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MIone Days 2012:

International Symposium on the theme of Automatic Milking

Boenen, 02. February 2012– The beginning of February saw GEA Farm Technologies organizing a specialist seminar for the first time on the theme of Automatic Milking. Aim of the event was for challenges and solutions in the field of automatic milking to be discussed among experts in the field, consultants, decision-makers, and representatives of the press, and the feedback was excellent: 160 participants from 16 countries accepted the invitation to Bönen, proof positive that this is a matter of immediate concern.

Focus of the first day was on lectures by specialist speakers on issues of the future, such as automation matched to the real needs of actual practice, intelligent herd management, and efficient operational cycles. Dr. Jan Harms, of Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture, reported that in Germany today around half of all new investments in the milking systems sector are allocated to the procurement of milking robots. His conclusion: Automatic milking systems would in future make the demands on milk producers more complex, and the management of herds, information, time, and quality will come more and more under the spotlight. Manufacturers can provide important assistance to the producers by offering information processing, networking, and opportunities for advanced training.

“The MIone is a technical innovation, and we are 100 per cent convinced by it”, was the verdict from Dr. Ulrich Hüllmann, CEO GEA Farm Technologies, speaking of the MIone robot milker. This is a view shared by Christian Müller, Director Automatic Milking Solutions at GEA, with his contribution about the MIone multibox system. Müller took a number of different stall concepts to illustrate the principle of the milking centre, paying special attention to the requirements of Special Need cows. These cows, which make up some 20 per cent of a herd, are the cause of about 80 per cent of the work.

Two reports on actual practice from the GEA Hufnagel Technical Centre and the milk producer Mikael Elström from Sweden spotlighted the importance of a comprehensive service concept and operational efficiency in the milking centre. “I manage to save about 3,000 working hours every year thanks to the MIone“, says Elström. The first day was rounded off by a visit to the plant. On the second day the guests of GEA Farm Technologies were able to gain their own impressions of MIone. They visited three dairies, each of which operated a different stall concept. This showed clearly how flexibly a robot milker can be adapted to the individual needs and growth concepts of the dairy. And this also proves that MIone represents a technical innovation that is showing the way to the future, with a great range of application possibilities.

GEA Farm Technologies with its main office in Bönen, Germany offers farmers integrated product and application solutions, which today`s producers require: From design and planning of barn- and business concepts, up to the daily herd and farm management. Since 1926 the company is known for future-oriented technical innovations. With its combined key competences from milk production, manure systems, barn equipment, automatic feeding as well as state-of-the-art service and hygiene concepts, GEA Farm Technologies provides a complete and up-to-date range of products and services. These products and services cover all herd sizes and meet the full range of customer requirements around the world, supporting the scale and nature of individual livestock operations. GEA Farm Technologies employs more than 2,100 people worldwide in subsidiaries in over 60 countries.

GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft is one of the largest system providers for food and energy processes with about EUR 5.4 billion in 2011 revenue. As an internationally operating technology group, the company focuses on process technology and components for demanding production processes in various end markets. The group gains about 70 percent of its revenue in the long-term growing food and energy industries. The company's workforce comprised over 23,000 employees worldwide as of December 31, 2011. GEA Group is a market and technology leader in its business areas. The company is listed in the MDAX index (G1A, WKN 660200).