- The reliability of a multi‐attribute deteriorating production system is controlled using versatile identical inspection facilities. An attribute state is dichotomous (up designates proper function versus down). A product item is conforming if all the system attributes are up when it is produced. When a system attribute is detected as down it is restored back to an up state. Inspection of an attribute can rely on observations of the system, recently produced items, or both. Inspection policy determines the inspection capacity, frequency of inspecting each attribute and inspection schedule. These decisions involve a tradeoff between the cost of inspectors and the loss associated with the roportion of non‐conforming items due to lack of adequate inspection. Three models are introduced, analyzed and solved. In the first model, inspection and restoration are perfect, product attribute is up (down) when the system attribute is up (down), and restoration is immediate. The assumptions of perfect inspection and restoration are relaxed in the second model. The third model relaxes in addition the assumption of immediate restoration. An efficient heuristic solution scheme is provided for solving these models. Sensitivity of the solution to system parameters is studied. Numerical experiments provide some insights regarding the combined effect of imperfect production, inspection and restoration, in various conditions of inspection and restoration durations. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.