When should technical servicing be conducted at a farm?


Technical servicing involves conducting daily and periodic maintenance of milking facilities. 

Daily maintenance is carried out by farm technicians. Machines and equipment are cleared of dirt, washed, the condition of assembly units and their attachments is checked, leakages of milk, water, air and oil are stopped up, any errors are fixed, and the milking equipment is lubricated as per factory instructions. The grounding safety of electric motors and automatic devices is also tested. 

Before milking begins, the technician inspects the fitting of electric motors, the condition of electric wires, switches and circuit breakers, and electrical grounding. The technician also checks the motion of rotors on the vacuum pumps and the level of oil in the trays. Diesel oil is used to lubricate the vacuum pumps if the air temperature is greater than 20°C and Industrial 12 or 20 oil is used if the temperature is lower. The condition of teat cup liners, milk and vacuum pipes and tubes is checked. Air leakages are fixed and worn parts are replaced. 

Group and individual milk meters and milking collectors are dismantled and cleaned once a day. 

Technical Servicing No.1 is conducted once a month after the equipment has been in operation for 180-200 hours. 

Aside from daily technical servicing, technicians also conduct a number of other operations. Vacuum units are cleared of dust and dirt, v-belt tension is checked, threaded couplings are inspected and the pump lubrication system is cleaned with petrol or diesel fuel. The technicians also check vacuums, and the tightness of taps and pipe connections. In order to do this, they close all taps on the main vacuum and milk pipes. 

When the pump is in operation, the main valve on the main air pipe is shut off, and the line is checked for leakages. The pressure should decrease from 50 kPa to zero in 30 seconds. When the vacuum pump is being checked, an additional weight of 2 kg is added to the regulator. If the reading on the gauge is below 60 kPa, the pump flow must be checked using a KИ-4840 device. If the pump flow is below the specified amount, it is dismantled and individual parts are checked for wear and tear. 

At specialised workshops or technical servicing points on the farm, the milking equipment is taken apart, all parts are placed into a 0.5% solution of powders (types A, B, and C), and they are cleaned thoroughly with tube cleaners and brushes in a hot 1% solution of caustic soda. They are then rinsed with warm water, dried out and reassembled. The rubber parts are inspected before the equipment is reassembled. Parts that are cracked or broken are discarded. Teat cup liners are made of nitrile rubber, which does not expand during use, therefore it does not need time to rest. The assembled milking equipment is regulated, washed and disinfected in a 0.1% solution of Dezmol or another disinfectant for 5 minutes, then rinsed in warm water. The milk tank, gauges, milk pump, milk cooler and filter are disassembled, then rinsed and put back together. The filter element is replaced. The oil level in the caps of vacuum and differential regulators is checked and, if necessary, it is topped up or replaced. 

Technical Servicing No.2 is conducted once every three months after 540-600 hours of operation. In addition to the tasks carried out for Technical Servicing No.1, specialist technicians also:

• conduct routine checks and clean electric motors 

• check the technical condition of vacuum pumps, if there is any knocking or jamming of the vacuum pump blades, the front cover is removed and any defects are identified and corrected 

• check the condition of bearings and the axial clearance between the end face of the rotor and the cover of the pump unit, which should not exceed 0.40-0.45 mm 

• clean the pump mufflers with kerosene (without disassembling the equipment) 

• check oil flow with a vacuum pump 

• check pump flow with a KИ-4840 device (with the vacuum pipe switched off) 

• check for contamination in the vacuum line of AД-100A and ДАС-2B milking equipment using a KИ-4840 device on the end of a vacuum tube with a transition fitting. During the check, the unit regulator is switched off and a weight of 3-4 kg is applied 

 • remove milk stones by cleaning the milk tubes and milking equipment with a 0.1% solution of acid (acetic acid, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, phosphoric acid) and then rinsing them with warm water and drying in a current of air; clean the vacuum tube with a hot (60-70oC) 3% solution of caustic soda, rinse with water and dry in a current of air – this requires the vacuum pump to be switched off for 15-20 minutes and 1-2 taps to be opened at the end of the vacuum tube.