This guide explains how to set up a vending machine in Sentry in detail.
Creating an online machine #
The most common type of vending machine to add to Sentry is an online (telemetry-enabled) vending machine.
When creating an online machine, the best way to do this is to create the machine after the modem has communicated with Sentry.
Once a machine has communicated with Sentry, you can either:
1. Set up your machine from the communication device; or
2. Use the ‘Add machine’ button, and then select the communication device when creating the machine.
Generally, we recommend option #1, an explanation for which follows.
Set up your machine from the communication device in Sentry #
To create a vending machine ‘from a modem’, navigate to your communication devices page: https://app.sentryvend.com/commdevices.
Once your vending machine has communicated with Sentry, its modem should appear in this list. Once it appears, you will see it identified by a unique modem number. Click on this number to take you to the detailed communication device page.
From this page, press the button ‘Set up machine from device’. This will take you to the machine creator form.
Set up your machine using the ‘Add machine’ button #
A second option to add a machine is to add it by using the ‘Add machine’ button in the top right hand corner of your vending machine list, here: https://app.sentryvend.com/machines.
After clicking that button, in the machine creator form, you can select the modem under ‘Peripherals’:
Selecting a modem in this way will have the same effect as setting up a machine from the modem page – they are just two ways at arriving at the same result.
Offline machines #
To create an offline machine, including an offline coffee vending machine, simply use the ‘Add machine’ button on the machines page (https://app.sentryvend.com/machines) and do not insert a modem.
Machine creator form #
When creating a machine, enter information about the vending machine, such as a unique asset ID. Bear in mind the following:
- Asset ID: Each machine must have a unique asset ID, for example, ‘Machine-1’.
- Route: For the first machine you set up, add a route for the machine. A route is just a collection of machines. Example types of routes might be:
- Based on a driver (for example, ‘John’s route’);
- Based on a geographic region (for example, ‘North route’);
- Generic in nature (for example, ‘Route 1’).
- Location: It is recommended to create a location for a machine when creating the machine. Press the ‘Create new location’ button and complete the location creator form to create a location for the machine.
- Place: It is recommended to create a place for a machine when creating the machine. The place is a ‘sub-location’ within a location, for example:
- ‘Back of warehouse’; or
- ‘Building D’.
Once you have filled out the machine creator form, press ‘Create machine’ to submit the form. This will create the machine.
Dex planogram layouts #
If you set a machine up from a communication device which has had one or more dex communications, it will automatically be assigned a planogram dex layout.
To view the planogram dex layout, on a machine page, click on ‘Dex view’:
When dex view is enabled, you can click on selections in order to enable or disable them. This should be done when a machine reports more selections than it uses.
One common example of when you will need to disable dex selections is when you have a ‘two-spiral’ tray, which has multiple vending motors (normally two) per selection. In such cases, the top vending machine tray may have the following dex selections:
- 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.
However, only 5 of those will be active or used. In this case, you should disable half of the selections which are not used. These might be the odd selections; disabling them would result in 5 alternating selections:
- 10, 12, 14, 16, 18.
Non-dex planogram layouts #
If you create an online machine but without dex enabled, it is not possible to have a dex layout. Instead, you must manually set up the layout of the machine (because no dex layout is available).
To set up a non-dex planogram layout, click on ‘Dex view’ and then on ‘Modify layout’:
Note: Using ‘modify layout’ is strongly NOT recommended when using a dex-enabled machine.
Once ‘Modify layout’ is enabled, you can create new rows and columns by clicking in between rows and columns on the planogram. You can also delete selections by pressing the ‘x’ button on selections on the planogram.
It is also necessary for non-dex machines to rename selections to match the machine. This can be done by using the ‘Edit selections inline’ button:
Note: Again, this is only recommended with non-dex vending machines. Dex vending machines send all selection numbers, so there is no need to use this function for dex-enabled vending machines.
Filling the planogram with products #
Once the layout of the machine has been set (whether by using dex, or manually), you can insert products into the selections. To do this:
- Click on a selection;
- On the edit panel on the right, search for the product you want to add; and
- Click on the product.
It is also possible to drag and drop products from the right-side edit panel directly onto the planogram.
Note: if you do not have any products in your product database, first go to the global product library, and add products to your database from there: https://app.sentryvend.com/global-product-library.