To have effective production planning and control, it is necessary to calculate the reliability and availability of a production system as a whole. Considering only machine reliability in the calculations would most likely result unmet due dates. In this study, a new modelling approach for determining the reliability and availability of a production system is proposed by considering all the components of the system and their hierarchy in the system structure. Components of a production system are defined as production processes; components of the processes are defined as sub-processes. In this hierarchical structure we could model all kinds of failures such as material and supply, management and personnel, and machine and equipment. In the analysis, a fuzzy Bayesian method is used to quantify the uncertainties in the production environment. The suggested modelling approach is illustrated on an example. In the example, also a separate reliability and availability analysis is conducted which only considered machine failures, and the results of both analyses are compared. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.