Wincor Nixdorf's Reverse Vending Solutions
By Sascha Gärtner, Director of Marketing and Sales Support, Wincor Nixdorf Technology
Modular systems enable efficient, customer-friendly acceptance of empties – a process also known as reverse vending. Intelligently-designed, cost-effective reverse vending systems can reduce inventory discrepancies, and their extensive reporting functions help ensure transparency and a rapid return on investment.
With the Revendo product family, Wincor Nixdorf offers a future-proof, modular system that can be configured as a special solution (for example, just for disposable containers) or used as an all-in-one system for both disposable and refillable containers. The technical standard met by the Revendo systems is both innovative and proven in practice.
The system family’s newest member is the Revendo 7300, a clever solution with an integrated compactor for simple and space-saving reverse vending either directly in the store or in a separate reverse vending area. This machine uses the same advanced camera technology as all Revendo family members to recognise containers accurately, and then compact and collect them internally. Refillable containers can also be placed in the optional StoreMax bins.
Another technical highlight is the Revendo 9000, which can process both refillable and disposable containers. Its optimised system design means a number of advantages for both retail companies and consumers, including improved user guidance, high processing speed, improved serviceability and a small footprint.
The Revendo 9000 even has an innovative crate recognition feature with no movable parts. Stereovision (twin camera principle) is used for precise recognition of the crate, the brand logos and the number of bottles in the crate. The logo imprint is fully analysed by a separate color camera. This process ensures that the only empties accepted are empties the retailer can process, i.e. those in the store’s own product range. The system can handle up to fifteen crates per minute.
A significant factor in reducing costs in retail businesses is the rapid, easy integration of reverse vending into the store’s existing IT infrastructure, and thus in its POS and merchandise management systems. Thanks to its standardised, open interfaces to all kinds of systems, the Revendo can communicate with nearly any computerised POS system. The processing of empties thus becomes an integrated part of electronic merchandise management.
Another particular strength of these systems lies in their recognition logic and their sensors. Revendo machines can check up to five different container features using their built-in scanners, cameras and sensors. Colour, form and weight are standard; barcodes and/or security features can be added as options. The retailer can choose the criteria that apply to reverse vending in its stores.
Only a transaction receipt that is integrated in a store’s POS system can offer the highest security. For this reason, a Revendo deposit receipt bears only a transaction number in a barcode. This number is read in at the POS system together with the amount of the deposit refund, and then deleted after being scanned the first time. This ensures that an individual receipt can only be redeemed once at the POS system. A system like this results in a significant reduction of inventory discrepancies. And, at the end of the day, an overview of transactions can be produced at the touch of a button.
Wincor Nixdorf’s ‘Empties Control’ software tool controls the reverse vending machines. It can be used to call up detailed statistics, usage forecasts and status information.
Changes to system parameters – for example, the release of new container types, changed receipt texts, or display images and logos – are performed centrally by Wincor Nixdorf via LAN or ISDN. This means that approximately 90% of services can be carried out online, saving time and money and the need for technician visits on-site.
Another feature is intelligent couponing – the generation of discount coupons based on the type of empties returned. This generates considerable advantages for sales control of the store’s beverage assortment. These functions are enabled by the open, standards-based interface concept in Wincor Nixdorf ’s Revendo systems, which ensures seamless communication between the reverse vending systems and the POS. Customers can also use the system’s donation function to donate their deposits to a good cause.
Currently many well-known retailers from Germany and other countries in Europe and South America successfully operate reverse vending solutions from Wincor Nixdorf. And Wincor Nixdorf continues to strengthen its position as a provider of self-service and automation solutions for retail businesses. Yet the greatest benefit of reverse vending lies in its reduction of manual empties processing and the associated increase in staff productivity. And the systems have met with great acceptance by consumers – most customers prefer to return their empty beverage containers at a reverse vending system, especially because waiting times are short.
Wincor Nixdorf has its own service organisation to provide professional manufacturer services for its reverse vending machines, thus continuing the implementation of its strategy to expand the services business for its core segments and use it to tap new business potential. This means that an increasing amount of Wincor Nixdorf ’s business involves services; long-term, these will make up half of the company’s portfolio.
Wincor Nixdorf’s service company has a portfolio especially focused on the requirements of its customers. Its own technicians ensure expert on-site service. Incoming problem reports are first recorded and classified via remoteaccess in the online service center in Ilmenau, Thuringia. The next step in processing takes place in Hilden, where the dispatch of technician call-outs is centrally coordinated.
In addition, proactive services guarantee an additional increase in system availability. Here, the reverse vending machine continually monitors the status of its own operating parameters. If a specific error pattern is detected, a report is automatically sent to the service centre so that suitable measures can be initiated either remotely or on-site.
All these product features highlight Wincor Nixdorf’s end-to-end approach: instead of marketing reverse vending systems as proprietary solutions, it integrates them into the retailer’s existing IT in order to ensure additional benefits.