There are so many types of vending machines

Previously, the frequency of seeing vending machines in our lives was not very high, often appearing in scenes such as stations. But in recent years, the concept of vending machines has become popular in China. You will find that companies and communities have vending machines everywhere, and the products sold are not only limited to beverages, but also fresh products such as snacks and flowers.


The emergence of vending machines has almost broken the traditional supermarket business model and opened up a new pattern of vending. With the development of technologies such as mobile payments and smart terminals, the vending machine industry has undergone earth shaking changes in recent years.


The various types and appearances of vending machines are likely to dazzle everyone. Let's first introduce you to the most mainstream types of vending machines in China.


The classification of vending machines can be distinguished from three levels: intelligence, functionality, and delivery channels.


Distinguished by intelligence


According to the intelligence of vending machines, they can be divided into traditional mechanical vending machines and intelligent vending machines.


The payment method of traditional machines is relatively simple, mostly using paper coins, so the machines come with paper coin holders, which takes up space. When the user puts money into the coin slot, the currency recognizer will quickly recognize it. After recognition is passed, the controller will provide the user with the information of sellable products based on the amount through the selection indicator light, which they can choose independently.


The biggest difference between traditional mechanical vending machines and intelligent vending machines lies in whether they have a smart brain (operating system) and whether they can connect to the Internet.


Intelligent vending machines have many functions and more complex principles. They use an intelligent operating system combined with a display screen, wireless, etc. to connect to the Internet. Users can select the desired products through the display screen or on WeChat mini programs, and use mobile payment to make purchases, saving time. Moreover, by connecting the front-end consumption system with the back-end management system, operators can timely understand the operation status, sales situation, and inventory quantity of machines, and engage in real-time interaction with consumers.


Due to the development of payment methods, the cash register system of intelligent vending machines has also developed from traditional paper currency payment and coin payment to today's WeChat, Alipay, UnionPay flash payment, customized payment (bus card, student card), bank card payment, face swipe payment and other payment methods are available, while retaining paper currency and coin payment methods. The compatibility of multiple payment methods maximizes the satisfaction of consumer needs and enhances the user experience.


Differentiate by functionality


With the rise of new retail, the development of the vending machine industry has ushered in its own spring. From selling ordinary beverages to now selling fresh fruits and vegetables, electronic products, medicine, daily necessities, and more, vending machines are diverse and dazzling.


According to the different contents sold, vending machines can also be divided into pure beverage vending machines, snack vending machines, fresh fruit and vegetable vending machines, dairy vending machines, daily necessities vending machines, coffee vending machines, lucky bag machines, customer customized vending machines, special function vending machines, freshly squeezed orange juice vending machines, boxed meal vending machines, and other types.


Of course, this distinction is not very accurate because most vending machines nowadays can support the sale of multiple different products simultaneously. But there are also vending machines with specialized uses, such as coffee vending machines and ice cream vending machines. In addition, with the passage of time and technological development, new sales items and their exclusive vending machines may emerge.


Differentiate by freight lane


Automated vending machines can accurately deliver the goods we choose to us through different types of cargo lanes and intelligent systems. So, what are the types of vending machine lanes? The most common ones include open door self pickup cabinets, clustered grid cabinets, S-shaped stacked cargo lanes, spring spiral cargo lanes, and tracked cargo lanes.


Open door self pickup cabinet


Unlike other unmanned vending machines, the door opening and self pickup cabinet is very convenient to operate and settle. It only takes three steps to complete a shopping: "Scan the code to open the door, select products, and close the door for automatic settlement." Users can have zero distance access to and select products, increasing their purchasing desire and increasing the number of purchases.

There are three main solutions for self pickup cabinets when opening doors:

1. Weighing identification;

2. RFID identification;

3. Visual recognition.

After the customer takes the goods, the self pickup cabinet opens the door and uses intelligent weighing systems, RFID automatic recognition technology, or camera visual recognition principles to determine which products the customer has taken and settle the payment through the backend.


Door grid cabinet

A door grid cabinet is a cluster of grid cabinets, where a cabinet is composed of different small grids. Each compartment has a separate door and control mechanism, and each compartment can hold either a product or a set of products. After the customer completes the payment, a separate compartment pops open the cabinet door.

 Door grid cabinet


S-shaped stacking cargo lane

S-shaped stacking lane (also called snake shaped lane) is a special lane developed for beverage vending machines. It can sell all kinds of bottled and canned beverages (canned Babao Congee can also be). Drinks are stacked layer by layer in the lane. They can be shipped by their own gravity, without jamming. The outlet is controlled by the electromagnetic mechanism.


Spring spiral freight lane

The spring spiral vending machine is the earliest type of vending machine in China, with a relatively low price. This type of vending machine has the characteristics of simple structure and a wide variety of products that can be sold. It can sell various small commodities such as common snacks and daily necessities, as well as bottled drinks. It is mostly used for selling goods in small convenience stores, but it is more prone to problems such as jamming.

Spring spiral freight lane


Crawler freight track

The tracked track can be said to be an extension of the spring track, with more constraints, suitable for selling products with fixed packaging that are not easy to collapse. Combined with a well-designed insulation, temperature control, and sterilization system, the tracked vending machine can be used to sell fruits, fresh produce, and boxed meals.

Crawler freight track

The above are the main classification methods for vending machines. Next, let's take a look at the current process design framework for smart vending machines.

Product framework design

 Overall process description

Each smart vending machine is equivalent to a tablet computer. Taking the Android system as an example, the connection between the hardware end and the backend is through an APP. The APP can obtain information such as hardware shipment quantity and specific shipping channel for payment, and then send the relevant information back to the backend. After receiving the information, the backend can record it and update the inventory quantity in a timely manner. Users can place orders through the app, and merchants can also remotely control hardware devices through the app or mini programs, such as remote shipping operations, remote door opening and closing, real-time inventory viewing, etc.

The development of vending machines has made it more convenient for people to purchase various goods. They can not only be placed in various public places such as shopping malls, schools, subway stations, etc., but also in office buildings and residential areas. In this way, people can purchase the goods they need at any time without waiting in line.

In addition, vending machines also support facial recognition payment, which means consumers only need to use facial recognition technology to complete the payment without carrying cash or bank cards. The security and convenience of this payment method make more and more people willing to use vending machines for shopping.

It is worth mentioning that the service time of vending machines is also very flexible. They are usually operated 24 hours a day, which means that people can purchase the goods they need at any time, whether it is day or night. This is very convenient for a busy society.

In summary, the popularity of vending machines has made it more convenient and free for people to purchase various goods. They not only offer a diverse range of product options, but also support facial recognition payments and offer 24-hour service. This simple shopping experience, like opening your own refrigerator, will continue to be popular among consumers.






Post time: Dec-01-2023