What is MTTR and how to use it?
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What is MTTR and how to use it?

Abraão Almeida
Abraão Almeida

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When we talk about performance, it is clear that what we are looking for is the best performance. In order to achieve this goal, there are several tools available.

Do you know what MTTR is? Do you know how to use it?

If you said no to at least one of these questions, keep reading because in our article today, you will learn exactly what MTTR is and how you can use it.

Let’s begin?

What is MTTR?

Mean time to repair (MTTR) is a maintenance metric that measures the average time required to troubleshoot and repair failed equipment. It reflects how quickly an organization can respond to unplanned breakdowns and repair them.

MTTR calculates the period between the start of the incident and the moment the system returns to production.

First, for you to completely understand what MTTR is, we need to say that this is a “smaller, better” type indicator. In other words, the smaller the number obtained as a result of this indicator, the better it will be for an organization.

Also, it is important to mention that it is common to have different MTTR results that will be considered good. This final number will depend on the reality of each company.

Considering that each business operates in a different way, has a different size, has different equipment numbers, among other things.

As its name says, Mean Time To Repair, MTTR seeks to measure the time needed to perform the repair of some equipment.

Therefore, it can only be applied to repairable machines. This indicator will then represent the average time taken, in that case, to carry out necessary repairs when there are failures, damages and interruptions in the operation of some device.

Interesting, isn't it?

In order for you to understand even more, what MTTR is, now, we are going to talk about the importance of this indicator.

Understand the importance of measuring the MTTR

The MTTR is an indicator and, like any metric, when applied diligently, it will be responsible for bringing great benefits to your business. We will highlight these benefits so that you can decide whether implementing the use of MTTR will be an advantage for your business.

Resource allocation

MTTR can be used for making repair or replace decisions on aging assets. If an asset takes longer to repair as it ages, it may be more economical to replace it. MTTR can also be used to inform the purchasing and design process by predicting lifecycle costs of new systems.

That way, you won't be left guessing what you need to improve for your operations to flow better and make your customers more satisfied.

Failure identification

With the report obtained from the indicator, it is possible to know what caused the failure. You can identify what type of failure occurred and what is the impact, on repair time, of that particular failure. This will give you more information to act on the goals of reducing the Mean Time To Repair as much as possible.

Elaboration of solutions

This benefit, of elaborating solutions, is connected with what we just mentioned.

If you know what caused the equipment failure, and if you know how long it takes you to fix it, you can come up with definitive solutions, not just corrective ones.

Resolving the problem as it occurs is very positive - it would be a corrective solution. But if this problem is recurring, you can, by understanding what MTTR is, come up with definitive solutions.

By implementing the use of MTTR metrics, you will know exactly what can be done to improve the performance of your equipment.

And so, you can build new procedures, or make any necessary modifications, in order to minimize such interruptions as well as repair time.

Sense of urgency

An indicator has the advantage of generating a sense of urgency in your team. Which is very important for any company.

If a certain team does not have a sense of urgency regarding the maintenance of the equipment that they use, the company may have a big problem at hand.

Using MTTR, on the other hand, will numerically show the team that something needs to be done.

The indicator makes the problem more visible and helps to increase the team's commitment to solving this situation.

All of these benefits, when combined, will bring great results to your company. Understanding what MTTR is not only simple, but also highly effective for an organization.

Use of new indicators

Did you know that from MTTR you can calculate other things? For example, based on the result that you got, you can also measure the Maintainability of the equipment.

This indicator corresponds to the probability of the same problem happening again.

You can also, based on your understanding of what MTTR is, measure equipment availability, productivity and efficiency.

All this can help you, a lot, to achieve better results! Now that you've learned what MTTR is and its importance and benefits, how about learning how to calculate the MTTR?

How to calculate MTTR

The MTTR formula is calculated by dividing the total unplanned maintenance time spent on an asset by the total number of failures that asset experienced over a specific period. Mean time to repair is most commonly represented in hours.

The MTTR calculation assumes that:

  1. Tasks are performed sequentially
  2. Tasks are performed by appropriately trained personnel
MTTR equation


For example, if you have spent 20 hours on unplanned maintenance for an asset that has broken down 5 times over the course of a year, the mean time to repair would be 4 hours.

MTTR = 20/5 = 4h.

MTTR= 4h

What is considered world-class MTTR is dependent on several factors, like the type of asset, its criticality, and its age. However, a good rule of thumb is an MTTR of under five hours.

So, did you understand what MTTR is? Do you still have any question about the subject? If so, get in touch with us and our team will help you in whatever way possible. Be sure to implement this indicator in the day-to-day of your business and you will see the benefits and advantages of it.

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