How cheap parts cause problems with ATMs

 17th Aug 2016

Opting for cheap piece parts is often attractive largely due to the effect on profit margins.  Most professional buyers acknowledge that by purchasing on price there is often a sacrifice in quality. 

So why is purchasing cheap parts still so popular and what is the real impact of cheap piece parts on an ATM?

There are some obvious disadvantages to cheap parts failing more frequently including; decrease in uptime, poor customer experience and a decrease in engineer efficiency. 

However, it is the damage that can be caused by cheap parts to other modules in the ATM and the increased Engineer visits that is of real concern.

If we take a cash cassette shutter as an example.  These are known to have a high failure rate. 

Detecting a shutter failure can be difficult as it is housed at the rear of the cassette.  The cassette can appear to be working properly when it is outside of the ATM.  The fault may only present itself when the cassette is reinstalled in to the mechanism.

When the cassette shutter fails a sequence of events in the ATM occurs.  A shutter failure can result in issues with pick lines, note jams and loading of the cassette itself.

The pick cups and pick line in the module are damaged as they strike the shutter because it isn’t opening properly.  This damage gets worse over up to the point where the ATM is unable to dispense notes.

Aside from this the faulty shutter can cause note jams because it is unable to freely release notes in to the pick presenter.  This results in expensive call outs and avoidable inconvenience for the banks or IAD not to mention penalties for failure to meet uptime targets. 

As the shutter failure is hard to identify the cassette handler can inadvertently force the cassette in to the housing.  If the shutter has failed and the cassette is forced in to place the shutter can break.  Any fragments of such a break can then work their way in to other parts of the ATM.  This means that a failure could be waiting to present itself in another module of the ATM altogether.

So what is so wrong with a cheap cassette shutter?  While piece parts have the ability to break cheap piece parts just do so more frequently. 

A cheap shutter is made from a lower grade plastic to a standard or OEM version.  To bring manufacturing costs down the cheap part is also made of less material.  The manufacturing process may also not be as thorough as a higher quality part.

In the instance of the cassette shutter this is a problem.  The shutter is a flexible piece of kit which means that it needs to be tough, especially in the thin areas that need to be flexible in order to work.  Cheaper alternatives make this too thin which increases its propensity to wear too quickly and eventually fail.

Naturally, the relationship between cost and quality is linear.  While you may choose to purchase cheap parts it is worth considering the real impact that these have on the ATMs you are responsible for.  Can you really afford the hidden costs that lie in the savings you make on buying cheap parts?

If you would like more information on quality piece parts please click here.