Oki Electric Industry Co. isn't telling much about the mechatronic innards of its ATM21S and ATM21SX automated teller machines, but the idea behind them is intriguing nonetheless. Noting the growth in stand-alone (rather than built-in) ATMs, it's created a "recycling" ATM.
The device not only offers withdrawals, but also accepts deposits as well from nearby merchants as well. Using proprietary sensors, the device then takes the deposited money and makes it available for withdrawals. "The cash recycling ATM both improves capital efficiency by reducing the amount of banknotes loaded in the ATM, and reduces the maintenance cost by decreasing the number of times required to reload and collect the cash," said Katsumi Ikegami, Marketing Manager for the Systems Hardware Business Division at Oki, via e-mail.
Currently, Oki's recycling ATMS are available in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. It unveiled them last week at the CeBIT industry show. The machines have to be configured for each currency. "Each currency has different characteristics, as do most of the denomination banknotes," Ikegami said. "Our technology effectively abstracts those characteristics for accurate banknote recognition."
From a mechatronics standpoint, the ATMs need three elements, according to Ikegami: a mechanism of accumulating, separating, and rearranging banknotes; an electronic circuit to accurately drive the mechanism, and firmware to control these in high-speed. The biggest challenge, he said, "related to cash conveyance, in particular to improve the quality of functions for accumulation and separation of banknotes." The ATMs also include a printing capability for updating depositors' bankbooks.
Oki designed the ATMs using a 3D CAD tool Ikegami would not identify, as well as a simulator to develop the functions for the accumulation and separation of the banknotes.