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Springs keep the tills ringing

01 June 2009

Cash tills are in constant use around the world, in retail outlets and at supermarket checkouts, and it is important that they operate reliably and smoothly. Most cash tills use a spring to perform the opening and closing operation of the cash drawer and one till manufacturer was experiencing problems with the closing operation, with failures occurring after 200,000 to 300,000 operations.

These failures were unacceptable and the till manufacturer was under pressure to find reliable alternative, so it approached specialist spring manufacturer William Hughes to see what could be done to modify the existing design. The aim was to improve the operation and ‘feel’ of the till action, while significantly extending the operational life up to a target of 1,000,000 operations.

William Hughes proposed an improved design featuring a double torsion spring with opened up coils to reduce friction and stress. To further improve the action, all the burrs and sharp edges on the spring were removed during manufacture and a special lubricant lightly applied. The new design also incorporated an ancillary spring to ensure failsafe operation.


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