault tree.

Each gate and basic event in the fault tree should be given a unique name.

An AND gate G output of X and Y inputs

G = X · Y

An OR gate G output of X or Y inputs

G = X + Y

A majority-vote OR gate G
of X, Y, and Z inputs

G = X · Y + X · Z + Y · Z

 

Basic Probability Theory

 

Independent Events
Two events are said to be independent if the occurrence of one event does not affect the occurrence of the other. In fault trees, events are assumed to be independent, which simplifies the probability calculations. In reality, many dependencies exist between events.

 

Exclusivity
Mutually exclusive events are events that cannot occur together, for example, a failure state and a working state of the same component. However, an example of mutually nonexclusive events would be the simultaneous failure of two different independent components existing in binary mutually exclusive states, i.e., working and failed. The failures of different components are generally considered to be nonexclusive.

 


Addition Law
If three events, A and B and C, are nonexclusive, and the failures of the three are independent, then the following addition law applies.

P(A + B + C) = P(A) + P(B) +P(C) - P(A) · P(B) · P(C) - P(A) · P(B) - P(A) · P(C) - P(B) · P(C) + P(A) · P(B) · P(C)

In general, the following expression applies for n independent nonexclusive events.

Equation 1

 

Multiplication Law
The probability of two independent nonexclusive events A and B occurring together is given by

P(A · B) = P(A) · P(B) ,

where

P(A · B) = probability of A and B occurring together

P(A) = probability of A occurring

P(B) = probability of B occurring.

The general case is

Equation 2

.

 

Conclusion

Fault tree analysis is a complex deductive-reasoning, tops-down, analysis technique used to analyze complex systems and events for systems safety. It is better handled with the aid of a computer program specifically designed to handle multiple trees and the resulting probabilistic calculations, and provides a graphical representation of the logic gates used in the analysis. One then adheres to the laws of probability in calculating Minimal Cut Sets, and quantifies the probability of occurrence for each TOP-level event. The program must be capable of handling reliability input data and translating outputs to reliability statistics and equations.


IEEE LAA/OC CN ExComm 2002

 

Los Angeles


Ralph Hileman, Chairman r.Hileman@ieee.org
Robert Poltz, Vice Chairman rpoltz@ieee.org
Pete Schultz, Secretary p.r.Schultz@ieee.org

Barry Todd, Treasurer b.todd@ieee.org

 

Orange County

 

Pete Schultz, Chairman p.r.Schultz@ieee.org

Ralph Hileman, Vice Chairman r.Hileman@ieee.org

Ron Taggart, Secretary/Treasurer a.r.taggart@ieee.org