Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)

Posted on April 5, 2010 by


The Mean Time Between Failure is the average time between system failures. It’s an index of reliability, usually expressed in hours, so it pertains to the quality of a product. The larger the number of hours, the more reliable the system. When used to predict (rather than describe) reliability, this relatively simple concept can involve complex computations. Also, rather than simply examining a system as a whole, the failure of distinct components may be taken into account. Failure rates tend to be highest at the beginning of a system’s life and at the end of its life. If graphed, this resembles a curve shaped like a bathtub, so is called a Bathtub Curb.