The world’s hardest working robot – the DeLaval VMS™

On a farm in the Netherlands, just 40km east of Amsterdam, stands the first ever DeLaval VMS ™ that was installed in the country. It’s one of the first commercially running DeLaval VMS™ robots outside of Sweden. After a bit more than 15 years, running on average 20-22 hours a day, it’s delivered something in the region of 8.25 million kilograms of high quality milk. And it is still running smoothly.

The same hardware is in place since 1999 when it was first installed. The software, compressor and PC have been updated and the robot has gone through a normal servicing routine. “When we started selling DeLaval VMS™ we compared it with parlours and we told farmers that a parlour can last for 15 years and the DeLaval VMS™ could maybe do the job for 12 years,” says Johan Ter Weele, Business Development Manager,VMS at DeLaval. “Now we know that this DeLaval VMS™ is still going strong at this farm and there’s no reason to believe that will change for at least another five years. The robot can do it and the farmer and his wife are very happy to use this VMS system,”adds Ter Weele.

To fully understand the productivity of the best-selling robot, a few fun comparisons were made with two other machines that every farm uses; the tractor and the car. A tractor usually runs for about 10 years and the busy ones will be used 8 hours a day. If the tractor was to be in use for as many hours as DeLaval VMS™ in Holland, it would take 40 years before it would meet the same productivity as a DeLaval VMS™.

“If you can get your tractor to last for 40 years, then you’re doing well but my guess is that it’s not in the best condition and not that useful anymore,” says Ter Weele. “We’re saying that four or five tractors would have fallen to pieces by the time the tractor put in the same sort of hours as the VMS.”

And when it comes to cars, then one probably shouldn’t do the maths at all.

“We calculated that a car driving at 68km per hour for the same amount of hours as a DeLaval VMS™ in full operation would need to drive 8.2 million kilometres to be as competitive.” That’s the equivalent of driving around the world 205 times and most cars wouldn’t manage that. “If every car lasted for 300,000km, then you would need 28 of them to be as productive as a VMS.”

Okay. We don’t know if the DeLaval VMS™ is the world’s hardest working robot, but it’s certainly a good investment; something DeLaval’s customers agree with.



For more information:

Kristina Hunter Nilsson
Manager External Communications

+46 72 5099992

About DeLaval
DeLaval is a worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers, which make sustainable food production possible, warranting milk quality and animal health. Our solutions are used by millions of dairy farmers around the globe every day.

DeLaval was founded more than 130 years ago in Sweden, when the visionary Gustaf de Laval patented the cream separator. Today, DeLaval has 4,500 employees and operates in more than 100 markets. DeLaval, alongside Tetra Pak and Sidel, is part of the Tetra Laval Group. See more at