Conlux Bill Validator & Coin Changer Review An interview with Chuck Reed, Director of marketing at MEI Conlux
What’s new with the Conlux products? Conlux Bill Validator& Coin Changer Review
Launched an entire new range of products this year: CV1000 (new bill validator with new enhancements and innovations)
You released a coin changer earlier this year, right?
Launched the MCM5 at the beginning of the year with new options and features (won the iSpot Gold Award)
What are operators saying about the MCM5 and CV1000?
MCM5 owner: “We found the new model to be durable, high performing, and easy to use and the new keypad and LED lights have really improved field programming and diagnostics and we like the single unit coin door and gives better access to the coin path.”
Listen to the interview:
Conlux Bill Validator & Coin Changer Review Tom Shivers: I’m Tom Shivers with the Vending Business Show, here with Chuck Reed, Director of Marketing of MEI and Conlux. Chuck, thanks for being here.
Chuck Reed: Thanks, Tom, for having me.
Tom Shivers: What’s new with the Conlux products?
Chuck Reed: Well, Tom, MEI Conlux has had a very busy and exciting 2012 already, and the year’s only half over. We’ve launched an entire new range of products this year. At the end of June, which you people might be the most familiar with and the press release just came out, we launched our next generation bill validator, the CV1000.
Chuck Reed: That unit, the CV1000, replaces our popular Conlux models that were the old NBM-3100 and 3500 series. It’s built upon really a strong heritage of the MEI brand bill validators. All the new CV1000 models offer standard 1 to 20 acceptance, and expand our coupon options to support operator’s marketing efforts. The new coupon options include our new lower cost coupon, which is going to hopefully help operators introduce the concept to customers at an improved ROI for their business.
Chuck Reed: There are a couple of other enhancements in the CV1000, I should just mention to you. One is we’ve really improved the bezel design. Not only in terms of brighter LED lights to help merchandise vending machines better, but really a unique design that allows a validator to clear the LCD screens that are starting to pop up on the newer vending machine models in the market place.
Chuck Reed: We’ve got two cashbox options, 300 and 500 note sizes, to match whatever the capacity is required from the operator. We’ve really updated the chassis, the cashbox, and all the labeling aesthetics to try to portray a better image, a new image, for the Conlux brand. A new modern image, so we were very excited about how the product even looks.
Chuck Reed: In particular, we’re excited about a new innovation that we developed that really, as the operator’s become aware of it, they’re very enthusiastically embracing. That innovation has to do with the enabling and disabling of bill denominations. True to the Conlux legacy of functional simplicity, we created an easy way for an operator to enable and disable bills. By simply pressing the service button on the back of the bill validator, inserting the denomination that they want to enable or disable, and it’s that simple and they’re done.
Chuck Reed: There’s no more dip switches you got to play with. No configuration coupons you got to remember to bring along with you. No removal of the actual bill validator from the vending machine to try to find the dip switches. Now it’s a simple press of the button on the back, insert the bill, and you’re done. Really, what could be easier than that?
Tom Shivers: Yeah, you released a coin changer early this year, as well. Right?
Chuck Reed: Yeah. The CD-1000 joins the MCM coin changer, which was an iSpot gold winner in April of this year. That was a second addition to our portfolio this year. The MCM5 launched the beginning of the year, and replaces the very popular CCM5 coin changer. Which really has become an industry work horse over the years, and whose reputation for simple design and durability was becoming legendary in the market place.
Chuck Reed: The MCM5 provides some increased tube capacities. Now that two full rolls of coins are able to fit in each of the different tube denomination. Also, the coin tubes are fully accessible from the back, so it makes it much easier for operators to fill those cassettes. There’s also new float options, so there’s two standard float options, $34 and $52. You can also have an operator adjust the float level by pressing the discriminator float up and down buttons.
Chuck Reed: A really cool feature of the MCM5, which is actually what won the iSpot gold award, was the auto cassette programming function. As soon as the cassette is snapped into this device, the unit automatically knows what the tube configuration is on that cassette. It’s pretty neat.
Chuck Reed: We’ve also got simultaneous three coin pay out, so it makes it easier for the coins to pay out. Our engineers even thought about the environment, by designing in the new model a 30% reduction at idle, in terms of power use consumption compared to the old model. We even went so far as to beef up the return lever. We incorporate a third diagnostic light on the unit to help flag maintenance requirements and improve the programming functionality, as well.
Chuck Reed: Conlux has been our value brand. It offers really good, high performance with a simple feature set, and it gets compared to our MEI product. We believe both products demonstrate MEI’s commitment to new design innovation and simplicity. The operator feedback’s been quite good in confirming that we’ve hit these two models out of the park. As you said earlier, for many operators, Conlux really offers the right combination of features and price points that they’re looking for.
Tom Shivers: Yeah. Well, what are the operators saying about the MCM5 and the CV1000?
Chuck Reed: Well, let’s talk about the MCM5 first. It’s been out a little bit longer. We have an operator who was involved in the early testing of the product. They were quite impressed. They had been a CCM5 user, so they had that experience with and expectation with regard to durability and simplicity.
Chuck Reed: I’ll just quote the owner, as opposed to me trying to put it in my words, and let him speak for himself. He said, “We found the new model to be durable, high-performing, and easy to use. The new keypad and LED lights have really improved field programming and diagnostics. We really like the new single unit coin door that gives better access to the coin path.”
Chuck Reed: We’re quite pleased with the operator feedback. Quite frankly, the sales to date have been quite pleasing, as well. We really believe we’ve got a great product here. We’re looking forward to the coin changer continuing to impress other operators.
Chuck Reed: On the CV1000, we’ve really gone through a lot of thorough testing. The operators that were involved in that testing told us the units were literally flawless in the performance, both in terms of jam rates and acceptance rates. That’s quite a humbling comment. As I mentioned earlier, the innovative enabling-disabling feature through the simple use of the denomination and service button, has received rave reviews from those that have experienced it so far.
Chuck Reed: In terms of where an operator can get the products, Wittern is our master distributor. They can be reached at witterngroup.com or you can call 1-877-4-Conlux, 877-4-Conlux.
Tom Shivers: Great. Anything new at MEI?
Chuck Reed: Well, MEI is getting pretty excited. We’re about 30 days out from launching our next generation telemeter for the cashless space. We’ve had out remote data port or RDP, yellow boxes many of the operators know it as, been on the market for a number of years now performing quite well.
Chuck Reed: The next generation of that product we call the Advanced 5000. We introduced it at NAMA, so operators could get a preview of it. We’re excited to say that in about 30 days time, we should be in production on that device. As soon as we have that date confirmed up, we’ll let operators know that they can start to place orders for it.
Tom Shivers: Yeah, maybe we can do a little interview on that product.
Chuck Reed: I’ll look forward to it. That’d be a great way to introduce the product. Explain its features and capabilities, as compared to the current product, at that time.
Tom Shivers: Well, Chuck, thanks for sharing. You’ve been listening to Conlux Bill Validator & Coin Changer Review at the Vending Business Show, a production of A&M Equipment Sales. More Vending Business Show blogs can be found at USA Technologies ePortConnect