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Milking Machine Terminology -

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Vacuum System

Vacuum pump

An air pump, which produces a vacuum in the milking system.



Vacuum Line

A pipeline which carries only air and forms part of the fixed installation



Main vacuum line

The part of the vacuum line between the vacuum pump(s) and the sanitary trap.



Milking vacuum line

The part of the vacuum line between the sanitary trap and the milking point(s) furthest away from the vacuum      pump(s), which may also form part of the cleaning circuit.



Pulsation vacuum line

The part of the vacuum line connecting the main vacuum line to the pulsator.




An interceptor vessel situated in the main vacuum line immediately upstream from the vacuum pump to prevent liquid or foreign matter from gaining access to the pump.



Vacuum header tank

A vessel situated at the end of the main vacuum line forming a junction from which the milking and pulsation lines join. This serves as a storage tank for vacuum, increasing the plants reserve of vacuum.



Vacuum gauge

A differential pressure gauge to indicate the level of vacuum in the system. This can vary between 38kPa for a direct-to-line parlour to 50kPa for a recorder milking machine.




An automatic valve designed to maintain a steady vacuum, by admitting atmospheric pressure to the main vacuum line.



Sanitary trap

The vessel between the milking system and the air system to prevent contamination by movement of liquid from one to the other. Usually transparent for easy visibility and constructed of glass or plastic.



Vacuum tube

The connecting tube between milk collecting vessel and a main vacuum line or a milking vacuum line.



Drain valve

A valve, situated at the lowest points of the pipelines to drain liquid from the vacuum or milk system when not in use. Most often, automatically.



Vacuum tap

A manually operated valve to permit the connection of units, or other vacuum operated devices to a vacuum line.



Wash pipeline

A pipeline, which during the cleaning process carries cleaning and disinfectant solutions from the wash trough or water heater to the milking vacuum line. The wash pipeline is not usually in circuit during milking, except with recorder milking machines, where it gives the jars their milking vacuum.



Teat cup jetters

An assembly comprising a tube from the wash pipeline or the milking vacuum line connected to a manifold and four cups or plugs to which the teat cups are attached during cleaning. Can also be quick wash type in which the cluster is lowered onto a fixed assembly of plugs.

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