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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2011, Posted On: 6/27/2011

Japan's Disasters Spur Energy-Saving Vending Innovations

Emily Jed
vending machine, vending machine technology, energy-saving vending technology, Japanese vending machines, Japan Vending Machine Manufacturers Association, automated retailing, Fujitaka Corp., phosphorescence lighting, vending machine energy consumption

TOKYO -- A new breed of energy-saving vending technology is emerging in the wake of the recent disasters in Japan and the resulting shortage of electricity.

The Japan Vending Machine Manufacturers Association has reportedly taken numerous measures to help vending operators reduce energy consumption and do their part to avoid blackouts, according to CScout Japan, a global trend-consulting agency. Among them is a zone-cooling technology that chills only a limited number of beverage containers positioned in the machine to vend next.

Japanese vending operators are also installing sensors that shut down a vender's lighting system during the day and when the surrounding area is illuminated by other lights. Another energy-saving measure inspired as a solution to Japan's electricity shortage is the use of "vacuum insulation" material, made of glass wool and metallic films, to prevent heat and refrigeration loss.

At the recent Digital Signage Japan, Fujitaka Corp. introduced a vending machine that uses phosphorescence as a lighting method, CScout Japan reported. The vender is engineered to reduce energy consumption by 30% compared with traditional machines by using phosphorescent lighting (commonly used in glow-in-the-dark sticks) at night and during blackouts. | SEE STORY

Powered by fluorescent chemicals and solar energy, the lighting source is Fujitaka's vending machine is said to last for several hours. The company also plans to market its phosphorescent lighting technology as a solution to illuminate stairs, emergency exits and signs in such populated areas as subway stations, hospitals, schools, public restrooms and parking garages.

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