Cow-first approach guides latest robotic innovations for Fullwood Packo milking system

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With a greater focus on issues such as sustainability, animal welfare, and food provenance than ever before, Fullwood Packo has made a number of firmware and machine control updates to its M2erlin automated milking system, all of which are designed to provide a more efficient, smoother and more relaxed milking environment for cows and their farmers.

“With the global population expected to reach 10.5 billion people by 2067, the dairy industry will need to undertake a range of anticipated changes to ensure it is able to meet the ensuing increased demand for sustainable sources of dairy products,” explains Glenn De Buf, Product Manager at Fullwood Packo.

“At Fullwood Packo, we have been working hard to dedicate more time and resources to ensure the products and services we supply can help the industry meets these demands and to ensure that our dairy farmer customers and their cows are able to produce milk safely and consistently.”

The latest firmware and machine control updates have increased the speed at which the M2erlin’s milking cluster attaches to the udder, thereby making the entire milking process more efficient and pleasant for the cow: a new teat detection system – the TDS2 – makes cluster attachment more reliable, even for the most demanding or irregularly shaped udders and teats, while the near-silent, all-electric attachment arm has also been revised for even smoother movement that is less disruptive to the cow without compromising efficacy. 

A revised and updated version of the M²erlinInfo app which is more intuitive and enables users to measure, monitor and maximise milking parameters in greater detail has also been launched. 

“A cow-first approach is the guiding philosophy for everything we do at Fullwood Packo,” Glenn continues. “Every decision or change we make to our milking systems considers the cow first. Afterall, healthier cows produce healthier milk, which means better quality and overall results for our farmers.”

This focus on cow health extends to some of the M2erlin’s other new features: improvements in teat brushing and spraying has improved udder preparation for better overall hygiene – not just for individual animals, but for the herd as a whole by reducing the potential for cross-contamination from one cow to the next: “With animal welfare a key priority on any farm, and with increased consumer and legislative focus, creating a pleasant, safe and hygienic milking environment is more important than ever,” Glenn adds.

M²erlin has been praised by users for its smart features and clever use of the latest tech to refine and streamline milking operations. New and improved sensors have increased the amount of data collected during milking, with this data subsequently synchronising with the M²erlinInfo smartphone app to give users remote access to this information and to adjust any pertinent milking parameters accordingly: this includes the ability to set customisable alarms for any issues during milking or cleaning, with farmers now able to set milking benchmarks for their cows and receive alerts if they are not met.  

“Innovation has become a buzz word in the industry – but what does it actually mean for farmers?” asks Glenn. “At Fullwood Packo, innovation is a marathon, not a sprint and we are always examining the construction and hardware of the M²erlin, in order to make sure the equipment our customers rely on day-in, day-out remains reliable and robust while the cost of ownership stays low.

“We take great care to listen to and learn from our farmers and partners and use every piece of feedback to drive our milking solutions forward whilst also aiming to reduce maintenance and servicing costs in order to safeguard on-farm profitability. Every update we make is designed to have a direct benefit to our customers’ cows and businesses.”

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