Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

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There are a lot of acronyms in the maintenance world, and mean time to repair (MTTR) is one term that you may have heard before but not completely understood. This article will explain what MTTR is and how it applies to your business. By understanding MTTR, you can make informed decisions about how to best maintain your equipment and keep your operations running smoothly.

What is Mean Time to Repair?

Mean time to repair is the average time it takes to repair a malfunctioning system. However, this metric focuses on unplanned maintenance. The lower the MTTR, the better. You can use MTTR to help you make decisions about your business, maintenance, inefficiencies in the repair process, and when to replace failing equipment.

Why is MTTR an Important Metric?

If you’re a business owner, manager, or technician, then you know that when something goes wrong with your equipment, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Downtime can be costly. So, the less time your equipment is down, the better. Knowing how quickly your maintenance staff reacts to and fixes unplanned asset downtime is the primary result of MTTR. This measure is crucial for your company for several reasons. The reduction of unplanned downtime and its associated production expenses, however, is the main advantage.

How to Calculate Your Mean Time to Repair

Dividing the number of failures for an asset by the total hours of unplanned maintenance is the simple answer. It can be measured over a year or for any amount of time. For example, if you have 100 unplanned downtime hours and 10 breakdown events, that piece of equipment has an MTTR of 10 hours. However, mean time to repair isn’t limited to the equipment level. You can calculate MTTR for your entire facility, by groups of asset types, individual assets, or even by components.

MTTR = Total Hours of Maintenance / Total Number of Repairs

The Benefits of Knowing Your MTTR

Knowing your MTTR is the first step to identifying inefficiencies in your maintenance and asset management processes, including: 

  • Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) Inventory Management – Studies show that maintenance technicians spend up to 25% of their time looking for parts. Assets with a high MTTR may present an opportunity to improve your spare parts inventory.
  • Repair or Replace Decisions – High MTTRs on critical production assets may indicate that they are aging and need to be replaced. 
  • Run Root Cause Analysis – You should perform root cause analysis on assets with a high MTTR and frequent failures to determine preventive measures.
  • Preventive Maintenance – MTTR is used to measure reactive maintenance, but you also use it to identify assets that would benefit from more preventive maintenance.
  • Provide Training or Manuals to Support Technicians – Finding manuals or troubleshooting may take up a lot of time. However, Redlist lets you attach manuals, videos, photos, or step-by-step instructions to a work order to help your technicians work efficiently.

An Ideal Mean Time to Repair Goal

Your ideal mean time to repair goal will be different from that of other organizations. However, the general guideline for a good MTTR is 5 hours. The MTTR goal can be adjusted according to several factors. You should do your best to get your critical assets with the highest downtime costs at or below that benchmark. Alternatively, your organization may be fine with a higher MTTR on an aging asset that has a small downtime impact and isn’t quite ready for replacement. By tracking your MTTR alongside asset criticality ranking, you’ll better understand the optimal MTTR for your equipment.

Start Collecting MTTR Data Today

You can calculate MTTR with a few simple steps, but you must consistently collect the data needed to do so. Many companies don’t measure their MTTR because collecting consistent, thorough data makes it too much work. On the other hand, some companies measure it and spend countless hours calculating it from paper or spreadsheet data. Redlist uses an efficient procedure for gathering the necessary data and computing MTTR in real time. This allows you to monitor your average MTTR across asset types, individual assets, and even down to the component level. The MTTR for replacing a bearing when it fails in your facility, for instance, can be shown with a press of a button.

One of the major advantages is the capability to compute MTTR on such a fine scale, which is considerably more challenging to do manually than electronically. Mean time to repair and how to measure it can be useful knowledge for maintenance departments at both large and small enterprises.

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