What is MTBF?

July 12, 2021

Mean Time Between Failures affects the longevity and reliability of your hardware solution. Read how MTBF data is used by engineers to guide customers to meet lifecycle and other requirements.

Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) is the expected amount of time between two failures before a system or piece of equipment needs repair.* Essentially, it’s a measure of reliability of physical assets such as hard drives, monitors, servers, and more.

The calculation takes the total number of hours a machine is running, then divides it by the total number of breakdowns in that same period of time. This measurement doesn’t count the time that the equipment was out of commission for routine maintenance.

MTBF is typically expressed as the average life expectancy of equipment. Having this information provides multiple benefits. For example, it helps enterprises understand the availability and productivity of their systems, and improves the development of regular maintenance schedules to prevent problems and downtime. It also leads to better inventory forecasting, procurement scheduling, and the overall safety of systems.

In addition, MTBF helps engineers compare the design of similar hardware and components. MBX engineers, for example, can use this information to guide customers on products that best suit their lifecycle and environmental requirements.

Whether you’re in the initial system design phase or looking at a refresh or upgrade, we can advise you on how MTBF affects the longevity and reliability of your hardware solution.

*Another calculation called Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) measures the time until the product is beyond repair.

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