Trouble-free milk production and improved animal health on a commercial dairy farm

Large scale commercial dairy farms with several hundred or even thousands of milking cows work around the clock to ensure the milk they produce is abundant while meeting stringent quality and sanitary standards. The health of the herd and the proper operation of equipment go hand-in-hand toward achieving these goals. A key component of the milking process is the pulsator. This device provides a gentle pulsating vacuum to collect the raw milk into a large storage vessel for eventual pasteurization. Dairy farms are large facilities typically extending over hundreds of acres to provide pasture and parlors for animals to roam and rest between twice daily milking. Dairy farmers are on the go across this landscape from dawn to dusk, tending the herd, equipment, and feed. When a pulsator becomes clogged or loses vacuum the cows may experience discomfort or even infection while milk production dips. The combination of a large operation, with many working hands, and a critical mechanical component has long been a challenge for the industry.
A Preddio Simplicity Link was connected to existing pulsation sensors introducing several intelligent IoT services to the milking operation. When an unexpected change in vacuum is detected, an alarm is triggered notifying the farmer and service provider of the issue. Digital twin technology is also used to eliminate false alarms and to gather statistics about the equipment and health of the herd.
Multiple cracked hoses were detected during an initial 3-month pilot period. Not only is this beneficial for a more efficient process, but also important for the health of the cows. Preddio’s team partnered with the dairy equipment manufacturer to develop custom digital assets and features in the cloud to provide actionable data that is proving highly valuable on the farm.

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