HM Treasury recently approved a proposal to change the 5p and 10p coins from the current cupro-nickel alloy to nickel-plated steel. The new coins will be the same size and have a similar visual appearance to the existing 5p and 10p coins – but to electronic coin mechanisms they will be an entirely new coin, so recalibration will be necessary.
The new coins are scheduled for release in January 2011, and are expected to be in general circulation a few months later. Sample coins have already been issued to interested parties.
Mektek manufacture programmers that enable operators to recalibrate their own coin mechanisms themselves at minimum expense, either at the machine or in the workshop. Having supplied hundreds of operators in over 30 countries during the last 10 years, Mektek has developed software to support over 65 different models of Mars, NRI and Coin Controls mechanisms. The system is particularly useful for the recalibration of older mechanisms that are no longer supported by the original manufacturer, extending the useful life of the asset base. A full list of mechanisms supported, prices and procedures is shown on www.mektekinternational.com.
The Mektek Programmer operates on an ‘electronic credit’ system, usin g one credit per coin mechanism recalibration. Credits are £3 each, and can be purchased by email in any quantity. Recalibration of a mechanism normally takes just a few minutes, so they can be upgraded to the new coins for less than £4 each inclusive of labour, without the inconvenience and expense of sending them to a service agent.
Mektek hardware / software is priced between £150 and £450, dependent upon the range of mechanisms to be calibrated. Mektek is also allocating a number of programmers on a two-week slot ‘free-on-loan’ basis subject to the purchase of 200 credits. The loan units will be issued on a first-come first-served basis.