There are plans afoot to set up more round-the-clock automatic vending machines in the city. The recent milk vending machine on Huzur Road has seen brisk use

You are caught up with work till late into the evening, and want to refresh yourself with a cup of hot tea at night. But you are short of milk, and going to the nearest milk booth you find it shut. The tea will have to wait till next morning .

These worries could be a thing of the past. Beta Technologies, a Coimbatore based automation industry has designed an automatic milk vending machine which will provide the public milk packets round the clock. All they need to do is enter the product code which is displayed next to the packet. An electronic screen flashes the amount they need to pay. Payment can be made either through coins or notes, and the change will be provided along with the milk packet. The refrigerated machine holds 90 half-litre milk packets, and replenished with new packets every day.

The first machine has been installed at the newly opened Aroma Bakery in Huzur Road and has already evoked a healthy response.

“Most of the milk packets are sold out by the evening, which is a clear indicator that the public has been using the machine actively. Our objective is to install food vending machines in residential areas, key bus junctions and in the railway station,” says L. Ramesh, Managing Director of Beta Technologies. Ramesh has already installed a snack vending machine at the TIDEL Park in Vilankurichi Road. He also plans to install more milk vending machines in important areas of the city based on the public response.

“Vending machines will encourage the concept of self service. A single person can be in charge of four different machines at the same time, which will cut down on labour costs. Since the level of technology used is very basic, people of any age group will be able to operate the machine ,” he points out.

Plans are also on to setup napkin vending machines in schools and colleges.