Archive for October, 2012

Topaz Signature Capture Pads Are Windows 8 Compatible

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Topaz Signature Capture PadsWith the release of Windows 8 this week, many customer are wondering if our Topaz signature capture pads (found here) are compatible. We are happy to announce that Topaz has extensively tested their signature pads with Windows 8 and have found no compatibility issues. This includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. Everything is running just like it does with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

You should also be aware that Topaz tablets used to only be compatible with MS Office up to 2007, but it is now compatible with MS Office up to 2010. This compatibility makes it easy to quickly plug in a Topaz signature pad and get it up and running in just minutes. This makes it possible to quickly and easily insert signatures into MS Excel spreadsheets, MS Word and more.

Which signature capture pad is right for you? Topaz  offers a huge lineup of products depending on the lifespan you need, the signature area you need and more. Here are just a few features you may want to be aware of:

  • Self Inking Backlit Topaz SigLite LCD 4X3SigLite Series – The Topaz SigLite line of signature capture pads are the budget line. They still capture excellent quality signatures and have a 10,000-signature lifespan. The most popular SigLite we offer is the Topaz SigLite 1×5 found here. These are commonly used for legal signatures on a variety of documents including PDFs.
  • SignatureGem Series – The Topaz SignatureGem series of signature capture pads are the more robust line as they have a 250,000-signature lifespan. These pads are excellent for use in pharmacies and other high traffic locations where a lot of signatures are required on a daily basis. These tablets come in a wide range of sizes. The Topaz SignatureGem LCD 1×5 (found here) is one of our most popular models.
  • Self Inking – Many of our signature capture pads simply capture the signature, but sometimes it is necessary to see the signature on the pad itself. If you need to see the signature, you will need a self inking pad. These pads can be as simple as a 1″ x 5″ area for a signature or it can be a much larger area (depending on the model) where additional text and logos can be displayed.
  • Backlit – If you are trying to get signatures in a low-lit area, you may need a signature capture pad that is backlit. Backlit means the signature area glows, making it easy to see what’s going on. While this isn’t always necessary, it is a nice feature to have for your customer.

We offer over a dozen different types of Topaz signature capture pads. This includes models with a USB connection and models with a serial connection. All Topaz signature capture pads include software and developer tools are available for easy integration with other software and hardware applications. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. You can find our entire selection of signature capture pads here.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Coil Binding

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Coil Binding MachinesSo you’re interested in coil binding, but you have a whole lot of questions that need answering before you make a purchase? That’s OK. When it comes to investing $100s to potentially $1000s of dollars in a binding machine, you should know everything there is to know about the format. I have over a decade of experience with coil binding machines (found here) and I would like to share some of that information with you.

To begin with, coil binding is a book binding format that uses coils (often called spirals) that have a spring-like appearance. Have you ever used a spiral notebook? That is a type of coil binding, which uses metal coils. The binding I am going to talk about in this article is very similar except that it uses PVC plastic coils instead of metal.

Coil binding has some huge perks over other book binding formats. Here are just a few of the reasons coil binding has become so popular over the last few years:

  • Coil BindingPages Lay Flat – Due to the nature of coil binding, coil bound books can be opened and will lay flat on a table. This makes coil binding excellent for instructional information such as manuals and cookbooks.
  • Pages Turn 360 Degrees – That’s right! Pages on a coil bound book will wrap around a full 360 degrees. This is excellent for reading and accessing information. I have a manual for an old 1979 VW diesel rabbit that was coil bound. I loved it because I could turn right to the section I needed, wrapped the page around and laid it on the front of my car while doing automotive work.
  • Durability – Plastic PVC binding coils are extremely durable. In situations where comb would fall apart or wire would bend, PVC binding coils hold up. You can drop coil bound books or step on them and they just seem to hold up.
  • Customization – Plastic PVC coils are available in over a dozen different colors and are available in several different diameters. This makes it possible to bind a book that is just a few pages thick or something that is a hundred pages thick. This customizability makes it possible to bind a book that is unique and classy.
  • Affordability – Plastic binding coils are affordable and readily available.

So what types of coil binding machines are there and which is best for you?

  • Manual Punch Coil Binding Machines (found here) – Manual coil binding machines have a punch that is manually operated. This is usually done via a lever located on the right side of the machine. Manual punch machines usually vary from 10-20 pages per punching pass, depending on the machine. This style of book binding machine is ideal for low to medium-volume book binding.
  • Electric Punch Coil Binding Machines (found here) – Electric punch machines have an electric motor that punches the paper. This requires little manual effort and is ideal when binding a lot of books throughout the day. Most electric punch machines have a food pedal that activates the punch although some use a button and others uses a combination food pedal / switch.
  • Electric Coil Inserters – Some manual and most electric punch machines have what’s known as an electric coil inserter. These inserters are designed to quickly spin coil through pre-punched holes. The process is extremely fast and is far quicker than manually inserting coils.
  • 4:1 Coil Binding Pitch PatternPitch – Coil binding machines come in either 4:1 pitch or 5:1 pitch hole patterns. The pitch is how many holes are punched per inch of paper. This means a 4:1 pitch machine has four holes per inch of paper. Once you purchase a machine 5:1 Pitch Coil Binding Hole Patternwith a punch set in a certain pitch, you need to make sure the supplies (found here) you purchase are the same pitch. Unfortunately 5:1 pitch supplies will not work with a 4:1 pitch machine and vice versa. The 4:1 pitch is the most popular used in the United States.

Which brand should you use? I have used many brands of coil binding machines. Some work better than others and some hold up better than others. From personal experience, I can safely say that personally like Akiles and Intelli-Bind. Both brands are reliable and seem to hold up well with continuous use.

Would you like to see a coil binding machine in use? Here are video demos of manual coil binding machines and electric coil binding machines. These videos should give you a good idea as to how these machines work:

MANUAL COIL BINDING MACHINE

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ELECTRIC COIL BINDING MACHINE

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You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here and coil binding supplies here. We also have a great step-by-step guide on how to use a coil binding machine that you can find here.

If you still have questions about coil binding, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have over 30 years of experience with coil binding and would love to help point you in the right direction.

Affordable Ways to Fold and Mail Accounts Payable Checks

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Pressure Seal ChecksIf your business is looking for an affordable way to mail accounts payable checks, one great option is to use a envelope inserting machine (found here). While these machines do a great job, another more affordable option you may want to consider is to use a pressure sealer (found here). So which of these two technologies is best for you? Having used both, and having a lot of experience with both types of machines, I would like to share some advice and experience with you.

Mailing checks is an important part of any business’s operations. Whether it is accounts payable, rebates, paychecks or other checks. Before you settle on any one type of machine, there is one important question you will want to ask yourself:

How many pages will you be mailing at a time? If you are mailing just one sheet at a time, with the check, either a pressure sealer or an envelope inserting machine will work for you. If you need to mail more than one sheet at a time, you will have to go with an envelope inserting machine.

Now that we that question answered, here is a brief description of each type of machine and why it may or may not work for you:

  • Envelope Inserting MachinesEnvelope Inserting Machines (found here) – Envelope inserting machines have feed trays, much like a copy machine, that pull a sheet of paper from the tray, fold it and insert it into an envelope. Reservoirs of water inside the machines are used to wet the glue on the envelope flap and seal it shut. Envelope inserting machines, often called folder inserters, can come with multiple feed trays. This makes it possible to fold and insert two, three, four or more sheets of paper at a time. Envelope inserting machines are excellent for mailing invoices, letters and yes, even checks.
  • Pressure SealersPressure Sealers (found here) – Pressure sealers are designed to fold and seal pressure seal paper. Pressure seal paper (found here) and pressure seal checks (found here) have small pockets of glue along the edges and in strategic places that help keep the folded letter sealed shut. This special paper can be used in any copy machine or printer. Solid metal rollers in the pressure sealer break these pockets open, resulting in a tamper-proof seal that is excellent for mailing purposes. If you are mailing a single check, this is a great option. When the recipient receives the check, they simply tear off the perforated sides to gain access to the enclosed check. Another nice perk of the pressure sealer is that there is no need to use an envelope, saving even more money.

My personal recommendation is that you use a pressure sealer if you only need to fold and seal a single sheet / check. The machines cost a lot less money, there are fewer moving parts and you don’t have to use any envelopes. If you need to fold multiple sheets, our Formax envelope inserting machines still do a great job and are excellent for mailing much more than just checks.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to your envelope inserting or pressure sealing questions.

How to Create Your Own Binders Full of Women

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Binders full of WomenIf you have been watching the presidential debates lately, following Twitter or if you’re up on the news, you may have heard about Mitt Romney’s “Binders full of Women” comment. Regardless of whether you are a Republican or Democrat, and regardless of where you fall on the topic, you can easily create your own binder or book by using a book binding machine (found here). While you probably won’t actually use it to bind lists of women for hiring purposes, at ABC Office we offer a great selection of binding machines that can be used for creating presentations, reports, presentations, manuals and more.

There are three major types of book binding machines that are most commonly used in businesses, schools, government and other organizations. These are comb, wire and coil. They can all be used to create presentations, books, manuals and reports. While there are obvious aesthetic differences between them all, they are also small functional different as well. I would like to briefly cover the differences between all of these binding styles.

These are the three formats I recommend:

  • Comb BindingComb Binding (found here) – Comb binding is one of the oldest and most recognizable book binding formats. It has literally been around for decades. Supplies are cheap and extremely easy to find. Comb binding machines use a 19-ring plastic binding comb. It is called a 19-ring comb because a total of 19 comb fingers are inserted into rectangular-punched holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper. Comb binding elements are available in diameters up to 2″ and can be re-opened for adding or removing pages. Mitt Romney would probably love a comb binding machine because he could easily remove or insert pages much like a three-ring binder.
  • Wire Binding Wire Binding (found here) – Wire binding is often considered the “Professional” binding format. This is because the metal look and feel of a wire bound document looks high quality. The wire is inserted through round or square punched holes (depending on the machine) after which the wire is closed, sealing the bind shut. Wire binding comes in two primary formats. These are 2:1 pitch and 3:1 pitch (two holes per inch and three holes per inch). If you own a 3:1 pitch machine, you have to use 3:1 pitch coils. Unfortunately they are not interchangeable. This is a more permanent bind and pages cannot be removed or added without destroying the bind and adding a new binding element.
  • Coil Binding Coil Binding (found here) – Coil binding, frequently called spiral binding, is one of the most durable and easy-to-use binding formats. Modern coil binding uses PVC coils, which come in a wide variety of colors and diameters. They don’t bend, don’t easily break and allow pages to lay flat or completely wrap around. Coil binding is one of my personal favorites and many people use this for binding manuals, reports, cookbooks, scrapbooks and a lot more. The supplies are reasonably priced and the machines are easy to use.

These are the three most common binding formats we offer, but we also have a great selection of VeloBind machines, ProClick machines, thermal binding machines and more. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here. We have over 30 years of experience with binding machines, so if you have a question, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788. We are more than happy to help answer your questions. There is no such thing as a bad question when it comes to office equipment. Have a great day!

Best Packaging Machines for Your Business

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Popular Packaging MachinesIf you are trying to package a product, you may be looking for a machine or a technique that can help you get the job done quickly, professionally and in an affordable way. At ABC Office, we offer hundreds of different machines that can be used to package products. Many of our customers use our products to package food, music, videos, games, boxes and much more. So which machine should you use to accomplish the job at hand? I will cover some of our most popular packaging machines (found here) in this article.

Having sold machines, spoken with customers and used much of the equipment we offer, I would like to speak of the top 7 types of packaging machines we offer. Each of these machines are made from high quality materials and are all very affordably priced. Please call us at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to questions regarding any of these products.

  1. I-Bar SealersI-Bar Sealers (found here) – I-bar sealers are one of the most basic types of shrink wrap machines we offer. They typically involve a single sealing bar that is used to close a single side of a shrink bag or shrink film. After multiple passes, a heat gun is typically used to shrink the film down around the product. These machines are excellent for low to medium-volume packaging. Popular brands include AIE and Traco.
  2. Shrink Wrap Systems (found here) – Our shrink wrap systems typically involve an L-bar sealer and an integrated or separate heat tunnel. These machines are designed for high volume packaging. The L-bar sealer used in our shrink wrap systems is designed to seal all sides of a product in a single pass. The heat tunnel quickly applies heat around the entire product, quickly shrinking down the shrink packaging in just seconds. Popular brands include Minipack and Truline.
  3. Hand SealersHand Sealers (found here) – Hand sealers, often called impulse sealers or bag sealers, are designed to seal the open end of a variety of plastic bags. These are perfect for packaging seeds, screws, food, art prints and many other products. Hand sealers come in different sealing lengths, widths and are capable of handling different mil thicknesses of bags. Popular brands include Traco and AIE.
  4. Pallet Stretch Wrappers (found here) – These machines are designed to apply type of film called stretch wrap. This stretch wrap helps keep bundled products together and are excellent for putting multiple products onto a pallet. The pallet is loaded onto the pallet wrapper’s base, which spins and applies stretch wrap evenly around the pallet of goods. Our pallet wrappers are made by Truline.
  5. Vacuum Sealers (found here) – Vacuum Sealers can be used to package a variety of products, but are especially popular with the food industry. This is because vacuum sealers provide an easy and effective way to preserve meat, fruits, vegetables, fish and other perishable items. We offer both external and chamber vacuum sealers from Minipack.
  6. Band SealersBand Sealers (found here) – Band sealers work much like a hand sealer, but on a larger scale. Bags are fed into the band sealer, which in turn quickly seals the back shut and ejects them from the other side of the machine. We offer a great selection of both vertical band sealers and horizontal band sealers from AIE. Most of these machines have a tabletop design although larger floor models are available.
  7. Mail Baggers (found here) – Have you ever received a magazine or several magazines that were packaged in a plastic bag? This is done by using a machine called a mail bagger. These machines essentially take your newspaper, magazine or other literature and put it into a bag and seals it shut. This bag can then be easily mailed via USPS or other mail carrier.

These are the seven most common packaging machines that we offer. We also offer a large selection of carton sealers, sleeve wrappers, blister sealers and more. We also offer a great selection of shrink wrap and vacuum sealer film. You can find our entire selection of packaging machines here. Again, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with your questions. Have a great day!

Wood Single Pocket Chart Holders – Seven Great Options

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Wooden Mallet CH14-1 Single-Pocket Chart HolderWhen it comes to displaying, holding and organizing charts, a high-quality chart holder (sometimes called a file holder) can make all the difference in the world. While there are many models to choose from, including wire and plastic, we have found that most of our customers prefer a nice wall-mounted wood chart holder. At ABC office we currently offer seven different models (found here) including several that are HIPAA compliant. One of them is an X-ray holder.

Our most popular chart holders are made by Wooden Mallet. Wooden Mallet is probably best known for their huge lineup of magazine racks and literature holders, but their chart holders are equally just as good a quality. While we offer several multi-pocket chart holders, I would like to cover the single pocket models. The single pocket chart holders are especially popular in hospitals and doctor’s offices.

I would like to cover each one of these chart holders. I will start off with our two most popular models:

  1. Wooden Mallet CH14-1 Chart HolderWooden Mallet CH14-1 (found here) – This single-pocket chart holder features an angled design, keeping the charts naturally jogged forward. This rack features a simple and elegant design and it includes all the necessary hardware to mount it to the wall. This is our most popular chart holder. It comes in light oak, medium oak and dark red mahogany.
  2. Wooden Mallet CH15-1 Chart HolderWooden Mallet CH15-1 (found here) – This is one of our top two most popular chart holders. Unlike the CH 14-1, this rack features a pocket that is completely vertical. The design is simple, yet it is easy to put in individual patient rooms in a doctor’s office or hospital. It features a 12 ½” wide pocket that is 2″ deep. This chart holder looks great hung on a wall.
  3. Wooden Mallet CHD15-1 Deep Chart HolderWooden Mallet CHD15-1 (found here) – This is a more robust chart holder than the previous two mentioned. It is 13 ½” wide by 3 ½” deep, making it ideal for situations where a lot of charts need to be held at once. This rack features a wood back, sides and front. Charts are kept secure and private. This can be mounted by itself or along side several in a row.
  4. Wooden Mallet PCH15-1 Privacy HIPAA Chart HolderWooden Mallet PCH15-1 (found here) – This is our least expensive privacy chart holder that is completely HIPAA compliant. It features a taller front wood panel that keeps contained files and charts completely hidden and private. The front panel is 9″ tall. It is wall mounted, 2″ deep and includes all wall mounting hardware. The wood grain finish looks great and blends in with existing office furnishings.
  5. Wooden Mallet OCHS15-1 Open Ended HIPAA Chart HolderWooden Mallet OCHS15-1 (found here) – This unique chart holder features an open ended design that is mounted to a square wall-mounting plate. This makes it easy to insert and access files from the top or the sides of the chart holder. The front panel is 9″ high for added privacy and it is HIPAA compliant. Choose from three different wood stain finishes.
  6. Wooden Mallet OCH020-1 HIPA Chart HolderWooden Mallet OCH020-1 (found here) – If you like the OCHS15-1 listed above, but don’t like the square wall-mounting plate, you are going to love the OCH020-1. This is also an open ended chart holder that is completely HIPAA compliant with a 9″ high front panel. It is mounted to an oval-shaped wall mounting bracket.
  7. XR-1 X-ray Chart Holder from Wooden MalletWooden Mallet XR-1 (found here) – While you may need to organize and hold charts in your hospital or doctor’s office, you may also need to hold X-rays. The XR-1 from Wooden Mallet is one of just a few wooden x-ray chart holders available online. This x-ray holder is 22 ½” wide by 12″ high by 2 2/4″ deep. It is wall mounted and includes mounting hardware.

So there you have it! Seven of the best wooden chart single-pocket chart holders you will find online. Not only are these available at a great price, the yare also extremely durable and tough for daily use. If you have any questions, call us at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of chart holders here.

Business Card Laminating Pouches – 5, 7 & 10 Mils

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Business Card Laminating PouchesWhile many thought business cards would go the way of the dinosaur with the rise in popularity of electronic gadgets, they are still just as popular as ever. With so many types and styles of business cards out there, one great way to set your card apart is by laminating it. It just so happens that there is pouch-laminating film that is in the business card size. At ABC Office, we offer business card laminating pouches in 5, 7 and 10 mils thick (found here).

A business card laminating pouch measures in at 2 ¼” x 3 ¾”. While the standard business card is 2″ x 3 ½”, the laminating pouch is slightly bigger. This size difference allows ample room for the business card being laminated and provides a nice 1/8″ border around the entire card. This border can be removed with scissors or with a paper cutter, but most people like to have it. The border also keeps the business card waterproof.

As mentioned earlier, our business card size laminating pouches come in three different thicknesses. These are 5, 7 and 10 mils. A mil is a thousandth of an inch thick, which means 5 mils is 0.005″ thick. The higher the mil thickness, the thicker the pouch. Also be aware that the thickness mentioned is for just one side of the pouch. Pouches have two sides. This means a 5 mil pouch has 10 mils total thickness, a 7 mil pouch has 14 mils total thickness and a 10 mil pouch has 20 mils total thickness.

A credit card is about 30 mils thick, so laminating your business card with a 10 mil thick pouch makes it very thick. Most of our customers go with a 5-mil pouch, but it ultimately depends on the look and style you’re going for. Price also comes into play as the thicker the pouch the more money it will cost.

At ABC Office, we offer our business card laminating pouches 100 per box. Each box of film comes with a carrier. While not all laminators require them, many need the pouch to be placed in a carrier prior to insertion in the laminator. This gives the pouch added rigidity and helps to prevent jams. Our laminating pouches are compatible with most pouch laminators including those made by GBC, Tamerica, Intelli-Lam, Banner American, Laminators Specialties, Akiles and others. Just be sure the mil thickness of the pouch is compatible with the laminator you are using.

Because we are the source for many of our laminating pouches, we are able to provide you with a great low price. We even offer price discounts when you buy 5 boxes of film or more. If you have questions about our lamination film, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788.  You can find our entire selection of pouch lamination film here and pouch laminators here.

Hot Melt Glue Pellets for Perfect Binding

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

vIf you are using a perfect binding machine, you may be using some sort of hot glue to bind notepads and books. Perfect binding machines often use hot glue because it can quickly soak into paper and solidifies usually under a minute. This allows for quick binding, especially on an industrial level. If your perfect binding machine uses hot glue, you may be in need of some hot melt glue pellets (found here). Be aware, quality matters when it comes to hot glue pellets.

At ABC Office, we have an older Standard BindFast 5 on our showroom floor that we use to bind booklets and pads of paper. It works well and I really wish Standard Duplicating Machines still produced the machine. The good news is we are still able to provide adhesive glue for the BindFast 5. The even better news is that the same glue pellets we use for our BindFast 5 will work on most other perfect binding machines that use thermal glue.

I’m not entirely sure how these hot glue pellets are made other than they have the feel and consistency of the glue you would find in a hot glue gun. It almost looks like they took tiny glue sticks and cut them up into pellets. These pellets are sold in ½ gallon containers or in a 50-pound box. The reason I like these pellets is that they are easy to pour and use. Once in the machine, they melt quickly. In liquid form, the glue is completely clear.

Something I really like about the Standard glue pellets is that they are really high quality stuff. We have imported and tried no-name pellets and they just didn’t hold up to the Standard pellets. The no-name pellets actually produced a really bad smell and some smoke. The Standard hot melt glue pellets don’t produce much of a smell if any and they don’t smoke (under correct operational temperatures).

You can find our entire selection of hot melt glue pellets here.  If you have questions about perfect binding, or if you need help finding the correct supplies, please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788.

ABC Office 5% Off October 2012 Coupon Code

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Fall is here, leaves are changing and prices are dropping at ABC Office. Not only are we continuing to keep our prices low and competitive, we are extending another 5% coupon code that you can use on any of our equipment or supplies during the month of October (back by popular demand). This is a great way to get that piece of equipment that will save you time and money.

The coupon code we are extending to you during the month of October is OCT0512. This coupon code is good until midnight on October 31st. This coupon can be applied to your shopping cart or it can be used over the phone by calling 1-800-658-8788. When this coupon is applied, 5% will be removed from your total order amount (not including shipping). This really is a good deal, so be sure to take advantage of it.
October 2012 5% Off Coupon Code

Since it is October, we thought you might enjoy carving yourself a virtual pumpkin. Please enjoy this fun little app from Vidugiris.

If you are looking for some office equipment, let me offer up a few suggestions you may want to consider:

  • PL12A Pouch Laminator (found here) – This laminator is one of the most popular and dependable we offer. The PL12A used to be made by Banner American, but has since been bought out and now produced by Laminators Specialties. The quality continues to be excellent and it should easily hold up for years to come.
  • New United ST-10C Level 3 Cross Cut Shredder (found here) – This paper shredder is compact, looks great and can easily fit next to your desk. At the moment we are offering it with free shipping. You take the already low price, the free shipping and apply the 5% coupon code and you have yourself a killer deal.
  • ABC110 Coin Counter (found here) – If you need to count, sort or wrap coins at a high rate of speed, the ABC110 is a great choice. This counter will display the total amount and dollar value of the coins being counted. It also features separate bins for the different denominations of coins and includes coin tubing attachments.
  • Tamerica GuilloMax Stack Cutter (found here) – We recently lowered the price of the wildly popular Tamerica Guillomax paper cutter. This stack cutter can handle up to 325 sheets of paper at is available at the time of this posting for only $396! This is another great cutter you should consider using the coupon code with.

So there you have some great options for office equipment. This is only a small fraction of what we actually offer, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, call us and we’ll do our best to help you out.

Be aware that there are some restrictions with this coupon code. You can read more about them here.

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