Milking Complex

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Milking Complex


a system of machinery and equipment for milking cows and primary milk processing.

A milking complex consists of a semiautomatic production line on which the cows udders are washed, the milk is drawn with milking machines, the milk from each cow or group of animals is recorded, the milk is piped in a closed milk line to the milk house, where it is clarified, cooled, and put in tanks, and the milk is pumped into milk trucks for dispatch to the dairy plant. The complex may also be equipped with milking stalls, equipment for producing artificial cold and hot water, disinfecting the milking machines, and processing the milk into dairy products (cream, butter, and so forth). The milking complex raises labor productivity two, three, and more times in comparison with hand milking. The process is based on a machine that creates a vacuum under the teat.

The first milking complex, a prototype of modern ones, appeared on the market in 1889 (invented by the Scotsman W. Marchland). By 1920 many designs had appeared with two-stroke milking machines (which by that time were already in wide use in the United States, New Zealand, Sweden, and elsewhere). In the USSR, milking complexes appeared in 1926 (such as the imported Alpha-Laval and Westphalia). The first Temp complex, with two-stroke milking machines of Soviet design, was put out in 1933, and a complex with three-stroke machines appeared in 1936.

The USSR and other countries produce complexes for milking cows in the stalls of a milking parlor which, along with the milk house, the equipment room, the boiler room and other facilities, makes up the dairy milking block. Assemblies are also produced for milking cows in the pasture. For stall milking, there are complexes (1) with portable milking machines, (2) with movable machines mounted on a cart or an overhead track, (3) with movable machines that have the vacuum pump and electric motor connected to the electric network, (4) with a milk line (laid along the stalls) that delivers the milk to the milk house, and (5) with a flexible milk line that is wound on an overhead cable stretched along the barn or on a drum mounted on a frame together with the complex. The USSR produces complexes of the first, second and fourth types. They are used on farms with up to 500-600 head (sometimes more) of stanchioned animals. Using portable or movable machines, one milkmaid can milk 14-18 cows per hour; milking into a milk line, 20-30 cows per hour.

Milking complexes are used with parallel milking stalls (such as Tandem and Elochka) or conveyor complexes (Karusel’ or Rotoliaktor). The Elochka is used on farms with 200 or more head of cows and in pastures. It has two panel stalls for six to eight cows each and one set of milking machines. While one group of cows is being milked in one of the stalls, the animals in the other stall are being prepared for milking. All the operations are done by one milkmaid. On large farms of the industrial type, milking is carried out on a rotating schedule continuously for six to eight hours, handling up to 50 cows an hour.

For pasture milking, the milking stalls are either collapsible or mounted on a movable frame. Complexes with parallel stalls, like the Tandem, are equipped with single stalls with milking machines in each. The cows are led into and out of the stalls one at a time. On conveyor milking complexes the milking process has been broken up into operations performed in sequence by two to four operators. The animals stand in stalls that have been set on a rotating ring platform while the operators stand at a fixed work area inside or outside the platform. As many as 40-50 cows per hour can be milked with this arrangement.

The milk goes from the milking machines to the milk line for primary processing and treatment in the milk house, the work of which has been automated. (The processes of mechanized milking have also been increasingly automated.) Devices are being introduced for shutting off and removing the teat cups automatically, admitting the cows to the stalls and releasing them, recording the milk, and distributing and batching the feed. After each milking, the milking and dairy equipment as well as the milk line system are carefully flushed and disinfected, using an automatic recirculator. Once or twice a month the equipment is disassembled and cleaned of milkstone and any sediment from the disinfectants.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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