A separator is a centrifugal device that separates milk into cream and skimmed milk. Separation was commonly performed on farms in the past. Most farmers milked a few cows, usually by hand, and separated milk. Some of the skimmed milk was consumed while the rest was used to feed calves and pigs. Enough cream was saved to make butter, and the excess was sold.
DeLaval (previously known as Alfa Laval Agri) is a Swedish company, split in 1991 from Alfa Laval, which was founded in 1883 by Gustaf de Laval and Oscar Lamm. The company is a leading producer of dairy and farming machinery. The company is part of the Tetra Laval group, which also includes Tetra Pak and Sidel.
Gustaf de Laval's contributions to the dairy industry included the first centrifugal milk-cream separator and early milking machines, the first of which he patented in 1894. It was not until after his death, however, that the company he founded marketed the first commercially practical milking machine, in 1918. Together with Oscar Lamm, de Laval founded the company Alfa Laval in 1883, which was known as AB Separator until 1963 when the present name was introduced.
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