Labour cost savings with new milk meter calibration software

DeLaval has introduced a new method for calibrating milk meters with software in conventional milking systems that provides significant time-savings: more than 90% in some cases, compared to traditional methods. A survey recently presented at the 2015 ICAR Technical Workshop in Krakow shows that the users see many different benefits with the new method.

The new method is based on combining data from Herd Management software with receipt information from bulk tank volumes and it was certified by ICAR in December 2013. The older system of manual bucket milking tests is both slower and less accurate.

“This new method has the potential to revolutionise the way we install and maintain milk meters such as the ‘free flow’ MM25/MM27 for official milk recording in many regions around the world,” says Olle Selander, Product Manager , at DeLaval.

Survey
The survey presented at the 2015 ICAR Technical Workshop covered the experience of using the method in eight farms in four countries: Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Germany. The farms tested ranged in size from an 80-cow operation to a herd of 1100. The number of milking meters varied from 16 to 60 pieces.

Time-savings
The most significant feedback from all farms was savings in labour costs. A Swedish double-12 parlour farm reported that the labour costs over a five-year period, including initial calibration, installation test and routine checks, could be reduced by more than 90%.

In Germany, a rotary farm claimed the labour savings for initial calibration and installation tests was four man-days, while Dutch and French farms in the survey reported saving between four and eight bucket milkings per milk meter.

Other benefits
Also, since the calibration and testing is calculated in the software, the milking routines don’t get interrupted meaning that the farms can stay running at full capacity and the cows aren’t disturbed.

“Servicemen also appreciate this new method for improving their working conditions. Traditionally, they needed to collect 15 to 25 kilos of milk in a bucket for calibration. Carrying those kind of weights is not ideal for anyone,” says Selander.

This new method requires an ID system; a requirement for all herd management software.

In 2014 the the milk calibration software won an Innovspace award at Space.

To look through the DeLaval presentation at the Krakow Technical Meeting, click here.

To learn more about the Krakow Technical Meeting, click here.