Automated flushing and dipping – the next step in parlour automation

With milk prices down, maximising the quality and quantity of milk produced is a priority for dairy farmers, says South West Dairy Services.

A lower cell count cow will produce more milk and this therefore means the quality and quantity of your milk production is improved along with herd health.

When teat dipping your cows it is important to dip as quickly as possible after milking to gain maximum protection, also to have consistency and reliability. Each cluster needs cleaning after each cow to stop cross contamination. New automated teat dipping and back flushing milking units ensure this is done.

Automation means human error is erased, improving labour productivity and milk parlour procedures and consistency. If multiple members of staff are involved with milking and hygiene regimes, it is hard to ensure each cow is getting consistent and reliable treatment, automation gives that peace of mind.

The Apollo™MilkSystem is an innovative, automated milking unit exclusive to GEA Farm Technologies. This first of its kind product incorporates patented technology to automatically apply post dip, through the head of the liner at the end of milking, and automatically backflush the entire cluster after detachment. This means teats are consistently and optimally dipped within the milking unit prior to unit removal.

Milking units are backflushed with a sanitising solution after each use. Exposure to mastitis causing pathogens is reduced and cows are milked with minimal stress in fewer manual steps. The results mean better milk quality and herd health. It reduces labour, increases parlour throughput and improves overall profitability.

Post dipping cows after milking prevents bacterial infections and helps maintain udder health, but the dip must be applied properly. The Apollo™MilkSystem ensures that cows are dipped completely and consistently at every milking. It applies post dip to each teat while the teat is still under vacuum and stretched out in the liner, optimally covering the teat surface with dip and sanitising the area before it is exposed to the external environment. This method allows the dip to penetrate into all of the folds and wrinkles of the teats, further enhancing the mastitis prevention benefits of post dipping. The amount of dip applied is also accurately controlled. This can reduce the total amount of dip used when compared to other methods. And, it ensures the dip that is applied is always fresh and free from contamination.

Automatic backflushing is an aid to mastitis prevention. Mastitis and disease carrying bacteria can be transferred from cow to cow through the milking unit. The Apollo™MilkSystem prevents the spread of bacteria through its automatic backflushing component. After the consistent and reliable post dipping of each cow, every milking unit is automatically backflushed with a sanitising solution after unit removal. Alternating water and sanitising cycles with bursts of air creates powerful turbulence inside the teat cups and bowl of the milking unit, which greatly reduces the total amount of water required to effectively backflush; especially when compared to older, traditional backflush technology.

For further details or interest in joining an open day in Dover to see this system in action, contact Southwest Dairy Services Ltd on 01884 839393 or by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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