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A Miraculous Piece of Machinery: How a Vending Machine Operates

So you visit the snack machine almost daily to purchase anything from chips to candy to bottled water, but have you ever wondered how that miraculous machine really works? The vending machine has been around for a long time, dispensing anything that our hearts desire but it really is an amazing yet simple piece of machinery. Here is an overview of how vending machines work.

Reading Money

To release food and other goods to a customer who has paid a certain amount of money, a vending machine uses digital and mechanical energy to release the item to the awaiting customer. They can read dollar bills and coins which allow them to release an item quickly and efficiently, the transaction usually takes ten seconds or less. These days’ machines can even scan credit cards.

When a customer inserts the correct amount of money for the item, he slides the bill into a slot that uses “feed dogs” to accept it. A laser then scans the dollar and sends the info to a central computer located inside the machine which confirms it is the correct value and also that the bill is genuine. The vending machine service has programmed the machine to search for certain marks on a bill to make sure it’s the correct and authentic. The internal computer inside of the snack machine can also distinguish between various coins by an electromagnetic field in the coin slot which reads the metal elements and thickness of each coin.

Delivering Items

Once the machine confirms that the money is valid it deposits it into a cash box and lists the total amount on a digital readout on the front of the snack machine. The customer chooses what item they want by pushing the button that corresponds to that item. The button then prompts the computer to retract the metal spiral that holds the items in the machine. The spiral retracts and the item drops into the holding box on the bottom of the vending machine. While the desired item is making its way down to the holding tray it passes through a laser beam that notifies the central computer that the customer has received their item and the transaction is complete.

At that point in time the customer has their item of choice and the vending machine has done its job of providing whatever item the customer wanted. It’s a smooth and technologically advanced process that has been bestowing an array of wonderful products to customers throughout the world.