Archive for September, 2013

My Time, Date and Text Stamp Is Too Loud. Help!

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Document Stamping MachineIf you have ever heard a time, date or text stamp in use, you may have noticed that they can be a bit loud. There is a reason for this. These stamping machines use a great deal of force to slam that crash head against a ribbon (or using ink) to create a clear and precise stamp on a sheet of paper. These very stamps are often used to not only stamp, but impress information through carbon / carbonless multi-sheet forms. So is there anything that can be done to make these machines a little quieter? I would like to offer a few suggestions. You can find our document stamping machines here.

About a week ago we had a customer contact us regarding the Widmer T-3 time stamp (found here). They said that the stamp, while working perfectly, was producing a lot of noise. It was enough of a concern that they felt it was affecting operations of the employees by creating too much of a distraction. They wanted a few suggestions on quieting the stamp. Widmer was kind enough to provide us with some solid options.

At ABC Office we currently offer a lot of time, text, date and document stamping machines. Many of these machines use a crash head, which is the term used to describe the apparatus that actually makes contact with the paper, resulting in the stamped imprint. Most of our machines are made by manufacturers such as Widmer (very well known) and Acroprint (a leading manufacturer of time clocks). These stamping machines are well made and designed for constant use.

So here are a few things you may want t consider to help quiet your stamping machine:

  • Location – The design of a room, or the size, can dramatically affect the dissipation of sound. Quieting the machine may be as simple as moving it into a different part of the building or into a different room (if possible).
  • Surface – When used on a solid surface, the table or desk can reverberate the sound. Widmer recommends (if noise is an issue) to try using the stamp on a mouse pad. The pad can help absorb the vibrations and decrease the amount of noise generated.
  • Stamping Pressure – Many stamping machines allow you to adjust the amount of pressure the stamping head uses to amply the stamp. You may simply have the stamping pressure dialed up a little too high. Try scaling the pressure down a little and see if that helps decrease the sound without decreasing the quality of the stamp.
  • Machine Design – Rather than going with a crash head design, you could consider going with a model that uses a dot matrix print head. This is quieter, although it won’t go through multiple layers of paper if you are dealing with multi-sheet / multi-part forms. The Widmer T4U (found here) is an example of a dot matrix designed time stamp. It can be customized to show time, data and include text.

I hope these suggestions help you in your noise reduction efforts. For many people the noise these stamps generate isn’t a big deal, especially when the machines are only occasionally used. If it is a big deal, and you use it a lot, these suggestions may make a big difference. If you still have questions about time, date and text stamping machines, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have decades of experience with these machines and would love to help you out.

Finding the Right Vacuum Sealer Bags & Pouches

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Vacuum Sealer Bags & PouchesIf you own a vacuum sealer, you may be in the process of trying to track down the right bags for your machine. While you may already know exactly what you need, many people out there get confused by the wide selection available. Not all vacuum sealer bags will work with all machines. You need to buy the right bags for the right machine and for the right job. At ABC Office we offer a wide selection of vacuum sealer bags and pouches (found here). I would like to help you figure out exactly what you need.

Before I go into the types of bags that are available, I would like to cover the three main types of vacuum sealers used today. These are:

  1. Chamber Vacuum SealersChamber Vacuum Sealers (found here) – These sealers are some of the most popular and common for the commercial packaging of food. Rather than the bag sitting on the outside of the machine, the bag goes inside of the machine. A vacuum, inside the chamber, removes the air before sealing the bag shut. Once sealed, atmosphere is returned back to the chamber. The result is a precision sealed product and extremely professional results. This is commonly used for packaging beef, pork, poultry, fish, chicken, cheese, fruits, vegetables and much more.
  2. Channel Vacuum Sealer BagsChannel Vacuum Sealers (found here) – Channel vacuum sealers are on the entry-level end of the spectrum. These are the sealers, such as FoodSaver, that are used for home vacuum sealing needs or very light volume packaging needs. These sealers require the bag to be placed in the sealing jaws of the machine. Air is then removed using a channel vacuum system. Once the bag has been emptied of air, the bag is sealed shut. These systems are primarily used with food, although they can be used for other items.
  3. Nozzle Vacuum SealersNozzle Vacuum Sealers (found here) – These sealers are used for light, medium or high volume vacuum sealing (depending on the machine). These sealers are often used for packaging food, but are also extremely popular for packaging medical devices, tools and supplies. Many, due to the nature of the non-moving parts, can be used in a clean room environment. These sealers can come in very wide and large formats. They use a nozzle that is inserted into the bag to remove the air. Once the air has been removed, the nozzle retracts and the bag is sealed. Products packaged using a nozzle vacuum sealer are very professional.

Now that we’ve established how the different types of vacuum sealers work, I would like to provide you with a list of the times of supplies you may want to use. I will label which types of machines these supplies work with. First off, chamber vacuum sealers and nozzle sealers use the same bags.

Chamber / Nozzle Vacuum Sealer Bags:

  • Standard Chamber / Nozzle Bags (found here) – These are your standard square bags with an open end. They are often referred to as pouches. These are by far the most common bags used with chamber sealers and nozzle sealers. These bags are sold in bulk quantities, are available in a variety of sizes and come in 3 mil and 4 mil thicknesses.
  • Tear Notch Vacuum Sealer Bags (found here) – These bags are typically used with food and have a tear notch at the top. When the bag is sealed shut, the tear notch makes it easy (without scissors) to open the bag up. These bags come in several different sizes (although not as big as the standard bags) and come in 3 mil thicknesses.
  • Zip Lock Vacuum Sealer Bags (found here) – These bags work with chamber and nozzle sealers like standard bags, but feature a zip lock top. This is especially nice for packaging foods that may need the packaging to be opened and re-closed multiple times. These bags are made using a 3 mil FDA approved plastic. These bags are also commonly used with medical instruments.
  • Sous Vide Boilable Sealer Bags (found here) – These are vacuum sealer bags designed to withstand a lot of heat, up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit to be precise. Sous Vide involves boiling the food while still in the pouch. The end result is extremely tender meat and food that has been slowly cooked in its juices. The end results are some of the most flavorful and succulent food you will ever taste.
  • Vacuum Sealer Tubes (found here) – Don’t want to settle on any specific size bag? You may want to consider vacuum sealer tubing. These tubes consist of a specific width rolled up into a large roll of film. This allows you to cut the length of the bag to the size you need. Widths range from 8” up to 20” and each roll is 500 feet long.

Channel Vacuum Sealer Bags:

  • Channel Vacuum Bags (found here) – These bags have a special texture to them to help them collapse and shrink when air is removed using a channel vacuum sealer. These are the types of bags that will work with a FoodSaver, a Seal-A-Meal, A Foodshell or a Minipack Cyclone vacuum sealer. These bags will work with most brands of channel vacuum sealers.

We offer a wide selection of bags. If you don’t see what you need here, give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have a lot of sources and can usually find what you need. We only carry high quality and high-grade vacuum sealer bags. Thanks for reading!

Dahle 40114 Deskside Paper Shredder Review

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Dahle 40114 Deskside Paper ShredderDo you need a solid paper shredder for your desk? Are you tired of your paper shredder overheating, gears stripping and shredders that barely last more than a few months? If so, you may want to consider investing a little more money in a solid German built & engineered paper shredder like the Dahle 40114 (found here). There are many reasons why I consider this to be one of the best deskside shredders for your office.

When you buy a paper shredder, or any product for that matter, you usually see a “made in …..” somewhere on the label. The quality can often be determined simply by where a product is made. When it comes to paper shredders, having that shredder be made in Germany can mean a world of difference when it comes to quality. German engineered and German built shredders simply have the best track record in the industry. Nothing else even comes close.

The Dahle 40114 is one of the smallest and most compact German-made deskside shredders. At just 24 ¾” tall, this shredder fits nicely next to just about any desk or table. While it is small, it still weighs in at 53 pounds shipped, which gives you an idea just how well built the shredder is.

I have over a decade of experience with paper shredders and I have found two major complaints from customers regarding paper shredders. These are noise and overheating. Paper shredders can be loud and many overheat after just 20-30 minutes of use, requiring a cooldown period. Dahle has addressed both of these issues. Here is how they’ve done it:

Noise – The Dahle 40114 uses special rubber shock mounts. This allows the vibrations, typically the biggest culprit with noise, to be greatly diminished by being absorbed. I have heard people refer the Dahle shredders as being whisper quiet, especially compared to other shredders.

Heat – The Dahle 40114 uses a thermally protected continuous duty motor. It is designed to quickly dissipate heat, eliminating the need to cool down. This allows you to use it for hours on end without encountering any issues.

Dahle 40114 Cutting BladesThis shredder really is a miniaturized version of Dahle’s larger departmental shredders. It still features the precision milled solid cylinders found in Dahle’s larger shredders and the same slick design. It has a cabinet door design for emptying paper and incorporates a security level P-4 (formerly Level 3) cross cut pattern. This pattern is ideal for most shredding applications and is HIPAA and FACTA compliant for shredding records, client information and more.

The Dahle 40114 can shred anywhere from 8-10 sheets of 20# bond paper at a time. The 8 ¾” wide feed throat handles most paper sizes including letter and legal size paper. The 8 gallon shred bin is remarkably big considering this is a deskside paper shredder. The hardned shredding blades not only shred paper, but can also handle staples and paper clips often found in paper documents.

As you would expect with any modern shredder, the Dahle 40114 features an auto on/off, a bag full sensor, reverse button, load indicator and many safety features. This shredder can easily be used at home or in the office.

Dahle 40114 Control PanelOverall I consider this to be an excellent deal and a remarkable shredder when you take the quality into account. I highly recommend this shredder for deskside use by an individual or a couple of people. You can find the Dahle 40114 here and our entire selection of paper shredders here.

Please feel free to give our offices a call at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our Paper Shredder Specialists. They should be able to help answer all of your questions. Have you used this shredder? Please post a comment about your experience. As is the case with all of our shredders, we have a Service Technician that can help provide you with replacement parts, bags, supplies and service.

Three Affordable Heat Guns for Your Shrink Wrap Film

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Shrink Wrap Heat GunsShrink wrap film, by design, shrinks down when put in direct contact with heat. Many shrink wrap machines are used in conjunction with heat tunnels and integrated hoods, but one of the most popular tools for applying heat continues to be the heat gun (found here). There are a lot of misconceptions about these tools. I would like to clarify what makes a heat gun and recommend a few you may want to use.

As mentioned earlier, shrink film contracts when applied to heat. This is designed to produce a tight, clear and smooth surface for packaging purposes. You have probably dealt with shrink film when opening a DVD, CD or other packaging. While there is a lot of different types of shrink film out there, two are used above all others. These are:

  1. PVC Film (found here) – This type of film is clear, common and cheap. It is extremely popular, universally compatible with pretty much all shrink wrap machines and is excellent for packaging boxes, CDs, DVDs and much more. This type of film has been around a long time. It should be noted that it is not food safe and it is more brittle than Polyolefin film.
  2. Polyolefin Film (found here) – This film is also clear and shrinks much like PVC film. The difference being that it is FDA approved for direct contact with film. Polyolefin film also has much stretchier properties to it when compared to PVC film. While it used to be more expensive per square foot than PVC, the cost has really come down over the years. Polyolefin, unlike PVC film, little to no odors and smoke.

Heat guns can be used to shrink down either one of these types of film without any problem. They can be used with centerfold rolls of film, bags, sheets and much more. One question I get frequently asked is, “Is a heat gun the same thing as a hair dryer?” The quick and simple answer to this is a definite “NO.” A heat gun is many times hotter than a hair dryer, even on the low setting. A heat gun would literally singe the hair off your head.

Heat guns shouldn’t be intimidating though. They are designed to be safe to use including insulated handles that will stay cool during use. You just need to use a little common sense when operating one. At ABC Office we currently offer three different models of heat guns. I would like to cover these three.

  • HG-1-CY Heat GunSealerSales HG-1-CY (found here) – This is one of the least expensive heat guns available on the internet. This gun is lightweight, has a dual temperature setting (high and low) and includes a kickstand that allows it to sit on end when not in use. At just 1 pound 10 ounces, this heat gun isn’t going to tire you out with continued use. It can be used with most types of shrink film including PVC, POF, PET and PP film. You really can’t go wrong with this heat gun, especially for the price.
  • SealerSales HG-1 (found here) – If you like the HG-1CY, but need some added temperature, consider going with the HG-1. This heat gun is just a few more dollars, but can go all the way up to 1,100 degrees for use with film that needs a little more heat. This heat gun also works with most film and is extremely easy to use. The design allows it to easily sit on its end without the need of a fold-out kickstand.
  • Traco Hot Shot (found here) – This heat gun is one of the most popular used today and has been around for over a decade. It features a variable temperature control that goes all the way up to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.  This gun comes with Traco’s lineup of I-bar sealers by default, but it can be purchased by itself as a replacement or for use with other I-bar sealers, heat sealers and L-bar sealers.

Hopefully this list helps you out. At ABC Office we also offer a great selection of shrink wrap machines (found here). If you still have questions, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have over 30 years of experience and would love to help you out.

Custom Business Envelopes Options from ABC Office

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Custom Business EnvelopesEnvelopes play a huge roll in any business. They are used for mailing literature, bills, checks, invoices and much more. The type of envelope used depends a lot on the purpose and the needs of the business. While we currently offer a lot of standard envelope options, some businesses need very unique features. We are able to provide you with custom business envelope options. I would like to cover a few of those in this article.

At ABC Office we currently offer six different “common” envelope designs (found here). This includes #9 and #10 envelopes with single and dual window configurations. This also includes business flap and standard flap envelopes. The standard envelopes that we offer are perfect for use with envelope inserting machines or for manual letter insertion. Before you consider custom envelopes, be sure to check out our standard options.

So what are some common modifications our customers like to make to our envelopes? I would like to cover some of the most common, but keep in mind that there is a lot we are able to do. Custom envelopes, do to their nature, must be ordered in a minimum quantity of 5,000 pieces. This allows us to get a run going and keep it cost effective for both of us. Here are some common modifications you may be interested in:

Window Positioning – Most envelopes have their window (single or double) in a fairly common fixed position. This is designed to conform to common address printing practices of most businesses. Some businesses, however, need the window in a different position or just slightly adjusted to accommodate a custom job or custom marketing literature. We are able to adjust and customize the window to fit just about any need. Just give us a call and ask us for a quote.

Flap Shape – Whether you are using an envelope inserting machine or you simply need a different look, we can adjust the shape and look of the flap. You may want it to have a more pronounced triangle or a flat design. Just let us know what you need.

Custom Printing – Printing is one of the most common custom options we offer. This may involve something as simple as a black printed address and logo or something a little more complex. We can offer full color (PMS matched) printing on envelopes with vibrant results. This can be done with reverse flap envelopes, business envelopes and much more.

Security Measures – Do you need added security? Do you need the pocket of the envelope lined with a pattern to prevent the contents from being seen? There are a lot of things we can do increase the security.

As you can see, we offer a lot of options with our envelopes. You are more than welcome to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788 to discuss custom envelope options. We can help answer all of your questions and provide you with formal quotes and bids for a variety of custom envelope projects.

At ABC Office we also offer a great selection of envelope inserting machines (found here) and paper folding machines (found here).

Ribao CS-50 Heavy-Duty Coin Counter / Sorter Review

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Ribao CS-50 Coin Counter & SorterIf you are counting a lot of coins per day, you need something with a large coil capacity. While there are a lot of coin counters out there, few have the ability to hold up to 3,000 coins at a time (based on dimes) like you’ll find with the Ribao CS-50 (found here). This coin counter is a new addition to our site and I would like to get you up to speed.

Ribao is one of the top manufacturers of money handling equipment in the United States. Their products include a wide assortment of bill counters, coin counters / sorters and currency discriminators. One thing Ribao is especially known for, other than their quality, is their low prices. Most Ribao products are very competitively priced.

The Ribao CS-50 is one of a bout a half dozen different coin counters / sorters from Ribao. The CS-50 is designed for speed and for reliable coin bagging and rolling. A metal ring on the front of the machine allows a bag to be easily attached. It can also be used for rolling coins using the included quarter, nickel, dime and penny attachments.

It can be used with most denominations of coins including many foreign and tokens. This is due in large part to its convenient dual dial setup. You’ll notice in the picture that it has two dials on the right side of the machine. One dial is used to set the diameter and the other is used to set the thickness. This coin counter has a minimum and maximum thickness of 0.8 to 3.8mm and a minimum and maximum diameter of 14-34mm.

Once the diameter and thickness of the coin have been set, it can be run. The coin size selected will go through the machine and out the nozzle. Other coins will be dispersed through the bypass tray on the side of the machine. Those bypassed coins can latter be counted and sorted as well.

A large LED screen on the front left of the machine makes it easy to see how many coins you are counting. It has a display that will show numbers up to 9999999. The control panel also allows the operator to batch count coins, continuous count coins and accumulate count coins. It also has a large red start / stop button that is easy to depress.

The machine itself weighs in at 28 pounds and can be used on most tables. It is heavy-duty enough to easily be used on a daily basis and it counts coins at a very fast 2,300 coins per minute. It plugs into any standard 110-120 volt outlet and is commonly used by people such as banks, credit unions, vending machine operators, car wash businesses and many others. It is a solid product that should easily provide a long life of reliable service.

If you have more questions about the Ribao CS-50 coin counter, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We would love to help you out. We also have a dedicated service department that can provide service, parts and more for all Ribao products. You can find our entire selection of coin counters and sorters here.

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