Archive for March, 2006

Have you heard about the new ten-dollar bill?

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

This month the United States is circulating a new ten-dollar bill through commercial banks to try and combat of the United States, while keeping you from falling victim. The majority of the new ten-dollar bill’s features will remain the same as before.

The new ten-dollar bill has added the words “We the People” in red text. The font is that found on the U.S. constitution. The new bill will also feature two red Statue of Liberty torches. The new bill is designed to prevent counterfeiters and help protect the currency. The new currency began circulating March 2, 2006.

Distinguishing real bills from fake can be difficult. Printers and scanners are now able to product high-quality prints that can make counterfeit money appear to be real. Because counterfeiters are using high-tech means to copy money, businesses need to use high-tech means to combat this problem.

The new ten-dollar bill incorporates several “visual” methods of detecting counterfeit money. These are three methods easily seen with the naked eye:

  • First is a security thread. The thread goes the entire width of the bill and states USA TEN along with
    small flags.
  • Second is a watermark of Alexander Hamilton’s head that can be seen when held to light.
  • Third is color-shifting ink. This can be found in the lower-right corner of the ten-dollar bill. The color  will shift from copper to green, depending on the angle it is held.

These are the most important counterfeit detection methods used today:

  • The first is UV (ultraviolet) detection. UV counterfeit detectors have a dark light that makes built-in features in tangible currency light up and appear yellowish green.
  • The second is MG (magnetic). MG detectors detect magnetic ink that is in U.S. currency. When a bill is slid over the MG detector, a light or other indicator will let the user know if it is authentic or fake.

ABC Office continues its efforts to try and help educate businesses and individuals regarding counterfeit money problems. ABC Office has an online fraud prevention guide that can be accessed here. To see the different types of counterfeit detectors that are currently used by banks and businesses, please go here.

Duplo V-350 Forms Burster Review

Friday, March 10th, 2006

Duplo V-350 BursterA few days ago I set up the Duplo V-350 in our show room to shoot an online video demo. I have used the Martin Yale 970A burster (found here) in the past. I used this to help gauge the performance of the V-350. I was surprised how easy it was to set up the V-350 for operation. Setting up the machine required a few simple adjustments. Once the adjustments were made, I fed the paper through the machine. This was easy to do thanks to a jog button.

After feeding paper through the machine I was able to see the paper being burst apart. Using the jog button I was able to run the machine with the protective cover open as I made sure things were operating properly. Once I let up on the jog button, the machine ceased to operate. Pressing the button forward allowed the machine to operate in continuously without having to keep the jog button pressed in. The machine cannot operate continuous mode unless the protective cover is down. This helps prevent personal injury.

I ended up running three different sizes of paper through the machine. The first stack I ran through the machine didn’t have tractor feed on the sides. The paper was perforated every four inches. I set the machine up for four-inch burst intervals. The V-350 ran flawlessly. The second stack of paper had tractor feed on the sides that was slit off using the V-350’s side slitters. It was burst every 11-inches along the perforations. The last stack of paper I ran through the machine was some billing forms that a customer had sent in for testing. The billing forms were burst every four-inches and had the side tractor feed slit off.

The machine created little mess and the papers came out the other side of the machine in order and organized, thanks to a conveyor-style exit tray. This was especially nice in comparison to bursters that throw bursted paper into a catch bin, leaving the paper unorganized.

To sum things up, I would rate the V-350 a solid five out of five stars. The components that are used to make the machine are high quality and the rubber rollers used to pull paper through the machine are very solid and should last a long time. You can find the Duplo V-350 here. The demo we shot should be available in a couple of weeks.

How do grocery stores preserve food?

Friday, March 3rd, 2006

Vacuum SealersHave you ever wondered how food is processed and prepared for the store? It may not be at the top of your list, but it is still very interesting. If proper care is not taken, food can easily spoil. Bacteria sets in and causes the food to rot. Rotten food is both tastes bad and can be dangerous. Rotten food can also cost stores a lot of money in lost merchandise. Several types of food preservation are available to extend shelf life. These preservation methods help eliminate and slow a variety of bacteria, fungus and more.

Salting food used to be widely practiced to help preserve meat. Food was kept outside during cooler times to preserve food. Refrigerators were later introduced to help slow down bacteria. Refrigerators can now be widely found in both stores and homes. Putting all food in refrigerators is expensive and not economical for grocery stores. Due to cost, other methods have been invented to help preserve food. One of the more popular methods is the vacuum sealer.

Vacuum sealers put food in an airtight environment that prevents bacteria and fungus from growing.
Vacuum sealers remove air and seal products in a bag. This eliminates the vital oxygen that most bacteria require to grow. The finished vacuum-sealed bag can then be placed on a shelf, hung on a wall or be put in a refrigerator for superior preservation.

Chamber sealers are one of the more popular vacuum sealers used by commercial producers of food. This style of sealer uses a chamber where the products and bags are placed. Air is removed from the entire chamber, including the bag and food, which creates a vacuum. The bag is sealed and the air inside the chamber is returned back to normal. Because the bag is previously sealed, the air inside the bag remains in a vacuum-like state. You can see an example of this by going here. The demo is pretty fun to watch.

Potato chips and delicate food such as crackers can be damaged if all the air is removed from the vacuum-sealed bag. For this reason, the amount of air removed from the bag can be adjusted. Nitrogen air tanks can be attached to most chamber vacuum sealers, replacing the oxygen with another gas that has better preserving properties. Although some bacteria do not require oxygen to survive, most bacteria are wiped out when the oxygen is swapped out for nitrogen.

You can see ABC Office’s entire selection of vacuum sealers by going here.

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