Maintenance departments largely gauge their effectiveness and success on common metrics. It’s the only way to gain data-driven insights into how your department functions and where you can make improvements.
Defining those metrics is one thing, but understanding the value each of them brings to your organization is quite another. One of the most important metrics in your strategy is the Mean Time to Repair (MTTR). Let’s look at what MTTR is and how you can use it to your advantage.
What Is Mean Time to Repair?
Mean Time to Repair represents the average time it takes to troubleshoot and/or repair equipment and take it back into commission. Or, to put another way, it’s a metric that maintenance departments can use to estimate potential downtime of a specific piece of equipment.
Maintenance time begins when an incident first occurs that makes equipment inoperable, and ends when the equipment is fully restored to working order. In between, tasks like troubleshooting, repairs, calibration, cool down, and testing occur. The MTTR tells us how long equipment was out of production, which can then be used to predict downtimes, loss of productivity, and other organizational metrics.
How Is MTTR Calculated?
Mathematically, maintenance departments calculate MTTR by dividing the total maintenance time by the number of individual repairs on a piece of equipment.
Time and frequency are the two drivers behind MTTR. A piece of equipment may have a large number of repairs, but the fixes may be quick and simple. Others may have a smaller number of repairs that are much more complicated and take longer to perform.
You can take this metric a step further by calculating the same figure for your collective suite of equipment.
Breaking it down by individual pieces of equipment can give you a clearer insight into your department’s performance. In some cases, a simple part may need to be exchanged. In other cases, a machine could be out of commission for days. Because some issues vary in severity, it’s expected that MTTR will also vary depending on the type of equipment and the work being performed.
How Does It Benefit Organizations?
MTTR is a critical piece of your predictive analytics. When calculated correctly, you gain a better idea of how long downtown of a piece of equipment may last. It can also help engineers and facility directors make critical decisions on whether to hire additional help, whether to replace or repair certain equipment, how to optimize maintenance schedules, what parts to store on-site and how much to keep in inventory, and other decisions.
One of the biggest telltale signs MTTR offers is when it might be time to repair versus replace equipment. As the number of repairs and repair time increase, a machine may be nearing the end of its life and it could be time to replace it. Also, MTTR can provide predictive analytics as to what repairs cost over the lifecycle of a piece of equipment. When making purchasing decisions between similar pieces of equipment, decision makers can look at MTTR and associated costs and factor these elements into their decision.
How to Collect MTTR Data
In order for MTTR data to be accurate, all maintenance team members must be able to record data and tasks without fail. Employees performing the maintenance should be skilled and qualified to do so.
CMMS software makes it easier to record accurate MTTR and track performance over time. Most systems allow you to break down maintenance jobs into specific tasks to better manage and track costs and get a better idea of where you’re spending time and resources.