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Vending Machines, Inside and Out for Beginners

From vending food and beverages to beauty products, vending machines today have been quite a breakthrough ever since their first appearance of single-cent preceding machines. They have evolved into making their own massive industry and peaked during the sales of canned cold drinks dated back in 1999 (certainly not what a Gen Z would know). Now vending machines have significantly become one of major selling outputs for bottled beverages and snacks. We have to admit that they are convenient, quite reachable, and well, much more favourable for introverts with the ‘less talking, more snacking’ concept.

So now you think you want to know more about this commercialized refrigerator thing. What’s all there to know about? Where to start? You probably don’t want the whole detail on everything there is about the machinery (we all don’t, except the technician), and therefore, you have come to the right article. We will guide you through this big bad boy inside out, to get a glimpse of what makes the vending machine, the vending machine. But just in case, you might want to sit down while reading this, we have some big words mentioned in this post.

Analogue vs Digital

Generally, vending machines have two different types, the analogue one and the digital one. Simply put, the one you see with its own designated slots for coins or banknotes and the apparent keypad numbers is the analogue vending machine, and the one with all touchscreen giving major futuristic vibes is the digital vending machine. Through the history, analogue vending machine have won people’s hearts when they only just accepted coins back in the day. The small technology of coin dispenser, invented by mathematicians (please don’t yawn), started this idea of vending machine. Then before you know it, much later on, everything can be vended, objectively everything.

Smartven currently has three types of vending machine: SVA, SV22 and SV49. Our SVA type vending machine is an example to the analogue model, with the yellow keypad number and no LCD display. The more modern ones, SV22 and SV49 are the digital vending machines, with more fancy looking, accept both cash and digital payment and you can custom the LCD screens as well. But as time goes by, as we quote modern problems require modern solutions, people tend to choose digital payment, leading to hassle-free payment (to avoid those same old stuck papers whenever you want to buy your drink, we know) and giving much needed attentions to the digital vending machine even more.

Inside out

You get that the vending machines have different types, and you want to make sure you choose the right type of machine for you and your business. For an intro, you can find our other post on feeling your vending machine here, where we have discussed spirals and trays. The two models are different, we get it, but what about their similarities?

Purchasing a product and vending machine come hand-in-hand with payment methods. You may have decided to give yourself a hard time to choose the analogue one to get your drink (we don’t judge), so we think some small knowledge will not hurt. Both of our analogue and digital vending machines have a bill validator, a bill storage, and specific mechanism regarding payment. Technically, this system validates the banknotes that go through the machine and what makes it more interesting is that you can custom the marks of the banknotes. Let’s say you just want the small ones to refuse larger number since most of the machines don’t give you changes; you definitely can avoid this issue by limiting the lowest and highest number of banknotes accepted. Once the purchases are successfully made, the cash are collected inside the bill storage. It works just as how it sounds; it stores the bills inside the vending machine.

The payment and the vending system are controlled by the mastermind of the vending machine, the cute mini-PC. Yes, it has a computer inside, and no, you don’t have to overthink about it. Think of this mini-PC as the brain of your machine, it manages everything. This mini-PC is smart enough which enable you to have access to the Cloud, where you can have everything in control remotely. It stores memories even when your vending machine is offline, and it will update later when it is back online. With the digital vending machine, it also controls how the glass screen will show images. And while we’re at it, we should talk about the LCD monitor.

You can have the vending machine as interactive as you want it to be, and it starts with the display, where people first lay eyes on. The LCD display is a touchscreen system that relies on the user completely, and not only limited to choosing the products and payment, it can also give your machine a personal look by displaying slides of images or short advertisement videos. So, you sell your products without needing a store, and you have your personalised ads in one machine, double kill, right?

For some reason, vending machine at times is known as ‘commercialised refrigerator’. Well, not completely wrong, they do share the similar system of a refrigerator, but in a smarter way. Smart vending machines, connected through the mini-PC and the Cloud Management System (CMS), can also control how you want your condenser work. So, in English, if you want your vending machine to have lower temperature, you can remotely change them without needing to go to the machine right away. We told you, modern problems require modern solutions.

Final thoughts

If you have made it reading through here, then you’re probably now a step closer to become a vending machine expert (not as expert as us, but slightly, maybe). And maybe, now is the right time to give it a try and put your business out there, without needing to have your own store and still be looking aesthetically pleasing. In case you still need any other information, please do check our website or contact the button down below to book your consultation with our friendly staff. See you soon!


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