Architype

A premium cigarette vending machine, designed, developed and manufactured for a selection of exclusive clubs & locations...

Introduction

Philip Morris Intl is one of the largest tobacco companies in the world: producing many of the world's best-selling cigarette brands, including the most popular brand Marlboro, sold around the world over 160 markets.

With pre approved concepts from seymourpowell, Philip Morris sought a higher level of vending expertise, due to the unique challenges presented by the project. Chip and PIN was a prerequisite for the project as there was the opportunity to be the first cigarette vending machine featuring card payment...

bespoke cigarette vending

Architype prototype

With 9 months of live site testing, customer and consumer insight as well as ever changing tobacco legislation, Philip Morris sought to develop Architype from a prototype into a fully realised cigarette vending machine...

To gain a greater insight into consumer behaviour since the smoking ban, Architype features remote management developed alongside Vendpay. Enabling site managers to monitor stock levels and Phillip Morris to identify consumer trends and markets.

Low Stock sensors send automated e-mail reports when a channel is low on product and GPRS enables the machines to be placed virtually anywhere. Sticking closely to the original design intent, K6 worked on keeping a clean front face. Rolled embossed sheet metal was used to create a crafted exterior, picking up soft details such as ambient lighting and customers shadows. To add to its unique appearance LED illumination is used to create a halo effect, giving the illusion of Architype floating on the wall. This creates a true 'Wow' factor and ensures its contemporary feel is suitable for target bars and nightclubs. The 'theatre' of a Marlboro purchase is aided by a chute design that delivers the pack upright and face forward, triggering the final effect of a motorised door automatically opening and lighting the product.

To comply with strict tobacco legislation an eye-level lit display pack was the only real hint that this was a cigarette vending machine; the controls were kept strictly to one side, hidden by the doors overhang. The side controls feature an 800x600 display screen with iconic rolling imagery to ensure the payment process is quick and easy. A premium brushed steel keypad was sourced to further enhance the quality; whilst, capacitive selection buttons provide a 'touch screen' product choice providing maximum visual appeal. This created a truly unique prototype vending machine for Phillip Morris to locate, test and evaluate.

cigarette vending machine

Architype II CAD rendering

cigarette vending machine

Architype II with 'halo' lighting

Architype II turntable video

Solution

Research revealed that from one side Architype appeared simply as a showcase for the Marlboro brand and not a vending machine. Additionally, changes in banking regulations required that the customer must be offered a receipt. To comply with all of these factors K6 redesigned the entire front door to relate to the new design criteria. Extruded aluminium profiles offer a strong and robust structure that can be finished and coloured in numerous combinations, alongside a central panel that provides a highly reflective gloss appearance. The Interface area was moved to the front to clearly indicate the machines purpose; this created a number of problems with mounting onto the convex surface of the extrusions, Quality of fit and attention to detail was achieved through extensive use of 3D prototyping and CAD. A discrete 2mm slot was introduced for receipt printing and the symmetry of the design was preserved through the careful selection of components sourced to fit with the look and feel of Architype II. Scaling the original design effectively doubled the capacity and increased vend channels allowing more products to be stocked. Showcase lighting was seen as too hard so a softer frosted lighting became the machine standard, creating a more intriguing and fitting technique Repair & Maintenance was simplified with discrete modular elements whilst a re-designed vend chute guaranteed pack delivery. A unique design of a capacitive touch switch adds a final elegance giving visual feedback when a product is chosen.

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