Parking Ticket Dispenser Mechanical Side

Paper Ticket Dispenser | A Guideline

What you should know about paper ticket dispensers.

An automated paper ticket dispenser, typically used for pre-perforated tickets or tickets made of continuous paper, is a ticket dispensing mechanism for kiosk and vending machines that dispense printed paper tickets. Depending on the application, the paper tickets may also be equipped with an RFID chip for contactless processing. In general, the pre-perforated tickets are fed from a cardboard box and have a paper thickness of between 0.45 mm and 0.85 mm. The continuous tickets are supplied from a roll and separated to the desired length by the paper ticket dispenser. Before the ticket is issued, the paper tickets are printed and / or encoded and then verified. Badly printed or incorrectly coded tickets are retained by the paper ticket dispenser and replaced by a new, error-free ticket.

This is how a paper ticket dispenser works.

Usually, a paper ticket dispenser consists of several modules for different functions. It has one or more slots for feeding the tickets. The number of slots determines the maximum capacity of the paper ticket dispenser, depending on the type of tickets used. With several slots, it is possible to process and issue different ticket versions. The tickets are fed to a shear or tear-off module via a transport system in order to separate the tickets before further processing. Basically, paper ticket dispensers have optical sensors to determine the position of the ticket in the ticket guideway of the dispenser. When processing pre-perforated tickets, these are forked light barriers. For continuous tickets, these are reflex light barriers. In the processing area, the paper tickets are printed with the desired information such as barcode, QR code or images. If the paper ticket dispenser also has contactless RFID functionality, then printing is followed by contactless encoding of the ticket in the RFID processing area. With the help of the integrated barcode reader, the print quality is checked before the ticket is issued. Tickets with poor print quality as well as defective RFID tickets are retained in the ticket issuing machine by an appropriate mechanism. For this purpose, the tickets are usually thrown into a tray for unusable tickets integrated in the machine. The tickets are either presented via a bezel and issued to the user or dropped into a collection tray integrated in the machine. In many applications, a paper ticket dispenser can take back, process, and then dispense tickets again or discard them into a tray for used tickets. When using a bezel, tickets that are not removed can be retracted and deposited into the machine. This is not possible if the tickets are dropped into a collection tray.

The advantages and applications of different paper ticket dispensers.

There are paper ticket dispensers for magnetic stripe tickets, barcode or QR code printed tickets and contactless paper RFID tickets or for issuing and processing a combination of the above ticket types. Contactless RFID ticket dispensers also include special forms, such as dispensers for issuing RFID wristbands. The different ticket types result in the following processing variants.

Dispenser for tickets with magnetic stripe

A paper ticket dispenser for magnetic stripe tickets has one or more magnetic heads for writing and reading the magnetic stripe of a ticket. Writing and reading the magnetic stripe requires steady movement and speed to meet the ISO write / read standard. A paper ticket dispenser with one magnetic head, can only process a ticket when the magnetic stripe is positioned consistently to the magnetic head. The advantage of multiple magnetic heads is that a ticket can be processed with different positioning of the magnetic stripe in the dispenser. An example would be the use of one magnetic head at the top and one at the bottom for a paper ticket with a middle track magnetic stripe. The ticket can always be read no matter how the magnetic stripe of the ticket is positioned in the dispenser. A ticket is usually always dispensed with the magnetic stripe in the same position, because the feed of the ticket does not change. Paper ticket dispensers for magnetic stripe tickets are often used for toll stations and in many cases have an additional printer. The printer is used to print additional information such as date or time on the ticket.

Dispenser for tickets with barcode or QR code

A paper ticket dispenser for barcode or QR code tickets has a printer and one or two barcode scanners. Two barcode scanners offer the advantage that a ticket can be processed even if the barcode is positioned differently, for example at the top or bottom. In the past, dot matrix printers were often used, but nowadays they have been almost completely replaced by the more maintenance-friendly thermal printers. The tickets are printed and then read by a barcode scanner to verify the quality of the print. To do this, the ticket must be within the reading range of the barcode scanner. After verification, the ticket is issued to the user. Paper ticket dispensers for barcode or QR code tickets are typically used for vending machines in off-street parking systems.

Dispenser for tickets with contactless RFID function

A paper ticket dispenser for contactless paper RFID tickets has an RFID reader / writer and an associated antenna, and usually a printer to print additional information on the ticket. The contactless ticket dispenser processes paper RFID tickets according to ISO 14443 and then dispenses them. RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) refers to a technology in which digital data encoded in contactless tickets is read by a reader via radio waves. The contactless ticket must be within the antenna field of the RFID unit for the read or write operation. Paper ticket dispensers for contactless paper RFID tickets are often used for ticket vending machines in public transport or in the event and leisure sector.

Choosing the right paper ticket dispenser

There are three main criteria for choosing a paper ticket dispenser.

  • What type of ticket is to be dispensed?
  • Can the ticket dispensing mechanism be physically integrated into the ticket issuing machine?
  • Which interface should be used for the integration of the paper ticket dispenser into the overall system of the ticket issuing machine, taking into account the respective operating system?

The paper ticket dispenser must always be fully integrated into the ticket issuing machine mechanically, electrically and in terms of software with all the desired functions.

In addition, a paper ticket dispenser must have a reliable technology for separating the tickets. Basically, three types of separation can be distinguished. The cutting of tickets based on continuous paper. The tearing or separating of pre-perforated tickets. An advantage of cutting on the basis of continuous tickets is that the length of the ticket can be variable. Compared to a ticket tearing or separating mechanism, ticket separating is more advantageous because separating produces less dust that can be deposited on the dispenser's optical sensors. In the case of jammed tickets, the ticket dispenser should allow easy access to the relevant areas of the ticket dispensing mechanism to quickly fix the malfunction.

Paper Ticket Dispenser Applications

Automated paper ticket dispensers are used for a variety of ticket issuing machines. The dispensers are used wherever users are required to independently obtain a ticket from a ticket issuing machine. Usually, the user can then identify himself with the ticket, gets access to a means of transport or the ticket is used for billing purposes. Typical ticket issuing machines are ticket vending machines for local public transport, parking ticket machines for off-street parking applications or visitor ticket machines in event and leisure areas.


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