World first on display at World Dairy Expo 20 Oct, 2015 by Clare Bayly

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World first on display at World Dairy Expo

A New Zealand invention, the first of its kind in the world, drew crowds at the World Dairy Expo held in Wisconsin, USA recently.

The Pivot Roller, designed and exclusive to Waikato Milking Systems, is the result of years of research to lengthen the life and reduce the maintenance costs of rotary platforms.

Dean Bell, CEO of Waikato Milking Systems said the rotary platform was designed by a New Zealand farmer in the 1960s and it’s fitting that, 40 years on, the next evolution in rotary platforms has been developed by a 100% Kiwi owned company.

“Back in the 1960s, farmers milked herds of a few hundred cows but times have changed and today many farmers arod the world milk thousands of cows through one farm dairy 24/7.  These high intensity farming businesses need farm dairies and technology which enable them to achieve their production targets.”

The Pivot Roller, exclusive to Waikato Milking Systems’ Centrus composite platforms, maintains perfect alignment with the platform’s support sucture (the ‘I’ beam) under 24 hour milking conditions and/or in the event of ground subsidence.  The resulting 100% contact enhances the performance and decreases wear and tear of the platform.

The running surface (the contact strip) on the roller has been increased from 50mm to 100mm and is welded to the ‘I’ beam providing complete roller coverage and a greater load bearing surface. 

The pivot rollers are supported between two load bearing bushes allowing the rollers to self-align against the contact strip providing perfect contact during rotation. They are long-life but when replacement is necessary they are easily swapped out without significant downtime.

Micro adjustment within the roller assembly provides precise height settings and allows a degree of fine tuning and precision never before achieved.

Bell says this is particularly important because cow loadings constantly change, especially at the beginning and ending of milking.

“That uneven weight puts a point loading on rollers and beams and can result in uneven wear which ultimately affects the platform’s operation. The Pivot Roller overcomes that problem, making it relatively simply to maintain the platform’s perfect alignment – even with ground subsidence.” 

The new cast rollers feature pre-lubricated bearings to complete the roller assembly and provide a long life solution. 

“The material used in the roller manufacture will absorb track oil over time aiding operation and further prolonging roller life.

“Roller diameter has also been increased to 150mm reducing the rotational speed when used on large diameter rotary platforms considerably increasing life expectancy and improving the overall performance of the system.” 

An optional waste oil system in the roller pedestal minimises the risk of oil spillage onto the concrete platform foundations.

Bell says the Pivot Rollers received a lot of farmer interest at the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin.

“Farmers were able to see it in operation and a sales pitch wasn’t necessary because its quality, purpose and operation are self-explanatory.   

“It really is one of the biggest innovations in milking platform technology in more than 20 years.  We’re very proud to have developed it and are currently receiving a lot of interest from farmers around the world.

“We are confident that, no matter whether farmers are milking once a day or 24 hours a day, they will have a platform that will operate efficiently for longer, with lower maintenance needs and cost, than anything else on the market.”