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Modern Milking Production Techniques

Continuing with industries and the end uses of our Hose fittings and adaptors, today we are focusing on milking and the modern production techniques. The use of milk as a drink probably began with the domestication of animals, in Iran and Afghanistan in about 9000 B.C., in about 7000 B.C. cattle were being herded in Turkey and other parts of Africa. The ancient Greeks and Romans, had methods for making cheese from milk and the use of milk spread throughout Europe.


Milking is the continuous secretion and storage of milk in the udder. The milk ejection effect is short term, inhibited by pain or fear but stimulated by good husbandry practice. Most milk is obtained from dairy cows, although milk from goats, water buffalo, and reindeer is also used in other parts of the world. In many industrialised countries, raw cow’s milk is processed before it is consumed. During this process harmful bacteria are killed, various vitamins are added and the fat content of the milk is adjusted. Milk is not the only product made through milk production, by products of milk are of course, butter, cream yogurt, and cheese to name but a few.


Dairy farmers, with varying levels of skill, knowledge and resources, maximise returns from milk production by influencing lactation through breeding selectively, nutrition, and general management. With the development of the dairy industry, a variety of machines for processing milk were also developed. In 1836 Louis Pasteur a French national, developed a method of heating wine to kill the microorganisms that cause wine to turn wine into vinegar. This method of killing off harmful bacteria was adapted to a number of food products and later became known as pasteurisation, effectively changing the way milk is produced.


For dairy farmers, the design and function of milking machine is critical for rapid and efficient removal of milk without damage to the animal, and with minimal risk for transmitting pathogenic, microorganisms that might cause mastitis. The recommended process of milking relates directly or indirectly to control and prevent mastitis. The interface between the teat and the machine are carefully designed for that reason. Most cows have four functional teats. That means that milking machines are designed with four teat cups. These are composed of an inner rubber liner and an outer shell, usually made of Stainless steel…


Modern milk production systems are designed to help farmers improve the health of their herds, it reduces the number of mastitis cases, saves time, and increase the efficiency of the milking parlour. Mastitis is a widespread condition in which all or part of the udder suffers from an infection caused by bacteria entering through the teat canal. It is probably the most costly disease to affect dairy cows and farm profits. Its adversely affects animal production, animal welfare, the quality of the milk produced and staff morale.


Machine milking should create a pleasant sensation for the cows if the machine is kept clean, maintained properly and operated according the manufacturer’s instructions. Clusters should be attached and removed carefully to avoid vacuum fluctuations that cause mastitis. Slipping teat cups should be readjusted and fallen teat cups replaced immediately. Skilled operators pay particular attention to careful cluster attachment and removal form the udder. Particular attention is essential to ensure that the cut-off arrangements to the clawpiece are effective so that excessive volumes of air do not enter and cause vacuum fluctuations in the main vacuum pipeline system, as this could increase mastitis incidence.


The principles of modern milking (machinery), is to extract milk from the cow by vacuum. A milking machine installation consists of a pipework system linking various vessels and other components which together provide the flow paths for air and milk. The forces necessary to move air and milk through the system arise from the fact that it is maintained at a vacuum. It is atmospheric pressure which forces air, and intra-mammary milk pressure which forces milk, into the system and the combination of these forces causes flow. To be a continuous operation it is necessary to remove air and milk from the system at appropriate rates. Although modern milking machinery have now developed into systems that show considerable diversity they have the same basic components. They are today often controlled by computer systems that record production information, sometimes indicators of mastitis, and other cow information. Milk yield is determined by a milk flow meter. Cleanliness of the machines and hygiene during the milking process are critical for successful control of mastitis during the milking process.


Approximately one hundred and fifty million households around the globe are engaged in milk production. In most developing countries milk is produced by smallholders, and milk production contributes to household livelihoods, food security and nutrition according to It is an important food source, (although this is a contentious issue in some quarters), which provides relatively quick returns for small-scale produces and is an important cash resource.

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