Ten minutes a day will keep the doctor away! Proper daily maintenance routines are vital for robot owners who don’t want the robot calling in the middle of the night with issues. Kick off 2018 the right way by committing to having better daily routines that will make your lives easier in the long run.
To get the most out of your Lely Astronaut, one of the most important tasks is to clean the milking robot on a daily basis, even multiple times a day. The use of good quality water and correct cleaning tools in and around the robot is very important to ensure it will continue running well for you. Below are some tips to assist you in becoming the best dairy operation you can be in 2018.
- Wash and clean the robot before maintenance
Before replacing or repairing something, first wash the exterior of the robot (Astri B) and rinse with cold water. In particular, the areas you want to inspect include the sTDS, teat cups, cup cords, and twin tubes. This ensures that you can work more easily and hygienically.
Observe the robot wash cycle. Are the brushes getting solution (Astri L) and operating properly? Is the cluster wash (Astri LN and Astri CID) cycling properly from pre-rinse, main wash to post rinse? Check jetter alignment and nozzles as well as gaskets and fittings. Remember to also check the chemical supply hoses and barrels to ensure chemicals are dipsnesing properly.
Finally, observe the post dip (Astri UC, Astri IO, Astri IO CON) spray. Check that the spray is hitting the teats and the coverage is adequate. One final check to ensure the supply hoses don't have kinks or wear and that contains have adequate supply.
- Clean sTDS and 3-D camera for proper connection
A clear field of vision is critical for the sTDS and 3-D camera. Keeping these components clean will help reduce connection issues. Use a soft, moist towel with a small quantity of lens cleaner liquid (Astri TDS) to clean the sTDS screen and 3-D camera.
- Replace liners after 10,000 milkings
You are advised to replace silicone liners after 10,000 milkings. Lely T4C will give you an alert when it is time to replace these; just remember to reset T4C after replacing them. Changing the liners becomes an easy job when you use the specially designed tool. If you do not have access to this tool, consult your local Lely Center.
- Clean bleed hole with provided bleed hole needle
A clean bleed hole is crucial for optimal milking and milk transport to the milk jar. If it’s blocked, it causes reduced milk flow, which will result in a slower cup take-off and incorrect milking on one or more quarters. A higher Dead Milk Time (DMT) may even occur, with increased connection attempts and failures as a result. A specially designed bleed-hole needle is delivered with each robot. Lely advises you to clean the bleed holes twice a day.
In addition to this check, please check the twin tubes visually for cracks and/or other damage.
- Check duplo covers
Duplo covers prevent teat cups from getting tangled and/or cracked, which may cause a critical alarm. Although the duplo covers themselves are made of solid plastic, some maintenance by cleaning is important. Any dirt and/or other contamination build-up in this area are a potential risk for bacteria growth.
You may also use Lely T4C Report 56, ‘Robot performance’, to monitor, for example, DMT/MT differences. Once again, prevention is better than cure.
For more information, consult your Lely Astronaut A4 Operator Manual for the full recommended list of cleaning tasks.
As always, always remember safety first and wear proper personal protective equipment when working with chemicals and robots.