What does MTBF mean?

MTBF stands for Mean Time Between Failures and is a measure of the reliability of systems and devices. MTBF indicates the average time that a device functions without errors before it fails. The higher the MTBF, the more reliable the respective device is and the longer it functions without errors. A higher MTBF can be achieved through improved design, better materials and regular maintenance.

How to calculate the MTBF?

The MTBF is calculated by dividing the total number of operating hours by the number of failures. The first step is to determine which period is to be considered.

MTBF = number of operating hours / number of failures.


In 2022, a machine was in operation for 2,000 hours. There were a total of 12 failures.

MTBF = 2,000 / 12 = 166.7

In 2022, the MTBF of the machine was 166.7 hours.

How to use the MTBF?

The MTBF provides information about the reliability of plants or machines. By determining the MTBF, it is possible to estimate at what point maintenance work should be carried out in order to prevent malfunctions and failures. A low MTBF can mean that the quality of the respective object does not meet expectations or that the maintenance measures are not effective.

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