The happiest workers on any plant floor are those who do not have to worry about machine failures that bring production to a halt, eat into productive man hours, and add to production costs. The key to a smoothly running plant floor are machines    that run like clockwork and do not break down frequently. How can we ensure such machine reliability in an age of uncertainties? Machine reliability is a measure of the odds that an equipment will perform at its optimal level during its lifetime without the threat of breaking down at regular intervals. When equipment operates at duty capacity for as long as expected, it is considered reliable. When the period between out-of-service episodes is too short, it is considered unreliable. Measuring machine reliability is important if you want to improve it. Reliability is measured as the average time between failures, better known as ‘Mean Time Between Failure’ (MTBF). One drawback with only measuring time is that there is no indication of the value of that level of reliability. If you do not know what reliability is worth, you may spend lots of money on small improvements that have little impact on profitability. Or worse still, not spend ...