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Next-Gen Amusement Route Management In the Context of Industry 4.0 and IoT

Industry 4.0 refers to a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. It’s also sometimes referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things or smart manufacturing – in which physical production and operations are married with smart digital technology, machine learning, and big data

With early roots in manufacturing and supply chain management, Industry 4.0 has quickly spread into virtually every major industry worldwide from healthcare to foodservice.

Everywhere you look, human workers are interacting with machines through mobile devices and machines are equipped with smart digital sensors.  All this data is reported back to a central cloud where managers are using software and the millions upon millions of data points collected to make better decisions, improve their product and provide better customer experiences.

In fact, if you’ve equipped any of your locations with a cashless card system like Amusement Connect, Embed or Intercard, you’re already an early adopter of the Industry 4.0 revolution in amusement and arcades.

The digitalization of the world with these technologies is affecting all organizational levels, from design and manufacturing to purchasing and maintenance.  

The Backbone: Maintenance Management System

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) like Portal AMS utilize an expansive range of technology to detect and communicate issues to staff. Human input, external imports, smart technology and sensors on equipment connects machines to machines and machines to people in an intuitive way.

An easy-to-use interface is critical to be able to define components, settings and rules for tracked objects – and robust reporting and data analysis tools give you a variety of ways to slice, dice and compare your data, squeezing insights out of millions of raw transactions.

Data collection is accomplished through direct access to technician or servicer activities logged on mobile devices, various import functionality to consume data exported from third-party systems and API (application program interface) access for IoT sensor devices reporting in from the field.

Moving from reactive to predictive maintenance and service

Reactive maintenance refers to operating until something breaks down. This creates high stress for technicians and managers as machines are offline, not earning any money, until a repair can be made.  The objective – while we may never be able to completely eliminate reactive maintenance – is to minimize this as much as possible.  Portal AMS will help by allowing you to quickly schedule and assign service calls, tracking them from request to completion automatically.

Traditional Preventive Maintenance addresses potential equipment failure by conducting certain maintenance tasks according to the manufacturers suggested schedule. These schedules tend to be very conservative, and can be modified based on operator judgement or experience. Portal AMS helps by allowing you to create, assign and modify recurring tasks on a schedule that makes sense for you. 

Predictive maintenance, on the other hand, creates ongoing maintenance schedules to keep everything moving smoothly. Instead of only servicing the equipment at a regular frequency (i.e., preventive maintenance), equipment usage and repair is tracked.  Over time, the amount of data you collect allows you to identify milestones that are most often correlated with repairs and downtime. This strategy gives you much more control over the operations of your equipment.

The more data that’s collected, the more accurate predictions will become.

You can continue to schedule regular maintenance, since preventive maintenance is essentially a good practice, but at the same time you’ll be building an early warning system that encourages you to check the health of your equipment based on the historical data of when a part is going to fail, and avoid unplanned downtime.

Revenue Management

More and better data means you can more accurately schedule collections.

Similar to maintenance activities, you’ll have historical data at your fingertips to tell you when an location is likely ready to be collected.  You will gradually eliminate wasted trips when cash/coin boxes aren’t even half full… saving on fuel, labor and time.

The next level is sensor monitoring.  With IoT sensor monitoring you’ll know exactly how much money or how many tokens are sitting in your games, changers and kiosks.  You can move from scheduling collections on a calendar to scheduling collections based on an alert system.  

Portal Arcade Management Studio

Portal AMS – a next-gen CMMS built to address the unique needs of the coin-op amusement industry – is bringing a digital toolkit to operators of all sizes.  It features a user-friendly interface so each team member is eager to work with it.  Mobile work order management and collections can be easily integrated in the context of IoT, cloud and preventive maintenance to become an indispensable part of a route operators business.

Portal AMS connects and transmits information between your company’s departments but also between sensors, gaming machines, point of sale payment kiosks, cash registers, redemption counters and any other object you choose to define & track in the system.

Field technician activities and inputs are captured via mobile devices, external data from unconnected devices is quickly imported, and real time sensor data is automatically streamed into the cloud and merged into the transactional database.

With this collected data the Portal AMS will help you create powerful reports to support critical decision making and improvement of the customer experience.

Work Order List – Technician View

Work Order Detail – Technician View

Portal AMS is equipped with an IoT (internet-of-things) management module to allow you to connect any open source or home-made device OR our own Remote Coin Meter™ (RCM available for Pre-order November 5, 2019) to the system via our secure but simple Remote Meters API upgrade.

This allows operators to replace any existing analog meter with the RCM, or it can be connected to any micro-switch(es).  The pulse meter will log and securely transmit any switch open/closure (configurable) to the cloud.  Multiple switches can be monitored – meaning you can connect multiple coin switches, prize switches and/or dollar bill validators to the system.

Additionally, you’ll be able to track events like power loss, internet outage and lack of activity as triggers to take a proactive approach to location management.

The arcade & amusement sector is on the edge of great digital transformations. Early entrants, who have already embraced the innovation, are seeing tangible ROI from their investment. To get one step closer to Industry 4.0, consider deepening your knowledge about the new technologies and use cases driving the most value – and explore how they can fit your new strategic initiatives.

For more information and/or to see a live demo of the Portal AMS, simply register here & I’ll contact you.  If you have questions and would like to discuss, feel free to drop me a line anytime at or call me at (816) 898-8132.


Matthew Licausi