4.7 Seconds per Stall – GSA continues to drive innovation
Green Source Automation has continued to build on its success in the dairy industry. One of the latest completed projects validates the RotaryMATE as the clear leader in high-performance milk harvesting. A new GSA customer is currently milking over 13,000 cows twice a day on two 106-stall rotary platforms. These platforms, equipped with GSA’s RotaryMATE EXPS and EXPD units, only require three staffed labor positions per platform to accomplish this feat. In terms of the number of cows milked each day for each staffed position, the dairy is milking over 4,300 cows per position each day. Many dairies strive to be half this efficient. This dairyman’s forward-thinking vision combined with the automation leadership of GSA has resulted in one of the most efficient dairies in the world.
GSA’s innovation has allowed the rotary to turn at speeds previously unheard of in automation. The RotaryMATE system has now broken the 5-second per stall barrier, and can now process cows as fast as 4.7 seconds per cow.
A key factor for this customer was that his robotics partner would deliver a product as promised that performed at his desired speed while also performing better than human labor. Green Source proved the concept and verified with independent testing.
GSA had already proven that the RotaryMATEs perform better than human labor through dozens of robot placements throughout the United States and globally, but prior to this project, the RotaryMATE systems had yet to break the 5-second barrier. “To accomplish the sub-5-second speeds, we knew we would need to use two robots in the prep area where the RotaryMATE EXPS operates. Each robot would prep every other cow. While robots working side-by-side are common on straight assembly lines, working on an arc which is required for a rotary parlor, presents unique challenges,” said Jim Frias, founder of GSA. “We had to spend considerable resources and time to develop and fine-tune the anti-collision software, but in the end, the project was incredibly successful and the robots are exceeding expectations”.
Now that the robots are operational, GSA has been able to evaluate performance data, which are conclusive that the robots are indeed performing better than their human counterparts. The cows are cleaner, and milk let-down is superior.
To prove superior milk let-down, the percentage of milk harvested in the first 2 minutes was analyzed. A 3-month period before the RotaryMATEs were commissioned was compared to a 3-month average with the RotaryMATEs in operation. The results were a significant improvement in milk percentage. “We also verified teat cleanliness with ATP testing, as we have with previous clients. With the assistance of the on-staff veterinarian, we were able to prove that the RotaryMATEs prepped the cows in a cleaner fashion than humans,” added Frias.
Dairymen in the industry have been observing the progress at this barn over the past several months. The success they are having with automation has been embraced by many others in the region and beyond. Green Source continues to add new installation orders to its backlog of customers who are ready to take their dairy operations to new heights of efficiency, productivity, and overall performance.