Success story: Coin-operated locks for supermarket carts

Over 20 years ago, HiperSystem S.L, a leading company in the manufacturing and distribution of commercial equipment contacts CLR with a very specific need: redesigning and improving their coin-operated locks for supermarket carts.

The company’s product development team sought a solution that implied an improvement in regards to agility, versatility, toughness and security. More specifically, it required a reliable mechanical safety system that was an evolution over every aspect of their standard solution.

CLR’s engineering team was capable of designing a high-quality secure coin slot; a solution that can nowadays be found in the most important stores around the world.


What were the main challenges of this project?

The mechanism or coin slot in use by our client was not performing as the company expected. It was an expensive, easily breached system with a design that had many limitations and was difficult to install in its supermarket trolleys.

These were the main challenges the project manager assigned to this project would face. It was necessary to make a comprehensive competitive, material and mechanical component analysis. The coin-operated locks had to be made of a material that offered the best relation between cost, versatility (it had to adapt to different currencies) and toughness.


Supermarket trolleys


The solution: Versatile, tamper-resistant coin-operated locks

At CLR we came up with a mechanism that could adapt to different coins on the market. The first patented solution offered a mechanism made of Zamak, a zinc alloy with aluminium, copper and magnesium that stands out due to its toughness and mechanical resistance. In addition, it was an inexpensive material with a good plastic deformability and easy to cast. It could also be effortlessly machined.

Thanks to the success of the solution proposed and as per the commitment of continuous improvement CLR has with every client, the project has kept evolving until today. The new versions have achieved a significant weight reduction with no detriment to the system’s mechanical resistance. Additionally, current CLR coin-operated control lockers offer the same level of customisation and have no competition on the market.

Lastly, other strong suits of the mechanical mechanism are:

  • Easy installation
  • Eye-catching design

Tamper-resistance: The product incorporates several safety features to prevent the cart coin slot from being stolen. It is a key aspect that makes HiperSystem the favourite supplier among international supermarkets and department stores.

Cart lock
Cart lock designed by CLR for HiperSystem.


CLR, work and commitment that translate into shared successes

The fact that we have been developing mechanical solutions for the same client for more than 30 years is proof of CLR’s collaboration strategy and its ability to offer value and competitive improvements throughout time.

As a result, all of this effort translates into projects that keep expanding horizons and markets. A shared success, and a motivation to keep offering the best mechanical and actuation solutions in industries as competitive as the security industry.

Gear Motors Guide

1 thought on “Success story: Coin-operated locks for supermarket carts”

  1. I am President of a large community which is also a hotel. We have a huge problem with sunbed abuse, reserving etc.
    I wondered if there could be a solution in fitting locks, similar to shopping trolleys to our sunbed stacks, so that they were unlocked for use with a coin and had to be returned to the stack at the end of the day to have the coin returned.
    Current problems experienced.
    Booking sunbeds for groups of friends who never come to use them.
    Throwing a particular sunbed on the ground and choosing another one as it appears to look better ( causing damages)
    Full hour required (at least) every evening to clear and restack beds.
    I was thinking that beside each individual stack of beds there could be a pole which each individual bed was attached by a coin lock.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.