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Bannister Downs’ new $30m robotic dairy is already winning awards and is also leading the way with packaging technology.

Bannister Downs Dairy is well on track to realising its vision to be best in class in processing and packaging. The company is in the process of commissioning its new robotic dairy and milk processing plant in Northcliffe, Western Australia.

The Creamery is built on a greenfields site away from the existing dairy and processing plant on Bannister Downs’ Daubney family farm, and the robotic rotary dairy will be a first for WA.

The new facility, which will double as a tourist facility, has achieved wide acclaim, scooping four awards at the recent 2018 WA Master Builders Bankwest Excellence in Construction Awards, including Best Industrial Building in the $20-50 million category.

The project cost over $30 million and involved the installation of a complete paddock-to-plate fridge system. Visitors to the site will be able to view cows being milked by a robotic milking system.

“We have installed a fully automated processing system that has been custom-engineered to meet our product quality priority, and includes Ecolean filling lines,” managing director Suzanne Daubney says.

“We’ve been planning it since 2011, and we started site works in September 2016 for the greenfields project.

“Our location has created some challenges as we are 400 kilometres from Perth, however, the benefits of the wonderful environment we enjoy far outweigh any of these challenges,” she says.

“It was a rather complex construction project, and managing the installation and commissioning of each element was very involved.”

A De Laval automatic milking rotary (AMR) system capable of handling 540 cows three times a day will supplement the existing dairy, which is operating at capacity.

The Australian subsidiary of German manufacturer GEA Group has installed low-temperature pasteurising and processing equipment, and the production side of the building includes cool room storage and product dispatch facilities.

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