Milking machines

  • Blocked air admission holes

    Air admission hole blocked with muck

    It started as just a routine machine test by Rob, but it ended up being a whole lot more important!

    He quickly discovered a significant number of blocked claw air admission holes, some even took a bit of scraping with a screwdriver to find the air admission hole!

  • How long since your milking machines were tested?

    A wide variety of milking machine faults can result from extended use.

    Udder web"Wear & tear" plus age can cause gradual changes in performance.

    Because these changes are often quite subtle and occur over a period of time, they can often be difficult to notice, even though they are occuring right in front of you.

    Milking plants that average 4 hours running time per day will clock up 1460 working hours in a year.

  • How's your vacuum?

    During a recent farm visit, routine milking time testing of the milking machines in this dairy quickly showed that the system vacuum was at 39 kPa – very low for a highline swingover herringbone!

    We immediately went looking for the dairy’s vacuum gauge, and after a brief Sherlock Holmes detective effort, we finally found the gauge way up high in the middle of a mass of pipework, facing towards one side of the herringbone.

  • It is normal, isn't it?

    Automatic cup remover hanging on removal

    Recent milking time visits to a number of different dairy sheds have reminded me that “normal” means different things to different people.

    Cup removal is always an interesting part of the milking routine to observe – in both manual and automatic systems.

  • It is tiny, but it is important

    air admission hole in claw body

    It is only a tiny part of your milking plant, and it can sometimes be very unobtrusively placed, but it is critical to the ability of your milking plant to function correctly.

    Naturally this tiny part of your plant is the claw air admission hole.

  • Managing mastitis risk in the dairy

    On a typical dairy farm, the milking process contributes about 60% of the risk of mastitis on that farm.


    Countdown has given us a great set of definitions for best practice, and Dairy Focus has now added the ability to precisely assess and measure each element of mastitis risk in the dairy and then combine them into an Overall Mastitis Risk Score.

  • Milking efficiency

    Many herds could be taking advantage of simple, proven techniques for more efficient milk harvesting.

    A skilled appraisal of the milking process to see which are applicable to your herd could have you milking quicker and more efficiently, without increasing the risk of mastitis.

  • Milking machine testing

    milking time testing 2Because Dairy Focus has no affiliation with any manufacturer, we provide independent milking machine testing for clear, unbiased advice - without trying to sell you anything!!

    Rob Moyle has 30 years of experience in milking machine testing - he is fully AMMTA qualified, he is the only technician in Australia to have achieved the Countdown Certificate in Performance Testing of Milking Machines, and he is one of Australia's most experienced milking machine testers.

    He takes pride in providing a complete & accurate machine test, a full written test report plus a summary of the key points that may require action.

    If you would like a fully independant machine test - dry (AMMTA) test, wet test or milking time test - or if you would like an independant review of an existing test, give the Dairy Focus office a call now.

  • Time for a change

    Cups & liners

    Recently, I was returning home from two farm visits at which I discovered that both farms had been dutifully replacing their rubber teat cup liners every twelve months, just as they had done for many years.

    While I was contemplating liner change intervals in the car, I passed a car on the side of the road accompanied by a police car with lights flashing.

    Because the traffic was slow, I observed the driver and the policeman having what appeared to be an animated discussion whilst pointing to what were obviously very bald tyres on the car.

  • What is "wet testing"?

    We are commonly asked about "wet testing" a milking plant, and the name is also used quite widely, but true wet testing is probably not what most people are referring to when they use that description.

    There are actually five types of milking machine tests recognised by Countdown and the IDF (International Dairy Federation):

  • Who's checking your vacuum?

    Digital vacuum gauge

    A change in your milking system vacuum level can result in changes to milking performance that you might readily notice - extra cup slip, clusters that do not drop off as easily at cup removal, unsettled cows, swollen or discoloured teats after cup removal, etc.

    Sometimes it might require a significant change in the vacuum to cause some or all of these signs in your milking system, but damage is actually likely to be occurring before the change reaches the stage where you see these signs.

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