What is a Bathtub Curve and How to Measure Asset Reliability

What is a Bathtub Curve and How to Measure Asset Reliability?

The bathtub curve is a fundamental concept in maintenance and reliability engineering. Imagine the shape of a bathtub – it starts with a steep slope, flattens out in the middle, and then ends with another steep slope. This curve describes how the failure rate of many products and systems changes over time. In the early life of an asset, failures often occur more frequently due to initial defects or teething problems – this is the first steep part of the curve. Then, as these issues are resolved, the asset enters a period of stable and low failure rates, represented by the flat middle section. Finally, as the asset ages and wears out, the failure rate increases again, leading to the final steep slope of the curve.

In this blog, we will delve into the details of the bathtub curve, exploring its three distinct stages: the initial 'Infant Mortality' period, the 'Normal Life' period, and the 'Wear-Out' period. Understanding this curve is crucial for anyone who maintains and manages assets, as it helps predict when failures are most likely to occur. This knowledge is key to implementing effective maintenance strategies, ensuring assets remain reliable over their entire lifecycle. We'll also discuss how modern tools, like Cryotos CMMS, play a vital role in analyzing and applying the insights from the bathtub curve to enhance asset reliability and maintenance management.

Understanding the Three Stages in Bathtub Curve

The bathtub curve is divided into three distinct stages, each representing a different phase in the life cycle of an asset. Understanding these stages is crucial for effective maintenance management.

Three Stages in Bathtub Curve
Infant Mortality Period
  • This initial stage is characterized by a high failure rate that gradually decreases over time.
  • Failures during this period are often due to manufacturing defects, design flaws, or issues arising from the installation process.
  • The key to managing this phase is rigorous quality control, thorough testing, and effective initial operation procedures. By identifying and rectifying these early-life failures, the reliability of the asset can be significantly improved.
Normal Life Period
  • In this stage, the asset experiences a low and constant failure rate.
  • Failures that occur are often random and less predictable, stemming from unforeseen operational conditions or external factors.
  • The best maintenance strategy during this phase is preventive maintenance. Regular checks and routine maintenance tasks help maintain the asset's reliability and extend its normal life. This is where the asset is most cost-effective and reliable.
Wear-Out Period
  • The final stage of the bathtub curve sees an increase in failure rates as the asset ages.
  • This increase is due to wear and tear, material fatigue, and the gradual degradation of components over time.
  • Managing this phase might require more intensive maintenance or complete asset replacement. Predictive maintenance, which involves monitoring the condition of the asset to predict when maintenance should be performed, becomes crucial here. This approach helps anticipate failures before they occur and cost-effectively plan maintenance activities.

Understanding these three stages of the bathtub curve allows maintenance managers to tailor their strategies according to the life cycle phase of their assets, ensuring optimal performance and reliability throughout their lifespan.

Strategic Application in Maintenance Management

Understanding the bathtub curve is crucial for developing effective maintenance strategies. This curve provides insights into when an asset is most likely to fail, allowing maintenance teams to plan their activities more strategically. In the early 'Infant Mortality' stage, where failures are more frequent due to initial defects, the focus should be on intensive testing and quality checks. This helps in identifying and fixing issues before they lead to major failures. The strategy shifts to preventive maintenance as the asset moves into the 'Normal Life' stage, where failures are less frequent and random. Regular maintenance activities, such as inspections and minor repairs, are scheduled to keep the asset running smoothly and to prevent unexpected breakdowns.

In the final 'Wear-Out' period, predictive maintenance becomes key when the asset fails more often due to age and wear. This involves using data and technology to monitor the asset's condition and predict when it might fail. By analyzing trends and patterns, maintenance teams can anticipate problems and perform maintenance just in time to prevent failures. This approach helps avoid unplanned downtime and extends the asset's life. Understanding the bathtub curve enables maintenance managers to apply the right maintenance strategy at the right time, optimizing their assets' performance and lifespan.

Advanced Techniques for Bathtub Curve Analysis

In today's technology-driven world, advanced tools and technologies are pivotal in deepening our understanding and application of the bathtub curve. Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are at the forefront of this advancement. These systems provide a comprehensive platform for tracking and analyzing maintenance data, offering invaluable insights into asset performance and failure trends. With CMMS, maintenance managers can accurately predict which stage of the bathtub curve an asset is in, allowing for more precise maintenance planning. The software's ability to analyze large volumes of data helps identify patterns that might not be visible otherwise. This capability is crucial for making informed decisions about when to perform maintenance activities, ultimately leading to reduced downtime, extended asset life, and optimized resource allocation. Implementing CMMS in maintenance strategies represents a significant leap forward in effectively applying the bathtub curve analysis.

Improving Asset Reliability with Bathtub Curve Insights

Utilizing insights from the bathtub curve is key to enhancing asset reliability and extending lifespan. By understanding the different stages of the curve, maintenance teams can implement targeted strategies at each phase to prevent failures and optimize performance. Identifying and fixing initial defects is crucial during the early 'Infant Mortality' period. As the asset moves into the 'Normal Life' phase, regular preventive maintenance based on its usage and condition helps maintain its reliability. In the later 'Wear-Out' phase, more frequent and detailed inspections and predictive maintenance become essential to anticipate and address wear-related issues. Timely maintenance adjustments, informed by the bathtub curve analysis, ensure that each asset receives the right kind of care at the right time, significantly reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and prolonging the asset's useful life. This strategic approach improves the overall reliability of assets and optimizes maintenance resources and costs.

Cryotos CMMS: A Key Tool in Asset Reliability and Bathtub Curve Analysis

Cryotos CMMS emerges as a vital tool in asset reliability, especially in strategically applying the bathtub curve analysis. This advanced Computerized Maintenance Management System is designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance operations, making it an indispensable asset for modern maintenance management.

Enhancing Bathtub Curve Analysis with Cryotos CMMS

Real-Time Monitoring

Cryotos CMMS offers real-time monitoring capabilities, allowing maintenance teams to track the performance and condition of their assets continuously. This feature is crucial in detecting potential issues that align with the 'Infant Mortality' phase of the bathtub curve. By catching problems early, teams can address them before they escalate, reducing the likelihood of unexpected failures.

Data Analytics

The system's robust data analytics tools play a pivotal role in understanding the 'Normal Life' period of assets. Cryotos CMMS can analyze historical maintenance data to identify patterns and trends, providing insights into the typical performance and failure rates during this stable phase. This data-driven approach enables maintenance managers to schedule preventive maintenance tasks effectively, ensuring assets operate reliably and efficiently.

Predictive Maintenance Capabilities

As assets enter the 'Wear-Out' phase, the predictive maintenance features of Cryotos CMMS become increasingly valuable. The system can predict when an asset will likely fail based on various indicators, such as vibration, temperature, or usage patterns. This foresight allows maintenance teams to intervene before failures occur, planning maintenance activities to minimize downtime and extend the asset's lifespan.

Proactive Maintenance Decisions

By providing a comprehensive view of asset health across all stages of the bathtub curve, Cryotos CMMS enables proactive maintenance decisions. Maintenance managers can use the insights gained from the system to optimize their maintenance strategies, shifting from reactive to proactive maintenance. This shift improves asset reliability and contributes to overall operational efficiency and cost savings.

To Wrap Things Up!

The bathtub curve is a powerful tool in understanding and managing the lifecycle of assets. It provides crucial insights into when and why assets are most likely to fail, guiding maintenance teams in applying the right strategies at the right time. Recognizing the different stages of the curve – the 'Infant Mortality', 'Normal Life', and 'Wear-Out' periods – allows for tailored maintenance approaches, from intensive initial checks to preventive and predictive maintenance practices. This strategic application of the bathtub curve enhances asset reliability and contributes significantly to operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Cryotos CMMS plays a unique and vital role in this process. Its capabilities in real-time monitoring, data analytics, and predictive maintenance align perfectly with the needs of each stage of the bathtub curve. By leveraging Cryotos CMMS, organizations can interpret the curve more accurately and implement more effective maintenance strategies. Integrating advanced technology with strategic asset management principles marks a significant step forward in maintenance management.

To learn more about how Cryotos CMMS can transform your asset management and maintenance strategies, visit our website and discover the tools and insights that can drive your organization toward maintenance excellence.


Bathtub curve - Wikipedia

Failure Rate - Wikipedia

What is Reliability and Asset Management?

Best Ways to Measure Reliability

Reliability Basics for Condition-Monitoring Professionals

The Bathtub Curve Applied To Gearbox Oil Analysis What happens in the aging failure zone?

Want To Manage Your Work Order Smartly?

Send us a request for demo and we will get back to you shortly!
Schedule a Demo

What Do Our Clients Says ?

Amrapali Exports - Esteemed Clients of cryotos
Anuraj Sharma - Maintenance Manager

The best thing about Cryotos CMMS software is that it always tells me when something needs to be fixed - before it breaks and cost me a fortune!

The software is very user-friendly, and even if I don't know how to do something, the support team is always there to help me out.

Most importantly, unlike other such software, Cryotos is editable and hence the user can modify how the software works as per their need, we made several changes in the workflow & flowchart with the help of development team.

I don't know what I would do without Cryotos! I've been using it for years, and it has saved me so much time and money. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to manage their assets efficiently.

Resil Chemicals - Esteemed Clients of Cryotos
Jeevan Belliappa - Head, Information Technology

Since we've been using Cryotos CMMS Software, our asset maintenance management has been running more smoothly than ever. We're able to track and optimize our preventive maintenance with ease, thanks to the customized process workflow. This has been a lifesaver for our team!

The Cryotos CMMS software has allowed us to manage our assets more effectively and efficiently. It has helped us to improve our asset utilization. The software is user-friendly and easy to navigate, and the support team is always quick to help with any questions we have. We're very happy with the results we've seen so far and we're confident that we'll continue to see improvements in our asset management as we use the Cryotos CMMS software.

Planys - Cryotos Esteemed Client
Antony Jacob Ashish - Lead, R&D

Cryotos goes above and beyond when it comes to customer satisfaction. Planys Technologies use Cryotos for preventive/ corrective maintenance of our critical systems and not once did we face a problem that was not dealt with immediately. The team is extremely professional and helpful. We can rely on Cryotos when it comes to the operations and processes.

Thanks to the whole team for the amazing performance and thought leadership. It's rare to see teams that can put themselves in the customer's shoes and think from their perspectives - Cryotos team doesthat and more.

We recommend Cryotos if you are looking to put an end to your preventive maintenance problems and sign up with them!

Thanks to the team for an awesome job.

Xpert IFM - Esteemed Clients of Cryotos
Siva Shankar - AGM, (Operations & BD)

On behalf of Xpert FMS we would like to express our sincere appreciation for the excellent support Cryotos team have provided us for our building and facility management. Cryotos has always provided support that is timely and meets our expectations. Professionalism and quick response are the hallmarks of this team.

Sincere appreciation for the team's brilliant performance and wish them continued success. We highly recommend Cryotos as they have executed well on all assigned tasks and continue to outperform.

Thanks to all the hard work, our lives have become easier.

ST Jude India Childcare Centers - Cryotos Esteemed Client
Mukesh J - CIO

We are able to raised the workorder and tracking of these till the closure as helped us to provide better services our beneficiaries. Workflow-based work order management has helped us to define processes for each locations separatley. System provide notification once order is raised for assignment to engineer.

Maspro - Esteemed Clients of Cryotos

This CMMS software is top-notch! I can't believe how much it has helped me with my facilities maintenance management. Customized reports and business intelligence have been invaluable in making better decisions.

The software offers a great deal of customization for each organization's specific needs. They are always updating the software with new features and improvements, which is great. The support team is fantastic - they are always quick to help with any questions or problems we have. This software has definitely made my life a lot easier! It's so easy to use and it's really helped me keep track of all my maintenance tasks in one place. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a CMMS platform.

Al Zain Farms LLC - Esteemed Clients of Cryotos
Mr. Vishnu S Nair

Since we've started using Cryotos, our team has been able to stay on top of all the various SOPs. Checklists and safety procedures are now easily accessible to everyone, and we can quickly reference them whenever we need to. The software has definitely helped to improve our team's communication and efficiency. Plus, the fact that it's cloud-based means we can access it from anywhere, which is a big plus. It has been a great help in keeping everyone on the same page and up to date with the latest procedures.

Dinex - Esteemed Clients of Cryotos
B S Vijaya K. - Maintenance Engineer

At starting it felt some what difficult for scheduling but now it made to easy access.

Review from Capterra

Korrun - Esteemed Clients of Cryotos
Nithin G. - Maintenance Incharge

Overall: Nice Software
Pros: Scheduling, work order creation, asset inventory, records.
Reasons for Choosing Cryotos: Compared to other products it's easy to use and easy to understand the feature.

Review from Capterra

Aptiv8 IT Solutions
Hashim - Business Project Manager

This CMMS software is top-notch! I can't believe how much it has helped me with my facilities maintenance management. Customized reports and business intelligence have been invaluable in making better decisions.

The software offers a great deal of customization for each organization's specific needs. They are always updating the software with new features and improvements, which is great. The support team is fantastic - they are always quick to help with any questions or problems we have. This software has definitely made my life a lot easier! It's so easy to use and it's really helped me keep track of all my maintenance tasks in one place. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a CMMS platform.

Gurit - Esteemed Clients of Cryotos
Mr. Mohanmurali R

I recently purchased Cryotos CMMS Software for asset management needs at my organization and after a few months of testing and monitoring, I'm incredibly pleased with the results. The software is user friendly, accessible and the design is very intuitive. It covers all the aspects of managing maintenance and repair, starting from preventive maintenance and standardizing operation cycles, to scheduling and streamlining workflows. I am highly satisfied with the performance and the range of features offered by Cryotos. Highly recommendable!

Metro Tyres - Esteemed Clients of Cryotos
Mr. Sanjay Beri

Before using Cryotos, asset management and maintenance seemed like an uphill task for my team. Manual processes laden with human errors did not work for us at all. We decided to go with Cryotos after checking out similar products in the market.

The user interface of the software is intuitive and easy to use, making it simple to navigate through the different features and functionalities. I particularly appreciate the ability to track all assets in real-time, allowing me to keep a close eye on their performance and maintenance needs.

Customized work order and workflow creation has reduced the needs to always follow a particular template. Depending on our needs we can create tailor made workflows to suit our requirements.

I highly recommend Cryotos to anyone who would like to unburden themselves of maintaining and managing their critical assets.

Dinex - Esteemed Clients of Cryotos
Mr. Yuksel Aksin

As a customer of Cryotos CMMS software for asset management needs, I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with the features and functionality offered by the platform. Cryotos CMMS software has made managing my assets a breeze, and I no longer have to worry about missing maintenance or inspections.

One of the standout features of Cryotos CMMS software is the ability to generate work orders and schedule maintenance tasks. This has made it easy for me to stay on top of maintenance and repair tasks, ensuring that my assets are always in optimal condition.

The software also allows me to track inventory levels which has streamlined my inventory management process. The ability to generate reports and analyze asset performance data has also been invaluable in helping me make data-driven decisions about my assets. Overall, I would highly recommend Cryotos CMMS software to anyone looking for a reliable and efficient asset management solution.

Blue Slider Left Arrow
Blue Slider Right Arrow