26 Aug 3 Things You Didn’t Know Were Inside Green Bay & Northeast Wisconsin Vending Machines
Next time you visit a vending machine in Green Bay or somewhere in Northeast Wisconsin look closely. The humble black box of a vending machine houses some advanced technology that just might surprise you.
Optics & Magnets
Have you ever put a dollar or coin into a vending machine? Did you wonder how the vending machine knows you put money in, and not say, a piece of paper the same size? Here at BE’S Refreshments vending is our business. We excel at it, serving the Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin area. Part of our great service includes caring for the highly advanced security features just beyond the slot for bills and coins. The first is a bill validator.
Different bill validator manufacturers use different methods, but most use the detection of light shining through your bill and a lens to see what bounces off. The bill validator is programmed to recognize certain patterns based on the anti-counterfeit measures in our currency. When a bill validator on a vending machine doesn’t accept a bill, it’s often because something in the bill is making the light shine differently than expected. The problem could be a bill that is too worn or has a severe wrinkle. It can also happen when the lens inside in the slot becomes dirty. We work to solve this last problem by having our vending route drivers check the bill validators and clean them when necessary. It’s one of the reasons why vending machines from BE’S Refreshments are so reliable.
As for the coins you deposit in a vending machine, recognition of real coins is all about the size and metallic make up. You slip in a coin and the coin validator measures its circumference and how it responds to magnets. That’s why fake coins or coins from other countries rarely work in a vending machine.
We know that nothing is worse than when you insert money and your product gets hung up on a vending spiral? That’s why we’ve taken steps to reduce the likelihood this will happen. Inside the delivery area of our vending machines there is an infrared system. Whether it’s a soda, bag of snacks, or small pack of gum, when you type in the appropriate code, the infrared system is told to expect a product to drop. That product “breaks” the infrared beam as it passes into the dispensing area. If some technical malfunction stops the product from breaking that beam, the infrared system sends a signal to the vending machine controller. Depending on the model of the vending machine at your Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin workplace, one of two things will then happen. The first is that the spiral will be “told” to keep turning, until the product falls. Alternatively, some infrared systems actually just trigger a refund when a product doesn’t break the beam.
Heard of bluetooth technology? Us too, for headphones, keyboards, speakers, etc. However, did you know that there is a bluetooth device inside your vending machine right now? Well, there is if it’s a BE’S Refreshment vending machine. Our vending machines in Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin all have a unique bluetooth dongle that allows them to “talk” to your mobile device. If you have the PayRange app downloaded, it is the dongle that lets you interact with the vending machine from your phone. You can choose items, make purchases, and even get loyalty bonus for repeated use of the vending machine.
Next time you visit the vending machine, we hope you think about all the security and payment features behind the black facade. And be on the look out for even more technologies as we invest in more ways to improve your experience at our vending machines in Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin. If your break room could benefit from technology-centric vending machines to micro-market self-checkout systems, contact BE’S Refreshments at 920-983-2318.