ParlorComp (part of the new VAS Platform) and its desktop companion ParlorWatch are at the forefront of dairy production management. These software technologies are capable of improving the quality and consistency of milk production today — but additional advancements available in the very near future have the opportunity to further raise the bar on quality and result in less waste/wasted profit.
The key? A more proactive monitoring of elements in the cleaning process that will allow dairy professionals to identify and stay ahead of issues that could lead to high bacteria counts — a problem that may not be noticed until tests come back from the lab days (or weeks) later, at which point all milk produced since then may also have the same problem.
How will this be achieved?
Watch the Slug
Slug integrity (slug = a pill-shaped column of cleaning solution sped through milk lines to achieve cleaning action) with Cleaning-in-Place (CIP) systems is critical. New sensors and monitoring technology will make it easier to monitor the speed and volume of water in the cleaning process, and alert dairy operators immediately if inconsistencies occur.
We’ll be monitoring the amount of chemical in the chemical storage vessel to determine how much chemical is there, and how much chemical is being used during the washing process. That’s currently done in some operations “on premise”, but it will be woven into the larger monitoring and reporting structure of ParlorComp to make it more turnkey and proactive, versus requiring the on-site manager to check it in-person. We’re also exploring ways to monitor the presence of chemical in the wash as another failsafe to ensure that proper cleaning is taking place. This same technology can also be used for other cleaning fluids, such as teat dip.
Providing this detail immediately after every wash allows the staff on hand to more immediately identify problems that may exist in the washing process.
Many farmers are familiar with the idea of telematics from their planting and harvesting equipment — the same can be applied to equipment in the cleaning process, such as the vacuum and transfer pumps. By automatically alerting the dairy manager to an issue with a vacuum pump, the maintenance or repair can be scheduled and performed proactively instead of handling the situation in the middle of the night during a milking.
Consistent Wash Reports
Quality bonuses are popular right now. We will be implementing a wash report after every wash that provides a history and immediate analysis of the cleaning operation. This includes start and stop times, temperatures (and alerts if correct temperatures were not achieved), whether the proper vacuum and slug were achieved, etc.
Providing this detail immediately after every wash allows the staff on hand to more immediately identify problems that may exist in the washing process. It also provides an important historical record for anyone that may ask. The sooner these problems are identified and fixed, the less milk is affected by potential lapses in the cleaning process. And, with milk prices being what they are, these actions to defend/recuperate profits will show immediate return on the investment.