Fullwood Packo have partnered with automation specialists Festo to deliver the flexibility and performance required in the modern dairy industry.
Managing Director Andrew Dodwell explains: “Today’s farmers have options for their cows: from the traditional involuntary approach to voluntary, fully automated milking of cow groups with M2erlin robotic milking. Fullwood Packo provides all options, and smart solutions with the M2erlin which now includes the brand new Batch M2ilking 4.0 concept.”
Automation further allows farmers to collect data about yield rates and quality, as well as the general health of each cow. Says Andrew Dodwell: “Herd management software gives farmers complete digital control over the milking, feeding, health and fertility of their herd. So, not only can an automated milking system like M²erlin enable farmers to use their time more efficiently and maintain a better work/life balance, it also provides a wealth of information about productivity and cow welfare.”
Fullwood Packo is experiencing an upsurge in demand and is looking to international markets for further growth. Festo supplies complete cartesian robot assemblies, and pneumatic and controls kits for each M²erlin robot. These assemblies and kits mean that Fullwood Packo receives everything it needs for rapid incorporation into the M2erlin as a complete package. Festo supported Fullwood Packo with the original cartesian robot design – optimised for use in the demanding environment and application of the milking parlour. This continues with ongoing software programming support and upgrades. It means that Festo can apply its automation expertise in ensuring the build quality, reliability and performance of the critical parts on which the automated milking system depends. This includes adherence to the strict hygiene standards and harsh washdown regimes associated with food production.
Swapnil Khedekar, Head of Technical Services at Festo UK, says: “We have developed a close outsourcing partnership with Fullwood Packo. We have worked closely over a long period of time from the intense days of designing the cartesian mechanism to optimising the production process to their customers’ demands through the sharing of both knowledge and technology. Our complete assemblies and kits drastically reduce the need for multiple component order numbers and significantly reduces time in purchasing and logistics. The pre-assembled robots are built and tested by Festo automation experts and delivered on a Just in Time (JIT) basis using the Festo production capability – so all Fullwood Packo needs to do is connect them into their system on arrival.”
By optimising the ordering process and developing pre-assembled automation solutions, Festo is providing ongoing support to Fullwood Packo in its ambitions to improve the lives of dairy cows and their farmers.