Automated Packaging Equipment

For wine manufacturers efficiency with their packing automation is crucial to meeting production goals within cost parameters. Having an effective automation packaging line is crucial to limit bottle & label damage and ensuring a timely dispatch of wine and lowering loss prevention.

The Problem

One of Australia’s largest wine manufacturers came to Alternative Engineering needing an alternative packing frame to the OEM one already in use.

The OEM frame they were using was largely made from steel and limited plastic making it the perfect culprit to damage the bottles and labels during packaging- which is exactly what they were trying to avoid. The customer not only wanted to reduce cost from damaged goods but also to reduce change over time and the potential for injury from manual handling during change overs.

In comes Alternative Engineering. It was our job to design and manufacture a packing frame that:

  • Was Light weight
  • Relied on engineered plastic components to guide bottles
  • Would reduce manual change over times
  • Would eliminate metal to glass contact minimising damage to the bottles and labels
  • In turn reducing cost of waste and damaged goods.

What is a packing frame?

A Packing Frame is a guide for bottles to be lowered into cartons during packaging. Most often these are used in wine bottle packaging.

As the wine bottles are coming off the production line they are aligned on the conveyer side by side in rows ready for the robot head to pick them up. The wine cartons are also travelling on another conveyer to be aligned underneath the packing frame ready for the bottles to be inserted.

The robot head then pick up the bottles by the neck and brings them over into the packing frame which lowers the bottles down into place in the cartons ready to be sealed.

Our Solution

Sourcing OEM equipment from the original suppliers can present a range of challenges. Parts supplied from offshore can be a more expensive option as it not only takes longer to manufacturer and to ship but can halt production. A longer wait for parts means lost production time due to equipment failure meaning a loss in revenue for you. Reliance on external engineering companies for the reliable supply and production of change parts is an important part of contingency planning.

Alternative Engineering’s solution was to design and manufacture a new packer frame comprising of a metal frame encased by HDPE plates, plastic guide flaps and plastic spigot’s. The OEM was manufactured largely of metal only which caused the bottles to crack and break which stopped production. It also caused damage to the labels making them unsuitable for sale. Our frame design was not only lighter due to using less metal components but by incorporating plastic plates, guides and spigots it allows the bottles a gentler entry into the cartons eliminating bottle to metal contact.

We worked off a design we had manufactured for them previously changing the current design to suit the new bottling line and bottle configuration. Adapting a design which we knew already worked reduced lead time and allowed us to provide the client with their parts faster.

Why choose Alternative Engineering?

What sets us apart from the competition?

  • Experienced control over design- all our engineers are in house at our factory in Melbourne
  • Reduce lead time- we are Melbourne based company servicing Australia wide which means we can consult at your site and are easily contactable
  • Quality product- Australian designed and manufactured from expert engineers and tradesmen
  • Customer service- our sales and customer service team go above and beyond for our clients needs
  • Our relationships with our clients- we value having strong relationships with our clients


Alternative Engineering is a leading Melbourne based (servicing clients Australia-wide) engineering and manufacturing company that specialises in high-output production environments with 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.