Development of a manually operated milking machine
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Milk as an important food rich in protein is produced globally, and in Uganda cows are the major source of milk. In Uganda, the milk production is dominated by small scale farmers who still rely heavily on use of hands to do the milking. This has resulted into poor hygienic conditions of the milk as many of these farmers still use plastic buckets, and tins to contain the harvested milk ( Kabwanga, and Atilja 2015). Not only has this increased dependence on hand milking turned out to be a threat as many farmers still fail to catch up with the milking time but also milking has turned out to be designated to only men. The purpose of this project is to design, construct and test the performance of the manually operated milking machine based on the milking time, friendly use, and also the quality in order to boost small scale milk production using a machine. The main considerations during the machine design were affordability, recommended materials, portability, and average milk production. Mathematical equations were used in the design of the different parts of the machine, and all the components were sized based on the recommended suction pressure of 40-50 KPa. A pump with an inner diameter of 40mm, and length 340mm was fabricated, and the overall machine height is 1m for ergonomic factors. The machine was tested on two cows one being local and the other one exotic. At three suction pressures of 41KPa, 45KPa and 49KPa, the average milk production from the local, and exotic cows were 1.2 l/minute, and 2.08 l/minute respectively. This implies that the machine can milk 720 l/h or twelve cows per hour each with a milk production capacity of 12 litres at an operating pressure of 49 kPa.