In mid September, we shared some details about the soon-to-arrive automated milking rotary parlor. Tomorrow (Tuesday), DeLaval 's robotic AMR is rolled out in a media event at the EuroTier 2010 in Hannover, Germany. Here's a quick look at it - minus media "spin".
As previously reported in mid September, it'll be a mechanical mix of robotic technologies from its Voluntary Milking System and its current rotary. And, it includes everything from milking prep steps to post-milking teat treatment.
The first AMRs will target herds exceeding 300 cows, with a five-robot rotary capable of handling up to 90 cows per hour.
Two robots handle teat preparation while two others attach the milking cups – four cows at a time. The fifth robot handles teat disinfection after milking, using a time-of-flight camera that sees and locates the teats in 3D.
System flexibility is a key design feature. Andrew Turner, DeLaval's vice president for capital goods, explains that the system can, for example, milk a herd of 540 cows three times per day or 800 cows twice per day or anything in between. "A customer could also start on a smaller scale with one robot for teat preparation and one robot for milking cup attachment," he adds, "and achieve 50 cows per hour."
How it works
Cows enter the rotating platform the same way they do a traditional rotary. Their IDs are electronically read so the robots can access their pre-stored information - including teat placement for the camera.
At the prep step station, teats are washed, stimulated, dried and prepared as they are in DeLaval's voluntary milking system currently used in the United States. Next, the rotating platform moves them to the teat cup attachment station.
Milk flow rates, total yield, blood and conductivity for each quarter as the cows are milked. The last robot sprays the teats before release at the platform's exit position. The system comes with an automatic deck flush module -- a scraper blade and water jets.
"Platform size will depend on a number of factors including milk out time and yield," adds Turner. He says it's possible that the AMR might be retrofitted to an existing herringbone platform. But each installation would need to be evaluated independently.
Can catch the media briefing anytime on DeLaval's www.smartfarmingworld.com .
We've also embedded DeLaval's corporate video showing the AMR at work, which you can play on this page.