Power Electronics

Self-Service Machines: A Growing Power Market

A marketing report from BCC Research (www.bccresearch.com) indicates that the market for self-service machines is growing rapidly. The report, "Self Service Markets: Prospects for ATMs, Kiosks, Vending Machines (RG-287)," finds that the global market for self-service machines will grow from more than 2.1 million units in service in 2005 to 2.8 million by 2010. This represents an average annual growth rate of 6.1%, making self-service machines a potential growth area for power supply usage.



Some power supply vendors have already taken notice of these opportunities. One example is Lambda, which produces power supplies for kiosk applications such as those used by large retail stores for self-service checkout. Dave Norton, VP of marketing at Lambda, notes that his company classifies power supplies developed for the kiosk market as "light industrial." Norton also applies this classification to the power supplies used in ATMs and vending machines since they are typically not exposed to temperature extremes or noisy ac lines. "Some customers are very worried about field life and they have leaned towards our products because of the costs to repair or replace power supplies," says Norton. "A technician has to drive out to fix the equipment rather than send in a return material authorization (RMA)."

Norton explains that Lambda is selling a variety of products into the kiosk application because power requirements vary widely. The company's 450-W to 750-W modular products find application in more complex units with displays, bill acceptance and control systems, while its simple open-frame power supplies find use in voting machines and weighing machines requiring up to 150 W of single output. The company also sells power supplies with up to 900 W of output for use with photo printers.

According to BCC Research, automated teller machines (ATMs) and vending machines will continue to drive the growth in the self-service machine market. The firm notes that the history and technology is long-standing and well-tested, and consumers will continue to show their support. An off-shoot of the ATM, the self-service kiosk provides information to users instead of currency. These kiosks will begin to take off through the forecast period as well, as more consumers worldwide recognize their versatility and cost efficiency.
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