for your business
If you have ever travelled via public transport or been at a mall, chances are you have seen a vending machine. In the world, there are a lot of vending machines out there: the ones dispensing chocolate bars or soft drinks, handing out cigarettes our books, and nowadays PPE in the workplaces. These are operated by very different vending machine businesses, but they serve the same purpose: to provide you the necessary products in a safe, quick and effective way. Although they might look the same, there are a lot of different types of vending machines out there – Let us take you to a quick journey around the world of vending machines.
The past and the present
You wouldn’t think that the very first vending machines were used for dispensing stamps, postcards and envelopes back in the 19th century. Then came tobacco products and chocolate. These machines are still common all around the world. The typical food vending machines for soft drinks and other beverages came later, and they still conquer the vending machine business. But whether you want to dispense drinks, postcards or cigarettes, the most important aspect was always choosing the right location for them. Back at the time, they were placed at post offices and railway stations. Nowadays, you can find them at places with high traffic (e.g. malls, stations, airports), places where there are no or few services nearby (parks or gas stations) or places where people would spend more time (post offices, hospitals, etc.) Choosing the best location can determine your machine’ effectiveness and profitability too.
Industrial vending 101
It wasn’t so much time until the industry realized they can utilize the benefits of vending machines too. It’s getting more and more popular that if you see a vending machine inside a factory that it contains gloves, safety glasses and other protective equipment. There are different types of vending machines that support the different industries.
Helix type machines
These machines are operated with helixes – the products are dropped into a tray when the helix rotates and can be taken and used. These machines are the most popular because of the customizability, product capacity and reliability. It can be used in any industry from healthcare to technology.
Locker type machines
These are just like your traditional lockers with a twist – the locks are managed through software, so keyless operation is achieved. Tools can be shared very easily between employees – reducing asset costs and decreasing downtime. You have control over your tools and assets and it can be a driver for making decisions. Also for regular dispensing – in contrast to helix type machines – you can freely dispense fragile products without the fear of causing any damage to your precious material.
Industrial vending 101
Carousel type machines
This type of machine gains popularity because of itstheir high customizability. They operate with a carousel inside which can be partitioned – offering high customizability. At most, you can keep and dispense over 500 unique products via this solution – it can come in handy when you have a high-mix, low-volume product portfolio you need to share among your workplace.
Return type machines
The world is going towards eco-consciousness, industry is no different. Return type of machines are also a new trend – with the help of these machines you can collect back your contaminated workwear to have a smaller CO2 footprint. These can be utilized for products that needs to be washed or refurbished before further use.
Future of vending machines
If you are in the industry, you have probably heard the term Industry 4.0. Vending machines are a key player in this process, getting smarter and smarter. You can integrate them directly into your ERP, most of them are coming with a touch screen, automatic alert systems help you to keep an eye on of your production at all times. If you want to keep up with the industry and you don’t have an industrial vending machine yet, you should consider having one.