Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is VendingMiser®?
A: VendingMiser is a power control technology for cold beverage vending machines. VendingMiser invisibly up to 46% of the $200 to $500 in annual electricity costs that the machine consumes. It is a simple plug-and-play device, with more than 150,000 units installed in corporations, school districts, colleges and universities, government offices, retail stores, and hospitality properties. Utilizing a Passive Infrared (PIR) Sensor, VendingMiser powers down the vending machine when the area surrounding it is vacant, while maintaining the temperature of the vended product. In addition, it will reduce the maintenance costs of the vending machine and increase the life of the front panel fluorescent lamps.
Q: How Does VendingMiser Accomplish This Feat?
A: VendingMiser uses three different technologies to intelligently manage the power to a vending machine.
- Using state-of-the-art electronics, VendingMiser is able to automatically determine whether or not the compressor of the vending machine is operating. Because VendingMiser will never turn off power to the vender while the compressor is running, the VendingMiser will never short cycle the compressor.
- The VendingMiser uses a custom PIR sensor to determine if there is anyone within 15 feet of the machine. VendingMiser waits for 15 minutes of vacancy and then completely powers off the vending machine. If the compressor is running, power down is delayed until the current cycle is completed.
- Once powered off, VendingMiser will monitor the room's temperature, and based on this measurement will automatically re-power the vending machine in 1 to 3 hours. VendingMiser allows the vending machine to run a complete cooling cycle, and then powers it down again. (For temperatures above 105° F, the VendingMiser will not turn off power to the vending machine.)
If a customer approaches the vending machine while powered down, VendingMiser will sense the person's presence and power up immediately.
Q: Have the Major Bottlers Tested the VendingMiser?
A: Yes! Both The Coca-Cola Company and The Pepsi-Cola Company have tested the VendingMiser and VM2iQ® and more than 300,000 EnergyMisers® have been installed on refrigerated beverage machines. The VM2iQ is another energy saving device that is installed internally in refrigerated beverage vending machines. Please read the Bottlers' Perspectives page.
Q: Have the Vending Machine Manufacturers Tested the VendingMiser?
A: Yes! Dixie-Narco has tested VendingMiser and duplicated USA Technologies' findings. Other manufacturers are being encouraged to test VendingMiser as well (see the Testimonials Page).
Q: Does VendingMiser Have Any Impact on Product Temperature?
A: Absolutely not! Bottlers' acceptance of our product is based on extensive testing performed by their labs to document that even in very hot locations, VendingMiser ensures that the vended product meets their temperature requirements. Additionally, Dixie-Narco tested the VendingMiser and documented that the vended product temperature actually got colder with VendingMiser controlling the machine. USA Technologies own testing has also shown no significant product temperature change.
Q: Have Other Independent Third Parties Tested VendingMiser?
A: Hundreds of documented tests have been performed by independent parties, generating savings of up to 46%. Letters documenting some of these are posted on the Testimonials Page.
Q: Will the VendingMiser Save Energy When Installed on an ENERGY STAR Beverage Vending Machine?
A: Yes! Working together, an ENERGY STAR qualified vending machine and a VendingMiser can use up to 65% less energy than a standard vending machine.
Q: Is VendingMiser Safe for My Machine?
A: Yes! VendingMiser is compatible with all types of cold drink vending machines. VendingMiser will not damage your vending machine - this has been validated by VendingMiser acceptance by bottlers and machine manufacturer testing. In addition to being safe, it will extend the machine's life and reduce its maintenance costs (see next question).
Q: What Impact Will VendingMiser Have on Vending Machine Maintenance Costs?
A: VendingMiser will reduce overall vending machine maintenance costs. How? During standard operation, the machine's compressor typically cycles three to four times per hour, running each time for about ten to fifteen minutes. In a two-hour period, a compressor will run through as many as eight short duration cycles. While the vending machine area is occupied, VendingMiser leaves the vending machine powered, and the compressor will operate in this same fashion. However, when the area around the machine is vacant, VendingMiser will typically cycle the compressor only once every two hours for a longer cycle, usually about 20 - 30 minutes in length. Running fewer but longer cycles will extend the life of the compressor.
In addition, the replacement frequency of the fluorescent lamps will be reduced. While it is true that power cycling fluorescent lamps will shorten their life, the hours that the machine is powered down greatly exceeds this reduction in burn hours. The net effect is that the lamps will need replacement less often.
A recent study by Foster-Miller, a third-party independent engineering and analysis firm serving the vending industry, concludes that the VendingMiser creates an annual savings of $45-$86 per machine in operation and maintenance costs. The study finds that the controller technology reduces vending machine operating costs by decreasing the frequency and direct expense of component failures, and thus the number of service calls.
Q: How Does VendingMiser Affect Machine Sales?
A: Sales will certainly not decrease with VendingMiser controlling the machine. Whenever a person can see the machine, it will be powered on just as it normally would be. Since product temperature is maintained, customers will not even know that a VendingMiser has been installed on the vending machine.
Sales actually can increase with a VendingMiser! As a potential customer approaches a vending machine that was powered down, the VendingMiser sensor will sense the person and pop on the machine and its lights, thereby attracting attention. This attraction may increase sales by drawing attention to the machine.
Q: Is Using VendingMiser Preferable to De-Lamping?
A: Absolutely! De-lamping of vending machines has been demanded by some customers as a way to cut their operating costs. However, most operators contacted have indicated that de-lamping nearly always has a negative impact on machine sales. Not so with VendingMiser! Also, VendingMiser will save more energy than de-lamping alone. VendingMiser can certainly be used on a de-lamped vending machine, as up to 46% in energy savings will still accrue, but the payback period will be longer as the average machine power consumption will drop.
Q: What Does It Take to Install a VendingMiser?
A: Installing VendingMiser is very simple. It is a plug-and-play device so no settings or adjustments are needed. Using the Easy-Install VendingMiser allows for a 5 minute installation without tools. Simply attach the Easy-Install bracket, which holds the VendingMiser unit and the PIR Sensor, to the machine with the supplied velcro. VendingMiser is self testing, and has LEDs that will immediately tell you the status of the unit. See our website for installation instructions.
For applications not suitable for the Easy-Install, unplug the vending machine and plug it into the control unit, and then plug the control unit back into the wall outlet. Mount the control unit with two screws using the supplied metal bracket. Mount the occupancy sensor above the machine with two screws. Plug the sensor cord into the control unit. Cover the cord with an attractive piece of non-metallic raceway. Apply the raceway to the wall with two screws and you are done! Installation should take only a few minutes.
Q: What Happens if VendingMiser Fails?
A: VendingMiser is a member of USA Technologies' extensive EnergyMiser family, a product line of occupancy-based control technologies with over 150,000 units installed in the field. Our nearly perfect field record allows us to provide a five-year, no quibble warranty on the VendingMiser.
In addition, the VendingMiser is designed to be fail-safe. Should any component in the sensor or the control unit fail, the system is designed so that in most cases the vending machine will be left powered on as in normal operation, so there should be no impact on product sales.
Q: Can VendingMiser Be Used on Machines That Are Outside?
A: Yes. The Weatherproof VendingMiser, with waterproof PIR sensor and controller housing, can be used in outdoor locations and any other location where the VendingMiser may be exposed to water.
Q: Are There Any Applications That Are Not Suitable for VendingMiser?
A: Yes, but only a few. VendingMiser is not designed to be used on any vending machines containing perishable goods. VendingMiser's savings mode assumes that its location is not occupied around the clock. Therefore, an example of an application that would probably not produce any meaningful savings would be in a train station that is open and occupied 24-hours per day, seven days a week.
Q: How About Vandalism?
A: Very few cases of vandalism to a VendingMiser have been reported. The steel mounting bracket attaches the control unit behind the vending machine, where it is hidden from view. The sensor looks like a security device, and hence it is rarely disturbed. Anecdotal evidence indicates that vandalism decreases on machines controlled by VendingMiser since vandals are concerned that the sensor is part of a security system. A wire grid mask is available for protecting the sensor if necessary. Note that if the vending machine is already located inside a cage, the VendingMiser is also protected in this enclosure.