Milking Machine Testing

Dairy farmers are skilled in livestock husbandry, but knowledge and understanding of the function, maintenance and the effects on cow health and milk quality of the milking parlour are often poorly-understood. Because of this, while annual or six-monthly tests by an independent, suitably-qualified technician may be carried out, some farmers may neglect the weekly checks and maintenance resulting in poorly-maintained equipment.

Most milk buyers and farm assurance schemes are likely to stipulate a contractual minimum level of milking machine testing, but often this means an annual static test of the machine -  switched on and functioning but not actually milking - to ascertain correct vacuum levels, adequate vacuum reserve, correct pulsation and air leakage characteristics as well as a visual inspection of rubberware.

While this minimum level of testing does indeed test the most important aspects of the parlour's function, a more thorough Dynamic Milking Time Test test covers several important aspects:

  • Effective milking machine function: measuring milking time per cow, observing teat condition after milking and looking for evidence ofliner slippage problems.
  • Correct milk flow through the plant: ensuring milk is carried away and not allowed to remain in cluster unit clawpieces, 'bathing' teat ends in potentially-contaminated milk.
  • Correct Automatic Cluster Remover settings: which may be identified as a reason why cows are overmilked and suffer teat damage, or undermilked leading to potential mastitis problems.
  • Cow flow and behaviour in the parlour: there may be spurious reasons why this is poor, such as small design problems or even stray electrical voltages.
  • Operator assessment: observing techniques and practices in the parlour, correcting those which may encourage pathogen spread or teat damage.
  • Correct plant cleaning function or technique: monitoring wash temperatures, flow rates, solution distribution and chemical concentrations, particularly in automatic systems.

Milking Management Services is an independent Milking Machine Testing Service with no affiliation to any milking machine installer or manufacturer all reports are based on ISO BS Requirements
ISO 6690:2007 specifies mechanical tests for milking machine installations in order to verify compliance of an installation or component with the requirements of ISO 5707. It also stipulates the accuracy requirements for the measuring instruments.
ISO 6690:2007 is applicable for testing new installations and for periodic checking of installations for efficiency of operation. Alternative test methods may be applicable if they can be shown to achieve comparable results
ISO 5707:2007 specifies the minimum performance and information requirements and certain dimensional requirements for satisfactory functioning of milking machines, for milking and cleaning. It also specifies minimum requirements for materials, design, manufacture and installation

We Develop Best Polices, Processes and Procedures

 

  • Milking Machine Testing

    THE MILKING machine is often blamed as a major cause of mastitis and milk quality problems. To minimise problems it is vital to test the plant while cows are being milked We find equipment problems on most dairies even though 90% or more of the farms that we visit are maintainedFind out more

  • Mastitis Control

    Mastitis is costing the UK dairy industry around £150 million a year and is the third most common reason for cows to be culled.Find out more

  • Advisory Service

    If a client is not achieving premium payments for his or her milk we can investigate the reasons for this and help them to produce milk of a quality that will attract these payments. Such an investigation might involve analysing the incidence of mastitis in the herd, the tube usage, the individual somatic cell counts of the cows and reviewing the milking routine and the environment in which the cows liveFind out more