When vending machines are not working, their owners are losing money and this, in turn, affects the manufacturer’s sales. For the business model to be successful, vending machines must be restocked before they are emptied of goods and any faults must be rectified swiftly.
Vending machines, by their very nature, are often installed in vulnerable locations where there are no staff nearby to look after them. This means that there are a number of safety and security issues that owners must guard against. Currently, vending machine owners have to rely on security guards. However, in the new ‘connected’ world, vending machine suppliers can offer their customers more efficient and effective security with a connection to Pacific Controls managed services so that the machine is monitored remotely.
Most modern vending machines are designed to inhibit theft, with security measures resulting in machines similar in strength to safes. There have been cases of people being fatally injured after having a vending machine topple over onto them, either while they were attempting to steal from the machine, or venting frustration over a malfunction.
Fraud is another problem, particularly with mechanical vending machines that use coins. Fraudsters may succeed in substituting foreign currency, or, in more extreme cases, worthless tokens or washers (commonly referred to as slugs), which have the same size and shape as the coin accepted by the machine. Not only does this allow the fraudster to pay less for the merchandise, with machines that give change they may succeed in obtaining coins of more value than the object they inserted.
Manufacturers of vending machines can use the Pacific Controls managed services to create smart vending machines that can accept credit and debit cards, reducing the need for coins, and to offer their customers a remote, real-time 24x7 monitoring service to keep their machines earning money at all times.
A small M2M device is placed in the vending machine where it connects the non-IP devices and equipment to the IP network infrastructure via GPRS. This connects to a rich application server on the Galaxy platform with an efficient web-e