Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:16

Turning ideas into cutting edge design

Written by 
Dave Cassells, WMS with the award. Dave Cassells, WMS with the award.

Waikato Milking Systems (WMS) is the story of the Kiwi business that turns ideas into cutting edge design and technology, and delivers its products to dairy producers throughout the world.

Their efforts were recognised at Fieldays 2015 with the Premier Award for International Innovation won by their Centrus 84 rotary platform.

Taking over four years to develop, test and bring to the market, the Centrus 84 is aimed at operations that milk several thousand cows daily, operating on a 24/7 basis

The platform is made as a multi-layered laminate using composite materials that include Kevlar, making it 85% lighter than a typical construction and up to eight times stronger than concrete. This construction means reduced maintenance on the running gear beneath and major savings in power consumption, as the platform requires only three 2.2kW drive units.

The overall construction is 14, six bail segments for easy shipment to the construction site, with each unit being self-contained, and incorporating the mounting system needed to attach to the steel ‘I’ beam. When the units are bonded together with a high strength adhesive the deck connects directly to the ‘I’ beam without the need for any steel substructure. The composite nature of the platform makes it impervious to urine or dairy shed chemicals, so it is guaranteed a long working life.

The individual bails are of heavy duty construction in generous dimensions that suit typically larger framed northern hemisphere cows. Underfoot, specially formulated mats give comfort for the cows and make for a quieter milking environment.

Rotational speed is controlled by a Schneider variable rate system directing the three motors that transmit power via drive rollers in contact with both sides of the ‘I’ beam. WMS’s pivot rollers keep perfect alignment between the platform and the ‘I’ beam: 100% contact area maximises performance and minimises wear and tear. 

Summing up the company’s win, Dave Cassells, executive manager international sales and events, said “I’ve been in the business for 40 years, and I’ve seen rotary milking systems evolve from the old steel ones to what we have now. 

“Your gut tells you the Centrus 84 is a unique idea. In a nutshell it’s moved the bar higher, its cutting edge technology.”

WMS tale of success

  • Hamilton based
  • 120 employees
  • Five divisions: head office, rotary, stainless, composite technologies and WMS United States
  • Exports to 30 countries including China, US, UK and Russia.

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