Plant Testing to ISO 6690.2007 Standards

ISO 6690:2007 specifies mechanical tests for milking machine installations in order to verify compliance of an installation or component with the requirements of ISO 5707. It also stipulates the accuracy requirements for the measuring instruments.

ISO 6690:2007 is applicable for testing new installations and for periodic checking of installations for efficiency of operation. Alternative test methods may be applicable if they can be shown to achieve comparable results.

Milk Plant Testing to ISO 6690.2007 standards check things are all working as they should and protect the cows health e.g. to make sure vacuum levels are not too high. All milking systems should be designed to promote Good Cow Milking by

- Providing fast and complete milking
- Minimising stress to the udder
- Minimising the opportunity for bacteria to spread.

Farm Assurance Schemes

Most milk buyers and farm assurance schemes are likely to stipulate a contractual minimum level of milking machine testing, but often this means an annual static test of the machine - switched on and functioning but not actually milking - to ascertain correct vacuum levels, adequate vacuum reserve, correct pulsation and air leakage characteristics as well as a visual inspection of rubberware.

While this minimum level of testing does indeed test the most important aspects of the parlour's function, a more thorough dynamic test covers several important aspects:

  • Effective milking machine function: measuring milking time per cow, observing teat condition after milking and looking for evidence ofliner slippage problems.
  • Correct milk flow through the plant: ensuring milk is carried away and not allowed to remain in cluster unit clawpieces, 'bathing' teat ends in potentially-contaminated milk.
  • Correct Automatic Cluster Remover settings: which may be identified as a reason why cows are overmilked and suffer teat damage, or undermilked leading to potential mastitis problems.
  • Cow flow and behaviour in the parlour: there may be spurious reasons why this is poor, such as small design problems or even stray electrical voltages.
  • Operator assessment: observing techniques and practices in the parlour, correcting those which may encourage pathogen spread or teat damage.
  • Correct plant cleaning function or technique: monitoring wash temperatures, flow rates, solution distribution and chemical concentrations, particularly in automatic systems.

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