Labour studies (O’Brien et al., 2001) have shown that the milking process accounted for 37% of dairy labour input over a 12 month period. Future expansion of herd size on dairy farms will be required to maintain viability. This expansion will have important implications for labour requirements on dairy farms. Since farm labour is difficult to acquire farmers will look to automation in order to cope with increased cow numbers. Automatic milking systems (AMS) have been available commercially since the early 1990s, and have proved relatively successful in implementing the voluntary milking method. AMS represents complete automation of the milking process, eliminating manual labour from the milking process and freeing the farmer from the strict milking schedule of conventional dairy farming. However, the expected benefits in terms of increased productivity and profitability have not materialized for several reasons.