Monitor Business Machines provide card database solutions using their own software and hardware systems. These systems are commonly installed in universities, libraries, schools, hospitals and offices utilising plastic cards for payment transactions for the likes of printing, photocopying and many other applications. Users can purchase cards and add value to their 'account' using Monitor's software via Kiosks and Autoloaders installed around their campuses or facilities. These Kiosks and Autoloaders accept cash payments which are credited to the user’s account through Monitor's interface software.

Snook Design has been responsible for the design of a number of Monitor’s Autoloaders and Kiosks, starting with the AL3000 back in 1995, through to the most recent in the line-up, the AL9000.  Typically, all these units need to cater for a variety of proprietary devices such as coin mechanisms, note readers, printers, card acceptors and dispensers, eftpos terminals, etc.




       AL3000 (1995)                     AL5000 (2006)         AL9000 (Present Day)


One of the main design challenges with each of these units was to allow for a number of configurations depending on which market they were intended for.  Some would only require a few devices installed while others could have many devices installed at the same time.  In some cases one market would require a different version of a printer, note reader or eftpos terminal to another market which further complicated the design criteria. This meant that the internal and external layout of the devices was critical, from the design, functionality/ergonomics and servicing aspects.  As most units utilise some form of cash containment, security was also a high priority consideration.

Being niche market rather than high volume items, and the requirement for a number of assembly configurations, meant sheetmetal fabrication provided the most flexibility for manufacture.  The early AL3000 Autoloader, however, also incorporated fibreglass mouldings in the design.

As well as the main cabinet structure and general layout, Snook Design was also responsible for developing the mechanical aspects of some of the other internal devices and ancillary components or sub-assemblies such as barcode readers, plastic card readers and various PCB enclosures.


Barcode Reader           Card Reader Unit   Card Reader - Exploded View



AL8000 For Commercial Laundry Controller Application    AL8000 Internal Configuration



AL8000 & AL9000 Demonstrator Units   AL9000 units being prepared for shipping





                  AL5000                              Internal Layout

            Locking Mechanism



Any kiosk containing cash is a target for thieves and it was not uncommon for these machines to be attacked with crowbars. Along with the sturdy sheetmetal construction, Snook Design developed a heavy duty multi-point locking mechanism operated by a high security lock. No external force is taken by the lock itself, as it was only used to activate the locking mechanism. This locking mechanism was also carried over to the AL9000.