A new generation of milking robots thanks to 3D technology

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 kg of milk every day.* That is an average of 94.9 million kg of milk every day. It would take a skillful 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 digitization 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 labor time required for milking is reduced and the milk yield of the cows is maximized. The DeLaval VMS ensures more productive operation by directing labor 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.

DeLaval VMS V300 milking system uses ifm’s innovative O3D sensor

With the O3D sensor from ifm, it is possible to record and evaluate scenes in real time in three dimensions.

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