Why is Annual Servicing so Important?

Servicing is so important and can be the difference between spending a little to maintain and thousands to replace equipment. Servicing isn’t just an oil and filter change (if applicable) it’s also a visual or in-depth inspection that can prevent massive failures from occurring before it’s too late.

Some of the main types of servicing we look at are:

  • Machine Tests – both Full Tests and Mini/Pulsation Tests
  • Rotary Gland Servicing
  • Herringbone Servicing
  • Cup Remover Servicing
  • Compressor Servicing
  • Water Blaster/Steam Cleaner Servicing
  • Effluent Pump Servicing
  • Plus more depending on the type of equipment.

We receive a lot of question from clients about what exactly it is they are getting in a service. So we’ve broken them down below for you.

Machine Test

There are two main types of machine tests, Full and Mini/Pulsation. Mini Machine Tests will only look at pulsator performance, and can be useful in identifying milking issues, or to make sure your pulsators are working optimally in the middle of the season (or before start of your milking season if you get your machine test done during the season).

A Full Machine Test is comprised of four main parts:

  1. Vacuum Test
  2. Airflow Test
  3. Pulsation Test
  4. Visual Test

The Vacuum Test will look at the Vacuum pump (blower or water ring), to assess the vacuum capacity to make sure that the plant has enough vacuum to operate, and enough vacuum to operate any vacuum operated equipment such as cup removers.

The Airflow test looks at how air/vacuum is moving through the plant, and identifies any leaks, or obstructions reducing the air/vacuum flow. Any small leaks found are fixed while on site – such as loose unions/joins in the vacuum line – or identified in your test report if items need replacement or repair.

A Pulsation test is then undertaken on each bail to make sure that the pulsators are working optimally in order to milk out your cows correctly.

Finally a visual test is undertaken to identify any worn out parts such as rubberware/cracked bowls etc that need replacing.

A Full Machine Test is also required to be undertaken annually under national standards.

What is not covered in a Machine Test?

A machine test is separate to any other annual servicing, and any work identified as needing repair, is not undertaken during the test (apart from minor pulsator/vacuum adjustments).

Gland Servicing

A common misconception is that the only thing we look at during a Gland Service, is the gland. We actually look at a large range of equipment within the dairy shed such as:

  • Rotary Centre Gland – This is Stripped, Cleaned, O-Rings/Seals Replaced, Center Bearings Greased, and then it is Reassembled & Tested.
  • Wash Gland Serviced (if applicable) – This is Stripped, Cleaned, O-Rings Replaced, Greased and Reassembled.
  • Centrifugal Milk Pumps Serviced – Stripped, Cleaned and Mechanical Seal is replaced.
  • Blower Vacuum Pump – Oil is replaced, Belts and Tension are checked and replaced/altered as required, Flush Pump Lobes
  • Rotary Platform Greasers – The grease level is checked and Cartridges are replaced if required.
  • Oil In Backing Gate Drive (if applicable)- Replace Oil In Drive and check to see if any other Repairs are required
  • Replace Worn Earth Pads (if applicable)
  • Service Smaller Compressors Under 5.5hp- Replace Oil, Air Filter, Check Belt And Drain Tank
  • Service Industrial Compressor
What is not covered in a Gland Service?

A gland service does not cover any bail repairs such as cup removers or pulsator issues. These are looked at if it is indicated by the client and the time allows. Most gland services are undertaken between milkings, and in some sheds time can be tight.

An electrician is also required to be on site at the same time due to the high voltage connections in the gland needing disconnection.

Herringbone Servicing

A herringbone service is basically a scheduled service routine looking at the same items that a gland looks at, minus the rotary gland.

We service the following:

  • Centrifugal Milk Pumps Serviced – Stripped, Cleaned and Mechanical Seal is replaced.
  • Blower Vacuum Pump – Oil is replaced, Belts and Tension are checked and replaced/altered as required, Flush Pump Lobes
  • Oil In Backing Gate Drive (if applicable)- Replace Oil In Drive and check to see if any other Repairs are required
  • Service Smaller Compressors Under 5.5hp- Replace Oil, Air Filter, Check Belt And Drain Tank
  • Service Industrial Compressor
What is not covered in a Herringbone Service?

A herringbone service does not cover any bail repairs such as cup removers or pulsator issues. These are looked at if it is indicated by the client and the time allows. Most herringbone services are undertaken between milkings, and in some sheds time can be tight.

Cup Remover Servicing

Cup remover servicing is undertaken on a regular basis, or if indicated in a machine test.

This is what happens during a cup remover/service:

  • Bail Restraint or Cup Remover Rams are stripped, cleaned, and lubricated.
  • Pistons are replaced (if applicable)
  • Ropes are replaced if damaged or showing signs of significant wear.
  • Milk Sensor Diaphragms are replaced.
What is not covered in a Cup Remover Service?

Electronic Bail issues, Pulsation issues, Milk Sensor issues, unless indicated by the client and time allows.

Compressor Servicing

Industrial Compressors are required to be serviced every 6 months (anything 5.5HP or over). Smaller compressors are required to be serviced every 12 months.

This is what happens during a compressor service:

  • Drain moisture from pressure tank
  • Drain oil and replace with new oil to adequate level
  • Replace air inlet filter
  • Replace V-Belts (if applicable)
  • If Auto Drain is installed, these are checked and reset.
  • Test run
  • For Single Phase Compressors:
    • Capacitors are checked to make sure they are within tolerances,
    • Overload switches are checked,
    • Load test is undertaken
What is not covered in a Compressor Service?

There isn’t much in a compressor service that is not checked!

Water Blaster/Steam Cleaner Servicing

Water Blasters and Steam cleaners should be serviced every 6-12 months depending on make/model.

This is what happens during a water blaster service:

  • Oil Changed in Engine & Pump
  • Petrol Filter & Spark Plug changed if motorised
  • Check Water Pressures
  • Change Air Filter
  • Run up & test

This is what happens in a steam cleaner service:

  • Oil changed
  • Diesel Filter is changed
  • Water Pressure is checked to make sure it is in the right range.
  • Run up & Check Water reaches temperature
  • Auditory check done to make sure mechanicals are running properly.
What is not covered in a Water Blaster/Steam Cleaner Service?

Any specific issue not indicated by client.

Contact us to find out more about your annual servicing