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  • A vending machine is a machine that dispenses merchandise when a customer deposits sufficient money into a slot or vent to purchase the desired item. The money (usually coins) is validated by a currency detector.

  • Vending machine parts include some sort of monetary detection device, such as coin slots and card swipes, in addition to a display case and product dispense area where the purchaser can pick up the purchased item. Some special vending machines will have unique parts, such as a refrigeration unit to keep drinks or food cool.

  • Vending machine businesses are run by store owners or individuals who rent out vending machines and take some percentage of the profits. Vending machine operations are fairly straightforward and may require regular maintenance to clear jams as well as provide product refills. Vending machines can contain beverages, snacks, cigarettes, alcohol, candy, stamps, and more.

Machine Designing Process

  • Vending machines are constructed primarily from four major raw materials: galvanized steel, Lexan or other plastic, acrylic powder coatings, and polyurethane insulation.

  • The basic design of a vending machine begins with the cabinet, the steel outer shell that holds all internal components and which determines the machine's overall size and shape. Inside the cabinet is a steel inner lining called the tank. The tank and the cabinet fit closely together, leaving enough room in-between for a layer of polyurethane foam insulation.

  • In combination, the tank and the foam insulation help keep internal temperatures stable and protect products against temperature extremes outside the cabinet. Although all products and dispensing mechanisms are contained in the cabinet, in the strictest sense, they are actually installed within the tank.


  • The popularity of the vending machine proved even stronger in Japan. Half of Japan's retail soft drink sales came through vending machines, and this market share is expected to increase. In Japan, the machines lined the sidewalks, playing music and offering a wide variety of  merchandise, including beer, sushi, and panty hose.

  • It is estimated that there are 500,000 vending machines installed in the UK. Vending machines are used globally to automatically dispense products in an array of environments for a diverse range of products. This can range from hot foodstuffs through beverages and confectionary to non-food machines.

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