CA2997978A1 - Milking system - Google Patents

Milking system Download PDF

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Publication number
CA2997978A1
CA2997978A1 CA2997978A CA2997978A CA2997978A1 CA 2997978 A1 CA2997978 A1 CA 2997978A1 CA 2997978 A CA2997978 A CA 2997978A CA 2997978 A CA2997978 A CA 2997978A CA 2997978 A1 CA2997978 A1 CA 2997978A1
Authority
CA
Canada
Prior art keywords
milking
cow
mobile platform
system
milk
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
CA2997978A
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Josef Theiler
Original Assignee
Josef Theiler
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Josef Theiler filed Critical Josef Theiler
Priority to CA2997978A priority Critical patent/CA2997978A1/en
Publication of CA2997978A1 publication Critical patent/CA2997978A1/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01JMANUFACTURE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS
    • A01J5/00Milking machines or devices
    • A01J5/003Movable milking machines
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01JMANUFACTURE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS
    • A01J5/00Milking machines or devices
    • A01J5/017Automatic attaching or detaching of clusters
    • A01J5/0175Attaching of clusters
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01KANIMAL HUSBANDRY; CARE OF BIRDS, FISHES, INSECTS; FISHING; REARING OR BREEDING ANIMALS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; NEW BREEDS OF ANIMALS
    • A01K1/00Housing animals; Equipment therefor
    • A01K1/06Devices for fastening animals, e.g. halters, toggles, neck-bars or chain fastenings
    • A01K1/0613Devices for immobilisation or restraint of animals, e.g. chutes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01KANIMAL HUSBANDRY; CARE OF BIRDS, FISHES, INSECTS; FISHING; REARING OR BREEDING ANIMALS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; NEW BREEDS OF ANIMALS
    • A01K1/00Housing animals; Equipment therefor
    • A01K1/12Milking stations

Abstract

A milking system comprises: a mobile platform configured to move within a dairy barn between positions from which cows may be accessed and milked; a milking robot mounted on the mobile platform and configured to access and milk a cow secured in a tie stall or a feeding station of the dairy barn; and a controller system configured to control operation of the mobile platform and the milking robot.

Description

MILKING SYSTEM
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[0001] The present invention pertains to the field of dairy farming, and in particular to a milking System.
BACKGROUND

[0002] In a conventional dairy farming operation, cows are required to enter a milking parlour in order to be milked. In some cases, a holding pen is provided to hold the cows while they wait their turn to enter the milking parlour. Once a cow enters the holing pen, the farmer is able to prevent the cow from leaving the holding pen without being milked. However, typically, the cow must voluntarily enter the holding pen. This reduces the farmer's control over the time period between milking of any given cow. In addition, there is an unavoidable delay between when the cow enters the holding pen and when it is able to return to the feeding areas of the barn. This delay is un-desirable.

[0003] In an alternative arrangement, cows may be secured in a tie stall, for example, and a mobile milking machine manually attached to the cow's udder to milk the cow.
In this case, the milking machine must be carried throughout the barn to access the cows for milking. This arrangement is highly labor intensive, and therefore is not suitable for large-scale dairy operations. Even in smaller dairy operations, the high labor involved in manually carrying and attaching the milking machine to each cow, twice or more per day, is undesirable.

[0004] This background information is provided to reveal information believed by the applicant to be of possible relevance to the present invention. No admission is necessarily intended, nor should be construed, that any of the preceding information constitutes prior art against the present invention.
SUMMARY

[0005] An object of embodiments of the present invention is to provide a milking system that avoids at least some limitations of the prior art.

[0006] Accordingly, an aspect of the present invention provides a milking system comprising:
a mobile platform configured to move within a dairy barn between positions from which cows may be accessed and milked; a milking robot mounted on the mobile platform and configured to access and milk a cow secured in a tie stall or a feeding station of the dairy barn; and a controller system configured to control operation of the mobile platform and the milking robot.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
100071 Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in combination with the appended drawings, in which:
[0008] FIGs. 1-13 show respective views of a milking system according to representative embodiments of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0009] Embodiments of the present invention provide a milking system in which a cow is retained in either a conventional tie stall or a feeding station, and a mobile milking robot system travels to the cow in order to automatically milk the cow.
[0010] A milking robot comprising a robotic arm and a milking head may be used. For example, a commercially available milking robot of the type manufactured by GEA Farm Technologies, of Bonen, Germany, may be used. Preferably, the milking robot is mounted on a mobile platform that is configured to move the milking robot and ancillary equipment (described below) throughout the dairy barn as needed. In the illustrated embodiments, the mobile platform is suspended from a support rail system that may, for example, be mounted on a ceiling of a dairy barn. In this case, the support rail system may be configured to guide the platform along the aisle(s) between a pair of rows of tie stalls or feeding stations. This enables the milking robot mounted on the platform to access cows secured in the tie stalls or feeding stations for milking.
In alternative embodiments, the mobile platform may be mounted on wheels or the like to enable the mobile platform to move across the floor of the dairy to access cows secured in the tie stalls or feeding stations for milking.
[0011] Milk obtained from a cow may be stored in a holding tank mounted on the mobile platform while the milking robot is milking a cow. Milk stored in the holding tank may subsequently be transferred to a bulk tank. For example, the milking system may detect when the holding tank is full (or almost full), and respond by causing the mobile platform to move to a transfer station to enable the milk in the holding tank to be automatically transferred to the bulk tank. In another example, the milking system may determine that the holding tank does not have sufficient remaining capacity to accept all of the milk that is likely to be obtained from a cow, and respond by causing the mobile platform to move to a transfer station to enable the milk in the holding tank to be automatically transferred to the bulk tank.
[0012] Alternatively, milk obtained from a cow may be transferred directly to the bulk tank via a pipeline system extending between the mobile platform and the bulk tank.
In some embodiments, a pipeline system may be suspended from a ceiling of the barn, for example, and may include connectors through which the milking robot can be connected to the pipeline. For example, a suitable actuator mounted on the mobile platform can be used to move an adapter plug into and out of engagement with a connector associated with one or more tie stalls or feed stations.
A hose may be fitted between the milking robot and the adapter plug. When the adapter plug is engaged into the connector, milk can flow (e.g via vacuum pressure within the pipeline system) from the milking robot and into the pipeline system, and therefore to the bulk tank.
[0013] In some embodiments, the milking system is used to milk cows secured in tie stalls.
In such cases, each cow is normally retained in a given stall for an extended period of time, which enables the milking system to access and milk the cow may on a schedule that is controlled by the farmer. In addition, the milking system can record the amount of milk obtained from each cow, by reference to the particular tie stall(s) at which the milk was obtained.
[0014] In some embodiments, the milking system is used to milk cows secured in feeding stations. For example, when a cow enters a feeding station, a detector may read a microchip affixed to (or inserted within) the cow in order to obtain information identifying the specific cow.
This information can be passed to a controller system, so that both the identity and the location of the cow can be recorded. The controller system may then determine (for example by accessing a database) whether or not it is time for that particular cow to be milked. If it is, then the controller system may cause an automated headgate mechanism in the feeding station to close and thereby retain the cow in the feeding station. The milking system can then control the mobile platform to move through the barn as need to access and milk the cow. With this arrangement, cows can be allowed to move freely within the dairy barn, and can still be milked on a schedule that is controlled by the farmer. In addition, the cow can freely access food while it is waiting to be milked and during the milking operation. Once the milking operation is complete, the controller system may cause an automated headgate mechanism in the feeding station to open and thereby release the cow from the feeding station.
[0015] The embodiment described above relies on a detector (such as a Radio Frequency Identifier (RFID) detector) associated with each feeding station in order to obtain information identifying the specific cow that has entered a given feeding station. It will be appreciated that other means may be used to determine this information. For example, a system based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) may be used to determine a location of each cow within the barn at any particular time. This information can be used to identify a section of one or more feeding stations within which a specific cow is located, which enables that section of feeding stations to be controlled to secure the cow. Other telemetry or remote detector techniques may also be used to identify the location and identity of each cow within the barn, such as, for example, Infra-Red (IR) and short range radio.
[0016] Based on the above description and the attached figures, it may be appreciated that aspects of the present invention include:
= A mobile (e.g. suspended) platform to facilitate the automated milking of tethered cows in traditional "tie stall" or in a "self locking headgate" in a free stall environment.
= A telescopic arm to manipulate the robotic arm into position to milk the animals = An automated connection to a pipeline to facilitate the transfer of milk to the bulk tank.
= An automatic washing system for the cleaning of the automated milking system.
= Incorporation of an additional automated bedding system which works in conjunction with the milking platform.

= Use of the platform in a free stall environment in conjunction with an animal tracking system which will track the position of the animals facilitating the restraining of individual animals at the feed alley (self locking head gates) and the dispatching of the suspended milking machine to the animal to harvest the milk.
[0017]
[0018]
Although the present invention has been described with reference to specific features and embodiments thereof, it is evident that various modifications and combinations can be made thereto without departing from the invention. The specification and drawings are, accordingly, to be regarded simply as an illustration of the invention as defined by the appended claims, and are contemplated to cover any and all modifications, variations, combinations or equivalents that fall within the scope of the present invention.

Claims

WE CLAIM:
1. A milking system comprising:
a mobile platform configured to move within a dairy barn between positions from which cows may be accessed and milked;
a milking robot mounted on the mobile platform and configured to access and milk a cow secured in a tie stall or a feeding station of the dairy barn; and a controller system configured to control operation of the mobile platform and the milking robot.
CA2997978A 2018-03-12 2018-03-12 Milking system Pending CA2997978A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
CA2997978A CA2997978A1 (en) 2018-03-12 2018-03-12 Milking system

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
CA2997978A CA2997978A1 (en) 2018-03-12 2018-03-12 Milking system
PCT/CA2019/050300 WO2019173908A1 (en) 2018-03-12 2019-03-12 A mobile automatic animal milking system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
CA2997978A1 true CA2997978A1 (en) 2019-09-12

Family

ID=67908671

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
CA2997978A Pending CA2997978A1 (en) 2018-03-12 2018-03-12 Milking system

Country Status (2)

Country Link
CA (1) CA2997978A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2019173908A1 (en)

Family Cites Families (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
NL9301260A (en) * 1993-07-19 1995-02-16 Texas Industries Inc A construction for automatically milking animals.
NL1005255C2 (en) * 1997-02-12 1998-08-13 Maasland Nv Method for milking of animals.
NL1032435C2 (en) * 2006-09-05 2008-03-06 Maasland Nv Device for automatically milking a dairy animal.
NL1035763C2 (en) * 2008-07-28 2010-01-29 Lely Patent Nv Automatic milking installation.
NL1037471C2 (en) * 2009-11-13 2011-05-16 Lely Patent Nv Animal position sensor.
AU2012353004B2 (en) * 2011-12-16 2018-04-26 Delaval Holding Ab A rotary parlour arranged to house animals to be milked
US20170231186A1 (en) * 2014-08-18 2017-08-17 Milkomax Solutions Laitieres Inc. Automatic animal processing device
CN205233074U (en) * 2015-12-03 2016-05-18 黑龙江省农业机械工程科学研究院 Automatic milker of three degrees of freedom

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2019173908A1 (en) 2019-09-19

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