Zytronic, specialist in durable, high performance Projected Capacitive Technology touch sensors has recently announced that its touch sensors are being used in the ADIAL PIZZADOOR, a self-service vending machine retailing high quality pizzas for the notoriously discerning French palate.

ADIAL has manufactured pizza vending machines since 2002, and its original design used mechanical selection buttons alongside a colour LCD screen to present appealing images of the product inside. However, Vincent Le Gouic, president of ADIAL, noticed that users were increasingly trying to touch the screens when choosing a pizza.

Vincent explains: “Pizza is the best-selling fast food in France. As a nation, we consume 16 pizzas for every hamburger. PIZZADOOR is carefully designed to deliver the highest quality product. We need to be up to date in terms of the customer experience, especially as almost all our customers now have tablets and smartphones.

“As a consequence, they expect to be able to interact with other screens in exactly the same way. Therefore, we contacted Eurocomposant with a view to offering a touch screen enabled version of PIZZADOOR.”

Delphine Haton, of Eurocomposant, explains the challenging nature of the application: “ADIAL required a relatively large touch screen, of 31.5in diagonal, which needed to operate reliably, despite the high levels of wear and tear that self-service systems deployed in unattended outdoor locations are subjected to. The quality of the touch performance and the dependability of the screens needed to be very high, as snack foods such as pizzas can often be impulse purchases and customers will walk away if the interaction with the system is unreliable or difficult. Furthermore, although ADIAL is a leader in this market, the quantities of vending machines built are relatively low.”

Zytronic ticked all of the boxes for ADIAL, explains Delphine: “Zytronic provides an outstanding solution for this kind of self-service application. We have had considerable experience of using its touchscreens in outdoor, public locations, exposed to the weather, extreme temperatures and the risk of vandalism and abuse. The quality of its touch performance is also exceptional – they genuinely provide a tablet-like performance, even on a large format touch screen. Zytronic’s flexible manufacturing process also allows ADIAL to order touch sensors as required in the volumes needed to fulfill orders as received. As a result, ADIAL is delighted with the result.”

Vincent adds: “The touch screen enabled version of PIZZADOOR has proved extremely popular, and now accounts for the majority of the machines sold. Demand was such that we ran out of touch screens at one point. Fortunately, Zytronic was able to respond quickly and allowed us to fulfil orders without a serious delay.”

Pizza is four times more popular in France than burgers

The Solution

Zytronic provided a 31.5in diagonal, dual-touch ZYBRID touch sensor featuring a durable 6mm thick anti-glare glass, with a custom printed black border. Zytronic also laminates UV blocking and IR blocking filters to the rear of the touchscreens for the purely outdoor version of the pizza vending machine, enhancing the protection for the LCD behind.

PIZZADOOR is designed for installation in rest areas, truck stops, limited service hotels, hospitals, offices, and railway stations. It is also widely used by pizza restaurants in smaller municipalities in France, which can’t justify extended opening hours. Product is stored in a cooling unit, which maintains it in peak condition for the maximum time period, and dispenses in order of age to minimise wastage. Customers can choose a hot pizza to eat straight away, or cold to cook and consume at home.

As a consequence of the success of the touchscreen enabled PIZZADOOR vending machine, ADIAL says its revenue has grown by over 30% per annum over the last four years.

The project joins Zytronic’s many other successful exterior deployments.