What Is Reliability & Maintainability?

Recently, RedVector / Convergence partnered with the University of Tennessee’s Reliability & Maintainability Center to offer a variety of maintenance and reliability training courses in both instructor-led and online formats.

To go along with this training offering, our colleagues at Convergence are also publishing a series of articles to introduce key concepts in reliability and maintainability.

Below you’ll find our highlights from the first full maintenance and reliability article titled, “What Is Reliability and Maintainability?”

For details about achieving the RMIC certification, check out RedVector’s online training component (3 Credits).

What Is Reliability?

  • When discussing reliability at a plant, reliability is defined as “the probability of a product performing its intended function under stated conditions without failure for a given period of time,” according to the American Society of Quality.
  • A top quartile reliable plant is typically more productive, has more stable processes resulting in higher quality, lower costs, is safer and has a more engaged workforce.
  • The reliability of a plant can be measured using MTBF (mean time between failure) and maintainability can be measured by MTTR (mean time to repair). Metrics such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Total Effective Equipment Performance (TEEP) or Asset Utilization can be used to assess overall equipment health.

What Is Maintainability?

  • Again according to the American Society of Quality, maintainability is defined as “the probability that a given maintenance action for an item under given usage conditions can be performed within a stated time interval when the maintenance is performed under stated conditions using stated procedures and resources.”
  • Maintainability has two categories: serviceability (the ease of conducting scheduled inspections and servicing) and repairability (the ease of restoring service after a failure).”
  • The words Maintenance and Maintainability are often used synonymously and that is incorrect. Maintenance is the act of providing the service of checking, repairing or replacing. Maintainability is a designed-in parameter that should be done when designing a piece of equipment/machine.

Conclusion: Your Intro to Reliability and Maintainability

Plants benefit in many ways from increasing reliability and maintainability. Keep your eyes on the Convergence blog for additional articles on reliability and maintainability. This article is a collaboration between the University of Tennessee Reliability and Maintainability Center (RMC), Convergence Training, and RedVector. RedVector offers online courses that can be completed as part of the UT-RMC’s Reliability & Maintainability Implementation Certification (RMIC) program.





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