The Drop Station is a new sustainable beverage vending machine that fills beverages into compostable containers at the touch of a button. The water for the vending machine does not have to be transported, as the kiosk can be connected to a water source on site. A linear robot with drylin linear guides mixes the drinks and dispenses them. Ready-made e-chains® provide protection for the chainflex power and data cables.
They can be found in airports, supermarkets or railway stations: The beverage vending machines from Drop Water in California. Customers can select their beverage at the Drop Station via a touch display and then receive an individually filled compostable container. The contents: tap water, which is filtered at the point of sale and, depending on the selection, flavoured, contains caffeine or has a certain temperature. With the new vending machine, Drop Water decentralises the bottling process by having the self-service kiosk act as a mini bottling plant. The company is thus taking a much more environmentally friendly approach than conventional bottled water suppliers. This is because it eliminates the need to transport filled bottles. “The drop container is a big part of what makes our kiosks unique. Each drop station has a supply of empty, compostable containers that can be easily refilled when needed. But customers can also use their own bottle,” says Scott Edwards, CEO of DropWater. The heart of the vending machine is a linear robot that produces and dispenses the drinks. To do this, it is supplied with energy and data. Despite the use of an energy chain, there was a failure of the lines in the prototype. It was found that the cables rotated slowly with each cycle and were twisted after 1,000 cycles. The second problem was in the assembly. To avoid having to constantly buy, cut, modify and finally assemble every single component, the company needed a ready-to-connect solution that worked.
With a proper internal layout, as well as ordering a ready-made readychain e-chain system from igus, the vending machine now works flawlessly. The company was thus able to save time and costs for assembly considerably. But the Americans also relied on igus in the linear robot and in the output unit. The mechanics here consist of maintenance-free drylin W and drylin N rails and carriages. “We are proud to partner with such a forward-thinking, socially responsible company as Drop Water, and we wish them many years of success as we all join the movement to keep our planet clean and pollution-free for all future generations,” said Rick Abbate, vice president of igus inc. USA. The project also wowed the judges of the 7th vector awards. The award is announced every two years and honours creative energy chain applications worldwide. DropWater received the green vector award, which was presented for the first time to two sustainable projects.
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For more information, please visit: https://www.igus.de/