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p64-66 chip brite:Layout 1 26/10/2009 09:02 Page 36
Luster replaces that additive on the chip that keeps finding a balance between not causing any abrasion
them from sliding, increases the coefficient of from tumbling in a basket, while presenting the
friction. It adds a very low lustre, so it doesn’t surfaces of the chips and allowing the ultrasonics to
affect the colour of the chip, it doesn’t affect the do its job. They’re in the barrel for two to three
shine of the chip, basically it just affects the minutes; you pull them out and let them drain for a
stackability. second; you put them into the rinse water for two
Right now I’m ready to go to market and go out minutes, three minutes, pull it out, let it drain. For
and start displaying and getting trials at different smaller casinos, we have some small apparatus that
casinos. will suffice. They’re put out onto a table or a big
cloth area and they’re basically warm, they dry very
CI: So you’ve come up with a cost- and time- rapidly, they’re re-racked and re-counted ready to
efficient solution to an age-old casino problem… go back into play.
For a major casino, like in Vegas or Monte Carlo,
KM: When you look at a microscopic level of the we can have these multi-station, computer-controlled
grime that’s embedded in the chips, most chips have Chip Brite cleaning stations and they’re going to
a texture and the dirt is down in between the little work out quite successfully. They have a drying
dimples and the textures like a golf ball. The only way station in them also and the drying is the bottleneck
to get it out is to scrub it. Well instead of using a because usually if the cleaning takes two to three
brush to scrub it, we’re using the energy from minutes, the drying will take five to six minutes. But
ultrasonics which present and hit the surface of the on this size unit, we believe we can put a thousand or
chips with millions of tiny bubbles that are imploding two thousand chips per barrel.
and that energy just scrubs it clean in a matter of
seconds. CI: Is there any effect on the lifespan of a
Now the casino managers are interested in casino chip with repeated washings? There must
cleaning these things in bulk, so I had to come up be at some level.
with a means in which we could bulk load chips
into the ultrasonic tank. If you were to dump several KM: There is. I cycled them through four to six
racks of chips into a flat bottomed tank, what they cycles and at the end of the sixth I started to see a
would do was align themselves like the leaves on a little bit of degradation in the sharpness of the
forest bottom, they would just lie flat against one colour and the brilliance. But I went to a casino in
another. They would cover the surfaces and exclude Reno, Nevada, recently and I talked to the casino
any kind of cleaning from the ultrasonics on those manager and asked “How do you clean these?” I
surfaces. We came up with a submersible barrel, a already knew the answer because I’d talked to his
small barrel, in which you can put three or four floor people. He said “Well we basically don’t clean
racks, 300 ñ 400 chips at a time and it turns quite them, we replace a portion of them every year.” Well,
slowly. I’m very conscious of not trying to damage that sounds an expensive way to go. If you can extend
the chips, these chips are expensive and they sell the life of your chips, just one or two times, you’ll pay
anywhere from 75c to $3 a chip or more. It was for the cost of the systems.
66 NOVEMBER 2009
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