Category Archives: Vending Machine Videos and Tutorials

Vending machine downtime and its impact on your vending business

Vending Machine Downtime - VendNetUSALike all machinery and equipment, vending machines are susceptible to failure or performance issues. While some parts of the machinery are pretty complex and need expert handling, most of them are easy to maintain with low technical skills. In other words, timely DIY maintenance of vending machines can keep the downtime to a minimum.

Meant-Time-Between-Failures (MTBF) is a crucial measure that defines the productivity and uptime of machines. The longer the MTBF is, the better the utilization of the machine will be. When the MTBF is low, however, it is not just a question of machine utilization. Unplanned downtime can impact a vending business at several levels.

Impact on revenue and competition

The point of value creation in the vending business is the vending machine. When it is out of action, consumers cannot buy from it. This translates to a direct loss of revenue. Frequent outage means that the vending machine is standing idle. Suppose your competitors have placed machines in the same location. In that case, your revenue will start flowing into the hands of your competition. This allows your competition to price higher and earn more per machine.

Unrecovered capital

Vending machines are capital equipment. Businesses invest in them and recover the capital over the machine’s life. An idle machine will result in a longer duration to recover the capital employed. Unrecovered capital could bite you harder if your business has multiple machines installed in different locations. The higher the number of transactions, the quicker is your RoCE (Returns on Capital Employed). Ensuring that the machine does not go out of service is essential to achieve this milestone faster.

Cost of upkeep

Machines that fail frequently need constant investment in maintenance and upkeep. The failure could be because of several reasons, including user abuse, ambient operating conditions, lack of proper preventive maintenance or even ageing equipment. Getting the machine back up and running will require investment in parts, consumables, and time of skilled personnel.

Lost customer base

Customers who cannot transact with your machine when they are out cold will look out for nearby alternatives. If a competitor’s machine is available, they will use that machine. When this happens frequently enough, the end-user will eventually start walking straight to the machine they know will work for sure. Over time, frequent outages of your vending machine will lose its customer base.

The loss of  trust from partners

The businesses where you place your machines are your partners. They have chosen to share access to their customer base with your vending business. Hence, they will expect your vending machines to deliver the best experience for the end customer. If they realize that some vending machines serve their customers better than others, they will want to do more business with them than those that are always out of action.

Causes of downtime

A vending machine under repair can do more damage than just losing revenue from a few transactions. This can be easily avoided by taking necessary corrective actions. To take such steps, however, it is required to understand what causes the failure of vending machines. Some of those reasons are discussed below:

  • Machine repairs

All types of machinery experience wear and tear during their operations. Vending machines are no exception to this. Moving components, like the dispensing mechanism, can experience friction-related damages. Electronic components might fail due to power surges. Even simple mechanisms like doors in the collection tray can rust over time. Used machines may come with parts that are past their useful life. User abuse can also lead to repairs that can bring down a good machine.

  • Stocking issues

Another common cause of vending machine downtime is the problems due to poor stacking. Products that come in bags, like potato chips, are a good example. The bags tend to get stuck in the side rails between coils or under the coils. A candy bar on the metal coil can jam two bars and render the whole line useless. A common mistake that most operators make is not checking each product for a successful vend after stocking.

  • Site conditions

Vending machines that store beverages or other refrigerated products are vulnerable to ambient conditions. Too much exposure to the sun might overload the refrigeration compressor. A dusty environment can clog up the air circulation system and choke the refrigeration system. Poor flooring can also result in the machine tipping over. Chocolate bars tend to melt in hot conditions and get stuck in the machine. These are examples of how ambient conditions can cause vending machine failures.

Preventing unplanned downtime in vending machines

Regular preventive maintenance can reduce machine outages significantly. Using the right parts can help you increase MTBF. Operating the machine to specifications can reduce failures due to overloading or mishandling. Ensuring the availability of stock can eliminate instances of idling machines.

Our experts at Vendnet can help you with technical inputs on maintaining a well-oiled fleet of vending machines. We can help you find the right parts and consumables that extend the life of your machines. If you would like help solving frequent machine failures, talk to us at 1-800-833-4411.

Coffee & Hot Beverage Vendors – Clearing Jams in Bill & Coin Collectors.

April VendNet BLOG

Beverages have become an essential part of today’s work culture. Even project modules are broken down based on the amount of coffee involved. For most, a cup of coffee is a routine set in place to begin your day. You visit the coffee vending machine and “clink,” dunk your coin, and “whoosh” comes the beverage of your choice. It all seems so easy.   

Not always! There are countless reasons that cause the occasional hiccup in the local coffee vending machine. And much like an uncontrolled nuclear reaction, when the vending machine comes to a grinding halt, it leads to a chain reaction that ultimately ends with frustration and despair. 

Making sure that employees have access to the elixir is not really that difficult, though. Timely and periodic maintenance is the solution, similar to many other problems.  That is why it is necessary to learn ways to enhance and maintain your vending machines, especially your coffee vending machines. 

In this blog, we take a look at some of the common troubleshooting steps for clearing jams in coins and bill collectors that can create unwarranted drama around the caffeine corner. 

Clearing Jam in Coin Acceptor

There can be several reasons that may cause a jam in a Coin Acceptor. Wear and tear over the years, accumulation of debris, and blockage due to foreign objects can all hinder the normal functioning of the overall system.

A Red DIS flashing: Indication of possible obstruction in the coin discriminator 

If you come across a red DIS flashing light or cannot take coins from your Conlux MCM model coin mechanism, you may have encountered one of the possible scenarios that would require opening up a few of the parts.

A simple workaround is to gently open the cover behind the coin channel to examine for coin jams, obstruction, or other debris. If found, you could remove the block by sliding your finger across the coin channel. You’re good to go! 

Obstruction Beyond the Coin Channel Neighborhood

For obstructions in other parts of the coin mechanism, open the coin funnel and open the acceptor gate to clear out any obstacle you may find.  

Inspecting the Coin Cassette 

Periodic inspection of the coin cassette for obstruction or any misalignment is a healthy practice. Push down on the white finger tap to open the coin cassette. Ensure that the white slider is in the cassette and not lodged at the bottom of the mechanism. 

   

If the coin jam issue persists, you may have to remove the coin discriminator portion from the coin mechanism to examine other jams.

Clearing Jam from the Bill Acceptor:

Like the Coin Acceptor, you may occasionally have to clear note jams from the bill acceptors. Let us look at some common troubleshooting steps to help fix note jams.

Locating the Bill Collector 

Accessibility to the bill acceptor will vary based on the model of the vending machine. Ideally, you may require a manager pin or a passcode for access. The bill acceptor is housed inside the door. The number of light flashes across it indicates the issue with the bill acceptor.

Diagnostic Indicators
The varying rate of LED flashes points to the possible issues with the bill acceptor. For instance, continuous, slow flashes indicate failure of the unit and the need for replacement. Similarly, fast and continuous flashes mean that the stacker is full.

Troubleshooting

The first step is to unhook the LED housing from the main unit. Press up the metal pin and pull it outwards. Now inspect the unit for any debris or obstruction that could possibly be causing the jam. If any, remove the obstruction and hook the unit back in.

       

Locate a blue button on top of the bill acceptor. Push the blue button on top of the bill box toward the door to remove it. Inspect the compartment for jams in both the validation and the box. Flip open the blue color doors and check for any obstruction.

 

 

Normally, the steps should help clear out any obstruction and get the machine up and running. In the unlikely event that the self-troubleshooting doesn’t work, then you may reach out for additional support to Vendnet through 1-800-833-4411.

Setting Up Snacks and Drinks Combination Vendor – Model 3589 (With Checklists)

Setting Up Snacks and Drinks Combination Vendor -  Model 3589 (With Checklists)

Following best practices in setting up your vending machine helps reduce service costs, eliminate downtime, extend your vending machine’s life, and maximize your revenue. There are many points to be considered to ensure a hassle-free setup of your brand new machine.

Vendnet has a library of video content about our equipment across all models and variants. With just a few clicks, customers can find out how to set up their machine, how to load products, and, maybe most importantly, how to set prices. 

In this post, we take the Futura Combo Model 3589 as an example. This bestseller is a high-capacity snack, candy, and drink combo vending machine. And is the most versatile combination vendor on the market. The Model 3589  combination vending machine vends 

  • Nine (9) drink/beverage selections for cans and bottles 
  • Twenty (20) snack, candy, and food selections for pastries, chips, and healthy vending food products.

Receiving and Inspecting the 3589 Snack and Drink Machine

We run a thorough inspection of your combo machine before shipping. However, it is highly recommended that you check for any visible damages before accepting the delivery from the freight operator. Like this, quite a few things need your attention during the receiving and setup time. Watch the video below to ensure you are prepared for your delivery.

 Model 3589 Receiving and Setup

Loading Products To Model 3589 Snack and Drinks Machine

Loading Products into model 3589 is made simpler by writing down all the selected numbers and the corresponding products and their prices on a piece of paper. This piece of paper will become handy when programming the pricing for your products. 

Video Loading Products into model 3589

Filling the Coin Changer for Model 3589 Snack and Drinks Machine

The machine’s door is to be left unlocked for the software setup. Check out our video with the stepwise instructions and the points that you need to keep in mind when filling the coin changer. Let us start you up with the first step – Before filling the coin changer, please keep one roll of each coin denomination – quarters, nickels, and dimes.  

Video → https://youtu.be/DQw3wW0SeKc?t=295 

Price Setting For Individual Products –  Model 3589 Snack And Drinks Machine

You could set each product’s prices that correspond to the selection number. Utilize the sheet with the product and price information against the selection numbers from the earlier video on loading products.

Now, there are three options to set prices. One is setting them for individual products, the second is setting prices by row, and the third is setting the entire machine to one price. Please select your merchandise accordingly and conversely please choose the price-setting that matches your merchandise. Our videos cover all these options, but still, we would like to start you off with the steps that are repeated in all three before you check the videos out.

  1. Press the service mode button
  2. Press <5> in the door  keypad, which activates the pricing setup
  3. Press 
    1. <1> for activating price-setting for individual selections
    2. <2> for activating price-setting by row
    3. <3> for activating price-setting for entire machine
  4. This shows the current pricing for the selection number
  5. You could reset the prices against the selection number
  6. Press the pound key <#> to confirm
  7. Press the star key <*> three times to exit

Check out this video for setting prices for individual selections in the Model 3889 Snacks and Drinks machine → https://youtu.be/DQw3wW0SeKc?t=360

This section of the video specifically deals with setting products by row Setting the price for products by row

This section helps you set all selections in your Model 3589 combination vendor to one price Setting the entire machine to one price

Pulling The Cash And Coins Out Of The Model 3589 Combo Vending Machine

The bill acceptor cassette and coinbox are securely located on the door of the machine. Please refer to

this video for clear step-by-step instructions on retrieving cash and coins from your Model 3589 combo vendor Pulling the cash out of the machine

Checklists And Pointers For Setting Up Model 3589 Snack And Drink Combo Machine

This video covers the entire setup of your Model 3589 combo snacks and drinks vendor, from receiving till collecting cash from the vends

Model 3589 Setting Prices – YouTube

The service manual is also available here for further reference.

We have also put together a quick checklist that you might find useful when setting up your Model 3589 combo vendor and start making profits.

  • Pre-Delivery Checklist
  • Please ensure the availability of,
  • A dedicated power outlet for the machine
  • Rolls of nickels, quarters, dimes (Dollar coins are optional)
  • Vend products that correspond to each selection number
  • More stocks of fast-moving items
  • On-Delivery Checklist
  • Please check the machine for any visible damages
  • Keep the serial tag in the wrapping for future reference 
  • Post Delivery Checklist
  • It is important to give refrigeration room to breathe. Please position the machine at least 4 inches of space from the wall for proper ventilation. 
  • Serial Tag Number in the back upper hand left corner you need to keep for reference.
  • Write down products and prices against the corresponding selection number.
  • Loading Products
  • Ensure the trays are stacked into vend position properly by making sure of two bump stops
  • Do not miss loading any free space between the coils to avoid empty vends
  • The central row in the refrigerated section is only for 12 oz cans
  • Ensure the door remains open after loading for the software setup
  • Pricing
  • Load a bill and run a test at least once after setting prices.

Contact Us:

For questions regarding the setup of Futura Combo Model 3589 or any other model, please get in touch with a Vendnet associate by calling 1800-833-4411.

Prepare Your Customers for Summer

With the hot summer months around the corner, your customers will be craving frozen sweet treats including ice cream and popsicles. This also means that more customers will be looking to possibly install new frozen vending machines or work on fixing their current machines. 

One of the major tasks that customers may need to do to their frozen vending machines is replacing the refrigeration unit on models 3532, 3576 and 3589. Walkthrough how customers can replace refrigeration units on their own by watching the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh0tDZ4_1Ok

To find out more about Vendnet and our services, give us a call at 888-836-3638.

Go Cashless with Greenlite

COVID-19 has taken a toll on industries across the world and the vending industry is no exception. To combat these headwinds, some vending companies are turning to technology to bolster sales and increase efficiencies in their operations. One way to achieve this is to add cashless payment capabilities to your machines, such as Greenlite Cashless.

Greenlite Cashless gives consumers more flexibility to pay with their preferred payment method by allowing cashless payment options, in addition to cash and coin.

Aside from cashless payment capabilities, Greenlite also allows operators to manage their vending equipment anytime, anywhere, thanks to Greenlite’s Data and Reporting features.

To help you transition to Greenlite, we have put together a number of support videos, including how to install Greenlite to your machine.

For additional information on Greenlite Cashless, call Vendnet at 888-836-3638.

Set Your Business Up For Success

When it comes to setting up new combination vending machines, it is integral that everything is set up correctly from the very beginning. From learning how to receive your machine to power on your machine, fully understanding your merchandiser leads to a more profitable business. Learn what to look for when receiving your vending machine by watching the video below.

We want your vending business to be successful from the very beginning. For additional information or questions about your vending equipment, contact Vendnet at 1-888-836-3638.

End the Search for the Serial Number and Barcode on Your Machine

In order to ensure you are accessing the correct information on your vending machine, it is crucial that you know how to find the serial number and barcode. This information allows you to find the correct manual for your machine, as well as helps our service techs answer your questions as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The location of the serial number and barcode varies, based on the machine. To help narrow down the search of the serial number and barcode on your machine, watch the video below.

At Vendnet, we want to ensure that you know the inside and outside of your machine like the back of your hand. Discover more resources, such as manuals and videos, on our website or give us a call at 888-836-3638.

Are You Loading Your Products Correctly?

Each vending machine and each coil within a vending machine is different. This means that different sized products and products with different package form factors and shapes must be loaded differently. To find out more about how to properly load specific products within your vending machine, click the video below.

Vendnet has a variety of resources to ensure that you are taking proper care of your vending machine. This includes a video library, online manuals and an online parts catalog to order from. For more information, contact Vendnet at 888-836-3638.

Understanding Push-It

Push-It is a new tray delivery system that is an optional feature on many merchandisers. It gives operators the opportunity to increase product by vending larger, high margin products. It does not have any coils, so is allows for greater capacity per selection. With clear gates instead of coils, Push-It allows operators to display products without an obstructive view. 

Understanding your merchandiser is a crucial aspect of your vending business. If you have any questions about how your machine works, check out our extensive video library or give us a call at 1-800-833-4411.

Understanding Greenlite Alerts

One of the advantages of installing Greenlite on your machine is that it gives you data about all of your machines in one location, as opposed to going to each machine to receive that data. You have access to sales information and inventory data. It also alerts you about issues that your machine may be having, eliminating hours of frustration trying to diagnose an issue.

One alert you may run across is an alert regarding bills and coins. Don’t risk losing out on sales, just because your machine is jammed. The video below will walk you through how to access the alert information, what the alerts mean and how to fix the bill jam in your machine.

 

Another alert you may receive from Greenlite is an inventory alert. This is put in place to alert you when inventory in your machine is running low. You can decide when you receive this alert, whether it be when you are down to five products or when you are down to one. It all has to do with personal preference.

The final video will walk you through additional alerts you may receive from Greenlite. These include battery alerts, DEX alerts and temperature alerts. It also walks you through how to fix these issues.

If any other issue arises, whether it is with Greenlite or general vending problems, check out our extensive video library or contact us at 888-836-3638.