WO2013032386A1 - A milk sampling apparatus - Google Patents

A milk sampling apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2013032386A1
WO2013032386A1 PCT/SE2012/050892 SE2012050892W WO2013032386A1 WO 2013032386 A1 WO2013032386 A1 WO 2013032386A1 SE 2012050892 W SE2012050892 W SE 2012050892W WO 2013032386 A1 WO2013032386 A1 WO 2013032386A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
milk
sample box
milk sample
sampling apparatus
characterized
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/SE2012/050892
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Tim EDLUND
Christina LESANDER
Original Assignee
Delaval Holding Ab
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
Priority to US201161527704P priority Critical
Priority to US61/527,704 priority
Priority to SE1150768 priority
Priority to SE1150768-8 priority
Application filed by Delaval Holding Ab filed Critical Delaval Holding Ab
Publication of WO2013032386A1 publication Critical patent/WO2013032386A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01JMANUFACTURE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS
    • A01J5/00Milking machines or devices
    • A01J5/04Milking machines or devices with pneumatic manipulation of teats
    • A01J5/045Taking milk-samples
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/02Interior fittings; Means, e.g. inserts, for holding and packing articles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C5/00Rigid or semi-rigid luggage
    • A45C5/03Suitcases
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C9/00Purses, Luggage or bags convertible into objects for other use

Abstract

The present invention relates to a milk sampling apparatus comprising a milk sampling box (1) provided with walls (1 a, 1 b, 1 c) forming an inner space configured to receive milk sample collecting elements (8), milk sampling equipment (9-15) configured to fill the milk sample collecting elements (8) with milk samples and a support element (5) configured to be placed on a floor surface and to support the milk sampling box (1) in a support position at a height above the floor surface when milk samples are taken. The support element (5) has a design adapted to make it attachable to the milk sample box (1), so that the milk sample box (1) and the support element (5) in a transport position forms a transportable unit.

Description

A m ilk sam pl ing apparatus

BACKGROU ND OF THE I NVENTION AND PRIOR ART The present invention relates to a milk sampling apparatus comprising a milk sampling box provided with walls forming an inner space configured to receive milk sample collecting elements, milk sampling equipment configured to fill the milk sample collecting elements with milk samples, and a support element configured to be placed on a floor surface and to support the milk sampling box in a support position at a height above the floor surface when milk samples are taken .

On regu lar time basis, a sample of the milk from ind ividual milking an imals in a herd is taken by means of a milk sampling apparatus. The milk samples are usually sent to a laboratory for analysis, in wh ich various parameters such as contents of fat, protein , somatic cells and urea are examined . The milk sampling is typically performed in connection with milking of the an imals. The milk sampling apparatus may be provided with a fixed or removable rack wherein milk sampling tubes can be placed , and with a filling member capable of filling the respective tubes with milk from the respective an imals. When all milk sampling tu bes are filled they are sent to the laboratory separately or together with the milk sampling apparatus.

EP 1 267 607 shows a milk sampling apparatus comprising two cassettes with milk sampling tubes. A servo-operated xy- position ing system moves a filling member to the respective tu bes and fills them with milk samples from milking animals. A stainless steel chassis supports the cassettes with the tubes and the servo- operated xy-positioning system at a height above a floor surface. The chassis comprises wheels and a hand le such that the milk sampling apparatus is manually movable. EP 0 872 1 75 shows a sample taking implement in the form of a cassette provided with a rotating box with milk sampling tubes. The tubes are arranged at a circumference part of the rotating box. A filling member is disposed in a fixed position , while the test tubes can be placed successively under the filling member. The cassette is attached to a beam in a milking stall by means of a releasable hinge.

SUMMARY OF THE I NVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a milk sampling apparatus where it is easy to arrange sensitive parts of the milk sampling device at a suitable height above a floor surface, at the same time as the milk sampling apparatus is easy to transport between a milking farm and a laboratory.

This object is obtained by the milk sampling apparatus initially defined which is characterized in that the support element has a design adapted to make it attachable to the milk sample box, so that the milk sample box and the support element in a transport position forms a transportable unit. Thus, the milk sampling apparatus comprises a milk sample box and a support element. The support element is configured to support the milk sampling box in a support position at a height above a floor surface when milk samples are taken . The floor in a milking stall is regularly cleaned by water. In order to protect milk samples and sensitive components in the milk sample box from water and dirt, it is suitable to place the su pport element on the floor and arrange the milk sample box on the support element at a height above the floor. When the milk sampling apparatus is transported to and from a laboratory, the support element is not needed . However, it is important that a support element is available each time a milk sample box is arranged in a milking stall . According to the invention , the support element is attachable to the milk sample box in a transport position such that they form a transportable unit. Thereby, it is easy to transport the milk sampling apparatus to and from the laboratory at the same time as the support element is always available when it is time to arrange the milk sampling apparatus in a milking stall . According to an embodiment of the invention , the support element has an inner surface corresponding to the outer contours of at least a portion of the milk sample box such that it is possible to attach the support element in the transport position on at least this portion of the milk sample box. Preferably, the support element defines an empty space having a size such it is able to receive substantially the whole milk sample box. In order to reduce the volume of the milk sampling apparatus, the support element may have a design which in the transport position forms an outer thin casing around some parts of the milk sample box. Preferably, the support element has no parts protrud ing any long distances from the outer surface of the milk sample box when it is in the transport position.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention , the su pport element is a separate unit in relation to the milk sample box. Thereby, it is possible to remove the support element completely from the milk sample box so the su pport element is not in the way in the laboratory. The support element may be a solid unit with no movable parts. Such a solid unit may be given a simple design and be manufactured at low cost. The su pport element may be manufactured in a suitable plastic material or in aluminum.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention , the support element comprises a frame configured to support the milk sample box, and a plurality of legs configured to be in contact with the floor surface when the support element supports the milk sample box. The length of the legs defines substantially the height at which the milk sample box will be supported above the floor. Preferably, the frame comprises a support surface configured to come in contact with the bottom wall of the milk sample box when it supports the milk sample box. Such a support surface has preferable the same shape as the surface of the bottom wall . Preferably, said su pport surface is, when the su pport element is in the transport position on the milk sample box, also able to support a milk sample box of another milk sampling apparatus such that several milk sampling apparatuses are stackable on each other in the transport position in such a way that they do not slide. If several milk sampling apparatus are transported in for example a vehicle, it is an advantage that they are stackable. According to a preferred embodiment of the invention , the frame comprises a stop surface to come in contact with an upper portion of the milk sample box when the support element is in the transport position . Such a stop surface defines the transport position of the support element on the milk sample box. At least one of the legs may comprise a surface configured to come in contact with an outer surface of at least one of the side walls of the milk sample box when the support element is in the transport position . Preferably, all legs have such a surface. Thereby, the space between the legs of the su pport element defines the empty space which is configured to receive at least a part of the milk sample box. Advantageously, at least one of the legs comprises a surface to be in contact with the outer surfaces of two side walls in a corner of the milk sample box. Such a leg may have an L-shaped cross section view.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention , the milk sample box comprises an openable cover which in a closed state forms a closed space together with the walls of the milk sample box. I n order to prevent dirt and water to protrude into the inner space of the milk sample box, it is suitable that the milk samples and sensitive components of the milk sample box are arranged in a closed space. The cover may have at least a portion with a curved shape such that condensate formed on the inside of this portion of the cover will flow to the sides of the cover. Thereby, the condensate is prevented from dropping down on the milk samples. The cover may have at least a portion formed by a transparent material. Such a transparent portion makes the inner space of the milk sample box visible even when the cover is closed . According to a further embodiment of the invention , the milk sample box comprises a hole for at least a milk tube conducting milk from an an imal to the inner space of the milk sample box, wherein the support element has a wall section covering said hole when the support element is attached on the milk sample box in the transport position . During transportation of the milk sampling apparatus, there is a risk that dirt and impurities penetrate into the inner space of the milk sample box through such a hole. By provid ing the support element with a wall section covering the hole, the risk that that dirt and impurities penetrate into the inner space of the milk sample box through this hole is substantially eliminated .

According to a further embodiment of the invention , the milk sample box may comprise at least one hand le for carrying the milk sampling apparatus. The transport of the milk sampling apparatus between a milking farm and a laboratory inevitably includes stages where the milk sampling apparatus has to be carried manually. The hand les on the milk sample box makes this part of the transport easier.

BRI EF DESCRI PTI ON OF TH E DRAWI NGS

In the following , a preferred embodiment of the invention is described by an example and with references to the attached drawings, in which :

Fig 1 shows a milk sampling apparatus comprising a milk sample box and a support element accord ing to an embodiment of the invention,

Fig 2 shows the support surface in a transport position on the milk sample box, Fig 3 shows the support element in a support position and the milk sample box in an open state and

Fig 4 shows the milk sampling device in a milk sampling state. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Fig. 1 shows a milk sampling apparatus. The milk sampling apparatus comprises a milk sample box 1. The milk sample box 1 comprises two long side walls 1a, two short side walls 1b, one bottom wall c and one openable cover 1d. The cover 1d is lockable in a closed position by means of two lock members 2. The side walls 1a, 1b, the bottom wall 1c and the cover 1d form a closed spaced inside the milk sample box 1 when the cover 1d is in closed. The milk sample box 1 comprises a handle 3a arranged on one of the long side walls 1a. The handle 3a makes it possible to carry the milk sample box 1 like a suitcase. The handle 3a is preferably used when the milk sample box 1 is carried without milk samples within. Two further handles 3b are arranged on the respective short side walls 1b of the milk sample box. These handles 3b are preferably used when the milk sample box 1 is carried with milk samples within.

One of the short side walls 1b comprises a through hole 4. The trough hole 4 is used as a passage for a milk tube and cables. The cover 1d is designed with a frame portion 1d1 having a substantially plane outer surface and a transparent center portion 1d2. The transparent center portion 1d2 makes the inner space of the milk sample box 1 visible even when the cover 1d is closed. The transparent center portion 1d1 has a partly curved shape such that condensate formed on the inside of this portion 1d1 will flow to the sides of the cover 1d. Thereby, the condensate is prevented from dropping down on the milk samples in the milk sample box 1. The milk sampling apparatus comprises a support element 5. The support element 5 comprises a rectangular frame 5a provided with four legs 5b. The legs are arranged at the corners of the rectangular frame 5a. The support element 5 is a separate unit in relation to the milk sample box 1 . The support element 5 is preferably a solid unit without any movable parts. The frame portion 5a and the legs 5b have inner surfaces 5a1 and 5a2 corresponding to the outer contours of the side walls 1 a, 1 b, 1 d of the milk sample box 1 , and defines an empty inner space 6 having a size such it is able to receive substantially the whole milk sample box. It is thereby possible to bring the support element 5 over the milk sample box 1 and attach it to the milk sample box 1 in a transport position , which is shown in Fig . 2. Each leg 5b has a substantially L-shaped cross section having inner surfaces defin ing the outer contours of the corners between the side walls 1 a, 1 b of the milk sample box 1 .

The frame 5a comprises an inner edge portion. The inner edge portion has an upper support surface 5a1 located at a somewhat lower level than the surround ing part of the frame 5. The inner edge portion has a lower surface in the form of a stop surface 5a2 configured to come in contact with the frame portion 1 d1 of the cover 1 d when the su pport element 5 has been moved to the transport position on the milk sample box 1 . The legs 5b have a length such that they do not protrude from the bottom wall 1 c when the support element 5 is in the transport position on the milk sample box 1 . Thus, the milk sample box 1 and the su pport element 5 require in the transport position substantially no more space than the milk sample box 1 alone. The legs 5b may have a design such that they act with a clamping force on the outer edges of the milk sample box 1 in the transport position . The clamping force of the legs 3b is of such a size that it prevents the su pport element 5 from falling off the milk sample box 1 in the transport position, at the same time as it is easy to manually release the support element 5 from the milk sample box 1 . The su pport element 5 comprises a wall section 5c configured to cover the through hole 4 in the side wall 1 b when the support element 5 is in the transport position on the milk sample box 1 . The wall section 5c prevents dirt and pollutions from penetrating into the milk sample box 1 through the through hole 4 when the su pport element 5 is in the transport position . Fig . 3 shows the support element 5 in a support position in which it supports the milk sample box 1 . The bottom portion 1 c of the milk sample box 1 has here been placed on the support surface 5a1 of the inner edge portion of the frame 5a. The higher surrounding parts of the frame 5a ensure that the bottom portion 1 c of the milk sample box is held in a fixed su pport position on the support surface 5a^ The length of the legs 5b defines the height above the floor surface at which the support element is able to support the milk sample box 1 . The cover 1 d is here in an open position. The inner space of the milk sample box 1 comprises two racks 7 with a plurality of milk sample tubes 8. The milk sample tubes 8 are arranged in parallel rows in an x-direction and a y-direction in the racks 7. The milk sampling apparatus comprises a xy-positioning system. The xy- positioning system comprises a gripping member 9 supported by a first positioning member 1 0. The first positioning member 10 is displaceably arranged along a gu ide rail 1 1 in the y-direction by means of a first drive mechanism. An end of the gu ide rail 1 1 is mounted in a second positioning member 12. The second positioning member 12 is displaceably arranged along a gu iding rail 13 in the x-direction by means of a second drive mechanism. The first drive mechanism and the second drive mechan ism are controlled by a control unit 15 arranged in a suitable place inside the milk sample box 1 . A milk sampling area 14 is located inside the milk sample box 1 . Milk sampling equ ipment such as a bar code reader and a milk filling member are arranged in the milk sampling area 14.

A gas cylinder unit 16 is arranged in the milk sample box 1 between the cover 1 d and one of the short side walls 1 b. The gas cylinder unit 1 6 makes it possible to provide a stable and controlled open ing and closing motion of the cover 1 d . Furthermore, it is possible to set the cover 1 d in the open or closed position by means of the gas cylinder unit 15. The through hole 4 in the short side wall 1 b is configured to receive a milk tube 1 7, a signal cable 18 and an electric cable 19. The milk tube 1 7 conducts milk from an an imal milked in a milking stall to the sampling area 14 in the milk sample box 1 . The signal cable 18 informs the control unit 15 of the identity of the animal in the milking stall . The electric cable 19 supplies electric energy to for example the xy-positioning system in the milk sample box 1 .

When the milk from the animals in a herd is to be tested , a farmer receives empty milk sample tubes from a laboratory. The milk sample tubes may be delivered in at least one milk sampling apparatus, if the farmer does not already have such an apparatus on the farm. The milk sampling apparatus comprises a milk sample box 1 which is filled with racks 7 with empty milk sample tubes 8. The milk sampling apparatus comprises a support element 5 attached in a transport position on the milk sample box 1 . The farmer carries the milk sampling apparatus to a milking stall in which the animals are to be milked . The support element 5 is released from the milk sample box 1 and is placed on a floor surface in the vicinity of the milking stall . The farmer places the milk sample box 1 on the frame 5a of the support element 5 in such a manner that the bottom portion 1 c of the milk sample box 1 comes in contact with the support surface 5a1 of the frame portion 5a. The support element 5 now supports the milk sample box 1 at a suitable height above the floor surface such that it does not risk to come in contact with clean ing water and dirt on the floor surface.

The farmer opens the cover 1 d of the milk sample box and picks up the milk tube 1 7, the signal cable 18 and the electric cable 19 from the inside of the milk sample box 1 . The farmer connects an outer end of the milk tube to a milk line in the milking stall , an outer end of the signal cable 18 to a control unit in the milking stall and an outer end of the electric cable 19 to an electric energy source. The milk tube 1 7, the signal cable 18 and the electric cable 1 9 are arranged in the trough hole 4. The farmer then closes the cover 1 d . The milk tube 1 7, the signal cable 18 and the electric cable 1 9 have a size such they substantially completely fill the space in the hole 4. Thereby, the risk that dirt or impurities penetrate to the inner space of the milk sample box via the hole 4 is substantially eliminated . When a milking an imal has entered the milking stall , the control unit 15 in the milk sample box 1 receives information from the control unit in the milking stall about the identity of the an imal via the signal cable 18. The control unit 15 activates the xy- positioning system such that the first positioning member displaces the gripping member 9 to a su itable xy-position in which it grips a milk sample tube 8. The xy-position ing system moves the gripping member 9 and the gripped milk sample tu be 8 to the milk sampling area 14, where the bar code on the milk sample tube is read by the bar code reader. The filling member fills the milk sample tube 8 with milk from the an imal in the milking stall by means of the milk tube 1 7. Thereafter, the milk sample tube 8 is sealed . The xy-positioning system moves the gripping member 9 and the milk sample tube 8 back to its xy-position. The control unit 15 notes the identity of the animal , and the bar code of the milk sample tu be, in a memory.

As soon as the milk sampling apparatus has received milk samples from all the animals in a herd , the farmer disconnects the outer ends of the milk tube 1 7 and the cables 18 , 19. The farmer opens the cover 1 d and places the milk tube 1 7 and the cables 18, 19 in predetermined positions in the milk sample box 1 . The support element 5 is released from the supporting position of the milk sample box 1 . The farmer then puts the support element 5 on the milk sample box 1 , in the transport position . The milk sampling apparatus is now ready to be sent to a laboratory for analysis of the milk samples. The su pport surface 5a1 is, when the support element 5 is in the transport position on the milk sample box, also able to support a milk sample box 1 of another milk sampling apparatus such that several milk sampling apparatus are stackable on each other in the transport position i n such a way that they do not slide. When several milk sampling apparatus are transported , in for example a vehicle, it is preferable to stack the milk sampling apparatus on each other.

The invention is not limited to the described embodiments but may be varied and mod ified freely within the scope of the claims.

Claims

Claims
1 . A milk sampling apparatus comprising a milk sampling box ( 1 ) provided with walls (1 a, 1 b, 1 c) forming an inner space configured to receive milk sample collecting elements (8), milk sampling equipment (9-15) configured to fill the milk sample collecting elements (8) with milk samples, and a su pport element (5) configured to be placed on a floor surface and to su pport the milk sampling box (1 ) in a support position at a height above the floor surface when milk samples are taken , characterized in that the support element (5) has a design adapted to make it attachable to the milk sample box (1 ), so that the milk sample box (1 ) and the support element (5) in a transport position forms a transportable unit.
2. A milk sampling apparatus according to claim 1 , characterized in that the support element (5) has an inner surface (Sa^ 5b^ corresponding to the outer contours of at least a portion of the milk sample box (1 ) such that it is possible to attach the support element (5) in the transport position on at least this portion of the milk sample box ( 1 ).
3. A milk sampling apparatus accord ing to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the su pport element (5) is a separate unit in relation to the milk sample box ( 1 ).
4. A milk sampling apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the su pport element (5) is a solid unit with no movable parts.
5. A milk sampling apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the support element (5) comprises a frame (5a) configured to support the milk sample box (1 ) and a plurality of legs (5b) configured to be in contact with the floor surface when the support element (5) supports the milk sample box ( 1 ).
6. A milk sampling apparatus accord ing to claim 5, characterized in that the frame (5a) comprises a support surface (Sa^ configured to come in contact with the bottom wall (1 c) of the milk sample box (1 ) when it supports the milk sample box (1 ) .
7. A milk sampling apparatus according to claim 6, characterized in that said support surface (Sa^ is, when the su pport element (5) is in the transport position on the milk sample box (1 ), also able to support a milk sample box (1 ) of another milk sampling apparatus such that several milk sampling apparatus are stackable on each other in the transport position .
8. A milk sampling apparatus according to any one of the claims 5 to 7, characterized in that the frame (5a) comprises a stop surface
(5a2) configured to come in contact with an upper portion (1 d) of the milk sample box (1 ) when the support element (5) is in the transport position.
9. A milk sampling apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims 5 to 8, characterized in that at least one of the legs (5b) comprises a surface (5^) configured to come in contact with an outer surface of at least one of the side walls (1 a, 1 b) of the milk sample box when the support element (5) is in the transport position.
10. A milk sampling apparatus according claim 9, characterized in that at least one of the legs (5b) comprises a surface (5^ ) configured to come in contact with the outer surfaces of two side walls (1 a, 1 b) in a corner of the milk sample box ( 1 ).
1 1 . A milk sampling apparatus accord ing to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the milk sample box (1 ) comprises an openable cover (1 d) which in a closed state forms a closed inner space together with the walls (1 a, 1 b, 1 c) of the milk sample box (1 ).
12. A milk sampling apparatus according to claim 1 1 , characterized in that the cover (1 d) has at least partly a curved shape such that condensate formed on the inside of the curved portion of the cover (1 d) will flow to the sides of the cover (1 d) .
13. A milk sampling apparatus according to claim 1 1 or 12, characterized in that the cover (1 d) has at least one portion (1 d2) formed by a transparent material.
14. A milk sampling apparatus accord ing to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the milk sample box (1 ) comprises a hole (4) for at least a milk tube (1 7) conducting milk from an animal to the inner space of the milk sample box (1 ), wherein the su pport element (5) has a wall section (5c) covering said hole (4) when the su pport element (5) is attached on the milk sample box ( 1 ) in the transport position .
15. A milk sampling apparatus accord ing to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the milk sample box (1 ) comprises at least one hand le (3a, 3b) for carrying the milk sampling apparatus.
PCT/SE2012/050892 2011-08-26 2012-08-23 A milk sampling apparatus WO2013032386A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US201161527704P true 2011-08-26 2011-08-26
US61/527,704 2011-08-26
SE1150768 2011-08-26
SE1150768-8 2011-08-26

Publications (1)

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WO2013032386A1 true WO2013032386A1 (en) 2013-03-07

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PCT/SE2012/050892 WO2013032386A1 (en) 2011-08-26 2012-08-23 A milk sampling apparatus

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