Focus on JCM Global: ICB ASAP, FUZION critical parts of JCM tech roadmap

September 22, 2023 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports
September 22, 2023 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports

JCM Global’s first-to-market, patented technology solutions have been the driving force behind making the company one of the world leaders in transaction and payment technologies, continuing to expand into new frontiers that will reshape the future of gaming industry operations.

One of the developments at the forefront of the expansion is ICB ASAP (Intelligent Cash Box with Automated Secure Asset Processing). This next generation of the original ICB system unveiled by JCM Global in 2001 takes count room operations to a new level of productivity, efficiency, and operational security.

Chris Blevens

Chris Blevens, product manager for JCM Global, explained that the inspiration behind the creation of ICB ASAP was that the steps in the count room processes of cash box handling require repetitive motion for extended periods of time. So JCM asked, “Is there a better way this could be done?”

“Every time you place a person in the role of completing the steps, there is time and risk involved, and that led us to start thinking about automation,” Blevens said. “Automating the processes with ICB ASAP eliminates the risk and cuts the time in half. It can process up to 4,000 banknotes per minute. That’s about four full cash boxes every 60 seconds.”

In researching a solution, the JCM Global team reimagined an existing technology: robotic automation. Such technology has been a component of the automotive industry for over six decades and has been utilized within JCM Global’s manufacturing and quality departments.

ICB ASAP installations include a network of four industrial-grade robots that operate in one secure automation unit and meet all robotic safety requirements. The solution is compact to meet the footprint of limited count room space, is user-friendly through the incorporation of HMI (human machine interface), and only requires one person to operate it.

Blevens revealed that JCM worked directly with Mitsubishi, other suppliers, and a robotic integrator to develop a reliable solution. This included all of the end-of-arm tooling for each robot and critical movement to ensure it would interface flawlessly with JCM’s ICB-enabled cash boxes.

The first casino installation of ICB ASAP is expected to be fully operational by G2E in October.

When used in concert with JCM’s bill validation solutions, including iVIZION, UBA, and UBA Pro, security, accountability, and player convenience are optimized through ICB ASAP’s exclusive patented technologies.

“JCM bill validators bring the highest level of security possible when compared to our competitors,” Blevens said. “We offer our customers the best security and the highest acceptance rate of all bills going through a slot machine. Counterfeit currency shouldn’t be coming to the count room if JCM bill validators are on the floor.”

The power of patented FUZION technology, another award-winning invention from JCM, enables operators to offer emerging cashless transaction options and to capitalize on their peripheral data.

With the JCM FUZION system, there is a network connection to each of the bill validators on the casino floor, and Blevens confirmed that the system actively monitors all of the bill validators on the casino floor in real-time.

“It is something JCM has been working on for years now,” he continued. “The FUZION system provides valuable tools for a casino. Number one is security. The technology provides the ability to monitor every transaction that is happening with JCM bill validators and TITO ticket printers on the casino floor and watch for suspicious activity.”

Blevens explained that if there is money laundering taking place, the casino will typically not discover it until usually the next day. By that time the person responsible for the activity is long gone. FUZION makes it possible to capture any illicit activities and send out alerts almost instantly. The surveillance teams can then start tracking the activity on the floor.

“JCM technology also has the unique ability to keep track of every serial number on every bank note that goes into the cash box,” he added. “Our bill validators are the only ones in the market that can do this.”

“If there is something that the count room has to find out about bills inside of a cash box, data will indicate exactly what time the bills went into the cash box. Then surveillance video can be pulled to reveal who it was that put the bill into the validator.”

FUZION, according to Blevens, provides reporting data for every JCM component of the casino floor that is cash related. He said that the technology enables casinos to start optimizing the drop process by using the data to accomplish cash collection in the most efficient way possible.

JCM takes pride in working one-on-one with each individual operator to create a unique technology roadmap that builds a bridge to future success. The collaboration results not in a one-size-fits-all solution, rather individually customized to each casino based on specific needs and goals.

The personalized road maps, uniquely crafted to meet a property’s individual needs, illuminate a pathway to success founded on FUZION technology’s expanding capabilities, such as real time peripheral health monitoring, remote firmware upgrades, and mobile transactions for the gaming floor.

Blevens said that cashless integration through JCM’s FUZION is also on the table for operators wishing to explore cashless wallets with customers, adding that “we have made partnerships with some of the largest technology providers in the wallet area. They have integrated FUZION to push digital funds through to the slot machine.”

JCM Global’s market-leading GEN5 thermal printer also connects directly with the FUZION system, in harmony with the company’s PromoNet and CouponXpress rewards solutions, and gives operators the capability to instantly extend promotional offers to both carded and uncarded players.

“We have a highway that allows our technology partners to print coupons and forms directly through the slot machine,” he added. “We and some of our partners will be showing this at G2E along with our other emerging technologies.”

John G. Brokopp is a veteran of 50 years of professional journalist experience in the horse racing and gaming industries