Sainsbury’s has teamed up with retail technology specialists NCR in a move the supermarket claims will save tens of thousands of hours in checkout downtime.

NCR says its software can predict when a piece of hardware such as a self-service till is about to fail. If it spots that a cooling fan is running slower than it should be, for instance, it can then automatically send an engineer to change the part in time.

“Sainsbury’s and NCR share a relentless focus on ensuring shoppers at our stores can get through the checkouts as quickly as possible, especially during peak times,” said Sainsbury’s IT director Rob Fraser.

The software will now be rolled out across all 1,000 Sainsbury’s stores and 23 depots.