Backing Gate Controller Remarkably Easy to Use

Backing Gate Controller Remarkably Easy to Use

John Bunnik is a self confessed technology fan but only when it saves time and simplifies his work. For eighty percent of the year, milking 230 cows through his 30 aside herringbone, is a one person job.

The latest McConnel “Guardian” backing gate controller caught John’s attention at last year’s National Fieldays. “The whole product looked and felt well thought out”. The “Guardian” controller is an all in one package. For John’s single electric powered backing gate, it includes the operator panel, combined plc and variable speed drive enclosure, robust pull switch and a mounting kit.

The touch screen operator panel displays prompts and error messages to help the operator. “I found it very easy to set up and use” says John. “There are lots of timers and parameters that affect how the backing gate behaves, but they can all be easily set”.

The timers include a forward timer that sets how long the backing gate comes forward before stopping during milking. The reverse timer is set using a built in teach timer and stops the backing gate before it reaches the end of the yard. Other parameters like forward and reverse speed, maximum forward and reverse push on the backing gate and overload timers can all be set from the touch screen, though it is unlikely that the factory settings will need to be changed. Error messages, including motor overload are also reset from the touch screen.

John has his backing gate set to come forward for 10 seconds before automatically stopping. “Because the cows at the front of the yard feel no pressure from the backing gate they don’t move instantly. With a “Guardian” you can anticipate when you want the front cows to move and start the gate early, knowing the cows at the back will not be overcrowded”. John finds the little and often gate movements easier on his cows and is proud of the lack of wear on his gate drive tyres.

Since installing his backing gate “Guardian”, John has relaxed a little during milking and not felt the panic of second guessing what his backing gate is doing.



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