Automating an industry doesn't happen overnight. However, if you look at every industry, the shift to greater efficiency and automation absolutely does happen, every time. From automobiles to meat processing, from wine to bottled water, from consumer packaged goods to phones and computers, over time, the systems and processes evolve as the shift to full automation takes hold (read more about this shift here "Automation Continues To Shape The Dairy Industry").
In the dairy industry, the gravitation toward efficiency is happening at every barn already as evidenced by culling practices. Just like a broken pallet, a bent car frame, a misshapen box, or a cracked bottle, you have to pull out the components that don't meet the minimum standard so that the process can run smoothly. Dairy farmers do this today by culling those animals that don't meet the minimum standards.
When farmers begin automating their barns, their minimum standards rise, and cows are culled and replaced with cows that meet those standards. This makes the barn run better and more profitably, just like replacing a broken pallet in another industry.
As dairy farmers strive to perfect these standards in their barns, they can now even add cows that have been specifically bred to meet the standards of robotic automation. See the press release in Hoard's Dairyman and more information about these "Robot Ready" sires from Semex.
This is just another example of how the dairy industry continues to shift to full automation. Breeding cows for automation is a step that more dairymen will begin take in addition to improving their culling practices.
When thinking about automation, the basic premise is that any continuous motion process with repetitive actions can be automated using technology and developing consistent standards for each component of the process. The rotary parlor environment provides the ideal foundation for implementing automation, which is why Green Source Automation has continued to innovate and add new ways improving and further automating the rotary parlor with the RotaryMATE EXPS and EXPD robotic pre- and post-dip technologies.
From an automation perspective, the cows at the dairy — while living, breathing, and each one unique — are, in fact, simply components of the overall system. Our customers recognize this, and they reap the benefits of culling their herd to remove those cows that do not meet the minimum standards needed for automation to operate optimally.
As these new "Robot Ready" cows are bred into the market, the profitability of automation will only continue to increase, and more and more farmers will adopt the inevitable change that has been coming to this industry for the past decade.
In the same way that automation changed manufacturing and production for the better in countless industries, automation in the dairy industry is also not going away. As dairymen continue to embrace automation, they will see their productivity and profitability increase, and those farmers that choose not to embrace the shift to automation will find it that much more difficult to stay competitive with their neighbors that do.