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Southco targets self service kiosk design sector

08 November 2011

Southco is turning its 60 years of experience and engineering know-how towards the self-service kiosk market where it is currently establishing close working relationships with the major players. Depending on customer requirements, the company can provide a full service from the delivery of standard, mechanical parts to the design and manufacture of fully customised parts incorporating new, intelligent electronic access technology.

Consumers want easy access to a wider range of services which kiosk technology can deliver and staff want kiosks to reduce their pressure so that they can concentrate on serving customers more effectively. In-store kiosks also minimise queues and cut waiting times. Kiosk technology is on the rise and kiosk installations are growing at a rate of at least 35% per annum in Europe and are set to continue to grow every year. The applications are endless and so are the opportunities for specialist companies working in the supply chain.

Components from Southco's portfolio include robust electronic latches which restrict access and offer an audit trail, concealed locks and latches which eliminate pry points for vandals and thieves, position control hinges which enable technicians to position service screens for quick and easy servicing, and hinges which enable heavy doors to stay open during re-stocking. Industry marketing manager, Natalie Bourne explains the strategy:

“Our prime objective is to deliver precise standard or custom solutions to meet the self service equipment needs of individual customers, whether the priority is for security, longer life of equipment, ergonomics - or any mix of these.

“We work closely with kiosk design engineers to customise a part to meet their exact needs, or offer the choice of a wide variety of components – such as latches, position control hinges, or innovative electronic access solutions. Alternatively, we can provide a total package of proven self service systems and components for both the kiosk interior and exterior.

“Kiosk manufacturers opting for Southco benefit from durable and intelligent components designed to reduce kiosk maintenance time and cost, and facilitate a longer life for the kiosk. Moreover, our electronic latches and full electronic access systems can offer even greater security through their ability to enable the monitoring, management and control of kiosk access remotely, providing an audit trail of who is accessing the kiosk, where, when and for how long. We provide such products to ATM, self service kiosk and high value vending manufacturers.

“Typically our components will be used for self service check out and check in/order/collect kiosks, ATM machines, and electric vehicle self-service charging points. Key products include the R4-EM Electronic Rotary Latch, an intelligent component which integrates electronic access convenience with secure rotary latch performance. Its microprocessor control accepts a variety of electronic actuation signals including wireless devices such as proximity cards or RF key fobs, hard-wired numeric keypads or swipe-card terminals, smart-reader devices, biometric devices, and remote computer or network security system signals. An integral microswitch option is available to provide a "latch opened/latch closed" status signal for remote monitoring.”

Additionally, Southco’s H3-EM electromechanical swing handle with integrated access control enables secure locking and access to the inside of units. It can be operated via any remote electronic access control device and features a DIN lock mechanical over ride.

Time and servicing costs can be saved by the accurate positioning control of access doors offered by Southco’s E6 Adjustable Torque Position Control Hinges - a single-component solution allowing users to define the level of resistance. Once adjusted, the positioning torque stays consistent throughout the full range of motion, holding doors steady in any position enabling technicians to get their jobs done quickly.

Southco offers the self check in/order/collect market an extensive range of latching, hinging and positioning solutions suitable for a wide ranging spectrum of standard kiosk applications. The common objectives of self check-in solutions are added customer convenience, improved speed of service, reduced overheads, and added security to the check-in process or transaction.
The primary Southco products serving this market are R4-EM Electronic Rotary Latches and E6 Adjustable Torque Position Control Hinges. A further option is Southco’s R6 Concealed Door Removal Hinge, comprising a variety of mounting positions to hold doors open without secondary mechanical support.

Southco’s ST Constant Torque Position Control Hinges enable users to precisely position and hold point of sale monitors at any desired angle - fully opened, fully closed, or anywhere in between. Multiple hinge sizes, materials, and torque ranges provide the options to satisfy a wide range of application needs.

Natalie Bourne again: “Self-service continues to prove that it can deliver a substantial return on investment very early on after a roll-out because kiosks can cut costs while increasing profits and improving back-office operational efficiencies. With regard to secure self service touch point access solutions, Southco can offer kiosk design engineers and manufacturers a wide range of electronic and mechanical locking and latching solutions to restrict and monitor unauthorised access to all self service outlets.”

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