Universal RFID Readers Simplify Inventory Management for Industrial Vending OEM

When you sell industrial vending machines across the globe, how do you accommodate everyone’s authentication technology requirements? ELATEC helped one supplier reduce inventory headaches with a universal reader that supports their industrial customers worldwide. End-users can now access the consumables and parts they need—using the RFID or NFC credentials they already use on the job.

An Industrial Vending Solution for Parts and Consumables

Durable parts and consumables for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) can represent a significant expense for industrial and manufacturing companies. An automated industrial vending and dispensing system ensures that MRO personnel have access to the parts and supplies they need right at the point of use while keeping them out of the hands of unqualified or unauthorized people. Industrial vending systems have become more and more popular as a way to reduce theft and waste and improve safety and accountability. “Smart” vending solutions are now used to dispense and protect high-value or dangerous equipment and supplies of all kinds, from industrial tools and safety supplies to medical devices and consumables.

Industrial vending relies on secure authentication, typically using radio-frequency identification (RFID) or smartphone-based technologies such as Near-Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE). Ideally, users will be able to use the same ID card or smartphone credential that they use for other applications—such as building access, machine authentication or single sign-on (SSO)—to operate the industrial vending machine. However, there are dozens of different transponder technologies in use for authentication across the globe. As a result, the vending machine OEM had to maintain an inventory of more than 60 different readers to support customers in different regions of the world. This created significant challenges and costs when it came to inventory management.

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Want to know more about user authentication for industrial vending? Download the case study.

ELATEC TWN4 MultiTech 2: One Reader for Everyone

With the ELATEC TWN4 MultiTech 2, one reader can do it all. The TWN4 MultiTech 2 can support 60+ transponder technologies, plus smartphone credentialling using NFC or BLE. Now, they can install the same reader in all of their vending solutions, knowing that it is capable of supporting any technologies their end customers are using. And since it is authorized for sale and use in more than 110 countries worldwide, the TWN4 MultiTech can go anywhere they sell their machines.

The readers are easy to program and reconfigure after installation. That means they can be programmed to the exact requirements of each customer right before shipment—and reprogramming after the fact (for example, if new technologies must be added) is simple, too. ELATEC also implemented a “safety stock” inventory replenishment program to solve inventory replacement concerns and ensure that they always have the parts to meet customer demand. Onsite training by ELATEC professionals and ongoing web-based training and support ensures that they have the knowledge they need to implement the authentication solution and support their end customers.

With universal reader technology from ELATEC, they have reduced inventory variation for RFID readers from 60+ models from different manufacturers to just three part numbers from ELATEC (including the HID Prox, HID iClass and SEOS variants of the TWN4 MultiTech 2). As a result, they have improved financial accountability as well as product performance. That’s a win for them—and for their customers.

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