Restructure Breaks/Lunches and Scheduled Meetings

Restructure Breaks/Lunches and Scheduled Meetings


Lunches, breaks meetings & trainings are things you cannot avoid. They cause disruptions to your production, but are simply the cost of doing business. Typically these downtime reasons account for 3-5% of total available time, and though it doesn't seem like much, across a 20 machine plant, this could cost upwards of $250,000 per year.

However, as unavoidable as they may seem, there are a few changes you can make to reduce downtime due to these common reasons.

Time Commitment: Low

Features Required: Planned Downtime Reason Codes (Optional)

Download the Calculator here:
Amper Project Calculator (1).xlsx80.5KB
Case Studies:
  • An Amper customer followed these steps below to see how much time they were losing to breaks/lunches each day. They staggered lunches and breaks so the machines were always staffed and saw and improvement of 10% utilization!
  • Another Amper customer used
    Downtime Labeling Rules
    to automatically label their “Planned Breaks/Lunches”. When an operator got back from break/lunch, they labeled the excess as “Unplanned Break/Lunch”. The customer focused on reducing the unplanned time and saved $250k/year! They put Amper
    in their break rooms to show the operators which machines were down so they could go straight there when they came back from break/lunch. They also implemented a speaker systems to sound an alarm when there was 5 min left on their break.


First, look through your top downtime codes. If breaks, lunches, meetings & trainings are significantly costing you, it might be time to consider restructuring how you handle these scheduling conflicts.

Solution #1: Have your team lead/supervisors hang back while everyone goes on break or to a training. This way, they can keep the machines running while operators are away from the shop floor.

Solution #2: Invest in team leads if you don't already have them. Use downtime codes to see how much time/money you're losing due to lunches, breaks, meetings, and trainings, and determine if hiring extra skilled team leads are worth it. Then refer to solution #1 to have the team leads fill in when operators are away.

Solution #3: Stagger breaks & lunches. Keep the machines running while half of the staff goes to lunch or goes on break. When they return, the other half can take their break. The goal should be to keep the machines running during these times.

Measure your utilization before and after improvements are made to see how much was saved!