A vending machine is a machine that dispenses items such as snacks, beverages, and other products to customers after the customer inserts currency or credit into the machine. The basic anatomy of a vending machine includes:
- A coin or bill acceptor: This is the component that accepts and validates currency or credit from the customer. This is also known as a vending machine credit card reader, which is probably the most important component from the perspective of the owner of the machine.
- A product display: This is the area of the vending machine where the products being sold are displayed. Traditionally, this is a clear panel, but screens with images and videos of products are increasingly being used to better market the items.
- A vending mechanism: This is the system that dispenses the product to the customer after the appropriate payment has been made.
- A control panel: This is the panel on the vending machine that allows the operator to program and control the machine.
- A refrigeration system: If the vending machine is selling perishable items such as drinks, it will have a refrigeration system to keep the products cold.
- A lighting system: Many vending machines have lighting inside to make it easier for customers to see the products being sold.
- An electrical system: The vending machine needs electricity to power all of its components and systems.
The vending mechanism is usually the most complex part of a vending machine. It typically consists of a motor, a series of levers and pulleys, and a dispensing chute. When a customer selects a product and pays for it, the vending machine’s control panel sends a signal to the vending mechanism to dispense the product. The motor activates the levers and pulleys, which move the product from the storage area to the dispensing chute, where it is dropped into a bin for the customer to retrieve.
Coin, Bill, and Credit/Debit Card Acceptors
The first part of vending machine anatomy that a person will interact with is a coin or bill acceptor. A coin or bill acceptor is a device in a vending machine that is used to accept and validate currency or credit from the customer. The coin acceptor is a mechanism that is designed to recognize and accept specific denominations of coins. It is usually located near the top of the vending machine and consists of a series of sensors and a hopper that are used to verify the authenticity of the coins and determine their value.
The bill acceptor is a mechanism that is used to accept and validate paper currency. It is usually located near the coin acceptor and consists of a series of sensors and a validation system that are used to verify the authenticity of the bill and determine its value. Some bill acceptors are capable of accepting multiple currencies, while others are only able to accept bills from a single country.
Both the coin and bill acceptors are connected to the vending machine’s control panel, which processes the payment and activates the vending mechanism to dispense the product if the payment is valid.
A vending machine credit card reader is a device that allows customers to pay for products using a credit card in a vending machine. It is similar to a credit card reader that you might see at a retail store, except it is designed to fit inside a vending machine.
The credit card reader is usually connected to the vending machine’s control panel, which processes the payment and activates the vending mechanism to dispense the product if the payment is approved. Some credit card readers also have a display screen that allows customers to enter their PIN or provide other information as needed to complete the transaction.
Vending machine credit card readers are becoming increasingly common as more and more people rely on credit and debit cards for their purchases. They provide customers with an additional payment option and can make it more convenient for them to make purchases from vending machines.
Vending Machine Product Display and DOOH Advertising
The product display in a vending machine is the area where the products being sold are displayed. It is typically located at the front of the vending machine, where it is visible to customers – in terms of vending machine anatomy, think of it like the face of the machine.
The product display can take many different forms, depending on the type of vending machine and the products being sold. For example, it might be a simple shelf or tray that holds the products in a single row or column, or it might be a more complex system with multiple shelves or trays that can hold a larger variety of products.
Some vending machines have a display screen or sign above the product display that shows images or descriptions of the products being sold, as well as their prices. This can help customers make informed decisions about which products to purchase.
Digital Out of Home (DOOH) Advertising
The screens may even cover the portion of the machine where the products are typically displayed. This allows for a much larger screen that passers-by will look at, and potentially be attracted to the machine to buy a product. The screen may also be used to display ads to generate revenue for the owner of the vending machine, as a form of digital-out-of-home (dooh) advertising. That type of vending machine would essentially be a combination of DOOH and vending.
The product display is an important part of a vending machine because it is what attracts customers to the machine and entices them to make a purchase. The layout and design of the product display can have a significant impact on the success of the vending machine.
The Vending Mechanism
A vending mechanism is a system that is used to dispense products from a vending machine. It is typically the most complex part of vending machine anatomy and consists of a motor, a series of levers and pulleys, and a dispensing chute.
When a customer selects a product and pays for it, the vending machine’s control panel sends a signal to the vending mechanism to dispense the product. The motor activates the levers and pulleys, which move the product from the storage area to the dispensing chute. The product is then dropped into a bin or tray for the customer to retrieve.
The vending mechanism is designed to be accurate and reliable, and it is usually capable of dispensing a wide range of products. However, it can sometimes malfunction, resulting in the customer not receiving their product or receiving the wrong product. In these cases, the vending machine may offer a refund or allow the customer to make another selection.
A control panel is a panel on a vending machine that is used to program and control the vending machine anatomy. It is usually located on the front or side of the vending machine and consists of a series of buttons, switches, and displays that allow the operator to perform various functions.
Some of the tasks that can be performed using the control panel include setting the prices of the products, restocking the vending machine, and monitoring its performance. The control panel may also include a display screen that shows information about the vending machine’s operation, such as the amount of money that has been collected or the number of products that have been sold.
In addition to allowing the operator to control the vending machine, the control panel may also be used by customers to make selections and enter payment information. Many modern vending machines have touch screen displays or other interactive features that make it easy for customers to use them.
A refrigeration system is a system that is used to keep perishable items such as food and drinks cold. It is often found in vending machines that sell these types of products, as well as in other types of commercial and industrial equipment.
The refrigeration system typically consists of a compressor, a condenser, an evaporator, and a refrigerant. The compressor pumps the refrigerant through the system, and as it flows through the condenser and evaporator, it absorbs and releases heat, respectively. This process helps to maintain a consistent temperature inside the vending machine or other equipment.
In vending machine anatomy, the refrigeration system is usually located at the bottom or back of the machine. It is connected to the product storage area and helps to keep the products chilled until they are dispensed. Some vending machines also have a separate refrigeration system for the coin or bill acceptor, to prevent it from overheating.
A lighting system is a system of lights that is used to illuminate an area or a machine. In a vending machine, the lighting system is typically located inside the machine and is used to make it easier for customers to see the products being sold.
The lighting system in a vending machine may consist of a single light or a series of lights that are positioned to shine on the product display and other areas of the machine. The lights may be fluorescent, LED, or another type of lighting technology, and they may be controlled by a switch or dimmer to adjust the level of illumination.
The lighting system is an important part of a vending machine because it helps to attract customers and make the products more visible. It is also important for safety, as it can help to prevent accidents or injuries that may occur if a customer cannot see what they are doing.
An electrical system is a system of components and devices that is used to generate, transmit, and use electricity. It is found in a wide range of applications, including buildings, vehicles, and machines such as vending machines.
In a vending machine, the electrical system is used to power the various components and systems of the machine, such as the coin or bill acceptor, the vending mechanism, the refrigeration system, and the lighting system. It may also include devices such as sensors, switches, and control panels that are used to control and monitor the operation of the machine.
The electrical system in a vending machine typically consists of a power source, such as a battery or an electrical outlet, and a system of wiring that connects the various components and devices. The wiring is usually protected by insulation and may be enclosed in a conduit or other protective covering.
The electrical system is an essential part of a vending machine, as it is what enables the machine to function. It is important to maintain the electrical system to ensure the safety and reliability of the vending machine.
More to Know
The anatomy of a vending machine is pretty complex, but there’s a whole lot more to learn. If you’re looking for more information about vending machines, then Micro Real Estate has you covered. Dedicated to all things vending, EV charging, and beyond, with an eye toward the future of commercial real estate, city planning, and development.