Stochastic models for simulating parallel, rotary, and side-opening milking parlors

R. Nitzan, I. Bruckental, Z. Bar Shira, E. Maltz, I. Halachmi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Simulation models of parallel, rotary, and side-opening milking parlors were built that could predict milking parlor performance according to herd size, number of milking stalls, labor quality, and cow characteristics. The models were validated by statistically comparing the duration of the simulated milking process with actual data collected at 3 dairy farms during 12 mo. Various scenarios were generated to study parlor performance, and the results indicated that for a parlor with up to 14 milking stalls, a side-opening design provided greater capacity than parallel or rotary parlors. Performance of a side-opening parlor was reduced by enlargement up to 20 milking stalls. For 10 to 40 milking stalls, a rotary design gave better performance than a double parallel design in terms of milking process duration and stall utilization. The presented models can serve as a practical tool in designing new parlors or changing operations of existing ones.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4462-4472
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Design
  • Milking parlor simulation
  • Operation
  • System engineering


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