Emergency Management vs. Failure Elimination

August 4, 2016

In many cases, the results being chased can be achieved from a completely different angle than you would have thought. Most in the reliability community are trained that breakdown elimination is the number one goal. While this is ultimately the endgame, dealing with high levels of reactivity can obtain significant change in performance by containing rather than eliminating existing problems.


Two Types of Downtime – Same Result

Between the two primary indicators of a world-class maintenance system; MTTR or mean time to repair versus MTBF mean time between failure, which is easier to impact in the short-term? The answer is MTTR, as many of the contributing factors that determine duration are typically policy, rather than asset condition requiring change. The MTBF we use today is not impacted by what we did yesterday, rather the effect of behavior from over a year ago. In essence, you may be experiencing a “Reliability Hangover”. MTBF or failure rate is a lagging effective KPI:  If you performed all the correct preventive maintenance tomorrow, the equipment will not run better.


MTTR, on the other hand, can be immediately impacted by the right program focused on identified losses, countermeasures designed and performance metrics. This provides the fuel for continuous improvement in a world measured i