Case study: optimal facility allocation in a robotic milking barn.

I. Halachmi, J.H.M. Metz, A. van 't Land, S. Halachmi, J.P.C. Kleijnen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    A milking robot is a recent technological development; therefore, there are few precedents and little experience to draw upon when designing robotic milking barns. There is wide diversity among farms, so the optimal layout may vary accordingly. We developed a behavior-based simulation model adjustable for any farmer or site. We improved it by using a metamodel, which allows a global optimum to be found. Under the given condition of two specific farms, it resulted in the optimal facility allocation: Farm A, 1 robot, 36 forage lane positions, 60 cubicles (free stall), and 71 cows; Farm B, 2 robots, 3 water troughs, 103 forage lane positions, 105 cubicles, and 132 cows. The optimal layouts calculated in this study are unique for each farm's specific characteristics, but the design methodology developed is universally applicable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1539-1546
    JournalTransactions of the ASAE
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • Free stall
    • Layout design
    • Optimization
    • Regression metamodel
    • Robotic milking barn (RMB)
    • Simulation


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