Actuators in vending machines: tips to avoid mistakes

Vending machines have some peculiarities that make them special when choosing the most appropriate components for their operation. The small size of work, the presence of heat and cooling systems, or the rules for each piece of machinery, can influence the development of a vending project. Follow the advices in this article and get to know the keys to ensure the proper operation of the drives within vending machines. 


How to avoid mistakes with actuators in vending machines


  • Cater very well to all the mechanical requirements of the operation

Ignorance of the mechanical condition of the gear motor is a major handicap for the designer of a vending machine. Here we make a brief summary of some things you should keep in mind to ensure the success of the machine and the machine engineering.

  1. Torque calculation parameters: When selecting the gearbox we can use standards that provide the value of torque strength we need for the operation (move the sold product). If you don’t have that information, you have to perform tests in response not only to the work torque but also the acceleration torque, emergency torque stop or middle torque. These pairs obtained should be compared with the values in the catalog of the suppliers.
  2. Calculation of the gearbox life: Manufacturers often estimate a life expectancy for the gearbox depending on the conditions of use (optimal temperature or conditions of use standards). We must bear this in mind to choose the gear that best suits the complicated features of a vending machine.
  3. Calculation of the kinematic conditions: According to initial conditions must know the accelerations and velocities of each phase of the geared motor. This study allows to calculate the average speed in revolutions, the critical acceleration or deceleration.
  4. Study the rolling factor: The loads on the taxiways determine the efficiency of the mechanism and the life of the gearbox. Given the high activity of these machines, as well as the difficulty in many cases to replace a faulty mechanism, this is an aspect that should have the most importance.


  • Do not forget to check the materials and the specific treatments performed

Another key element to ensure the proper functioning of the gearboxes. The components of the gearbox: spindle, gears, screws, springs, washers or pine nuts should be made of the most suitable material to prevent overheating and rapid deterioration.

There are different materials which can combat moisture or temperature. If we put as an example a coffee machine, we must take into account the pressure produced by the manufacturing process, thus being more advisable a material such as aluminum. In other cases we can find machines to be protected against vandalism, existing plastics with self-extinguishing properties that can prevent the spread of fire.

Moreover, many of these components must undergo surface treatments for improving their thermal resistances. In fact, the components should have specific treatments to ensure an optimal and durable operation inside the machine.

plastic and metal gears we can find in vending machines

  • Make exhaustive tests to ensure the quality and efficiency

There is no specific legislation for the drive mechanisms in the vending industry. Manufacturers of components for vending usually follow the specifications and quality standards set by the customer. You must have complete confidence that the components of your machine are subjected to the most demanding test of quality and efficiency.

In the case of gear motors, they should be dealt with trials of life and quality as the duty cycle specified by the customer. In this type of test load to the output of the gear motor, so that it makes opposition to the movement of the drive is added.

Another test to be performed before starting production of the gear motor is to mount the mechanism in the vending machine in question and perform the appropriate tests as you would work with it every day.


  • Trust in a specialized company that has experience

Experience to find a solution more quickly and effectively deal with any problems. In engineering projects of some complexity, this experience can accelerate the development of the solution. In addition, that experience translates into greater access to standards used in other projects, which may become an important economic saving.

CLR has extensive experience in the vending industry, accumulating a Know-How about this type of machines that extends for more than 20 years. Moreover, the fact of having an experienced engineering team, a mechanized section and the latest digital technology, allows CLR to provide comprehensive solutions. All fully tailored to the needs of each specific application: coin displacement, product retrieval, wallet drives and dispensers, etc.


climatic chamber treatment


With all this information you are ready to choose a suitable provider, and control some fundamental for the development of your vending machine aspects.

Do not trust the components of your vending machines to anyone. Trust a company able to design and produce, from beginning to end, the solution you need. Note that CLR will always be able to adjust to your specific needs, offering the most competitive solution on the market.

Would you like to deepen and improve your knowledge of the world of gearbox mechanisms? Do you want to know how to choose gear motors that best suits your vending project? Download the free eBook below by clicking on the image.


Gear motors guide

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