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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 9, September 2011, Posted On: 9/5/2011

Japan's Sanden Corp. Buys Toshiba Cup Vending Business, Unveils EnergyRanger

Tim Sanford
vending, vending machine, vending machine business, automated retailing, Sanden Corp., The Vendo Co., Vendo, Sanden Vendo, Toshiba Electric Appliances Co. Ltd., Toshiba, Energy Ranger vending machine, Japanese vending machine, cup-type vending machine, noodle vending machine, coffee machine, Vendking

GUNMA, Japan -- Sanden Corp. recently announced that it has acquired the cup-type vending machine business, which includes development, sales and service, from Toshiba Electric Appliances Co. Ltd.

Sanden has strengthened its cup vender activities to meet consumer needs in Japan and abroad, and said it is reinforcing those undertakings with cup vending technologies and knowhow accumulated over many years by Toshiba Electric Appliances. Four decades ago, Toshiba became a distributor for Canada's Vendking single-cup brewing system and integrated its principles into Toshiba coffee vending equipment.

"The scale of the European market for cup-type vending machines is comparable to that of the Japanese market for can and PET bottle vending machines," the company reports. In 1988, Sanden acquired The Vendo Co., based in Corinth, MI, at the time, a pioneering vending machine manufacturer with operations in the U.S. and Europe. The cup-type vending machines of SandenVendo America Inc. have been generating large business opportunities in the European market, Sanden explained.

By integrating the cup vending technologies of Sanden and Toshiba, the Gunma, Japan-based industrial concern said, it plans widen the range of model variations. This strategy will help meet customers' requirements for speedy-delivery vending machines, offering improved quality and reliability. In this way, the company plans to enhance the expansion of its vending machine business in Japan and overseas.

On another front, Sanden Corp. unveiled in June a beverage vending machine that can continue to deliver product when its electrical supply is interrupted, as during a natural disaster. The new EnergyRanger incorporates power storage devices and a generator. After opening the generating unit cover on the front of the vending machine, the patron can turn a crank to generate electricity to charge the power storage device, thereby enabling the delivery of product. Because electricity can be generated at any time, the desired quantity of beverages can be obtained even during power outages that last for several days.

The onboard power system incorporates double-layer capacitors, high-capacity storage components that can be charged quickly. Because their internal resistance is low and they release their power rapidly, discharge causes little deterioration. This gives the machines long usable lives, thus providing peace of mind regarding their performance -- even during unexpected disasters.

People can generate power and obtain beverages without needing the key to the machine, Sanden explained. The cover of the power-generating unit is configured for easy opening by use of a coin or similarly shaped object. This allows power to be generated without the assistance of vending machine maintenance personnel. If desired, though, the access panel can be equipped with a lock.

EnergyRanger models are offered as made-to-order line options for Sanden's steel can/bottle type vending machine models (with some exceptions), in various sizes with widths of 999mm. (39.33") to 1,318mm. (51.9") and depths of 640mm. (25.2") to 827mm. (32.6").

Vending machine manufacturing is only one industrial area of interest for Sanden Corp., founded in 1948, and formerly known as Sankyo Electric Co. Ltd. until 1982. In addition to cup-type (noodles, for example) and beverage merchandise, it makes vending machines that dispense dairy products, coffee and frozen food, among other items.

Sanden Corp. also manufactures and markets automotive, commercial cooling and heating products in Asia, Europe and North America. Automotive products include compressors, heat exchangers and air conditioning systems. Sanden's retail systems comprise refrigerated and hot reach-in merchandisers, countertop showcases, freezer stockers and ice cases. Living and environmental products include a wide range of heating systems.

SandenVendo America (formerly Vendo) is based in Dallas. Its packaged cold drink venders are widely used in the U.S. The SVA 521 Mini Vendor is one of its newest cold drink machines.

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