Skip to content

The Digital Vending Machine: improved storage processes to boost effectiveness and slash costs

Project presented by Marianne Rosendahl Hansen, Ivan Kjeldsen, Weronika Markowska, and Satyendra Pandey

This automated digital distributor is available 24/7, and enables simplified, faster, and more efficient storage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), small items, tools, and machines on both offshore and onshore sites. Injecting successful mass distribution smart warehouse assets and techniques into Oil & Gas!

Best Innovators 2021 - DIGITAL VENDING MACHINE – Ready When You Need It ! -  Exploration & Production – TotalEnergies

A ground-breaking innovation in the Oil & Gas sector

An automated equipment distributor on an oil rig? The idea may seem a little farfetched. This incredibly effective concept is based on a single, simple observation: it has always been difficult to keep precise records of available stock or stock in use by offshore teams. The widespread use of Excel spreadsheets heightens the risk of error, complicates stock management, and is a barrier to traceability. Furthermore, purchasing consumables and spare parts is a long-winded, laborious, and time-consuming activity. 

Why not draw inspiration from smart warehousing practices in distribution logistics to manage spart part and consumable storage? Their approach is perfectly transposable to an industrial setting: a machine available 24/7 that records and logs every transaction.

Proactive logistics

Designed as a simple, innovative, and customizable storage space, the Digital Vending Machine is a connected distributor underpinned by digital technologies that allow transactions to be automated, and logistics supply chains to be optimized. 

  • An RFID badge reader checks staff identity when accessing the equipment, and ensures complete traceability for the equipment, from the moment it is withdrawn to the moment it is used, and from 20-inch valves to joints.
  • The distributor is equipped with sensors that detect the number of pieces of equipment dispensed.
  • A module fitted with a SIM card transfers this information to the cloud, ensuring the machines are automatically topped up.
  • Restocking is managed by the subsidiary’s logistics team, or by the supplier. Both receive the exact same information concerning item availability, through notifications sent directly to their respective SAP systems.
  • Each machine costs a total of €700 per month, maintenance included. 

Traceability, optimization and cost reduction

There are many benefits to working with the Digital Vending Machine:

  • Increased efficiency thanks to the restocking procedures by direct notification sent to suppliers and automatic SAP system updates.
  • The Digital Vending Machine improves product traceability, provides usage data, and cuts back on stock shortages. Analysis by site or by equipment type provides a comprehensive overview of the cost of consumables, office supplies, and spare parts.
  • The distributor allows you to reduce stock levels by close to 15%, and reduce restocking supply of small items by up to 30%, meaning you make instant savings.
  • Processes are simplified and automated: no more inputting manually in Excel and influxes of orders for Procurement departments, as consumables are delivered straight to the machine. The time given over to taking and processing orders, handling, and internal logistics is slashed.
  • This machine can also offer reusable or recyclable items that can be recovered after use, which feeds into a circular economy model and reduces your carbon footprint.

Simple to use and flexible too, these plug and play distributors are incredibly easy to set up in other TotalEnergies subsidiaries and among partners.

The project team