June 20, 2022

tangled coil

Swapping coils for smart software

Most people have a very limited concept of a vending machine.

They imagine those bulky boxes filled with snacks or beverages sitting in rows behind a glass panel.

You insert your money and press the buttons corresponding to your desired item. The buttons activate a coil to spin and scoot your item off the shelf. The item falls into a compartment, where you can retrieve and enjoy it. 

Unless the coil malfunctions and your item gets caught.

If you’ve experienced this, then you’ll be happy to hear that vending machines have evolved well beyond that pesky coil. Now, innovative companies like SecuraStock produce smart, user-friendly automated vending solutions. 

The vending machine’s long history

The vending machine has come a long, long way from its beginnings in Alexandria, Egypt. 

In the first century A.D., a Greek engineer and inventor named Hero of Alexandria constructed the earliest known vending machine. It dispensed holy water when a coin was inserted into a slot. (In case you’re unsure of Hero’s brilliance, he also invented a rudimentary steam engine and a self-filling wine bowl, among other things.) 

Thanks to Hero, merchants could sell their products without having to be present for the transaction. 

1,600 years later in England, brass vending machines selling tobacco began popping up in taverns. By the late 1800s, coin-operated vending machines in Europe were dispensing everything from postcards to German chocolate. 

In 1888, the Thomas Adams Company’s Tutti-Frutti gum machines began appearing on New York City train platforms. 

Over the 20th and 21st centuries, vending machines have become increasingly more complex; however, complex doesn’t always mean better. 

Disrupting the vending machine industry

Over the last 2000 years, the vending machine has come a long way in advancing convenient automated retailing. But despite the progress, most of us still think of the vending machine as that big boxy thing that ate our $1.25 and kept our Mike and Ikes. 

SecuraStock set out to change that.

Years ago, SecuraStock recognized the problems with these coil vending machines. Since then, we have been pushing automated retail management to the next level. That’s why so many of our innovative products—including our proprietary software and mobile app—are patented

(In fact, you can read about our latest innovation: SecuraCHEM, the very first flammable, automated vending cabinet with integrated inventory management and item tracking.)

Issues with coil vending machines

So, what problems did we notice with the traditional coil vending machine?

Coils limit the type and size of the product 

Coil vending machines work for small snack-shaped items like boxes of candy and bags of chips. But there are many industries using vending machines for items that do not fit in the standard vending machine coil.

For example, medical facilities use vending machines to conveniently distribute PPE to healthcare professionals. Imagine trying to stock a coil-vending machine with scrubs?

Coils jam

Then, there’s the frequent jamming. Your item becomes stuck on the coil. It’s frustrating and leads to customer and employee dissatisfaction. 

Some manufacturers of coil vending machines feel the solution is to add another coil. But while dual-coil vending machines help prevent jamming, they are more expensive. And they create another issue.

Coils waste valuable space

Every coil requires a motor to spin it. Each motor uses valuable space that could otherwise be used to stock and sell more retail. These motors are expensive, and they limit the amount of retail that can be sold. 

Coil motors require maintenance

A coil vending machine is full of countless motors and mechanisms. More mechanisms mean more potential for malfunction and more service calls. 

Simple, Smart, Secure Vending

At one point in time, coil vending machines were cutting-edge. That is no longer the case, especially for industrial manufacturers and distributors. 

SecuraStock was founded by distributors, so we know that distribution professionals and their clients need simple automated inventory management solutions that work for them and make their jobs easier.

That’s why we got rid of the coils and motors, and replaced them with our fully-integrated technology. Without the coils, our vending machines offer much more space for inventory of various types, sizes, and shapes. The space is totally customizable and can be organized to fit your unique needs. 

Meanwhile, our proprietary software tracks your inventory and learns your behaviors. It alerts you when inventory is low or approaching expiration. It can even automatically order more inventory when needed. The result is reduced operating costs and increased efficiency.

And let’s not forget security. SecuraStock’s automated inventory management solutions include cameras and programmable badge readers. They are so secure that we offer a Best in World 3-Year Warranty and No Theft Guarantee

Ready to cut the coil? 

If your vending machines still have coils, it’s time to say goodbye to jamming, wasted space, frequent maintenance calls, and customer dissatisfaction. 

SecuraStock has plenty of affordable, automated point of use vending solutions that make inventory management so much easier. Schedule a Free Live Demo today and allow our team to find the perfect solution for you.