Anytime a large purchase is made, such as a vending machine, there is a certain amount of care and maintenance that goes along with it. Just like purchasing a home or a vehicle, vending machines are an investment and should be treated as such. Improper usage and neglect will cause a decline in the productivity of a machine and will essentially lead to a loss of profit. There are several things a vending machine business owner should consider when developing a vending maintenance schedule in order to keep their machine running effectively. Our own personal technician here at the Discount Vending Store has taken the time to list some of the most important habits for machine preservation.
Clean the refrigeration air intake coils (condenser) every 2-4 months. The condenser is normally located at the very bottom of the machine and accessed from the front, however some models it is accessed from the back of the machine. First, you will need to remove the protective metal kick-plate that is easily identified by the air intake slits or holes. This plate usually just lifts off but may be attached to the unit with screws. Second, you can use a brush to remove any heavy accumulation of lint. Afterwards, it may be necessary to use compressed air to clear fine dirt/dust particles from the condenser itself. After cleaning is complete, you can remount the kick-plate to the vending machine.
The Bill Validator should be cleaned every 30 to 60 days, depending on use. Always remove power to the vending machine before cleaning. Start by removing the cash tray on the back of the unit. Clean the tray with a clean dry cloth. Next, remove the sensor tray, located above or below the cash box. This will normally pull out by depressing the two tabs on the sides of the tray. Clean the sensor tray with a clean dry cloth. If it is extremely dirty, you can dip the cloth into soapy water, wring out completely until damp and clean the tray. Always dry the tray when complete.
Always plug your machine into a surge protector and not just a power strip!!! Most surge protectors will have a resettable test button or switch. Test the protector every so often to make sure it is working properly. If your protector has a test button, press it to make sure it trips. If it has a switch, turn the switch off to make sure it cuts power to the vending machine. When testing either of these two cases, if power to the vending machine is not cut, replace the surge protector.
The Coin unit tubes should normally be filled 2/3 full for best operation. The Coin units should be cleaned every 30 to 60 days, depending on use. Always remove power to the vending machine before cleaning. Clean the coin inlet with a clean dry cloth. If it is extremely dirty, you can dip the cloth into soapy water, wring out completely until damp and clean the tray. Always dry the tray when complete. Clean the coin run on mechanism side and door side. Always check for broken or missing parts while cleaning.
Drink/Snack Vending Mechanism
Check for proper drink/snack vending operation every time you load a new product or every 60 to 90 days. Enter the machines service mode and perform a motor test to vend your product to ensure there are no issues. Normally there are little to no issues with vending snacks. Drinks may have vending problems due to bottle/can size and the total weight associated with the drinks when fully loaded. Always test vend with 1 to 3 bottles/cans before fully loading the machine to ensure no issues. If drinks don’t vend properly, check the delivery mechanism for binding, use of proper shim, product loaded properly, sold out sensors, or motor issues such as failure or stripped gears. By following these basic routine maintenance items, you can help to extend the life of your vending machine. Obeying the guidelines of the machines capabilities and using it in the correct way will ensure maximum productivity. If at any time a machine is still not functioning after trying the basic troubleshooting techniques, always call a professional in order to receive a proper diagnosis. At the Discount Vending Store we offer a lifetime of free tech support to all our valued customers.