A healthy and stress-free cow makes for more milk in the tank. That is why the Lely Astronaut was designed for cows. One of the features of the milking robot is the unique I-flow concept, which provides a straight route for cows.
A healthy and stress-free cow makes for more milk in the tank. That is why the Lely Astronaut was designed for cows. One of the features of the milking robot is the unique I-flow concept, which provides a straight route for cows. This means that the cows can easily enter and exit the robot when it is time for milking, and can be milked more rapidly. This increases the capacity of the robot.
The cow is central to all of the products that we develop. This also applies to the design of the Lely Astronaut. Keeping the cow in mind led to free cow traffic. This is the basis of the automatic milking system and the most natural way possible to milk.
Natural milking and free cow traffic are not only about the cow’s freedom to choose when to eat, drink, rest or be milked. They are also about the cow’s well-being and degree of comfort during milking. The I-flow concept contributes to this in many different ways.
Cows dislike obstacles. The Astronaut’s straight route, the I-flow, offers unhindered entry, leading cows more easily to their milking turn. As a result, the number of times the cow is milked and the milk yield both increase.
Contact with other cows during milking
Cows are sociable creatures: they are herd animals and they prefer to stay in the group. The straight route and the open construction of the cow cubicles ensure that the cow and the group are never out of sight of each other. The natural interaction prevents stress during milking, and a stress-free cow is a productive cow. The cows let down their milk with more ease and the milking is quicker, increasing yield.
Lely’s research shows that the milking time per cow is reduced by 4% in the case of Astronaut robots with I-flow compared to previous models with no straight route.
The I-flow concept and the spacious and open construction of the cow cubicles promote cows’ natural behaviour. Cows feel safe and have enough room to move during milking. The robot arm effortlessly follows their movements. Because of this freedom, cows adjust more quickly and the frequency with which they are milked soon increases.
per cow / day
per cow / day
Average kg milk
per cow / day
|K-flow (Astronaut A3)||2,67||2,38||27,46|
|I-flow (Astronaut A4)||2,76||3,12||28,42|
|Difference in percentage||+3,37%||+31,09%||+3,49%|
The Astronaut’s Milk Quality Control (MQC) system controls the milk at every milking. It looks at a range of valuable indicators, such as mastitis, fat and protein content, and lactose. This allows you to know each individual cow’s state of health and you can prevent any issues where necessary. You are also assured of top-quality milk in the tank and you save on veterinary costs.
High-quality milk in the tank is what every dairy farm is all about. Those who opt for automatic milking with the Lely Astronaut are assured of this. From cleaning and treating udders, milk quality controls, milk transport, cooling and the robot cleaning system: everything is designed to guarantee good-quality milk.
By continuously monitoring the milk quality, you are assured of high-quality milk in the tank. In doing so, you also keep a close eye on the health of your cows. The system alerts you to any anomalies straight away, so that you can act fast if necessary.
The healthier the udders, the better the milk. That is why the Lely Astronaut is equipped with a unique brush cleaning system. Only the brushes clean the area around the teats and the underside of the udders. They remove even encrusted dirt and manure. Cleaning with brushes also stimulates milk let-down.
After cleaning each cow, the brushes are thoroughly disinfected to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
As soon as the cow releases the milk, the Lely MQC (Milk Quality Control) system is activated. The MQC system provides an overview of a range of useful indicators of milk quality. These include somatic cell count, colour and conductivity. An indication is also given of fat, protein and lactose content. This also allows you to check overall cow health and feed matters. This monitoring happens automatically at every milking. The data are immediately converted into useable information. In the event of a deviation in the milk’s values, there is an option of separating the milk automatically.
The monitoring system is fitted into the robot arm, right next to the udder. By being placed so close to the source, the MQC monitors the quality of the milk accurately every quarter of an hour.
All dairy farmers try to prevent mastitis. Apart from causing a great deal of pain to the cow, mastitis also means a lower milk yield, higher medical costs and more work. The milk quality control system helps detect mastitis at an early stage. The optional MQC-C function regularly takes measurements of each cow’s somatic cell count. This ensures constant monitoring of cow health. Any deviations that could be of concern are shown immediately in the Lely T4C management programme. By taking action at an early stage, you ensure good well-being levels and high milk yield, all the while avoiding veterinary bills.
Every cow deserves attention. With the Lely T4C (Time for Cows) management system, you can track each cow individually. This system is specially designed for the Astronaut with user friendliness in mind. The T4C InHerd mobile application provides all information on your cows’ health and yield at a glance. This allows you to have all your cows under control and to manage them quickly and accurately.
Making the right decisions with the right information
The Lely T4C (Time-for-Cows) management system is the prime source of information for your dairy farm. It delivers real-time insight with no extra work. You can take direct action yourself when and where it is necessary and you can also act preventively based on predictions.
Lely T4C is specially designed for automatic milking with the Lely Astronaut. It also links to other Lely equipment, such as the Lely Vector automatic feeding system. T4C translates data from the barn into usable information for a clear insight into the results of your work. Reliable data that you can use to make the right decisions. For immediate operations in the barn among the cows or for the longer term. In both cases, business optimisation is key.
It enables you to monitor constantly, act at an early stage and provide appropriate attention to cows that need it. It also helps you to optimise your barn routines and improve your business results. In addition to T4C Office for more strategic information, there is the T4C InHerd mobile version for day-to- day tasks.
For even more insight into the health of your cows the Lely T4C TotalHealth was developed. TotalHealth is a component of T4C that is specifically tailored to total cow health.
The first component of T4C TotalHealth we have released is TotalHealth-attentions. TotalHealth-attentions gives you even more support in your daily routines. In the blink of an eye, you will see which cow needs attention. This allows you to intervene in a faster and more targeted fashion. This improves the health per cow and in turn, your operating result.
Lely T4C allows you to take advantage of all the data collected by the Lely Astronaut milking robot during the milking process. TotalHealth-attentions even takes this a step further: the data is converted into a health analysis for each individual cow. From this analysis, a total cow health score gets computed. When a critical threshold is reached, this will be shown for that cow in TotalHealth-attentions.
This makes it clear which cows really require attention. The health score will immediately show you the cause. This allows you to take action immediately, in a very targeted fashion. This could be a check in the management programme to separate the cow afterwards or a visual check in the barn.
TotalHealth-attentions is available for free in T4C Office as well as in T4C InHerd.
With TotalHealth-attentions you can take even more advantage from milking with our milking robot. Even after a quarter century of automatic milking with the Lely Astronaut we keep trying to come up with ways to make work in and around the barn as efficient and pleasant as possible. Healthy cows are invaluable for this. We simultaneously strive towards optimal cow health and production.
The Astronaut means freedom of choice. You know better than anyone else what is good for your dairy farm. Combine this knowledge with our experience in automated milking. Make your own choices and configure your Astronaut with us, based on your specific wishes. The choice is yours.
What is important to you and your company?
The Astronaut choices
Where are you at today and where do you want to go? We invite you to examine your ambitions and goals. How does your dairy farm perform at its best? The Astronaut can be put together according to individual wishes and goals. We have six of these:
Add precision to reproduction
To be in control of your farm, you rely on reproduction. Get an extra set of eyes to get your cows pregnant. Add accuracy to reproduction and you will be able to see the cows in heat and inseminate them at the right moment. It will boost your conception rate and will save you lots of time.
Know your cows
Cow health choice
Taking care of your most valuable possession: your cows. Healthy cows save costs, time and drive milk production. Get more control on cow health and make the right decisions with advanced sensors and easy to use information. This will secure your revenues.
Secure udder health
Udder control choice
Good quality milk comes from a healthy udder. Get clear insights about udder health and understand when to take action. Have bacteria eliminated and cross contamination avoided before each milking. Get a grip on your udder health and reduce your costs.
Increase your milk yield
Boost milk choice
Getting the most out of your production capacity implicates optimal interaction between udder capacity, available data and hardware. And being backed up by dedicated professional farm management support. Increase your robot capacity with an extra 10-15%, optimize your herd’s production and get more milk in the tank.
Operate on feed efficiency
Feed is one of the main expenses on a dairy farm. Therefore, feed each cow to its actual needs and operate on feed efficiency. Get the possibility to feed more advanced rations even in combination with liquid feed.
Support your grazing strategy
Grazing is the most natural way the cows get fed. Grazing positively impacts cow welfare and health. Get healthy happy cows out in the field while having full control of your milk production