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Crane's NRI Unit Introduces Currenza Clip And C2 6-Tube Changer With GSM Option

Posted On: 12/16/2007

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ST. LOUIS, MO -- New from Crane Payment Solutions are the Clip, a stored-value cashless payment system, and the C2 Changegiver. Developed by Crane's National Rejectors business unit, the latest additions to NRI's Currenza line made their U.S. debut at the National Automatic Merchandising Association National Expo.

The Currenza Clip makes use of the very widely used Mifare proximity-coupling technology. The Clip reader, which mounts in the vending machine, can accommodate not only the Clip (a keylike housing for the integrated circuit, designed to clip onto a pocket) but also a card of traditional appearance. It uses the contactless Mifare (ISO 14443) standard, which features open architecture that permits configuring the Clip (or card) for additional applications, such as access control.

The system is offered in two versions, Currenza Clip MDB and Currenza Clip Multi. The first features the popular Multi-Drop Bus interface and thus integrates readily with coin changers and bill validators complying with the MDB protocol. It also provides a connector for NRI's G-40/G-13 24VDC 16-pin parallel coin validator. The Multi version accommodates Simplex V (Executive) and BDV, as master and slave, with price-holding supported by the Simplex V interface. It also provides the G-40/G-13 parallel connector, and offers an RS-232 serial interface through which firmware updates can be downloaded to the reader.

Rounding out the system is the Currenza Clip RF, a programming interface for Clip and/or card, and the Currenza clipManager software suite, which runs under Microsoft Windows. The Currenza Clip RF connects to a desktop computer through either a USB or an RS232 interface.

The clipManager software is used to configure clips and/or cards, as well as the reader. It's available in a Full package that handles all data management functions, and in two special-purpose versions. The Card version is used to configure clips and/or cards, and the Audit version processes transaction data. Full and Audit implementations perform audit data conversion to the vending superset of DEX/UCS, EVA-DTS.

NRI observes that the Mifare protocols have found favor for cashless payment applications around the world, in part because of their high security. The Currenza Clip is designed to keep costs low, starting with the simplicity of installing the system.

The Currenza C2 changer has been engineered to maximize vending machine reliability and profitability, increasing customer satisfaction while simplifying service. It features a distinctive optical sensor system that works in conjunction with the latest NRI "eclipse-pin" method which, along with minimized friction, provides a high standard of payout reliability.

The apparatus makes 40 coin-parameter measurements to optimize the validation of genuine coins and rejection of everything else.

The six-tube cassette architecture allows for acceptance and payout of the world's circulating coins, including large ones like the Swiss 5-Fr. piece (31.45mm. in diameter, almost 5mm. greater than the modern U.S. dollar coin). Three independent motors enable payout of as many as three coins at the same time (up to six per second), and provide sufficient redundancy to assure continued operation even if one motor should fail.

A principal design objective for the C2 was to minimize "exact-change" situations, which vex customers, while reducing change-bank inventories -- which tie up cash -- and speeding machine service.

Thus, the changer can be set up in a variety of ways. It is capable of six- and four-way sorting, and can accommodate two manual backup tubes. Its C2 Optimizer provides statistical guidance for fine-tuning payout configuration and float levels. Onboard logic calculates the optimal coin payout combination, and can recommend how many coins to store in specified tubes. Thus, it is not necessary to keep all tubes full. The robust tube cassette can be changed out, even when it's full, and the sorting area is readily accessible for fast, convenient cleaning. The user interface also is selectable.

The changer's program, and current recognition data, are stored aboard a Subscriber Identity Module ("SIM Card"). This speeds and simplifies the tasks of updating the program or revising the validation criteria.

A novel feature of the Currenza C2 is Airport, a communications system able to transmit audit data and vending machine event alarms in real time over a GSM wireless network.