Standard Change-Makers History
Over 65 Years of Innovation and Change
James R. McNutt, Sr. founded Standard Change-Makers, Inc. in 1955 as an affiliate of the Nik-O-Lok Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of coin-operated locks. Mr. McNutt’s grandfather, Charles Van Cleave, founded Nik-O-Lok in 1910. Both companies operated out of the same facilities, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1965, Standard Change-Makers became a separate corporation, and eventually Nik-O-Lok became a division of Standard Change-Makers, Inc. Both companies are still in full operation, and still a privately held corporation.
The Early Years
In the beginning, having seen a need in the vending industry, Jim McNutt, Sr. began with a simple mechanically operated coin changer that would return either five nickels or two dimes and a nickel for a quarter. The original machine sold for a retail price of $89.50! There have certainly been many innovations and technological improvements incorporated since the early mechanical designs!
Jim McNutt, Sr. founded Standard Change-Makers and designed the first change machines that we produced. He also led the charge on many product and design innovations.
In our early years, manufacturing operated in an upstairs room of the Nik-O-Lok Company, located at 422 East New York Street, in downtown Indianapolis.
One year later, “technology” broke through with the introduction of a new series of coin changers. Among the technological advances was allowing the machine to change the well-circulated half-dollar coin. These changers were very popular in the Vending industry, because vending machines could not yet accept such large coins.
It was about this same time that Coin Laundry stores began to emerge on the national scene. With the company’s line of tough and dependable changers, Standard was able to supply machines that would help to insure these new store’s profitability — the ability to convert silver dollars, half-dollars and quarters into coins they could use in the washers, dryers and soap dispensers. Standard Change-Makers also established a presence in Canada, to address the same issues in the Canadian Vending and Laundry industries.
Change Machine Innovation
Standard Change-Makers introduced the acceptance of $1 bills into their U.S. Change Machines. This innovation was quite revolutionary for the times. Using bill acceptors (also called validators) manufactured by outside companies, Standard Change-Makers continued to address the needs of the Vending and Coin Laundry industries, and also began to branch out into the growing Self-Serve Carwash market. The ability to convert $1 bills – which were steadily becoming more popular than the silver dollar coin – gave Standard a competitive advantage in the Changer industry. Also that year, additional manufacturing space was leased a short distance away to alleviate the overcrowding.
was the year $5.00 bill acceptance was introduced into the company’s changer line.
was again a revolutionary year for Standard. Management felt that in order to better serve their customers, the company must have more control over the constant engineering changes associated with dollar bill acceptors. Standard was proud to introduce their own “System 500” Bill Acceptor. The System 500 offered $1, $5, $10, and $20 bill acceptance – truly a first! When the System 500 acceptor was first introduced, most industry analysts questioned who would ever want to get change for a $20 bill?
Growth and Expansion
By 1988, Standard was busting at the seams once again, and they opted to lease an additional 17,000 square foot building next door, leaving the company’s operations in three different buildings. It wasn’t entirely the most efficient way to operate, but there was room to move.
In 1991, then-Vice President Jim McNutt, Jr. led the efforts to build a new facility designed exclusively for the company’s needs. Culminating in early 1992 with a modern 67,000 square foot building to house all of the company’s operations, as well as the Nik-O-Lok Company, and still the present headquarters.
In 1994, Mexico was added to the list of countries that the company serves. Electromecanicos Monterrey S.A. de C.V. joined with Standard Change-Makers as their Master Distributor in Mexico and South America.
System 600-FST Introduced
In 1998, Standard introduced the enhanced “System 600-FST” that featured more advanced technology to deal with the growing challenges of fraud and theft facing self-service business owners. Other high quality bill acceptors are also available in the most complete line of change machines you can find anywhere.
In 2000, Standard introduced the BX “Bill-to-Bill Exchanger” Series in response to the requests from Laundry Card store owners. This machine dispenses bills rather than coins. Most cardholders only want to put $5 to $10 value on their cards at a time, and the BX1000 machine would provide the change they wanted. It is a perfect solution for after-hours and unattended Laundromats. This eventually evolved in to the BCX “Bill and Coin Exchanger” Series – that dispenses a combination of bills and coins which was launched in 2002.
Modular Series Change Machines
In 2003 – the Standard engineers developed our Modular “Smart Hopper” technology that provides a simple-function, low cost solution that the various self-service industries requested. The MC Series features “Plug & Play” modules that will allow business owners to upgrade their base machine to address specific programming, auditing and security settings that will help them respond effectively in their business operations. Further, the Modular technology has allowed us to introduce the Dual Redundancy feature – which is a true built-in back up on our Dual Acceptor changers (like the MC500RL-DA, MC900-DA’s and MC720-DA).
the System 600-EF bill acceptor was introduced replacing the System 600-FST. The newer version featured a faster processor, more memory space to store more bills in circulation, four-way bill acceptance and upgrades in sensor technology.
EASYPay Central Payment System
Standard started working with the EZ-Pay partners at the 2009 Clean Show. They displayed a modified MC200 that could accept credit cards and send start signals to washers. We continued to work with them as they developed the product. Soon, they had color touch screens and PC-driven software that allowed more features and easier interfacing.
Standard engineers designed the new enclosures and helped blend the two systems of allowing the cash acceptance and change-making with the card processing, and the ability to start both washers and dryers. Since that original group, the EASYPAY system has gone through a few additional technology generations and now Standard partners with BCC Payments, LLC in continuing to develop and produce a central payment solution that addresses the capability of accepting ALL FORMS of payment (bills, coins, cards, mobile and EBT) in a coin laundry business. The EASYPay solution was purchased by BCC Payments, LLC in 2015, and eventually evolved into the Laundry Boss.
Guardian XP Entry Systems
In 2010, Standard introduced the Guardian XP (GXP) Series of entry stations for Automatic Bays in the Car Wash industry. The GXP was followed by the GXP-BE – Cashless, Card or Code entry station and the GXP-BX – Pay Station with bill dispense capability.
Glory Bill Dispenser Models
Standard Change introduced the BX1020RL-G & BX1020RL-G, featuring the Glory MiniMech (single note) and MultiMech (dual note) bill dispensers. Introduced at Clean Show ’17, the new machines provide more reliable and dependable bill dispensing operation. The dual note MultiMech has an additional 2,000 bills capacity over the Fujitsu F-53 bill dispenser. (Standard introduced the rear load models first, and the front load models would follow in 2019).
EF+ Module and SC-Conversion Kits
In 2017, Standard Change-Makers introduced the EF+ Module, the third generation of the Expanded Function Module that provides programming, diagnostic and reporting features for the Modular Series machines. Using similar technology, we introduced the SC-Conversion Kit that allows customers to update aging System 500/500-E/600-FST/600-EF bill acceptors to Mars (MEI) or Coinco bill acceptors in SC series change machines. The conversion kit allows owners to keep their secure cabinets in place, use their SC coin hoppers and gain more reliability by replacing the aging bill acceptor technology.
Both kits have the Remote Notification Feature, that allows communication to up to five email addresses or mobile phone numbers – to send text messages with daily audit reports or out of service alerts and pre-programmed alerts on low levels in dispensers or bill stackers are full.
Standard introduced the MC400RL-SLIM, a tall rear load change machine that would fit into the same rough opening at the Rowe Model #BC1400. Equipped with Standard’s Modular plug & play technology, and steel coin hoppers. In addition to this development, Standard designed the Modular Retrofit Kit for Rowe BC1400 and BC2800 changers. This would allow customers to remove all the original components of these aging models and install new Modular Series hoppers and a MEI bill acceptor – without having to remove the old Rowe cabinet from the wall.
Mr. McNutt’s oldest son, James R. McNutt, Jr., began working for Standard Change-Makers shortly after his graduation from college in 1977. He started by serving as Purchasing Manager, became Vice-President/Operations in 1985, and then President & CEO in 1993. Jim McNutt, Sr. served as Chairman of the Board until his passing in June, 2006.
2021 – Standard Change-Makers, Inc. was purchased by RKU Standard Incorporated. Rob Unterborn, who had been COO since 2018, became President/CEO and Jim McNutt, Jr. became Chairman of Standard Change-Makers. The new company maintains the family-owned focus and continues the traditions set forth by the McNutt family since 1955.
In-House Design and Manufacturing
Unlike other competitors, Standard utilizes an in-house engineering design team, produces all of it’s own sheet metal cabinets and components, all of it’s electronic component assemblies, and all of the assembly work required to produce the highest quality products available. Standard’s reputation of building the most secure cabinets, the most reliable and dependable coin hoppers, and providing the best value for your investment is a testament of the commitment of its employees and valued distributors.
“The first 65 years have been an amazing journey. We have experienced many changes and innovations, and worked with many outstanding distributors and customers that have helped us design and deliver better products. We welcome you to share with us in the next sixty-five.”
— James R. McNutt, Jr., Chairman of Standard Change-Makers
Model 500 Manual
A 1961 brochure for the Model 500 was a mechanical change machine allowing customers to insert silver dollar or half-dollar coins, turn the crank and the machine would dispense quarters, or combinations of dimes and nickels – depending upon how the machine was configured when ordered.
The Model 7503 was an electro-mechanical, front load change machine, with a slide tray bill acceptor and three coin hoppers that could be configured to accept bills, and dispense combinations of quarters, dimes and nickels. Inside you can see our original coin hopper design. This was to make the replenishing process faster – compared to loading tubes with coins.
Looks like something you might see on the popular television show “Mad Men”. Here is a late 1960’s advertisement for a tower change machine that could be used for Vending or Parking in a commercial/professional building setting.