Real-time Data

Real-time Product Management


Medical, Pharmaceutical and Industrial OEMs often need electronic feedback to track merchandise real-time. A certain customer designed and operates industrial vending machines but was having difficulty tracking their stocked merchandise. The vending machines were mechanically configured similar to traditional vending machines with a large spring and “pusher” that applied pressure to keep product to the front of the machine.


Spectra designed a custom length and width version of the SoftPot, also known as our ThinPot, that fits very well under the spring due to the low form-factor of the sensor. We connected a wiper, or actuator, to the pusher portion of the vending machine arm so that as merchandise is purchased, a real-time position signal is recorded and streamlines merchandise management. Other applications include pharmacy drugs, sealable or stocked items, absolute positioning on hand-held medical devices (dental, surgery, etc.)

Potentiometer used:

ThinPot with custom lengths, extra narrow construction, and with 3M adhesive on one side to adhere to the merchandise tracks.