Consistency of milking was also a big appeal for the father and son duo. “For a cow, the best thing we can provide is a consistent milking procedure and the DairyProQ can milk cows more consistently and accurately than any workforce,” said Dr Blottner.
Cows are brought into the collecting yard and enter the rotary as normal. Each robotic arm sits in a stainless steel box within each stall divider. Teats are cleaned, dried, fore-milk stripped and post-dipped in the liner. Pre-dipping can also be applied.
“Efficacy of milking is not dependant on staff. Every cow is stimulated properly for a fast milk let down and teats are accurately dipped and performance is never variable.
“It is not about robotics – it is about investing in automation to help you do a better job.”
Since the herd has moved to three-times-a-day milking, yields have increased from an average of 28kg per cow per day to 33kg, with the highest yielding group hitting 42kg.
Somatic cell count has also seen a positive reduction, from 260,000-90,000, which could also be due to cows being housed in a new building with a better environment.
The system also claims to have a unique service system. If a robot breaks down the stall can be blocked off, leaving the remaining 39 robots to continue milking. The stainless steel unit is taken off and left in a small service room contained within the parlour building ready to be fixed in normal working hours.
When probed on cost, GEA representatives said ‘each robotic point costs significantly less than a single robot box’.
The rotary ranges from 28-80 stalls, with capacity to milk between 120 and 400 cows per hour. The system is available in the UK, with current interest and predictions of the first installation in the next two years.
Kees de Koning, Wageningen University in the Netherlands, said: “The technology is ready to be applied, but it is the farmer’s choice if they go with an automated milking system or a traditional parlour. Their management skills and comfort level with technology are key factors for success.”