Dealers from seven states visit PA to see first-of-its-kind robot in U.S.
AMS-Galaxy-USA, based near Lititz in Lancaster County, had a two-day meeting recently at the site of the first U.S. installation of the Galaxy Astrea 20.20 at Corner View Farm, Kutztown, Berks County, Pa. This automated milking system features the industrial strength motoman, a dual-action robot milking up to 130 cows in a “one arm, two-stall” set up.
Representatives from 12 dealerships in seven states -- including Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota -- attended the sales meeting led by AMS-Galaxy-USA president Dennis Milhoan and Netherlands-based Insentec unit manager Arnold Van Leeuwen, who worked together to bring the system to the U.S.
Attendees toured the Corner View Farm installation and talked with the owners about the barn layout and design in addition to learning more about the unique elements of the AMS-Galaxy-USA system.
“This system works as one robotic arm serving two stalls,” Milhoan explains. “The vision technology for teats and the TIM (Total Integrated Management) system are key elements.”
When Milhoan looked at this opportunity, he focused on the economics of the technology and its performance in producing high quality milk. He also wanted to see a solid track record for the mechanical equipment.
“It meets all of our criteria for durability and low maintenance,” he explains. “This system utilizes a robotic arm that has actually been in use for over 11 years. Worldwide, there are over 1000 of them in use right now milking cows, and over 100,000 of these robotic arms are in use 24 / 7 for industrial purposes in the manufacturing sector here and abroad. The low maintenance and reliable performance history was what we were looking for.”
The meeting at Corner View Farm generated excitement about the future of the Galaxy Astrea 20.20, which was unveiled state-side at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin last October. It was also on display at the Keystone Farm Show in York, Pa. in January. The company will also be exhibiting at the Central Plains Expo in Sioux Falls during the last week of March.
Milhoan says the prospective equipment dealers in the East and Midwest are “progressive dealerships with good service departments and an interest in technology.”
The Biehl family at Corner View Farm started milking with the Galaxy Astrea 20.20 in December 2011. They will host an open house for fellow farmers and the public on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Lancaster Dairy Farm Automation installed the new system. For more information, call 800.422.4587 or visit www.amsgalaxyusa.com.