Innovative New Vending Machines That Shift Power Use for Cooling Purposes from Daytime to Nighttime; Coca-Cola Japan Announces Market Introduction of "Peak Shift Vending Machines"

- Historic Innovation Marking 50th Year Since Vending Machines Were Introduced -

Nov 21, 2012, 06:27 ET from Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Ltd.

TOKYO, Nov. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In the 50th year since it first introduced vending machines onto the market, Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd. (head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; representative director and president: Daniel H. Sayre) announced what could be called the most innovative vending machine in these past 50 years, "peak shift vending machines," on November 19.


The "peak shift vending machines" announced by Coca-Cola Japan, which has long been involved in implementing environmental measures before other companies, "shift" the use of power for cooling from the general daytime "peak demand period" to nighttime, when relatively less strain is placed on power supply. In summer, these machines can provide cooled products for 16 hours while reducing daytime power consumption by 95%. Power consumption is also reduced in winter by 20% compared to current vending machines and, combined with power consumed for cooling, these vending machines are a global forerunner that can reduce power consumption by 68%.

The "polar bear" character that has appeared in product promotions by the Coca-Cola system worldwide since 1922 was used in the design for the vending machines. In recent years, concerns have arisen regarding reduced numbers of polar bears caused by the progress in global warming. Therefore, while also reminding consumers that the products are chilled, polar bears transmit the image of these peak shift vending machines also being friendly to the environment.

In the first year of peak shift vending machines' introduction from January to December 2013, it is planned that more than 10 billion yen in related investment will be made and that 25,000 units will be installed nationwide.

As a leader in the vending machine business that must further respond to the needs of the market and consumers, Coca-Cola Japan will continue to implement further innovations while promoting the installation of these vending machines.

 * The above percentages are compared to average figures for same models manufactured in 2012, according to research by Coca-Cola Japan

 "Peak shift vending machines" are a world-pioneering, innovative new type of vending machine jointly developed by Coca-Cola Japan and Fuji Electric. In line for full-scale introduction onto the market and in addition to experiments conducted in research laboratories, field testing was conducted over two months from July 2012. Results verified that if cooling was conducted at night, when there is relatively little power consumption, and turned off during the day, then cold products could be sold for a maximum of 16 hours, reducing daytime power consumption by 95%. The Coca-Cola system plans to invest over 10 billion yen in the first year, from January to December 2013, with the aim to install 25,000 machines nationwide.

By means of the (1) cooling of all products, (2) more effective insulation, and (3) increased airtightness, peak shift vending machines have made peak shift technology a reality. The technology "shifts" power use for cooling from the general daytime "peak demand period" to nighttime, when relatively less strain is placed on power supply. The time required to cool products filled at room temperature has been reduced by approximately 25% compared to conventional vending machines, making it possible to cool products.

With the introduction of these revolutionary new vending machines, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Franchise Operations & Commercial Leadership, Tim Brett spoke of his enthusiasm for the introduction of "peak shift vending machines," saying "Coca-Cola Japan has continually developed its vending machines over the past 50 years in pursuit of greater consumer convenience. After the earthquake disaster last year, the need to reduce energy consumption has increased and we take our responsibility as market leader very seriously. With these peak shift vending machines, we have realized environmentally friendly innovation. These could be called the most revolutionary vending machines in the past 50 years of vending machine history. Vending machines have evolved in many ways over the past 50 years, but peak shift vending machines are a breakthrough in the true sense of the word and I am sure that they are the most important innovation yet."

Tomoya Otani, Director of Vending Strategy & Solution Development, Franchise Operations & Commercial Leadership, explained that "the history of vending machines at Coca-Cola Japan is a history of revolutionary innovation. With the three features of being quiet during the daytime, being able to dispense cool products for a maximum of 16 hours even when the compressor has been switched off, and greatly reducing power consumption throughout the year, these peak shift vending machines are set to completely change how people think about vending machines. These revolutionary vending machines can be seen as creating new history. I will communicate the features of these vending machines, which have the nickname 'polar bear,' in an easy-to-understand manner."

The next speaker, Koji Sugimoto, General Manager of the Food & Beverage Distribution Business Group, Engineering Department at Mie Factory from Fuji Electric Company, Limited said that "the development of the peak shift vending machines, which began in May last year, two months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, required bold shifts in thinking and technological innovation. Firstly, we had to change our view on cooling in general. Conventionally, power consumption is controlled by only cooling the minimum amount of products necessary. However, peak shift vending machines brought forth the idea of cooling all products during the night and not allowing that cool air to escape during the day. This was realized with improvements to thermal insulation and airtightness. The use of large amounts of vacuum insulation materials, which boast 10 times greater thermal insulation performance than conventional urethane materials, successfully resulted in the cooled products themselves maintaining the cool air environment within the machines. Our efforts were spurred by the stance of Coca-Cola Japan as a societal leader, to become involved in the development of these new vending machines. As these peak shift vending machines become accepted by society, I believe that they will become a standard in the beverage industry."

Finally, Representative Director and President of Coca-Cola West Company, Limited Tamio Yoshimatsu concluded: "As a corporation in close contact with local communities and as Japan's largest bottling company, we have actively led the industry by implementing power conservation measures given the unstable power supply following last year's earthquake disaster. As environmental awareness and peoples' power conservation stance increase, we are proud to present these 'peak shift vending machines' as an answer to the needs that consumers, customers and society have been seeking from the Coca-Cola system as an industry leader."

The "Peak Shift Vending Machine" Polar Bear Character
Since appearing in a French advertisement in 1922, this character has appeared throughout the world in promotions by the Coca-Cola system and has also become familiar in Japan since its first appearance in 1993. Recent fears regarding the extinction of polar bears due to the effects of global warming and the worsening environment in the Arctic Circle mean that this character reminds consumers that the products are chilled while transmitting the image of peak shift vending machines as also being friendly to the environment.

This polar bear used in the design came to Japan from Atlanta, for the purpose of this press presentation, and together celebrated the peak shift vending machine market introduction announcement. It responded to calls from the press by waving back, and its cute looks and actions made it a focus of attention in the venue.

Kanako Ogata
Public Affairs & Communications Group
Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Limited
Tel: +81-3-5466-8120
Fax: +81-3-3797-1481

SOURCE Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Ltd.