Saving Time, Money, and Ensuring Peak Performance
Have you ever thought about the regularly scheduled maintenance airlines engage in to ensure safety and peak flight performance? Planes generally operate so seamlessly that we don’t consider the work that goes into ensuring a smooth trip. However, a quality flight experience for passengers is possible thanks to regular aircraft maintenance. Each plane is on a maintenance schedule that ensures tires, breaks, engine, electronics, paint and interior are inspected on a regular basis. This system saves the airlines time and money.
It is important to view our parlors and milking systems in the same light. We want our operations to run smoothly and produce high-quality products, and that happens most efficiently with a regular maintenance schedule.
Regular, scheduled maintenance is essential for a few key reasons, 1) to ensure your parlor is operating at peak performance and the highest level of efficiency, and 2) to help prevent emergency repairs and costly parlor downtime.
If you aren’t already engaged in regular, scheduled maintenance, you may be wondering where to begin.
Make a master schedule: According to Wyatt Myers Milk Quality and Maintenance Specialist at TDS Arizona, “The best place to start is to work with your milking equipment dealer to make a master schedule of all your milking equipment maintenance needs.”
This schedule should be shared between the dairy and dealer, and updated as regular maintenance is completed.
What do I have that needs regular maintenance?
- It is important that the core of the system (pulsation, vacuum, and automatic takeoffs) always gets regular checks and maintenance.
- Myers explains that in addition to keeping a schedule of the replacement of these different parts, there should be “a schedule in place on when vacuum checks are done, pulsators are graphed and takeoffs are evaluated during milking.”
- Other key items to keep an eye on include:
- Rubber wear (milk hoses, claw gaskets, short air tubes, valve gaskets, milk line gaskets, etc.), air filters for fresh air system
- Check for oil leaks on vacuum pumps, air compressors, refrigeration compressors, milk pump seals
- Jeff Blesy, TDS Account Manager, emphasizes that this type of maintenance is essential to help keep bacteria out and maintain quality milk production.
This feels like a lot. Why is this important? While the list of parts to keep up with can feel like a lot, at the end of the day, Myers explains that having a regular schedule of maintenance and keeping up with these different parts “will ensure you will get the optimal milk harvest.”
Not only that, but regularly scheduled maintenance also saves you time and money by helping avoid the emergency calls that potentially lead up to an expensive repair and often result in lost time and production.
Okay, but how do I make this work with my dairy? Good news! TDS has custom scheduled maintenance programs designed to work with your dairy, Plans can be modified based on budget as well.
While it might be tempting to look for ways to cut costs in your operation, cutting maintenance costs is not the answer. Most of us will spend time and money to maintain our cars because we know they run well and cost us less when the oil is changed and tires are rotated on time. Why wouldn’t we do the same with our parlors – the biggest piece of our milk production system? We should maintain our parlors with the same care we would our car or that the airline industry maintains their aircraft. It is better for the customers and the industry in the long run. Use regularly scheduled maintenance to help ensure your parlor operates at peak performance, to keep the cows happy, to deliver a quality product for customers, and to save time and money so you can focus on what matters to you both personally and professionally.