1988 - Volume #12, Issue #5, Page #23[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Airless milker reduces mastitis, milks 20% faster"It's one of the biggest breakthroughs in milking technology in 50 years," says Paul Bowell, export manager for Ambic Ltd., manufacturer of a new "airless" milker with a unique gravity closed valve system that the company says reduces mastitis 25%, shortens milking time 20% and increases milk yields 3%.
Key to success of the new lightweight plastic milker - it weighs half as much as a conventional cluster - are the one-way valves. Stainless steel balls seal upturned milk ports that open when milk enters the clawpiece and then close, preventing milk backflow which reduces the efficiency of conventional units and causes the spread of milk from mastitis-infected quarters.
"The problem with conventional milkers is that they encourage vacuum fluctuations. As liners open, air and milk are mixed in the clawpiece and are drawn up the short milk tubes to the other teat-ends. If one of the quarters is contaminated, bacteria is quickly transferred to other quarters and then to other cows," says Ambic technical consult-ant Tony Griffin. "Because this milker makes it much easier to control vacuum pulsation, liner action is gentler and you get a smoother milk flow with less agitation damage to milk. The more even application of vacuum to the inflations increases the amount of vacuum applied to the teat - using existing vacuum lines - and reduces liner slippage. The result is about 20% faster milking time. The gentler, more comfort-able action of the inflations also helps boost milk production up to 3% according to research we've done with test herds." The system also features a valve that
admits air directly into theteat cup for quick removal of the unit. You simply open the valve and the milker slips off easily.
The new "airless" milk units can be used with any existing vacuum lines with no modification. Cost per unit is similar to conventional units, according to Bowell. The system came on the market in Europe in July. Babson Bros. Co., Naperville, Ill., is in initial evaluation of the new units. A company representative told FARM SHOW that because of strict U.S. licensing for milking equipment, it will be a year or longer before the units can be marketed in the U.S.
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Followup, Ambic Equipment Ltd., Witney, Oxford 0X8 6XT England (ph 0993 76555).
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