With 16 years’ experience in dairying, Sharemilker Mark Hutchins has worked in many different milking parlours. He highly recommends the GEA iFLOW rotary parlour as the most cost-effective and user-friendly system he’s experienced yet. It has also created much better efficiency.
Mark is in his sixth season on a 300ha farm near Dunsandel in the South Island of New Zealand. It is one of 49 dairy farms owned by Dairy Holdings Limited. Here, Mark and his team of 4 staff manage 1200 cows. “We installed the GEA iFLOW based on rave reviews from the other Company farms” says Mark. “Those using it had no issues and said it did everything they needed it to.
He wanted something that was simple to work, easy to maintain and would increase throughput. The team were previously working in a very old shed, which Mark describes as having “bits and pieces of everything” and high maintenance. In comparison, the iFLOW system is “simple as” to operate with a one button start or stop, he says.
“There are no maintenance issues. It runs really quietly. There’s nothing to drain because it drains itself. Very simple. And the staff think it’s great.” GEA’s iFLOW rotary parlour operates on a double beam with nylon rollers. With no bearings and auto greasers, it’s practically maintenance-free.
Mark has 54 bails with automatic cup removers, cow restraints and a drop-down system (meaning clusters automatically store under the bridge ensuring the cows can move freely on entering and exiting the platform). He notes that installation and changing systems was made easy too. GEA Service Partner made sure everything was working as it should, we all had training and we were up and running in no time.”
The biggest saving for Mark has been labour.
After the new shed was commissioned in March 2018, Mark added GEA’s iCR cup removers and iCRS cow restraints (which work together to reduce labour) and the FIL Intelliblend teat spray mixer. “The cup removers and cow restraints just clipped straight in. It’s great to know that change is easy down the track. “The iFLOW system is not super fancy but it’s definitely value for money” concludes Mark. “I highly recommend it.”