Challenges and Tendencies of Automatic Milking Systems (AMS): A 20-Years Systematic Review of Literature and Patents
Over the last two decades, the dairy industry has adopted the use of Automatic Milking Systems (AMS). AMS have the potential to increase the effectiveness of the milking process and sustain animal welfare. This study assessed the state of the art of research activities on AMS through a systematic review of scientific and industrial research. The papers and patents of the last 20 years (2000–2019) were analysed to assess the research tendencies. The words appearing in title, abstract and
... of a total of 802 documents were processed with the text mining tool. Four clusters were identified (Components, Technology, Process and Animal). For each cluster, the words frequency analysis enabled us to identify the research tendencies and gaps. The results showed that focuses of the scientific and industrial research areas complementary, with scientific papers mainly dealing with topics related to animal and process, and patents giving priority to technology and components. Both scientific and industrial research converged on some crucial objectives, such as animal welfare, process sustainability and technological development. Despite the increasing interest in animal welfare, this review highlighted that further progress is needed to meet the consumers' demand. Moreover, milk yield is still regarded as more valuable compared to milk quality. Therefore, additional effort is necessary on the latter. At the process level, some gaps have been found related to cleaning operations, necessary to improve milk quality and animal health. The use of farm data and their incorporation on herd decision support systems (DSS) appeared optimal. The results presented in this review may be used as an overall assessment useful to address future research.