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An Explanation of Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)

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The world of electronics features a huge amount of acronyms, and one of the most commonly used in industrial electronics is that of Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF). This is a particularly useful concept, as it is frequently utilised in order to compare the reliability of products manufactured by different vendors. One of the issues related to this is that MTBF is not particularly well understood, and thus inaccurate assumptions and conclusions are often made in relation to it.

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So what is MTBF? The Mean Time Between Failure is the predicted amount of time which will elapse between inherent failures of a system during operation. It could be described as an estimated time of arrival before system collapse. Little further explantation is needed in order for one to see how important it is to calculate this accurately.

In order to obtain the initial MTBF, it is necessary to obtain several elements of data. Component data, ambient temperature, environmental conditions, operational stresses and operating voltages can all play a significant part in calculating the MTBF, depending on the product in question. MTBF is reached by calculating the accumulated failure rates for each component contained within your design.

When comparing MTBF across various devices, it is vital to understand the underlying methodology which was applied to particular products. Industrial systems are extremely robust, and the MTBF figure related to them will often be equal to literally millions of hours. Understanding thermal design and reliability can also play an important role in this calculation.
Excelsys devices are market leaders in this important industrial element, and full MTBF fugures for Excelys products can be obtained from https://www.excelsys.com/.

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