Another amazing form of automation is here - the industrial vending machine! Guest speaker Steve Pixley - Founder & CEO of AutoCrib - dives into why vending machines are the Metal Working Nation’s new best friend on the shop floor. From solving the issue of lost tools and parts to supplying a charging station for electronics, industrial vending machines help manufacturing leaders take their businesses to the next level of efficiency and safety. 

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From industrial supply to vending

Steve first saw the need for a manufacturing-style vending machine when he worked as a salesman with an industrial supply company. When his customers kept asking for repeat orders in a short time-span, he realized that their employees were misplacing tools and parts - costing the companies small fortunes in replacement orders. What they needed was an inventory management system that was wrapped in discipline. It was then he created the concept for the industrial vending machine that could dispense and accurately track items on the shop floor. His company AutoCrib was the brainchild of Steve’s concept and has provided specified solutions to manufacturing businesses throughout the nation.

Solving the specific pain-points of different manufacturing industries

The helix machine doesn’t just put a bandaid on the problem of sloppy inventory or safety precautions on the shop floor. It helps manufacturing leaders get to the root of the problem by meeting specific needs. Steve recognizes that different industries have different pain-points. Some have to be concerned with wasted time being spent walking to and from different parts of the shop. A helix machine can be installed right where the manufacturer needs it, so no wasted energy is spent searching for a part or tool. Other businesses are worried about running out of a certain part for a large job. Steve explains that companies can purchase different vending machines to hold excess parts in case something is misplaced or miscalculated. 

Pushing aside the preconceived roadblocks to vending utilization

Steve expels any fear that installing a helix machine will prove to be a waste of time and resources. Vending machines are simply a new kind of robot in the automation landscape. The concept isn’t a new one - vending machines have been around for a long time. Helix machines, however, are created for industry leaders ready to make a difference in the quality of their output and efficiency. 

Not only do helix machines help keep stock of inventory, but they can also help with quality control. Foreign Object and Debris (FOD) is a concern of most manufacturers. Industrial vending machines make sure that the tools and parts dispensed come back in pristine condition - safe and effective for the next project. 

Creating niche solutions to meet a variety of needs 

AutoCrib is experienced in serving a wide range of customers - from mining and manufacturing to aerospace engineering. Helping different industries target their biggest issues and concerns, AutoCrib matches the company with the proper helix machine. Safety, inventory, and charging are all different solutions to a variety of needs. Steve explains that their machines can be set to meet specific requirements, such as not allowing a drill bit to be dispensed until it is properly calibrated or a taser for a policeman to be dispensed until it is properly charged. Be sure to listen to the entire episode for more insight into the wide spectrum of solutions that AutoCrib offers with their industrial vending machines! 

Here’s The Good Stuff!
  • Industrial vending machines are projected to rise in popularity. 
  • The new way to manage inventory. 
  • Steve’s manufacturing story - from sales to automation technology. 
  • Solving the issue of stockouts on the shop floor. 
  • Helping minimize FOD: Foreign Object Debris. 
  • Overcoming the roadblocks to installing an industrial vending machine.
  • From calibrated drill bits to police tasers. 
  • Vending machines are simply another type of awesome robot. 
Tools & Takeaways This Week’s Superstar Guest: Steve Pixley Connect With MakingChips

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