After a public tender knocked (I'm not sure with this verb) to the French company Amiel Electronique and Portuguese SMD (Sistemas Multiposto e Distribuidos), in 1998 Correios de Portugal started the installation of a new generation of automatic vending machines, models SIMA 1020, manufactured by Amiel Electronique, and APM 200 of SMD, that replaced progressively other older machines installed by all the country.
Amiel Electronique provided a total of 152 vending machines of model SIMA 1020 between January 1998 and February 2000. All these machines were located outside post offices, and their serial numbers goes from 00310002 to 00310051, 00310053 to 00310094, 00310100 to 00310139 and 00310141 to 00310160.
This serial number appears on the machines in a small lateral plate, and it is also printed on the receipts issued by them.
All these machines are the source of supply of ATMs with the printing varieties we know as the Amiel type, with the special feature that the first 152 units were fitted with blue-violet ink cartridges, and the rest with black ink cartridges.
This is the origin (I do not use "source" to avoid the repetition with previous one, 3 lines ahead) of the 2 colour printing varieties known as the Amiel type.
Although very similar, both models of vending machines have obvious differences visible to the naked eye, as can be appreciated in the following pictures. See, for example, the size of the top screen (2 lines of 16 characters for the model 1020 and of 4 lines of 20 characters in the model 1020 V4), the slot for the coins (horizontal in model SIMA 1020 and vertical for the other one), the position of the ANULAR (cancel) button, the position of the lock (lateral on the left in model 1020 and on the front, more accessible, in the machines 1020 V4), or even the layout of the instructions for use and the selection buttons, much more above in the first model.
They are 2 different machines, and from the start they issued ATMs with 2 different printing colours, 2 printing varieties.
Throughout the years, whenever they needed maintenance, or especially as a result of an order raised by the Postal management, the black ink cartridges were replaced in many of the machines 1020 V4 and 2020 with blue-violet ones, standardizing the printing colour with the remainder of the Amiel vending machines.
This change was made gradually, but in the first months of 2005 -and before the summer of 2005- many of the machines still issuing ATMs in black print had been modified.
The main reason is that the current local company responsible for the maintenance of these vending machines, CAGICOMP, put only blue-violet ink cartridges (EPSON ERC-27P) in all the machines, whereas the previous company, BELTRÃO COELHO, representative of Amiel Electronique from 2000, maintained these dispensers with black ink cartridges type EPSON ERC-27B.
The machine has 2 ink cartridges, one for printing ATMs and the other for receipts, usually of the same colour. However, when the cartridge is changed for the ATMs, they do not always change the cartridge for the receipts.
At the end of summer of 2005 they were left very few Amiel machines with black printing, possibly no more than 5-10 units around the country, and most of them with no updated pre-programmed tariffs. So in the following months, after a breakdown or at the next maintenance service, the maintenance technician would replace the printing cartridges of these machines and, therefore, the Amiel ATMs black printing ceased.
Recently, in order to acquire Amiel ATMs in black for collections, often required an uncertain and exasperating trip of many hundreds and hundreds of kilometers around the country, with the uncertainty beforehand, that the vending machines had / had not been modified to print in blue/violet and, of course, even more frustrating, the possibility that it could be FORA OF SERVIÇO (out of service) ... which could be quite common.
With the collaboration of F. C. Videira, J. L. García, J. Mirandela and P. Y. Rouchon.
ATM Web - Spain and Latin American Postal Services: http://www.ateeme.net
© J. Jove - M. Sans. ATEEME. Variable value stamps study group. All rights reserved
This page was created in 16.08.05 and last updated: 07.07.06 . English edition rewrited by S. Goodman (17.06.06)