You don’t get anywhere in business by standing still. We understand that, which is why we have put more than 25 years of experience to good use when we developed the next step in robotic milking: the Lely Astronaut A5 milking robot.
We looked at cows and we listened to customers. While sticking to proven practices, we redesigned every bit of the Astronaut A4 system. The newest milking robot is cow-friendly, energy-friendly and user-friendly with new features under the hood that focus on aspects such as reliability, ease of use and accessibility.
So what does all of this actually mean? Here are three focus points we used to create the most cow- and farmer-friendly automatic milking system on the market.
- Built around the cow. We don’t just automate the actions of milking itself; instead, we have built a concept around the cow to make sure that your herd likes to be and wants to be milked. Our truly unique robot arm concept and the I-flow concept for easy entrance and exit from the box are some clear examples of that strategy.
The Lely Astronaut A5 milking robot optimizes comfort for the cow. Nothing ‘squeezes’ or constricts the cow and nothing pushes her. The cow stands comfortably and naturally. The open design of the box also means that the cow stays close to the herd, improving the milking process, speed of milking and thus, raising the capacity of the robot. It also means cows may visit the robot more frequently – being milked more than twice a day. This offers udder and cow health benefits as well as increased milk yield.
The wide reach of the arm ensures smooth attachment to the majority of cow breeds, even cows with awkwardly positioned teats. The system calibrates the arm’s position for each cow at her first milking very easily and the changing shape of the udder during lactation of the cow is no problem.
- The hybrid arm is exactly where it needs to be. Lely’s robotic arm has proven itself as the smartest solution for taking care of the milking process. It remains underneath the cow during the whole milking process and reacts fast when a teat cup falls off to keep it clean. The arm follows the cow via 3D camera, allowing her maximum freedom of movement in the box.
The hybrid arm of the new Astronaut A5 combines the advantages of electrical driven movements with the softness and the power of air. Because a big cylinder carries the weight of the arm, using virtually no air, while electrical components move the arm with great accuracy, the electrical drivers require very little power to move the arm. This is a perfect balance that saves energy.
The design and shape of the arm enables the Astronaut to milk all kinds of teats on all kinds of udders on all different sizes of cows. The redesigned arm and pivot points ensure an optimal upright position of the teat cups for a large area. This is key to fast and accurate attachment.
We all know nervous cows can have a very powerful kick. The Astronaut’s arm handles that by absorbing the contact with a hinging system in the arm consisting of two gas springs. This system gives way for the arm to move, saving the cow and sparing all electrical components. Plus, the arm will always return to the milking position by itself.
- It’s easy to use. With easy ways to control the milking robot, you and your employees will have more time to focus on the cows that need your attention. A friendly design of the user interface makes it remarkably easy for just about any employee to find their way around functions, settings, information and reports.
All it takes is a quick glance to see which cow is being milked and what her status is. You can see exactly how all quarters are performing and where the cow and the milk are going when milking is finished. It only takes one touch to control functions such as routing or changing milk destination. Besides saving you time, this also makes milking a fresh cow even easier. With all the functions in one display, all it comes down to is positioning the arm close to the udder. When it sees the front teats, just press the connect button. Use the feed button for extra concentrates if you need to make her feel more at ease.
We know servicing your system is just another daily task. With the easy-to-use service screen, you will have all the necessary functions available. Just push one button to put the arm into the service position and push another button when you are finished and ready to start milking again. The Astronaut A5 is designed to offer easy access to all parts. This reduces the time spent on maintenance and increases uptime. This new user-friendly design of the central unit offers more space, reduces service time and makes it easier to position containers.
Being able to trust your robotic milking system fully is what you expect and deserve. The Astronaut A5 comprises more than 25 years of intensive engineering and the experience of more than four million carefully monitored milkings per day. Its design has a focus on uptime, fast maintenance and steady performance. And don’t worry, all of these high-quality components and details have been put through our most intensive testing program, ever.
Don’t spend one-third of your working life on a repetitive task like milking when you can automate it. The physical relief, time-savings and greater flexibility will give you the opportunity to focus on the more important things like herd health, improved management and, of course, family life.