ERRE Technology Group and the Vending Machine Market: Venditalia 2018
Vending machines meet IoT.
Italy is leading the Vending Machine Market, a sector that is worth 1,8 billion Euro in revenues and over 5 billion Euro in sold products.
Italy main exhibition dedicated to the vending machine sector is called Venditalia.
The 2018 edition has been the twentieth, a clear sign of growing interest and appreciation thru the years. Ernesto Piloni, the exhibition’s President, summarized this year’s event performance with the following numbers: 300 exhibitors from 22 countries, 14.000 sq. meters of visitor area and an affluence of over 20.000 people over the 4 days of opening.
ERRE Technology Group, active in this sector with various projects focused both on product and process development, visited the exhibition in order to meet its clients and to understand where the investment trends are pointing on an international scale. It was soon understood that, at this time, the two technical topics of main interest are: Industry 4.0 and IoT (Internet of Things).
Internet of Things in the Vending Machine market: present state of development
Most of the market’s main players have understood the potential of functional connectivity applied to their machines, with a special focus on control, update and predictive maintenance. Some producers have already applied this new technology to their next-gen machines, rigged with bi-directional connectivity – thru internet – thanks to a dedicated server. This connection enables the machine to supply telemetry data and to receive software updates.
Similar innovations included offerings showcased by smaller service companies, focused on the update of existing vending machines, therefore targeted on the management and distribution companies.
Early prototypes of vending machines featuring a full height monitor in place of the traditional front panel, capable of reproducing any content, completed the exhibition’s main attractions. ERRE Technology Group’s team remained most interested from these last machines: in fact, the team has been working on a new technical and functional architecture for vending machines since the beginning of 2018. Once applied, this technology will enable the vending machine business to achieve a new dimension in terms of functionality and financial returns.
ERRE Technology Group’s IoT System for Vending Machines
Thanks to the know-how acquired in countless Human Machine Interface (HMI) projects and to the specific knowledge of the Vending Machine Market, acquired by supporting some of the most important brands in this sector, our Technical Management foresaw the huge potential that IoT applications could represent if applied to this market.
Following this intuition, ERRE Technology Group created an internal team, composed by HMI and Electronics experts, that worked for over 6 months in order to create an IoT system dedicated to the Vending Machines market.
The efforts paid off and a new architecture was created, enabling an improvement of customer experience and the opening of new advertising channels, therefore leading to an increase of appeal and revenue deriving from the management of vending machine fleets.
The system is composed of a cloud platform, a mobile application and an onboard system, directly integrated on the vending machines. Among the main functionalities made possible, we recall:
- Vending machine data communication and diagnostics development
- Backend for database development and data security management
- Web application for advertising media management, market analysis and A/B product testing
- Mobile app to improve the user’s customer experience, engagement and loyalty
During the development of this new architecture, ERRE Technology Group actively cooperated with its Partner, IULM University: notoriously active in the development of customer experience and digitalization, also the prestigious organization is looking at the application of IoT to vending machines with growing interest.