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Automatic TakeOffs or Arm TakeOffs?
Tad confusing. Automatic TakeOffs, Detachers and Removers are the generic names for any device that removes the Milking Cluster automatically.
Arm TakeOffs support and remove the machines with a support or service arm, thereby solving several problems:
- Pulling teat cups off under partial vacuum
- Premature wear and tear of claw-clusters
The very first Automatic TakeOffs, developed in the late 60s and early 70s, all had Arms. Common sense if you think about it: Watch a milker take the machine off the udder - he'll use his hands and arms. At the time, we asked ourselves 'What's the best way to do the job?' Simple answer 'Watch a top notch milker and duplicate how he does it.' Namely:
- Determine the endpoint of milking
- Wait a couple of seconds to relieve the rest vacuum in the teat cups, claw and milk hose, and - as the machine sort of falls off the udder on its own - take it out and hang it up.
The Michigan State Detacher developed under Dr. Bickert in 1968/69, was an Arm TakeOffs. The first Ross-Holm unit in the late 60s had an arm, StaRite introduced the Reflex Arm in 1971, BouMatic came out with two different models both Arm-style Detachers in the early 70s. DeLaval and Germania introduced Arm TakeOffs in the middle 70s.
Then what happened? Two companies introduced all-plastic rope detachers from New Zealand (for around $200 a unit), claiming that they could do the same job as Arm TakeOffs. True - in as much as a bicycle can do the same job as a Pickup truck - both get you from here to there. Though, minor difference....
These early Arm TakeOffs were relatively expensive and required a bit of maintenance. Today, 40 years later, Arm TakeOffs are incredibly reliable, especially those operated by compressed air, with annual maintenance cost well below 1% of their initial cost, literally dollars in the single digits per unit per year.