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What is an analog vending machine?

vending machine analog header

Using an analog vending machine usually will be the first memory we have when using this machine in a public place. Analog itself means this machine still uses the same technology as it was invented many years before, not upgraded yet with touchscreen features and non-cash payments. We often see this machine selling snacks and drinks in various forms of packaging. You can enter an exact amount of money, select the product, then the product is available in the dispense box. It is just that simple.

But, maybe for some people who are still yet to be exposed to a vending machine, of course they will hesitate to get something from the machine. From fearing the money is stuck or unreadable, to the point of being paranoid that the item won't come out. One surefire way to smoothly use this analog vending machine is to recognize this machine more closely. If you already know, you will be more curious, right?

This article will thoroughly explore all things about analog vending machines, from what the devices are to the correct way to make a purchase. Let's find out more!

The exterior of an analog vending machine

Physically, analog vending machines are quite slim and you can easily identify these machines from the keypad. If you stand in front of it, the keypad will usually be on your right side. There are 12 buttons that you can press when operating this machine, which are the numbers 0 to 9, then cancel and enter buttons to clear or verify the selection. On it there will be a bill acceptor or a slot to insert banknotes. Later we will discuss more about how to pay.

keypad vending machine analog
The keypad on analog vending machine.

The thing that will definitely attract your attention is the glass section that can display the contents of the product shelves inside the machine. You can choose the products on the shelves thanks to this thick glass, and of course maintain the quality of the products in the machine at the specified temperature. Not to be missed is the product collection section or the dispense box at the bottom. After shopping, you need an outlet to pick up the product, this is where the product can be found.

The inside of an analog vending machine

Looking inside, what comes to mind may not be much because the main focus is the products. If you look closely, the interior of an analog vending machine has several shelves, different spiral shapes, and also an elevator to pick up products. By default, the number of shelves can be up to 5 or 6 from top to bottom. These shelves have numbers to make it easier to choose products to press on the keypad, with the nominal price of the product listed next to it.

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An example of a product on an analog vending machine shelf with its numbering and price tag.

When the shelf is visible, it will consist of several slots to limit the product to rows. Inside this slot, the product will be held in place by a spiral. Spiral sizes also vary depending on the product you want to place. Simply put, if the product is in tetra pack packaging, it usually requires a narrower spiral, but if it's bigger like a bottle or can, the spiral will also need a wider one. Keep in mind that the largest bottle size that can be placed here is 600 ml. So don't expect a 1 litre soda bottle here, okay?

Now, if you have chosen the product, it's time for the elevator to help pick up your order into the dispense box. Using an automated mechanical system to read when a particular product is purchased, the elevator moves to the shelf where the product slot is. After stopping in front of the shelf, the spiral will push the product into the elevator and deliver the product without fear of slamming.

How to buy a product using an analog vending machine

We have mentioned the bill acceptor. Its function is to read the money you put into the machine. To avoid your money getting stuck, try applying these tips.

bill acceptor
Bill acceptor.

When the bill acceptor is blinking red, then it is not available to receive money. Don't force the money to go in.

When the bill acceptor is blinking a rainbow, it means the machine can receive your money. Make sure the money is in the right amount.

When the money is successfully accepted, a small screen above the keypad will display the digits of the nominal entered. For example, if you enter a 5 thousand Rupiah, the number 5 will appear and it means you can immediately choose a product at that price. What if there is some balance left? When entering a sheet of Rp. 10,000 and wanting to buy milk for Rp. 5,000, the remaining amount will appear on the screen. You can still choose another product at the same price. When the transaction is complete and there is no money left, the screen will show a number. Relax, this is not nominal money, but the temperature conditions of the vending machine itself.

kondisi uang untuk bill acceptor
The ideal condition of the money to be inserted into the bill acceptor.

For step-by-step purchases using an analog vending machine, you can follow these steps:

  • Make sure the condition of the money is not folded when inserted. It doesn't necessarily need money in mint condition to be accepted. Depending on each bill acceptor, money in decent condition and not worn will still be accepted.

  • Make sure the bill acceptor is not red when you want to buy the product.

  • After inserting the money, check whether the digits on the screen match the nominal.

  • Press the 2-digit number listed on the shelf where the product of your choice is located, then press enter. If the transaction is successful, the elevator will immediately move to pick up the product.

  • As the elevator moves downward, you can immediately take the product in the dispenser box by pushing the lid.

Let’s try one!

If you have made it here, it means that you are a step closer to being familiar with this analog vending machine. Try it immediately during your break later and don't forget the tips that we have mentioned. Have an interesting idea to use a vending machine? Just click the button below to directly contact the Smartven team. Also visit the Smartven website and Instagram for other interesting information about vending machines. Happy shopping with analog vending machines, stay healthy and see you soon!


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