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Milking apparatus and method for operating same

Image Number 5 for United States Patent #4047500.

Dairy cow milking apparatus comprises a vacuum system including a main vacuum line installed along a plurality of milking stalls and a plurality of spaced-apart vacuum ports along the main vacuum line. Manually operable shut-off valves are provided for selectively and independently opening and closing each vacuum port. The apparatus also comprises a mobile milking unit selectively movable from one position to another along said main vacuum line and said milking stalls. The unit comprises vacuum operated components including a plurality of teat claw assemblies for milking a plurality of cows simultaneously. A pair of flexible auxiliary vacuum lines are provided on the milking unit and each auxiliary vacuum line has one end connected to operate all the vacuum operated components. Each auxiliary vacuum line has its other end adapted for connection to a vacuum port in the main vacuum line.In accordance with the method, at least one auxiliary vacuum line is always connected to a port in the main vacuum line to permit uninterrupted milking as said mobile milking unit is moved from one position to another to milk different groups of cows. Check valves are provided in each auxiliary vacuum line to close an auxiliary vacuum line whenever it is disconnected from a vacuum port.

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