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.
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.