Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best way to identify which parts to put into a SNAPVEND 60?

The short answer is: any items you want control over, includ­ing mission-criti­cal, high-dollar, and high usage consum­ables.

Will products have trouble vending properly?

SnapVend Distributors test and certify each product for vending to ensure relia­bil­ity. The SNAPVEND 60 incor­po­rates patented Verified VendSensor technol­ogy, which checks and verifies the accuracy of each vend. If the machine is loaded correctly, you will enjoy 99.99% trouble-free vending.

Why will certain items not dispense from the SNAPVEND 60 machines?

Due to size, shape, packag­ing, or other concerns, certain items will not dispense reliably from the SNAPVEND 60. These items are well suited for our optional SnapLock 18 system.

What are the functions of the SnapLock 18 units?

The SnapLock 18 units are designed to provide controlled access to larger products and/or items that need to be checked in and out. Here’s a look at the differ­ent functions supported by the Auto Locker technol­ogy:

  • Single Item Dispense -100% secure. There is one item in the locker at a time, and one item is dispensed at a time. Our consign­ment plan can be used in these situa­tions.
  • Multi-Item Dispense -Multiple quanti­ties of the same item are placed in a single locker location, and the worker is trusted to take only one per trans­ac­tion. Because this function is less secure, no consign­ment option is avail­able.
  • Check-In / Check-Out -The locker unit is programmed for check-in/check-out features. For example, workers can check out tools, use them, bring them back, and check the tools back in. This option allows for competi­tors’ product to be stored in the locker units.
  • Will Call or Drop Box -The locker location is used as a secure will call area, or drop box, for product deliv­ery by your SnapVend Distributor. The system can be secured so that only the person who placed the order can open the cabinet to “take deliv­ery.”

Does the machine know if an item stored in a locker unit needs to be locked down for a period of time in order for a part to be recharged?

Yes, an indica­tion can be made within the software so that a locker cannot be accessed for a specific period of time while a part is recharg­ing.

Can a SNAPVEND 60 machine limit the number of items an employee can dispense in a given time period?

Yes, the machines can restrict the number of certain items an employee can access within speci­fied time periods — e.g., per hour, per shift, per day, per year, etc.

Can I control which items my employ­ees have access to with a SNAPVEND 60 machine?

Yes, “alloca­tion codes” can be used to control access. An alloca­tion code is a rule that applies to all employ­ees in a partic­u­lar group. For example, you can apply a rule so that every­one who is a member of the produc­tion depart­ment can get one pair of gloves per day. Allocation codes can also be used to track cost by depart­ment, work orders, job numbers and other process variables.

How many codes can be entered at the time of dispense?

The SNAPVEND 60 has the ability to accept the follow­ing infor­ma­tion:

  1. Employee ID (or employee code) and PIN number. The display on the machine is limited to 64 digits.
  2. Up to six alloca­tion codes — for example, depart­ment, job number, or location. Each code can be up to 20 digits long.

How many items can an employee vend at once?

You can specify how many products an employee can vend follow­ing each “swipe,” with a limit of 10 vends per swipe. However, the helix will always spin one time per selec­tion, dispens­ing a single item or package. So, if the user wants three items, he or she must vend that position three times in order to dispense those products.

How does the billing work?

There are two types of bills a SnapVend program customer will receive:

  1. SNAPVEND Program Fees -e., the Annual Subscription, which will be billed out of your SnapVend Distributor.
  2. Product Billing -The SnapVend Distributor will bill for the products consumed. Stores have access to weekly customer usage out of the SNAPVEND 60 machines and invoice for those trans­ac­tions accord­ingly.

How does the vending machine replen­ish­ment work?

The system uses “min,” “max” and “criti­cal” inven­tory levels to notify the Distributor and/or local customer when items need to be replen­ished. When an item falls below the min level, the Distributor and/or local customer receives an email and/or text notifi­ca­tion. The Distributor or local customer then logs into the software and runs a replen­ish­ment report to view any “below min” inven­tory required to bring the machine back to a full state.

Can the machine be put in dusty environ­ments?

SNAPVEND 60 machines come equipped with an indus­trial-grade seal around the door designed to keep out small parti­cles. Site person­nel should clean the glass and wipe the key pad and trays every few weeks. Some types of readers do not operate well in extremely dusty environ­ments. In these situa­tions, it is recom­mended that the machine be set up for keypad (versus ID card scan) opera­tion.

Can the SNAPVEND 60 be utilized outdoors?

Yes, SNAPVEND 60 machines are often installed at construc­tion sites and other outdoor environ­ments. However, the machine must be protected on three sides with an overhang. Products that cannot be exposed to temperature/humidity changes should not be placed in machines stationed outdoors.

What is the suggested temper­a­ture range for the machines?

The standard SNAPVEND 60 and  SnapLock 18 are designed to operate in a temper­a­ture range between 55 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. LED lights can be installed (at an additional cost), in which case the range can drop as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

What languages do the machines support?

The software is in English, but the machine can support English, Spanish and French. Users can select a language within the software for each employee, so that users see the appro­pri­ate language displayed on the machine when vending.

What is the approx­i­mate cost to run each machine?

The machine draws 3 amps at 110 volts = 330 watts. 330 watts x 24 hours x 365 days = 2,891 KW. As an example, the average electric­ity cost in Ohio is .08 per kW, so the average cost would be $231 per year if running at full use 24/7. There is an energy saver option on the machines that you can use to limit the hours per day when the unit is “awake.” Bottom line: approx­i­mately $20 per month.

What is the carbon footprint of each machine?

The annual carbon footprint is approx­i­mately 520 lbs. of C02 and 0.09 tons of coal (assum­ing the power comes from a coal-fired power plant, as opposed to a wind turbine or nuclear plant).

What kinds of power/connections are required for the machines?

Each machine requires an outlet and an open Internet connec­tion. Multiple machines running on one Internet connec­tion require a switch (or router) located inside the “master” machine.

What are the electri­cal require­ments for SNAPVEND 60 machines?

A single 110V AC outlet.

What operat­ing system do SNAPVEND 60 machines run?

SNAPVEND 60 machines use an embed­ded proces­sor with an indus­trial kernel and do not require a separate operat­ing system.

Who installs the machine(s)?

The machines are installed by the SnapVend Distributor and maintained by trained SnapVend.

 

What happens if the power goes out, or the Internet connec­tion is lost?

Transactions are stored in non-volatile memory. If the power or Internet connec­tion is inter­rupted, recent trans­ac­tions would remain in memory until both the power and the Internet connec­tion are restored, at which time they would be uploaded to the Amazon Cloud.

How is connec­tiv­ity monitored?

The software checks the connec­tion to all SNAPVEND 60 machines every 15 minutes. If a machine does not return a response (a “heart­beat”) for a full three hours, the software sends an email notifi­ca­tion to the group advis­ing of a problem. This allows for momen­tary “hiccups” in connec­tiv­ity while ensur­ing aware­ness of legit­i­mate issues. If a machine has failed to return a heart­beat for one hour or more, this will be displayed on the software’s main report­ing page for that account. If connec­tiv­ity is dropped, the machine will display a “connec­tion down” message.

If connec­tiv­ity is lost for an extended period of time, the machine can run offline, as long as that option is chosen for vending product during the downtime. That data can be tracked in the Machine Checkbook Reports, but it would not be avail­able until the machine is back up and online, allow­ing the data to flow from the machine to our report­ing website.

How do the SNAPVEND 60 machines commu­ni­cate?

The machines initi­ate all commu­ni­ca­tion to our web server. Neither SnapVend nor anyone else can initi­ate a connec­tion to the machine. The machine checks in with the server twice hourly to let the web software “know” that it is still operat­ing correctly. Each time a user dispenses something from the machine, that trans­ac­tion is commu­ni­cated to the web server. All trans­ac­tions are encrypted with the AES encryp­tion algorithm. Transaction sizes average between 1 and 2 KB each.