A small Waikato dairy farm with one Lely Astronaut A4 robot has proven that robotic milking is also effective with a small herd.
DeLaval has increased production capacity to meet this demand: it has employed more production personnel, adjusted supply chain planning and secured deliveries from suppliers.
Orders are said to have surged “the moment the new system was launched”.
Production line personnel numbers in Sweden have almost doubled and production shifts are now longer. Other production facilities delivering to Sweden have boosted their capacity to cope, says John-Erik Hermanson, executive vice president supply chain.
A DeLaval distribution centre opened this year in Germany has more storage with higher efficiency to cut the lead-time to customers, he said.
“Consolidating the future of the DeLaval supply chain is key to the collective success of DeLaval, partner dealerships and farmers.”
The VMS300 is ideal for farmers facing labour uncertainties or shortages, and the system addresses animal welfare and food safety needs, the company says.
It has been widely tested in Europe and is readily adaptable to New Zealand grass-based production.
The VMS 300 achieves 50% faster attachment at a 99.8% attachment rate, and 10% higher capacity, and it can harvest up to 3500kg/day/robot; it has a 99% teat spray hit rate.
Running costs are reckoned lower than for previous models and less farmer intervention is needed in the dairy.
DeLaval’s new user interface InControl allows data access and control of the system remotely; it delivers data on individual cows – activity, yield and cell count – and allows control of cameras or automated sort gates.
Also new is the DeLaval PureFlow, a transparent teat preparation cup designed to stimulate better milk flow, and DeLaval InSight that uses recent vision technology for fast and accurate attachment.
Justin Thompson, DeLaval’s Oceania sales manager, told Dairy News earlier this year that the VMS 300 achieves performance increases not seen before by the company.
“The level of data that can be gathered from each teat, due to the individual quarter milking and automation, ensures complete milking every time.”
The unit uses the DeLaval InService system to support service, consumables supply and maintenance at a fixed price; it ensures that the plant’s milking performance is at its best for each milking.