Nestle Case Study | Alternative Engineering
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Case Study: Nestle

Engineering project nominated as a finalist in Nestle Oceania's Engineering Innovation award.



"We chose Alternative Engineering because of the standards to which things are made, their consultative approach and professionalism on site. This site wide project demonstrated their ability to produce and implement high quality engineering outcomes for large scale operations with multiple stakeholder like ours."

-Josh Walton, Maintenance Engineer, Nestle

Executive Summary

As a leading food and beverage production company, Nestle is committed to seeking innovations that can improve their products and processes. New technologies and engineering solutions are a vital part of their Research and Development.

Innovations and new technologies are not only employed to improve production efficiency, Nestle is also committed to health and safety in the facilities their employees work in.

For example, when it was found that a routine maintenance task was both inefficient and could be further optimised to eliminate any impact on health and safety, there were two important considerations.

1. The process needed to be innovated to make it both efficient and safe.
2. The solution needed to be of high quality with a high degree of accuracy to ensure the changes would be sustainable over the long-term and not adversely impact output

Nestle employed Alternative Engineering’s expertise in this area to design a new solution that would address the issues posed by the current process. The results exceeded their expectations.

Company Profile

Nestle is well known to Australians and provides us with some of our best loved brands such as Maggi, Allen’s, Nescafe, Milo, Carnation, Uncle Tobys, Kit Kat, and Purina.

On a global scale, Nestle is one of the world's leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness companies. Their mission of "Good Food, Good Life" aims to provide consumers with the best tasting, most nutritious choices in a wide range of food and beverage categories. Closer to home, a subsidiary of Nestlé SA, Nestlé Oceania employs more than 5,000 people, operates 12 factories, 5 distribution centres and 20 offices across the Oceania region.

A tailored and accurately designed solution removes potential health and safety risk

A regular maintenance task in any extensive manufacturing facility is to ensure parts subjected to usual wear and tear are replaced in a timely manner. In large scale production environments, these machine components can be large and unweildly. In Nestle’s facilities, there are numerous heavy casting components, each containing large and heavy bronze bushes. Replacing these is a manual process, involving hitting the bushes out with a large hammer, turning the casting around to remove multiple bushes an pressing new bushes in.

Nestle determined that moving the heavy casting posed a potential Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) risk due to the weight of the components. Unnecessary downtime was also a factor due to the time it took to manually execute the process.

Alternative Engineering was consulted to apply its expertise in designing a tailored and high standard solution that not only met the current requirements, but also prevent future breakdowns, avoiding unwanted downtime and keeping production at optimal levels.

Alternative concepted and designed a machine jig that nested the casting for easy manoeuvring during removal and re-installation of the bushes. The jig also incorporates a hydraulic press for pressing out and installing bushes, eliminating all the manual labour required.

Nomination for Nestle Oceania’s Engineering Innovation Award

As a company who places a premium on innovation and technology, Nestle recognises and awards exceptional engineering work. The project with Alternative Engineering was so successful it earned a nomination for Nestle Oceania’s Engineering Innovation Award. The project went on to become a finalist in the Oceania region.

Alternative was also recognised for their professionalism and responsiveness on site which enabled a streamlined process and buy-in across the various teams.

Why innovating process is paramount in a large-scale production environment

The production output of manufacturing lines in companies like Nestle can range in the several tons of product per hour with each line employing the services of up to 30 staff. Stoppages either through mechanical part failures or the persistence of time-consuming manual processes can cost tens of thousands of dollars for each hour of downtime. Innovating processes not only leads to increased production output and reduced downtime and costs, benefits are also brought through better resource allocation and improved safety in the facility.

Quality engineering outcomes such as those provided by Alternative Engineering that ensure high volume production and a safe facility enables Nestle to keep producing the quality food and beverages that we all love and enjoy.

Alternative Engineering: Expertise and service you can rely on

Alternative Engineering is a leading Melbourne based engineering and manufacturing company that specialises in high-capacity production environments with particular expertise in the Food & Beverage sector. With an impressive and growing client list, Alternative Engineering has built a reputation for exceptional customer-service, technical expertise, reliability and quality engineering outcomes.

Our Clientele

What our Clients Say

  • "When we first decided to try the process I was skeptical. However I must admit our usage throughout the factory of engineering plastics has moved from 100% OEM to 85% supplied by Alternative Engineering. The freedom to have locally manufactured parts is great"

    David Gladwin. O-I Asia Pacific
  • "Your attention to detail and level of customer service has been excellent while dealing with highly complex tasks, and the solutions delivered to our business has resulted in sustainable improvement."

    Matthew Sitters, Packaging Capability & Development Coordinator
    Treasury Wine Estates
  • "Alternative Engineering has provided an excellent level of service, support and products to our organisation."

    Matthew Sitters, Packaging Capability & Development Coordinator
    Treasury Wine Estates
  • "Your level of professionalism, commitment and passion for what you do has been great and we have been extremely pleased."

    Matthew Sitters, Packaging Capability & Development Coordinator
    Treasury Wine Estates
  • "I have received the plastic Smartie chutes. I must say the workmanship is fantastic and the fit is perfect. I just like to say thank you for a top quality job to your team there."

    Phillip Duarte, Mechanical Fitter
    Nestle Confectionary
  • "I am writing to express my sincere thanks to both yourself and the staff in the way they have assisted us. With very little notice we have requested jobs to be completed urgently and you haven't let us down."

    Peter W Fisher
    Nestle Confectionary
  • "You seem to have a happy team where nothing is too much trouble as long as it pleases the customer."

    Peter W Fisher
    Nestle Confectionary
  • "Yesterday picked up my plastic fabrication from Alternative Engineering. I want to thank all the staff that made this project happen, it makes me enormously proud that Australian manufacturing is alive and well."

    Petro Maksymovych
    D Metro Investments
  • "I will be talking to all I can of my experience with Alternative Engineering and recommend it highly and I look forward to our next project."

    Petro Maksymovych
    D Metro Investments
  • "During my three year contract in China, there has not been a single quality or delivery related problem with Alternative Engineering products. "

    Nigel Dart
    ACI Guangdong Glass Company, China
  • "I would be more than happy to recommend the services of Alternative Engineering to anybody looking for a reliable, high quality supplier."

    Nigel Dart
    ACI Guangdong Glass Company, China
  • "Colonial Farm has been associated with Alternative Engineering for many years with various projects and manufacture and design of machine parts, and they have never failed to deliver within the designated time frame."

    Peter Bull, Engineering Manager
    Colonial Farm (Aust) Pty Ltd
  • "Alternative Engineering are very responsive to all enquiries, have extensive knowledge on materials and machining, and have the ability to work within very short lead times."

    Peter Bull, Engineering Manager
    Colonial Farm (Aust) Pty Ltd
  • "Alternative Engineering have always provided excellent service and products to a very high standard."

    Peter Bull, Engineering Manager
    Colonial Farm (Aust) Pty Ltd
  • "Your attention to detail and creative natures show that you have confidence in your ability as Engineers."

    Byron Van Geyzel
    Nestlé
  • "I enjoyed working with you on the many challenges that we did overcome over a period of a year, especially the diverter conveyors, the liquor cutter, to mention a few, and a host of many such jobs."

    Byron Van Geyzel
    Nestlé
  • "I would like to thank you and the team at Alternative for supplying components “right first time” to our business. Often our requests are unique and with short time lines."

    Simon Hall, Engineering Maintenance Team Leader
    Nestlé Confectionary and Snacks
  • "Your Engineering team understand our requirements with respect to food safety and ensure our hygienic engineering standards are adhered to."

    Simon Hall, Engineering Maintenance Team Leader
    Nestlé Confectionary and Snacks
  • "We have worked in partnership with Alternative Engineering to design and implement improvements in order to resolve problematic machine issues. Above all the quality of components we receive from Alternative Engineering is outstanding whilst remaining cost competitive."

    Simon Hall, Engineering Maintenance Team Leader
    Nestlé Confectionary and Snacks
  • "Now that we have trialled your equipment and are extremely pleased with the standard of components that you produce for our machines, it is safe to say we will continue to use your services."

    Chris Saunders
    Visy Board Pty Ltd