A look in detail of the history of the vending machine
Vending machines are common to see out on the urban landscape. Their presence has long been engrained in the American environment. Well established, it has captivated an audience with convenience. I...
Vending machines are common to see out on the urban landscape. Their presence has long been engrained in the American environment. Well established, it has captivated an audience with convenience. In the earlier days, perhaps it was the midnight jazz clubs or dance hops, where people frequented and where vending machines came into existence. Perhaps as well, the ice cream parlors, local diners and soda shops played a role in getting these vending machines much needed reputation around locations.
From mechanical to electronic, we have seen this industry grow into a large market. We have seen old and traditional vending transform into refined and contemporary electronic vending. Now, we put only a smaller amount of significance on them. We know that the machines are there to do our business, and to provide our product. We think of this autonomous unit as a machine kept alive, to provide us a resource.
When we visit a machine, we only partially identify with them. What we want more importantly is our item. However, history has its way of keeping us in check. What we can learn from history, will most certainly help us recollect for the future. This nostalgia will always help us identify to what defines our environment, and our surrounding influences. So, the first thing we interact with when we visit this machine is the front display panel.
The front panels of electronic vending machines have many features. The display window, front door, lock, product door, coin slot/return, keypad, bill validation and coin return door are the common elements. The keypads on electronic vending machines are sensitive to touch. By operating them, we input the desired number on the keypad that references the product we want. The machine operator also uses the keypad to test the various functions of electronic vending machines.
The LED display is part of the electronic interface that shows the amount of money the customer has put into the machine. It shows the cost of the product and for vending operators, it displays the methods for setting and testing the machine. If electronic vending machines have snack-vending components, there will be a delivery system in place for the product. This system consists of the keypad, LED display, motors, trays, chutes and coils. The customer will input the desired money and enter the selection on the keypad. After that, the motor will turn the helix coil and the product will be vended to the customer.
Essentially how the helix coil system works is by a motor. The motor will turn the coil from the home position and the snack will fall out of the coil. Remember, the vendor selects the prices of the items and adjusts them how they see fit. Generally, each selection can be adjusted for price. The product door of the machine is usually protected from theft, by using an anti-theft wall to deter people from freely grabbing snacks or other products from inside the machine.
One of the prominent features is the bill and coin acceptor. The coin validation unit receives the coin and returns change to customers. Usually it will accept quarters, dimes, and nickels. As well, there are various parts of the bill and coin acceptor. These various parts are the coin return arm, knob, bill storage box, bill stacker, bill validation unit, coin return slide, coin chute, vertical shelf, coin return lever, coin hopper, coin retrieval and coin tubes. Coins can be retrieved from the machine by the coin tray, the manual coin retrieval buttons and the coin return button.
Generally, the machine will hold at maximum capacity $20 dollars in quarters, for example. The bill validation until will allow people to insert $1, $2 and $5 dollar bills into the machine. As well, sometimes it will accept $10 and $20 dollar bills. Unless it vends higher priced items, do not expect it to accept $10 or $20 dollar bills. Bill storage boxes come in all sizes and some will hold $300 dollars, others will hold more. It is up to the manufacturer that determines this. The bills that are input into the machine are held in the bill storage box.
When we insert dollar bills into electronic vending machines and the bill is not accepted, there are various reasons as to why this happens. Whatever holds the bill might be full, there might not be enough change for the bill, wires may not be connected correctly or the bill validation unit may simply not have power. Machines that vend soda will have a compressor. Usually they will operate at 120 volts, at or around 4 amps. As well, when an electronic vending machine is first setup to be operated, it must come up to the desired operating temperature. Usually the vending operator will set the electronic vending machine to operate within 38 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to this, many college campus electronic vending machines have a real-time display of the temperature inside the machine, usually indicated as 37 degrees Fahrenheit. A thermostat inside the electronic vending machine controls this. Most of the time, the electronic vending machine will need to be set on level ground to operate. The delivery system for the electronic vending machine that will vend beverages consists of the product chutes, motors and the coil. As well, the coils are operated by electronic motors, which turn them.
Electronic vending machines have become an icon of many commercial establishments. We can be reminded that wherever we go, these machines reside in our landscape. In our own communities, we face these machines on a daily basis. We have received convenience from these machines for a long-time. As well, the technology behind the electronic vending machine continues to be a prominent topic for improving the customer experience at the machine.
What we see today is that technology is adapting to our convenience. Essentially, technology has become the vending machine of the future. Allowing us to dispense with ease at our jobs, school or home, the various time-sensitive tasks we all must do. We may not celebrate these machines at all. In fact, we most likely turn away from recognizing the fact that these machines have been a reliable standby for us. For many years and many more, they will remain a prominent fixture in the urban landscape.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Innes Fresco has no end of experience in being able to write about vending machines for the likes of http://www.flexivend.co.uk and others.