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Swinging Cow Brush SCB

DLG-APPROVED "Full test"

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The approval

The DLG APPROVED FULL TEST quality mark is awarded to agricultural equipment that has passed a comprehensive DLG usability test. A DLG usability test is carried out to independent and recognised test criteria and provides an objective and unbiased assessment of the product and all features considered essential by users. The test comprises individual lab tests as well as field tests in various conditions; in addition to that the product has to prove itself in on-farm applications. The test conditions and procedures are defined by an independent test commission and described in a test framework which defines the parameters for evaluation. Yet the test conditions and procedures as defined are revised on an ongoing basis so they reflect what is acknowledged as the current state of the art as well as the latest scien­tific findings and also agricultural insights and requirements. After a product has passed the test, a test report is produced and published and the quality mark is awarded to the product and will retain its validity for five years from the date of award.

This DLG APPROVED FULL TEST consisted of technical measurements, in-situ testing and observation of animal behaviour on livestock farms. The in-situ measurements included power consumption, wattage and shut-off force. In addition, ease of installation, durability, wear resistance, operational reliability, maintenance and cleaning were assessed and animal behaviour observed. The test was carried out according to the DLG test framework for cow brushes (date of issue March 1999).

Assessment – Brief Summary

The DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB tested is a cleaning machine for cattle and cows. Its functionality was tested in situ according to the DLG APPROVED FULL TEST framework. The brush starts off on slight contact and rotates in one direction. Its height from the ground can be conveniently adjusted with a tool to suit the size of the animals.

Table 1: Summary of test results

Parameter tested Test result Assesment*
Suitability    
  The brush is suitable for cleaning and grooming cattle and cow skin. To avoid the brush poses a hazard to the animals it is necessary to cut tuft hair to 3 cm.  
Operational reliability    
  Confirmed by DPLF  
Technical criteria    
Installation    
  suitable for self-installation
Mains power leads away from animals +
Installation and operating instructions very detailed and easy to understand + +
Durability and wear    
Wear low +
Durability good, no damage found +
Operational reliability    
  good +
Maintenance    
Service and maintenance low +
Changing brush elements straightforward +
Cleaning easy, yet rarely necessary +
Electricity consumption   +
  low +
Warranty    
  1 year  
Animal-related criteria    
Animal behaviour    
  Animals learn to start the brush quickly and easily. +
Acceptance very good + +
Injuries none
  Brush is stopped on very little resistance by an overload protection mechanism of the motor. + +
Animal cleanliness good in the defined body parts +

*    Evaluation range:: + + / + /◯ / – / – – (◯ = Standard)

The Product

Description and Technical Data

The tested DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB is used for cleaning and grooming cattle and cow skin. The rotating brush is powered by a 230V gear motor and has automatic overload protection. The brush starts to rotate on contact. It swings freely in all directions, smoothly up, over and alongside the animal. The DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB  moves in a joint similar to a cardanic joint which allows it to move in three dimensions. By design and functionality the brush reaches easily tail, head, neck and especially hides and back of the animal. To ensure the brush presents no hazard to the cattle, tuft hair must not be longer than 3 cm. It may be necessary to cut the tuft.

The DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB  is comprised of a bracket, a master switch with electric lead, an electronically controlled motor and a brush rotor with yellow plastic bristles. The brush consists of a rotor that is mounted vertically in a bracket and rotated by a 230 V gear motor.

Bracket:

  • height approx. 1,200 mm
  • width approx. 500 mm
  • depth approx. 1000 mm
  • weight ca. 70 kg

Brush:

  • diameter approx. 500 mm
  • length 600 mm

Power input:

  • 230 V
  • speed 24 rpm
  • rated output 0.15 kW

The Method

Suitability

Suitability, application and areas of application of the cattle/cow brush were assessed in livestock buildings.

Operational reliability

The operational reliability of the DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB was tested by the German Test
and Certifying Center for Agricultural and Forestry Machinery (DPLF), a notified test institute in accordance with the Equipment Safety Act.

Survey

The test results should be verified by conducting a survey among farmers who were using the same model on their farms.

Technical criteria

Installation

The ease of installation of the brush was assessed in situ; and the installation and operating instructions were assessed.

Durability, wear, operational reliability and maintenance

Durability, wear, reliability and maintenance of the cattle and cow brush were assessed while the brush was being used by the animals.

Contamination and cleaning

The level of contamination and ease of cleaning of the cattle and cow brush was assessed while the brush was being used by the animals.

Power consumption/wattage

The energy consumption was measured with an wattmeter while the brush was idling and while it was brushing an animal for a continued period of two minutes at least. In addition, the power consumption was recorded over a period of one week at least while the brush was being used by the animals. The number of animals in the group that had access to the brush was also recorded.

Warranty

The manufacturer must state whether a warranty is granted for the product and the warranty period.

Animal-related criteria

Animal behaviour

To assess the suitability of the brush for animal care, the animals were observed while using it. The aim was to find out whether the animals could start the brush easily and whether they accepted it readily.

Injuries

It was assessed whether the brush caused any injuries to the animals as they were using it at two livestock farms (tail injuries, skin abrasions, tags torn from ears). Also, the amount of force was measured that had to be applied to the brush to stop it by its motor. This shut-off force was measured using a spring balance and an approx. 2cm wide strap that simulated the tail of an animal. The strap was wrapped around the brush and then pulled using the spring balance until the brush came to a stop. The force applied to stop the brush was read on the spring balance.

Animal cleanliness

At the two livestock farms it was tested whether the brush effectively cleaned all animal parts that were accessible by the brush after this was installed at the proper height from the ground.

The Test Results in Detail

Suitability

The DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB is suitable for cleaning and grooming cattle and cow skin. The test has shown that the animals can start off the brush on contact. Moving in a cardan joint, the brush moves in three dimensions and gives effective cleaning of hides, tail, back, neck and head. A requirement for safe use is that the tuft hair is not longer than 3 cm as instructed by the manufacturer. It may be necessary to cut the tuft.

Operational reliability

The DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB was tested by the German Test and Certifying Center for Agricultural and Forestry Machinery (DPLF) for its operational reliability on 24 August 2017. The company produced an EC Conformity declaration.

Survey

A user survey was not carried out due to lack of customer addresses. The overall assessment of the two farmers who tested the DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB was good. They would buy the brush again.  

Technical criteria

Installation

The cow brush can be installed by owners with suitable tools. The brush is supplied as an assembly and complete with its bracket which is mounted to a wall or post using a hook that is attached to the brush. This hook can be removed after the installation. The manufacturer supplies a detailed template that helps mount the brush in the barn. The mains power leads must be routed in a safe place where they are not accessible to the cows.

The installation height from the ground is equal the average withers in the herd (see figure 3 and table). The manufacturer recommends 45 cm above the average withers.

Installation and operating instructions

The installation and operating instructions are very detailed and easy to understand. Illustrations show how the brush is installed, taken into operation, serviced and maintained. The manual also gives important information on the hazards and risks of using the brush and on the proper installation height, cable routing and service and maintenance. Explicit note is made that the brush must not be used in herds where skin and tuft hair is longer than 3 cm and where animals wear harnesses.

Durability and wear

After nearly one year of use in a 70- and 40-head group, only little wear was detected on the brush. Its durability is good. No damage was found on the brush. Wear was relatively low.

Operational reliability

Reliability is good and the brush has worked without any malfunction up to this date.

Maintenance

Maintenance is low. It merely consists of monthly checks of the brush, the threaded assemblies and the gearbox housing. Replacing the rotor is straightforward.

Contamination and cleaning

The testers observed that hairs collected on the floor under the brush. The design of the brush usually requires no regular cleaning. The brush itself can be cleaned easily after removing it from the bracket.

Power consumption/wattage

The energy consumption is approx. 0.77 kWh/day in a herd with 70 cows which is relatively low. The input power is approx. 70 W – approx. 180 W at work and approx. 1.3 W at rest. When resistance increases (and the brush is blocked) input power may temporarily peak at 270 W.

Warranty

The manufacturer gives a one-year warranty on the brush.

Animal-related criteria

Animal behaviour

The animals learn quickly and without problems to use the cow brush. The brush starts rotating on demand when an animal pushes it out of its vertical rest position. It stops within 10 seconds after the animal ceases using it, returning into its vertical rest position. It instantly starts again when the cow contacts it again.

The brush was very well accepted by the animals who enjoyed brushing their skin, particularly their heads, necks, backs and the base of the tail.

Injuries

The testers found no tail injuries, skin abrasions, ear injuries due to torn tags or any other kind of injury at the two livestock farms where the brush was tested for one year. The motor stops instantly when the brush meets with excessive resistance (e.g. when wrapping the tail around the brush).
The measurements showed that the cow brush stops at a relative low force of about 230 N. The retention force after shut-off is very small: 120 N.

This means that the risk of injury to cattle and cows is very low. To cut out any risk of injury, the manufacturer recommends trimming tuft hair as specified in the instructions.

Animal cleanliness

 

Provided the brush is mounted a the proper height from the ground, it provides effective cleaning to all body parts. The animals accepted the brush readily and on their own initiative.

Summary

The DLG APPROVED FULL TEST criteria that were applied in this test assessed the functionality of the DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB for cattle and cows as the brush was used in animal houses.

The result is that the tested DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush SCB meets the requirements as specified in the DLG test framework for the criteria examined. The tested product is identical with the product described in the DLG Test Report 5939 dated July 2010.

Applicant and Test implementation

Applicant

Manufacturer
DeLaval International AB,
Gustaf de Lavals väg 15,
SE-147 21,
Sweden

Applicant
DeLaval Services GmbH,
Neu Galliner Ring 6,
19258 Gallin, Germany

Contact
Phone +49 (0)40 303344-302,
+49 (0)40 303344-349,
nicolas.tillet@delaval.com
www.delaval.com

Test implementation

DLG TestService GmbH,
Gross-Umstadt location
The tests are conducted on behalf of DLG e.V.

DLG test scope
DLG APPROVED FULL TEST on “Cow brushes”
(date of issue 03, 1999)

Department
Farm buildings and equipment

Head of Department
Graduate engineer. agr. Susanne Gäckler

Test engineer(s)
Dr. Harald Reubold *

DLG Test Commission
Dr. agr. Steffen Pache, Köllitsch
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Pelzer, Bad Sassendorf
Alfons Baumeister, Bad Sassendorf
Reiner Schmidt, Ronneburg
Dipl.-Ing. agr. Klaus-Werner Wolf, Höchst
DLG Expert Committee on Animal Welfare
Dr. sc. agr. Christiane Müller, Trenthorst

*    Author

Contact

DLG TestService GmbH - Groß-Umstadt location • Max-Eyth-Weg 1 64823 Groß-Umstadt Germany • Tel.: +49(0)69 24 788-611 • tech@DLG.org