Nestle improves workplace health and safety through tailored engineering solutions

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 reinstallation 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 highcapacity 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.