CHESTER, CT -- Chapco Inc. reports that it has acquired Fastcorp LLC (Danbury, CT), whose robotic vending system has transformed ice cream and other temperature-critical product dispensing since its introduction nearly a quarter of a century ago.
Chapco is a metal fabricator, contract manufacturer and assembler with new-product design capabilities. The company presently serves a varied clientele with industrial and commercial OEM components ranging from electrical and electronic assemblies through transportation and aerospace equipment to food, healthcare and pharmaceutical processing to consumer products. Founded in 1964, the company recently marked its first half-century by opening a 10,000-sq.ft. assembly, research and development center located near its headquarters facility here.
The acquisition opens up new opportunities for Chapco, according to president Brian Weinstein. "We added a great product line to our portfolio and gained some economies of scale for our fabrication and assembly business," he said. "Some initial focus for Fastcorp will be integrating state-of-the-art technology into the machine and exploring various nonconventional vending markets."
Fastcorp (originally Food Automation Systems and Technology Corp.) introduced its distinctive vending system in 1990. Featuring a freezer chest in the base of the machine and a novel product retrieval system in the top, the machine's controller responded to the initiation of a vend by opening the lid of the chest, moving the retrieval assembly to the X-Y coordinates corresponding to the location of a vertical stack of the desired product in the chest, lowering a vacuum pickup to lift the topmost item from the stack and transport it to the product delivery bin, and close the chest lid.
The concept found immediate favor with vending operators because the chest efficiently maintained the storage temperature within very close tolerances, and contained melted product if the power failed. Fastcorp has applied the same principle to machines vending a wide range of products.