Lely Astronaut – a leader with 20,000 robots worldwide

Lely is the global pioneer of robotic milking with 20,000 Astronaut robots in operation world-wide. Picture Julie Hazelton
Lely is the global pioneer of robotic milking with 20,000 Astronaut robots in operation world-wide. Picture Julie Hazelton

Twenty two years since the launch of the Lely Astronaut, and the Dutch company has announced that it has 20,000 milking robots in operation on dairy farms world-wide.

This is a significant milestone in the company’s history, and reaffirms its position as the market leader and global pioneer of robotic milking technology.

“This landmark is testimony to the quality of the technology designed and manufactured by Lely,” said Jim Irwin, who opened Northern Ireland’s Lely Center Eglish franchise in 2008.

“Robotic milking technology has come a long way in 22 years, and farmers around the world are warmly embracing the benefits of farm automation. It has been a learning curve for Lely, but time and experience has allowed the family-owned company to develop an unrivalled range of innovative labour saving equipment for farmers.”

Lely’s Astronaut A4 model will be on display at the RUAS Winter Fair. Voted 2012 Agricultural Machine of the Year in Poland, the Astronaut A4 is cow-friendly and boasts a host of revolutionary features, including the I-flow system which eliminates obstacles and improves cow access. The feeding trough moves away after milking, thus encouraging the cow to leave the stall. The faster exit allows quicker access for the next cow.

Recent trials have concluded that the A4’s I-flow concept increases production and improves cow motivation. Individual cows spend less time in the milking stall which has a positive impact on the capacity of the robot; while the I-flow design motivates cows to visit the robot more frequently on a voluntary basis.

“Robotic milking is the future,” added Jim Irwin.

“We currently have 180 Lely Astronaut milking robots working in herds throughout Northern Ireland, and this figure is set to rise with a number of installations pending.

“We are inundated with enquiries on a daily basis from farmers keen to embark on a career in dairy farming; and there are a number of existing milk producers exploring the options of switching from conventional milking to robotic milking.”

The Lely stand at the RUAS Winter Fair will also feature a number of cutting-edge innovations, including the Lely Calm automatic calf feeder, the Lely Discovery barn cleaner, the Lely Juno automatic feed pusher, and the Lely Luna cow brush.

The Discovery and Juno are battery operated and move automatically along the cubicle house and feed passage at pre-set intervals. They are easy to install and are suitable for use within all types of cattle sheds. Both are based at a charging station which is mounted at a convenient point within the slatted shed or feed passage.

The Juno is available in two sizes, while the Discovery gives farmers the choice of two models, one of which sprays water onto the surface prior to cleaning.

A warm welcome is extended to everyone to visit the Lely stand at the RUAS Winter Fair. Representatives from Lely Center Eglish will be available to discuss the features of the state-of-the-art Astronaut A4 milking robot, and highlight the benefits of other innovations within the company’s portfolio.

For further information contact Lely Center Eglish on tel: 028 3754 8228; Jim Irwin on mobile: 07827 884639 or Colin Bell on mobile: 07917 524575.