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Reliable asset: how to improve the reliability of an asset

Reliable asset: how to improve the reliability of an asset

“Reliable asset” means an asset that functions as intended during its use. Learn how to measure and improve the reliability of an asset

In a previous article, we already analyzed a particular maintenance methodology called Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM). However, if we want to maintain asset reliability over time, it is necessary that management and maintenance activities are carried out correctly.

That’s why I suggest using a facility management software to gain full control of every aspect of asset management.

But, do we really know when an asset can be defined as reliable? And if we wanted to improve this aspect, how is it done? Let’s answer these questions together.

What is a reliable asset?

A “reliable asset” needs to be compliant with a series of technical and operational conditions and, for this reason, is considered safe and functional during its use.

More specifically, the reliability of an asset is related to the satisfaction of three classes of requirements:

  1. stakeholder requirements;
  2. business requirements;
  3. regulatory requirements.

To be sure that our asset is “reliable” we will therefore refer to a reliability program that contains the list of requirements to be met and whose success is linked to the percentage of requirements met.

However, if we wanted to simplify the definition of “reliable asset”, we could certainly say that a good is defined as reliable when it works as it should whenever we need it, avoiding unexpected downtime.

Reliable asset

Reliable asset

Reliable Asset vs Available Asset: What’s the Difference?

To help us better understand the concept of reliability related to an asset, it is useful to make the necessary distinctions with respect to another term often used in the facility management environment: “availability”.

The term “availability” refers to the characteristic of the asset to be ready for use without the need to intervene to repair possible failures, in other words, the probability that an asset will not fail during use.

What helps us to get the difference between the two concepts is precisely the term “use”: a good can be available for use for 70% of its life cycle and in this period of time be 100% reliable. The remaining 30% is the estimated time for maintenance which aim to avoid unexpected stops during use.

Reliability vs Availability

Reliability vs Availability

How to measure the reliability of an asset?

The reliability of an asset is a concept that can be evaluated and to do so there is also a formula. The mathematical formula for assessing the reliability of an asset takes into account three aspects:

    1. qualitative performance
    2. on-time performance
    3. speed performance

and can be written as:

Quality Performance x Time Performance x Speed Performance


The results from this formula is called the reliability index and can also be evaluated and interpreted as the ratio between MTBPL (Mean Time Between Production Loss) which is the average time of non-use and NPL (Number of Production Losses) or the amount of losses in terms of production/use:


Reliability Index = MTBPL \ NPL

How to improve the reliability of an asset?

Having reliable assets which you are sure you can count on when they are available, is very important and the best way to strengthen the reliability index of our assets is to establish and comply with a reliability program.

But how to create an effective “Reliability Program”? Let’s look at it together in three simple steps:

  1. identification of objectives: the first fundamental step to create a good reliability program is to study the context and identify the objectives of the company and the various stakeholders;
  2. identification of problems: as a second step it is useful to analyze and compare the current performance with the desired performance, in this way it is possible to identify any obstacle or gaps and take action to correct it;
  3. identification of strategies: at this third step we have the necessary knowledge (objectives and problems) to be able to identify and propose implementation strategies aimed at achieving the set objectives and desired performance.

In order to have a reliable asset, its management and maintenance must also be reliable and to do so it is essential to use equally reliable and professional software. For this reason I recommend you to try the facility management software that guarantees full control of every aspect of maintenance, while reducing the costs and times of the process.