DEFINITION of 'Asset Availability'

Asset availability refers to a tangible asset's availability to be put to its intended use. Assets are unavailable, when they are turned off, already in use, at capacity or undergoing maintenance or repairs. Availability management is closely related to capacity management.

BREAKING DOWN 'Asset Availability'

Asset availability is critical to business's success, whether it be keeping manufacturing equipment, IT systems, trucking fleets or aircraft fleets operational. All equipment and machinery needs to be regularly serviced and maintained to avoid disruptive interruptions in availability — or idle time. Most businesses aim to produce as close to full capacity as possible, to minimize production costs and avoid tying up capital in underutilized resources. This can lead to problems if machinery and equipment break down because the business has not planned enough downtime to repair them.

Availability/maintenance managers set goals and guidelines for recording downtime, according to the experience and know-how established in each industry. Today, many companies use modeling and simulation to engineer availability into modern manufacturing facilities, which are designed for optimum reliability and maintainability and cost-effectiveness.

Availability Types

There are three types of availability:

  • Inherent Availability: The expected level of availability for assets that need only occasional corrective maintenance only.
  • Achievable Availability: The expected level of availability for the performance of corrective and preventive maintenance, which is determined by the design of the equipment and the facility.
  • Operational Availability: The actual level of availability realized in the day-to-day operation of the facility, which reflects plant maintenance resources and organizational effectiveness.
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