Preventive Maintenance Can Keep Your Games Running Smoothly

by Rob Zigmont, Betson Enterprises, Director of Operations
Posted On: 3/19/2019

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   Rob Zigmont
One of the most important duties of an arcade technician is to schedule and perform cleaning and preventive maintenance on games. Just like changing the oil and filters in your car, these tasks will help ensure that your games have the best chance to perform at their highest earning potential.

By following these steps and keeping up on a good maintenance schedule, your games will not only look more aesthetically pleasing, but also will encourage return visits to your facility – meaning an increase in foot traffic and revenue.

Before You Start

Always refer to the game's operator's manual; each game may require special cleaning procedures. Also, it is important that the game is turned off when performing the cleaning tasks.

Look before you start. Give your games a good visual safety inspection. Look for anything that will cause harm to the customer – broken plastic, a loose screw or any other dangerous condition that can cause an injury. This is something that each employee should be made aware of;  everyone should constantly survey the location and report anything that can cause an issue.

Keep It Clean

Clean the cabinet's exterior with a mild general-purpose cleaner – do not use any commercial glass cleaners unless specifically instructed to do so by the game's manufacturer. It's also important that you never use paper towels to clean plexiglass (acrylic plastic), as this will scratch the surface. Instead, use a soft rag or a microfiber towel to make sure no marks or scratches will be left on the game.

All cabinet vents and fans should  be kept clean of dust buildup. Make sure the fans are operating properly once you've cleaned off the dust, and change the vents and fans as needed.

Inside the Cabinet

The interior of the cabinet should be vacuumed occasionally. Some games, because of their design, develop more dust and dirt; they will need to be cleaned more frequently than others.

Just as you inspect the exterior, make sure there are no loose components in the cabinet. These can cause a short circuit, or block the ventilation fans and cause more severe issues down the line.

To clean the ticket dispensers on the redemption games, use a can of compressed air to blow out and clear the notch sensor. While you have the cabinet open, make sure to check the steering belts and change them if needed.

Finally, play the game when you're through servicing it, to make sure everything is working correctly. Test all the I/O functions, and be sure to recalibrate any controls and replace parts as needed.

To summarize:

1. First, give your games a good visual safety inspection.
2. Clean the cabinet's exterior, using a mild general-purpose cleaner.
3. Only use a soft rag or a microfiber towel.
4. Check and clean all cabinet vents and fans.
5. Vacuum the cabinet interior occasionally.
6. Use a compressed air to blow out the ticket notch sensor on all ticket dispensers.
7. Check steering belts and change them if needed.
8. Games should be played, and all I/O functions tested.
9. Re-calibrate any controls and replace  parts as needed.

Bonus Tip: One of the most important things you can do for your team is getting them trained. Betson offers an in-depth class called Betson Technical University, where we do two days of hands-on training. [If you'd like more info, click here.]

Making a schedule and performing these simple steps can save time, money and headaches. And it will keep customers happy and safe.