4.2 million: as many milk cows as that provide us in Germany with fresh milk. Each of these cows gives an average of 22.6 kilograms of milk every day.* That is an average of 94.9 million kilograms of milk every day. It would take a skilful hand milker more than 1,500,000 hours to harvest such a quantity of milk. However, nobody needs to milk manually any more in our times of digitisation and automation. Milking robots relieve the farmers from the hard, physical work thus saving more time for other jobs to be done on the farm.
The leading supplier for products and solutions in the milk industry is DeLaval, a Swedish company which is by now represented in more than 100 countries. DeLaval has developed a new, voluntary milking system which is well ahead of conventional milking robots. While milking robots usually have problems to reliably attach to the udder, the DeLaval VMS™ V300, the new generation of the proven DeLaval VMS™, manages this with a 99 percent success rate. The reason for this success is the 3D camera system installed in the multifunction arm of the robot.
Automated adjustment of milking stimulation and cleaning of each teat
The DeLaval VMS is an automatic, voluntary milking system. That means that the cows enter the robot or they can refuse entry. The robot detects which animal has entered and adjusts the milking stimulation and cleaning for each teat of the animal individually. This ensures a particularly gentle and careful milking process which is very relaxed for the animal and supports the health of the udder.
Monitoring with the aid of state-of-the-art sensor technology
The health of the herd is monitored by means of up-to-date sensors which make effective herd management possible. The system detects if individual animals need special attention during milking and inform the farmer about it. The labour time required for milking is reduced and the milk yield of the cows is maximised. The DeLaval VMS ensures more productive operation by directing labour to other, added-value jobs.
The multifunction arm of the robot which milks, collects colostrum and sprays the udder with a caring teat spray, is equipped with an O3D sensor from ifm electronic. The time-of-flight technology of the sensor provides the robot with a precise 3D image by means of which it can reliably detect the udder of the cow. The “teaching” of the teat position which is necessary for conventional milking systems is no longer needed. Both for attaching to the teats and for spraying with the teat spray, the DeLaval VMS™ V300 has a precision and covering rate of 99 %. The use of 3D technology permits a completely new generation of milking robots.
With the O3D sensor from ifm, it is possible to record and evaluate scenes in real time in three dimensions. ifm is a manufacturer of sensors, communication and control systems. After many years of intensive cooperation with customers, ifm has established itself on the market as a service-oriented sensor specialist and has today more than 6,700 employees in over 70 countries around the world.
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*Source: statista, “Milchleistung je Kuh in Deutschland in den Jahren 1900 bis 2019”, https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/153061/umfrage/durchschnittlicher-milchertrag-je-kuh-in-deutschland-seit-2000/