Tech Corner: Have You Tried Turning It Off & On Again?

Experience is one of the best tools in your box – but technology across the industry is evolving every day, and with many operators adding new elements to modernize their business, is your front line keeping up?


Every piece of equipment has multiple elements that require their own specialized knowledge. Let’s start with payments – is this a coin or bill acceptor? A card reader? Contactless or mobile pay points? How about your menus and selection? Are button-keypads or touchscreens on the majority of your machines now?

How about any number of different options for your vending or micro market tech:

  • Refrigeration system
  • Vending motors & robotics
  • Stock sensors & remote management software
  • Security functions
  • Network connectivity

Making sure your technicians are equipped to deal with the myriad issues that could arise is key to quick solutions, minimal interruptions, and a consistently happy customer base.

Basic Checks

We are all used to the basics – universal when it comes to any sort of technology.

  1. Check the power source (is it plugged in?)
  2. Is it cleaned regularly?
  3. Check for obvious damage/blockages
  4. Where is it positioned – is it boxed in and overheating?
  5. Double checking, is it clean?
  6. Network connectivity troubleshooting!
  7. When was the last power cycle? (Have you tried turning it off and on again?)
  8. Is it stocked correctly?
  9. Seriously, is it clean?

Some people will swear down they know exactly how hard to hit something to get it working again – but new technology plays by its own rules. Before you do any DIY, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the manufacturer recommendations. Do you know the reset sequence for your card reader? Have you checked which cleaning chemicals you can safely use on your touchscreen? Yes, you’ve heard a thousand times that you should try turning it off and on again – but can it really handle an interruption in the power supply?


The good news is that CAMA Members get access to NAMA Knowledge Center Training at member prices – and NAMA offers three levels of technician training:

Level 1: Job Fundamentals

An introduction to the vending industry and vending machines. It covers how to be a professional technician; common hand tools; basic soldering techniques; machine moving; minor repairs and maintenance; coin mechanisms and bill validators; pressurized gas cylinders; sanitation fundamental and security practices.

Level 2: Refrigeration

For technicians who have completed Level 1, the next level covers refrigeration for vending machines. Course topics include refrigeration theory, heat transference, the refrigeration cycle, related electrical systems, testing compressor windings, testing external compressor parts, and troubleshooting refrigeration systems.

Level 3: Electronics

For technicians who have completed Level 2, the final level covers electronics in vending machines. Topics include basic electrical principles, Ohm's Law, wiring devices, switches and controls, coils, relays, solenoids, capacitors, transformers and rectifiers, resistors, electronics and semiconductors, electric motors, heaters, electrodes, electrical test equipment and trouble-shooting vending schematics.

Invest in yourself, your team and your business by recognizing the importance of technician training – and have that expertise on hand!

Making Your Choices

With so many options in the market, choosing your machines comes with many considerations. Technician support can be a big incentive! But if you want to maximize the life of your machines, or if you opt for great refurbs to add to your line, keeping apace with the shifting baseline for ‘basic’ checks and repairs should be front and centre.
The Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association|