When you are adding a new piece of hardware, such as if you are automating your business, it can sometimes be difficult to determine how reliable the piece of hardware will be. Mean time between failure (MTBF) numbers are something you should pay close attention to and it's easy to overlook it or think that these numbers are simply an unavoidable aspect of purchasing the hardware.
Availability and Reliability
Two of the main concerns with a piece of equipment are availability and reliability. A product is considered more available when it is accessible and can be used. If it is not operational, it is not available at the time. A reliable product is one that is able to perform functions for a period of time before failing.
MTBF is a metric that shows how many hours might pass before a piece of machinery fails. This is a metric that is only used for products that can be repaired and where repairs are inevitable. For example, a forklift might eventually break down due to wear and tear. Then, when the equipment finally experiences downtime, you would pay for the necessary repairs and would then be able to put the equipment or the part back into service.
How MTFB is Determined
The MTBF provides real analysis of the failure rate of repairable products. The data can also be obtained by performing lab testing in a controlled environment to find out how often a product will fail to help guide business decisions.
For example, you will know how much you will need to budget for repairs and you will be able to predict when you might have downtime. The worst situation for your business is if your equipment fails you when you need it the most such as during peak business hours.
Your MTBF calculation will also help you determine whether you will perform repairs yourself or rely on an external service to provide customer support. If you will need to make repairs frequently, it might make more sense to train some of your staff members on how to make repairs.
MTBF and the Warranty
An MTBF calculation service such as Rel Teck can be used to determine how long a warranty should exist for a product. However, even if a product is expected to last for a period of time, this doesn't mean that it will always do so. The length of time that a product lasts before needing repairs is also affected by how often the product is used and the environmental conditions under which the product is used.
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