IT-Enabled, Self-Service Cow Milking

NEW ZEALAND - A boon to the dairy farmer's bottom line, dairy cows' constant milk production is a bane to farmhand productivity, as one fact rules every dairy farmer's life: Cows must be milked. Twice. Every day.
calendar icon 31 July 2007
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So great is this bovine workflow tyranny that DeLaval, a Swiss dairy technology supplier, has constructed an innovative technological solution that relieves farmers of this duty and places the onus of milking essentially on the cows themselves.

True to the Web 2.0 end-user empowerment formula of many of today's emergent technologies, DeLaval's VMS (voluntary milking system) puts the cows in charge of their own milking schedules. Each cow is outfitted with an RFID collar. When the cow enters the milking parlor, the tag is scanned, providing the VMS with information about the cow's expected production and medical requirements. The cow enters a milking stall, and a gate lowers over its neck to keep it in place. To keep the cow happy during its temporary milking confinement, feed is provided, complete with the necessary medications and nutritional supplements.

The cow now occupied, the VMS swings into action. The cow's udder and teats are washed with an antiseptic cleanser and are air-dried, after which a robotic arm swings a group of teat cups into place.

Source: Reseller News

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