3-A Sanitary Standards brought together the dairy industry’s fabricators, users and sanitarians to move AMI (Automated Milking Installations) technology forward and enhance farmers’ livelihood, improve milk quality and help build a safer industry.

The fabricators (manufacturing) in this process are AEM members of the Dairy Equipment Engineering Committee (DEEC). They include manufacturers AMS Galaxy, BouMatic, DeLaval, GEA, Lely and Waikato. The DEEC members brought the hardware and software expertise, part by part and process by process, to the group that extracted the milk, maintained a sanitized environment and delivered quality milk through the AMI unit with efficiency, productivity and safety top of mind. 

The users (Dairy Farmers Association, Cheese Mfc. etc.) need the milk to produce their food products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.) in a sanitized quality condition to produce the foods they deliver to consumers.

The sanitarians (Department of Agriculture) are the industrial hygienists. They are inspired professionals devoted to controlling sanitation processes through recognition, evaluation and controls that confirm protection from hazards in the food preparation process.

Each joint, gasket, surface, coating, clamp, contact surface, sensor, seal, valve and o-ring (plus the cleaning, delivery and inspection process) had to be designed, fabricated, analyzed, tested, defined and assessed to create an environment that delivered a quality product from animal to vessel.

The deliverables from this group of fabricators, users and sanitarians are science-based information to reach consensus decisions in providing quality food products that go beyond the normal product standards because this product is consumed by billions of human beings.  No safety bar is too high to meet and reach. 

The unique task placed on the shoulders of Eric Schweitzer, director at 3-A and Mel Jolly, vice chairman of WG9, was to lead and extract the industry expertise and knowledge from the fabricators, users and sanitarians into a working group to create an AMI worthy of the dairy industry.

Schweitzer and Jolly piloted this group of expert volunteers through 32 months, as well as 30 meetings, and conference calls to create an AMI standard that takes the milk directly from the cow to a large vessel (tank) without ever seeing the light of day.  The milk goes directly to the cheese factory or the dairy to be processed into the foods consumed every day.  

Hosting this group of 26 experts was a huge task, but it was easy to gain their attention and time due to their dedication and commitment to the dairy industry and food quality.

While standards do take time to develop, test and create, energies should be devoted to make it exactly right, especially when the goal is vital to so many.

This 3-A Sanitary Standard was developed jointly by the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), The European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) and the AEM Dairy Equipment Engineering Committee (DEEC).

The “3-A Sanitary Standard for Unitized Equipment for Automated Milking Installations (AMI) B-102-00-A” has been published and will be available on the 3A web site on March 12. 

Subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor for more AEM news and updates.