Technology: American Innovation
Published on Wed, 08/24/2016 - 4:08pm
Sponsored by McFinn Technologies
At McFinn Technologies, we believe that if you develop new and better products; then it follows that they should be simpler and easier to use. We take this to heart. At the heart of the milk receiver group of components is the milk receiver pump and its electrical controls. Most dairy farms are aware of the improvement in efficiency that variable frequency drives can provide when coupled with a better pump and continuous level controls. The downside to these improvements has been the ever increasing complexity of these systems and the additional training and man hours required to install and program.
Most Variable Frequency pump controllers require between 50-70 individual parameters to be entered into the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) in order to operate the system. Many of these inputs require units such as milliamps and DC voltage to be converted to measurements corresponding to length or speed. Some controllers require the addition of switches or timers to accept input signals and provide output signals to the pump that can adequately meet the demands for both milking and cleaning cycles.
We introduced our patented low shear Bowpeller® milk receiver pump a couple years ago and soon realized that the system of controls currently in the marketplace were, in our view, overly complicated. First, our pump was on average 20% more efficient than the competition and our pump provided a flat curve performance that could provide more efficient pumping through the cooler and much gentler handling of the milk (lower ADV) if coupled with better speed controls. In addition, we looked at level controls and saw an overly complicated link from an antiquated and overpriced float to the current VFD controller.
We asked ourselves, “How do we innovate? How do we improve this?”
We innovated by developing several new products and insisting that they be simpler and easier to use.
• We developed a new product, “The Brain.” It is included in our McFinn pump controller package and it contains proprietary software that allows multiple signal input from external sensors and translates that input to the VFD. The function of The Brain allows you to reduce the parameters for input to only 3-5. These inputs are made visible via a Wi-Fi Gate portal that connects to The Brain and allows you to set via your smart phone. All settings including pump speed, level control, etc., are in plain English and easy to use. (No conversions, The Brain does the math.)
• We developed a non-intrusive level control to replace the antiquated floats currently in use. The “LightWave” is a continuous level control using an Infared light beam. This is a continuous level control that is nonintrusive and simple to install and calibrate via “The Brain, Gate portal.”
• We developed the Bowpeller®; our patented low shear, gentle milk pump that provides 20% more efficiency and has demonstrated lower ADV test results that indicate it does not shear the milk fat globule.
From our experience we have learned that great components are not good if they are not easy to use! If you can check your home thermostat, view who is ringing your doorbell or even see what is in your refrigerator via a smart phone — then why are we still plugging 70 parameters into milk pump controllers?
We believe our new McFinn milk receiver pump control package bridges this chasm in a way that demonstrates a commitment to American innovation and the American dairyman.