What is Mean Time to Repair and How Do You Measure It?

Maintenance departments at organizations both large and small can benefit from knowing what is mean time to repair and how to measure it. Mean time to repair or MTTR is a metric for the average time spent on unplanned maintenance. It can be calculated for your facility as a whole, by groups of asset types, individual assets, or even down to the component level.

MTTR measures the average time from an asset’s point of breakdown to being repaired and fully operational.


Why is MTTR Important?

The main outcome of MTTR is knowing how quickly your maintenance team can respond to unplanned asset downtime. There are several reasons why this is an essential metric for your organization. However, the number one benefit is to reduce unplanned downtime and all of the accompanying lost production costs.

What Does Mean Time to Repair Tell You?

MTTR is the first step in identifying inefficiencies in your asset management and maintenance processes. This includes:

  • Repair or Replace Decisions – Critical production assets with a high MTTR are a potential sign that they may be aging and ready for replacement.
  • Preventive Maintenance – MTTR measures reactive maintenance, but it can draw attention to assets in need of preventive maintenance.
  • MRO Inventory Management – Technicians spend 10 to 25% of their time looking for parts. If the assets with a high MTTR often lack spare parts, you can revise your inventory management.

How Do You Measure Mean Time to Repair?

The simple answer, divide the total hours of unplanned maintenance time by the total number of failures for an asset. You can measure this over a year or any amount of time. For example, an asset with 100 hours of unplanned downtime and 10 breakdowns would have an MTTR of 10 hours.

mean time to repair equation

What is a Good MTTR?

Every organization will have a different benchmark for their mean time to repair. But, an ideal MTTR is 5 hours. Now, there are factors to consider that allow for some range in your MTTR goal. Your most critical assets with the highest downtime costs should be at or below that 5-hour benchmark. However, an aging asset not ready for replacement and with a smaller downtime impact may be fine at a higher MTTR. The more you measure, the more you’ll get to know what is best for your facility.

How Do You Collect the Data to Measure MTTR?

Calculating MTTR is simple, but how do you consistently collect the data needed for that calculation? In the past, organizations have used stacks of paper in a binder or spreadsheets. Both of these options have their disadvantages, especially the monthly hours spent sorting the data for calculation. Redlist has a streamlined process for collecting the data needed and calculating MTTR in real-time.

Using Redlist’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Software for MTTR Data Collection:

  1. Any work orders entered manually will be marked as unplanned maintenance, ensuring the data goes into the MTTR calculation.
  2. Technicians access Redlist on their mobile device and use the stopwatch time tracking tool or manually enter their hours worked. They easily assign their time to the completed tasks.
  3. It’s that easy! Your MTTR data has been collected and stored in the cloud for access at any time, from anywhere.

Using Redlist’s EAM Software for Mean Time to Repair Calculation:

  1. Access your Redlist reporting dashboard on your computer or mobile device.
  2. Next, choose the MTTR Report.
  3. From there, your organization’s mean time to repair is automatically calculated based on the data in the system.
  4. Now, you can immediately see your total number of downtime events, total number of assets with downtime, and total hours of downtime.
  5. Finally, you can use Redlist to see your average MTTR or view it by groups of asset type, individual assets, or even down to the component level. For example: with the click of a button, you can see your MTTR for replacing a bearing when it goes out in your facility. The ability to calculate MTTR on such a granular level is much more difficult to do manually than digitally with Redlist, making this one of the huge benefits of the software.

How Can You Use MTTR to Reduce Downtime and Repair Time?

As mentioned earlier, knowing your MTTR will support you in repair or replace decisions and MRO inventory management. But, you can take some key actions with Redlist to drive down your MTTR and reduce downtime events.

  • Shorten Communication Time – When you identify issues, Redlist’s forms tool offers a simple way to report issues to the maintenance manager faster.
  • Run Root Cause Analysis – With the data on which assets and components are repeatedly failing or have a high MTTR, you can run root cause analysis. This helps you plan preventive maintenance that will reduce or potentially eliminate that downtime event.
  • Provide Training or Manuals to Support Technicians – Much like the time spent looking for parts, a lot of time may be spent searching for manuals or troubleshooting. However, with Redlist, you can attach manuals, videos, photos, or step-by-step instructions to a work order to support your technicians to work efficiently.

Many companies aren’t measuring their MTTR because it is too much work to collect consistent, thorough data for the calculation. Alternatively, other companies are measuring it and spending countless hours calculating from paper or spreadsheet-based data. Whichever boat you find yourself in, the support of Redlist’s Enterprise Asset Management software streamlines the process. You can put the time saved on data collection and number crunching into making real changes to reduce your MTTR and downtime events.

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