Teat applicator makes drying off cows easier

JAMIE SMALL
Last updated 13:16 09/06/2014
Gary Sissons
NICK REED/Fairfax NZ

NEW WAY: Gary Sissons of Simcro with the easi-dose applicator. The product is used to deliver antibiotics to cows’ teats.

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Dry cow treatment is in for a revolution thanks to a new applicator designed by a Hamilton company.

Simcro designs and manufactures animal administration systems for pharmaceutical companies.

Last week the company picked up an award at the Good Design Australia awards for a new product in the "medical and scientific" category.

The product, called the "easi-dose applicator", is a break away from the traditional syringe used to apply antibiotics and teat seal to cows for the last 30 years.

This is the latest in a long list of awards for the company, including two product design awards at the prestigious International Forum Design Awards in 2010 and 2011.

Animal health company Merial Ancare commissioned Simcro to create the easi-dose.

"We went out and did some farmer surveys," said Gary Sissons, Simcro's head of sales and marketing.

"One of the main factors is they wanted a whole cow treatment in one magazine."

The old system required four syringes per cow - one for each teat - but the easi-dose is an applicator gun with a strip of four doses.

The new product also has an automatic cap remover so farmers don't have to pull of syringe caps with their teeth. The caps are large so they won't go down drains as easily.

Sissons said the new design is more comfortable to use and causes less stress on the farmer's wrists when they have to treat a large number of cows.

"The trouble with New Zealand dairy farmers is they dry off all their cows in one day."

Merial Ancare released the product to a few farmers last season, and Sissons said the feedback was positive.

It will be released to the full market in New Zealand for the next dry cow season, around March next year.

The main market will be overseas. Sissons said exports make up around 90 per cent of Simcro's profit.

"New Zealand's a good market, but they're looking to take this to Australia, the US, Europe."

The company has plans to double in size over the next three years.

The next step is improving awareness of the company, and it has entered the easi-dose applicator in the Fieldays Innovation Awards.

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- Waikato

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