Guide to MTBF Metrics and Other Common Maintenance Metrics

When it comes to understanding and improving maintenance efficiency, there are a few key metrics that you need to be aware of. MTBF, or Mean Time Between Failures, is one of the most important metrics to track. However, there is also Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and Mean Time to Failure (MTTF). MTTR, MTTF, and MTBF are the most common, but there are far more maintenance performance metrics. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at each of these metrics and explain how you can use them to improve your maintenance operations.

Why Are Failure Metrics Important?

Hitting key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential for any business, but especially so in the maintenance field. In order to ensure that your team is hitting its targets, you need to track and measure progress using failure metrics like MTBF metrics and others. By doing so, you can troubleshoot recurring issues and improve your maintenance process overall. Additionally, failure metrics help you recognize trends and reduce the occurrence of equipment failure. Whether an asset reaches the point of total failure or simply stops producing at the rate that it should, that downtime and drop in production has a big impact on your business. These metrics provide your maintenance team visibility into equipment failure and maintenance processes, allowing them to make strategic decisions based on data.

MTBF: Mean Time Between Failures

Your MTBF metrics measure the operating time between one component or asset failure and the next. But, an important detail to note, you do not include the time that an asset is down for repair in your MTBF measurement. In fact, your MTBF metrics should go from the time you repair the asset and it is operational to the time of the next failure. Also, this failure metric is only for unplanned downtime of repairable assets. This is an essential metric because it helps you understand and even forecast your asset’s availability and reliability. You can use your MTBF metrics to plan or revise your preventive maintenance, as well as plan the intervals of regular inspections. Your goal for MTBF metrics is the higher, the better. That means your asset will run for a longer time before failing. Learn more about MTBF metrics here.

MTBF Metrics = Total Operational Time / Total Number of Failures

For example, 3,000 hours of operational time divided by 3 breakdowns in a year would equal an MTBF of 1,000 hours.

MTTR: Mean Time to Repair

MTTR measures the average time you spend on unplanned maintenance. This failure metric is unique because you can calculate it on a company-wide level or measure it by asset type, single assets, or component. To calculate MTTR, measure from the point of breakdown to the point of return to operation. Knowing where you stand with MTTR can bring issues to light, such as slow response to equipment breakdown caused by a lack of spare parts inventory or assets in need of more preventive maintenance. However, contrary to MTBF metrics, you want your MTTR metrics to be as low as possible. The average recommended MTTR is 5 hours. Learn more about MTTR metrics here.

MTTR = Total Hours of Unplanned Maintenance / Total Number of Failures

For example, 100 hours of unplanned maintenance divided by 8 breakdowns equals an MTTR of 12.5 hours.

MTTF: Mean Time to Failure

MTTF is a failure metric for your non-repairable assets or components. It measures the expected lifespan or runtime of things like fan belts or light bulbs. So, it is critical to remember that MTBF metrics are for repairable assets and MTTF metrics are for non-repairable assets. While knowing the runtime of a component as simple as a light bulb may sound trivial, this metric helps you gain visibility into the reliability of your equipment as a whole. Furthermore, for mission-critical assets, the downtime needed for the replacement of even the smallest parts can cost you production time.

Similar to MTBF metrics, your goal MTTF is the higher, the better. A higher MTTF reduces the number of times you take that asset out of operation to replace a non-repairable component. Therefore, a higher MTTF reduces overall downtime. The main improvement you can make to increase MTTF is purchasing higher-quality parts. Even if the parts cost more, you may find it costs less in the long run due to less downtime. Learn more about MTTF metrics here.

MTTF = Total Time in Operation / Total Number of Items

For example, you have four assets of the same type with the same fan belt. The four belts lasted 2,800 hours, 3,000 hours, 3,100 hours, and 3,300 hours. So, you would total the hours to be 12,200 hours divided by four belts to equal an MTTF of 3,050 hours.

See Your MTBF Metrics in Real-Time with Redlist

The hassle of collecting data and the time it takes to calculate from paper or spreadsheet-based information is a major issue for many businesses. Our software offers an efficient process that collects your data with minimal input required by you, automatically calculates your failure metrics, and auto-populates reports with your real-time information. Not only does this save countless hours, but also it comes with the support necessary to make impactful changes to your maintenance strategy. Schedule a demo and a member of our team will show you all the features that you can use to improve your failure metrics and reduce equipment downtime.

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