Development of a portable milking platform for ovine dairy using the TRIZ design methodology
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This project developed a portable sheep milking plant from a 16-unit single aside plant using the TRIZ methodology. This project was completed at Read Industrial Ltd and the Mechanical engineering postgraduate offices.
The application of the TRIZ methodology for design improvement required adequate background research into milking plant design, including sheep milk applications. This was used, in part to identify non-compliant practices and designs that are used in a portable milking platform from the code of practice for dairies (NZCP1). Amendments were made to the NZCP1 document to be more applicable for sheep and transportable dairy designs and practice. Compliance to the NZCP1 was required as part of the risk management programme required for the sale of milk to processors for the current milking plant as well as the optimised plant. The amendments were accepted by the Ministry of Primary Industries as part of the risk management programme of the 16 unit single aside milking plant.
The application of the TRIZ methodology required the identification of issues or problems in the design and operation. Any unapparent issues of the 16-unit portable milking plant were identified using a function map and trimming. The abstraction of the problematic functions of the identified issues was used to ascertain the contradiction causing the issue. The TRIZ methodology was applied using the identified contradictions to identify particular inventive principals to be used to focus the idea generation process. The main contradiction for the plant optimisation was to improve the production capability of the milking system, while retaining within the maximum envelope of a trailer. The inventive principals yielded concepts designs that improved the production capabilities. A rotary system was selected as it allowed continuous operation that is not available on the single aside plant. Due to the size constraints, the rotary plant platforms were divided into segments that fold upwards and over each other to fit within the maximum trailer width during transport. The milking component layout and processes were optimised for the rotary plant and components were selected and designed to be more applicable than the previous single aside plant.
The 20 bail rotary system was developed using computer aided design (CAD) and finite element analysis (FEA) software to ensure that the designed platforms and trailer were able to withstand the applied loading without deformation or excessive stress. The trailer utilised an articulating axle at the front of the trailer for added manoeuvrability and weight distribution and was compliant with the agricultural vehicle guidelines that the previous portable milking system used.