Machinery & Products

Lely launches its latest Astronaut

By Stephen Cooke

THE LATEST version of the Lely Astronaut milking robot was launched at the company’s home base in the Netherlands last month and is now available to order in Australia.

The Lely Astronaut A5 was revealed in front of 750 people at the Lely Future Farm Days event near Rotterdam.

The A5 has been tested for over 18 months on 30 farms in seven countries. More than 2 million milkings occurred.

The company also launched the latest version of its Juno feed pusher. It has sold 8000 of these machines worldwide.

Lely has sold 30 000 of its Astronaut robots worldwide. Company CEO Alexander van der Lely said the newest version uses 20 per cent less power, is 30 per cent more efficient and increases cow comfort.

“With the A5, cow comfort has been further improved with a new hybrid arm: silent, faster, energy efficient and more accurate, it results in consistent milking,” Mr van der Lely said.

“Instantly following the cow’s every movement during milking, and remaining close to the udder, it quickly corrects itself in the case of any unexpected movement.

“This ensures a fast and thorough milking process, even with heifers.”

With the new Teat Detection System (TDS), Lely said post-milking teat spraying has been improved by pre-scanning the udder before spraying, ensuring optimal udder hygiene and limiting the risk of contamination.

Lely has also redesigned the interface, which has been reviewed favourably during testing.

“The redesigned, intuitive user interface makes automatic milking easy to understand,” Mr van der Lely said.

“From a cow’s first milking to everyday maintenance, all relevant information is available on one single page. Instant actions, such as feed allocation, cow-specific routing and daily maintenance tasks are just one click away.”

Mr van der Lely said Lely has redesigned the complete system to achieve a significantly lower total cost per kg of milk produced.

“An extensive worldwide test program, with over 30 customers and more than 2 million milkings, across a wide temperature range was set up.

“In all tests, detergent and water consumption were lowered and energy use was reduced by up to 20 per cent.”

The new A5 is compatible with the A4.

• Lely funded Stephen Cooke’s trip to Germany and the Netherlands.