Heavy in Duty, Light in Weight and Size
Are heavy weight and metal components still the best indicators of a quality built, long lasting machine used in the banking segment? Not so much anymore. Large, bulky machines are now making way for lighter, more nimble machines that have updated technology and are made from modern composites, rather than typical stamped steel interiors.
A New Way of Thinking
The Cassida Pro Series is built on the concept of delivering real value to the banking sector, by giving those who use cash processing machines a strong voice in product development. We met directly with tellers, bank representatives and those who supply the sector with its machines. Our deep dive into the needs of banks told us that while discriminators of mighty girth and weight may have worked well in the past, there are multiple reasons those larger machines might not be the first choice over modern counting machines that have trimmed down. Here’s why:
1. Space is at a premium — with more banks opening within grocery stores and mall kiosks, the cost of square footage is significant. Nothing should be larger than it has to be to get the job done.
2. Lighter weights mean fewer workers comp claims — moving bulky machines is never pleasant and can injure backs when the units top out at more than 30 pounds.
3. Banks are moving toward newer technologies – Don’t look for desktop computers anymore. Now it’s iPads, notebooks and even updated, smaller discriminators.
Through our discussions, banking partners emphasized they wanted lighter and more compact units, but they did not want to do it at the sacrifice of accuracy, speed or function. “We count stacks and stacks of bills each day,” said one vault manager. “Any discriminator we bring in has to be extremely durable to keep up.”
The Cassida Pro Series was two years in the making — from interviewing those in the trenches to looking at competitive machines. We looked at prior to and during development of the Cassida Pro Series Zeus — among them were the Amrotec® X1000 and the Toshiba® IBS-210. We specifically looked at a variety of large discriminators because as one bank manager put it, “They’re heavy. They’re have a lot of steel. That must make them durable.”
Our research on competitive bank grade discriminators found, however, that weight and metal don’t always add durability or even make a better machine.
Bill Transport Systems
Compare bill transport systems among the competitors and you’ll see a vast difference in the length a bill has to travel from hopper to stacker. The X1000 and IBS-210 bill transports measure 405 mm and 605 mm, respectively. The Zeus, however, uses a more efficient bill path of only 237 mm, which is 42 to 60% shorter than its competitors.
The patented, shorter bill path on the Cassida Pro Series Zeus was designed and engineered to solve three main issues:
1. Create a virtually jam-free bill pathway — The number one nuisance of both resellers and bank employees is that discriminators jam occasionally, taking away valuable cash processing time while the machine is unjammed.
2. Reduce the number of parts — Value-added resellers told us they didn’t want to stock a huge number of parts like they have to with competitive bank grade discriminators. They suggested a simplified design to help minimize the number of technical calls. “Fewer parts mean there’s less of a chance that something will go wrong,” said a reseller’s technical manager.
3. Reduce the weight and size of the overall unit —Bank employees told us they want to have more discriminators available to them, but their banks don’t have room for them. “Smaller units would fit more easily into downsized work spaces at new branches,” a teller told us.
Our patented shortened bill pathway is aimed at eliminating jams. During development, we found the longer the pathway, the more that could wrong; more length meant bills had more places to leave the pathway. The result of our emphasis on reducing jams is a discriminator that is virtually jam-free and one that rejects fewer genuine bills.
Zeus utilizes a shorter bill path to move bills from hopper to stacker. Zeus was engineered to eliminate one motor and 59% of roller shafts used on conventional bank grade counters.
The streamlined bill transport system does an excellent job of eliminating rollers and gears. In fact, Zeus uses 59% fewer rollers than its competition. Roller and gear elimination also allowed us to simplify the Zeus drive motor circuit to eliminate a motor. The overall net result of the Cassida Zeus shorter bill path:
• One less motor — The Zeus uses a single drive motor while other discriminators still use at least 2 motors.
• The elimination of at least 8 roller shafts — The Zeus has a total of 7 roller shafts, the X1000 uses 17 roller shafts and the Toshiba uses 15 roller shafts. This massive reduction in rollers on the Cassida Pro Series Zeus creates fewer moving parts, considerably reducing wear and tear, as well as a number of service calls to our partners.
• A loss in weight of approximately 3 pounds.
Updating the Sensor Layout
The Zeus design relies heavily on new technology to further shorten its bill path. A new full-spectrum color CIS sensor array actually encapsulates all CIS and IR verification at a single source, while an LED bar located directly across from the CIS detects ultraviolet markings. All detection and bill verification is done in a compact area.
Older design discriminators have larger, bulkier CIS, IR, UV and MG sensors mounted separately at a distance apart. The X1000 uses this technology. Each bill must pass through all the separated sensors before it can be validated, taking nearly three-quarters of the bill path to achieve validation.
The IBS-210 uses a similar array to that of the Zeus, however the Toshiba still forces bills to move through its long bill path and pass through multiple bill sensing IR detectors before the bills finally end up in the stacker.
Choosing Composite over Steel
We chose a high-tensile, electrically-conductive molded composite used extensively in the automotive and aerospace industries was chosen for the Cassida Pro Series Zeus main body and bill transport pathway. We selected the composite over machine steel and stainless steel used by other discriminators for the following reasons:
1. Because it is molded, the Zeus composite-built bill path has tighter tolerances than metal transport systems can ever achieve. The molded track on the Zeus extends from the hopper to the stacker without changing materials. Other discriminators change materials, starting with a composite hopper to a metal track, back to a composite stacker. Those points where materials change are points where bills can be diverted from the path and inaccurate reading, followed by false rejects and even jamming can occur.
2. The Zeus composite is slicker than steel, allowing less friction build up on the bills and a smoother pathway through the bill transport system.
3. Zeus composite prevents the build-up of static electricity, which can wreak havoc on bill transport systems by creating glitches in the machine electronics. Static electricity build-up can cause phantom error messages, miscounts and misvalidations.
4. Zeus composite is an insulator that reduces noise, which makes Zeus the quietest discriminator on the market and perfect for the calm environment of banks.
Our research on the Zeus composite showed it to have a durability rating that matched steel when we coupled it with a solidly-engineered design. We followed guidelines of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, who state “polymer science has advanced to the point where [composite parts] can be as strong as metal… and weigh far less… when paired with design optimization”1
By selecting a modern composite with proven durability, Cassida Pro was able to eliminate the need for a mostly-steel bill pathway, allowing the Zeus to have a 40% smaller foot print and be 48% lighter than its competition.
Moving Past the Perception that Light Weight Means Light Duty
We engineered durability and efficiencies right into the Zeus, consciously working to meet the banking industry’s demand for a smaller machine that performs better.
Still, there is a perception that lighter weight means lighter duty – and it’s just not true any longer.
Think of office copiers, computers, microwaves and cellphones — all have decreased in size and weight over the last decades. Today’s technology creates machines that are more durable than those that came before them, but now they have more efficiency in a smaller shell.
The Cassida Pro Series Zeus is an excellent example of this principle — it was engineered from the ground up to be lighter, more nimble and more durable than those that came before it. And the Zeus succeeds on every level.
Matthew Holt – Director of North American Partnerships and Operations