Archive for June, 2010

Digital ID Card Printer Troubleshooting Tips and Repair

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Magicard Photo ID Card PrinterDigital ID card printers are pretty easy to use and don’t require a lot of babysitting, but they do occasionally have their issues that need attending to. There are a lot of preventative things you can do to cut down on printing problems and if you do experience a problem, the fix is usually pretty simple.

Here is a list of the most common problems our customers experience with their ID card printers. Printers do, however, vary in functionality, so these solutions may or may not work for your model.

Digital ID Card Printer Troubleshooting & Repair Tips

Colors seem to be off – While the printing ability of and ID card printer is pretty accurate, the color on your monitor may not always match up with what your printer prints. You may need to adjust the colors in the printer software to better match the colors you are trying to print.

Printed image colors are not aligned – Often removing the printer ribbon and putting it back in will allow the printer to cycle and re-align the panels to print correctly.

ID Card Printer RibbonImages turn out fuzzy and unclear – This is usually a result of the print head being dirty. Most printers have cleaning cards or pens that can be used to clean the thermal print head.

The prints look bad – Make sure your blank ID cards are clean of dust and do not touch the surface of the blank cards with your finger. Dust and oil from hands can cause poor printing.

The printer ribbon keeps breaking – This is often due to a dirty thermal print head, causing the ribbon to stick to the print head. Cleaning the print head should fix this. This issue is especially prominent when printing full-color (edge-to-edge) ID cards.

Can I re-use a broken ribbon? – The broken ribbon can still be re-used. Use some scissors to cut the broken edge and us scotch tape to re-connect the ribbon with the waste roller. The printer will usually cycle the ribbon and be able to use it again.

Printer panels are incorrect – So your blue is printing red and colors are out of whack. This problem often arises when your printer settings are set for the incorrect ribbon type. An example would be someone using a YMCKO ribbon in the printer but the computer is set up for a YMCK ribbon. Setting up the computer for the correct ribbon will usually fix this.

The printer misfeeds blank PVC cards – This can be a result of the friction roller being dirty or needing to be replaced. Most ID card printers use a friction roller to grab and pull the blank card in. These friction rollers can be cleaned of dust. If that doesn’t work, replacement rollers are usually pretty cheap.

Top Five Best Acroprint Employee Time Clocks

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Acroprint Employee Time ClocksAcroprint could very well be one of the best-known manufacturers of employee time clocks. They have been around for over 40 years, since 1969. Acroprint makes dozens of different time clocks and recorders. They are best known for their punch card time clocks, but also make keypad, software and biometric time clocks.

We have been selling Acroprint time clocks for years and I have come up with a list of five of the most popular Acroprint time clocks. Here they are!

Acroprint Model 125 Employee Punch ClockTop 5 Best Acroprint Employee Time Clocks

  1. Acroprint Model 125 Punch Time Clock
  2. Acroprint ES900 Employee Punch Clock
  3. Acroprint ATR120 Employee Time Clock
  4. Acroprint Model 150 Punch Time Clock
  5. Acroprint Handpunch 1000 Biometric Time Clock

Honorable mention:

Although not technically an employee time clock, the Acroprint C-72 Watchman’s clock is very popular for tracking posted security officers and guards.

You will find our entire line of employee time clocks here. Have questions about employee time clocks? Speak with one of our specialists at 1-800-658-8788 or post a comment here.

Laminator Troubleshooting Guide – Common Laminating Issues

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

GBC Heatseal Pouch LaminatorSo you’re laminator is heated up and ready to go, but the results aren’t turning out exactly the way you had hoped. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. We get calls from customers on a regular basis with laminating woes. Luckily most laminating issues can be quickly resolved by making a few simple adjustments to your laminator. Here are some of the most common issues we see on a daily basis:

My lamination film ends up cloudy.

Cloudy film is very common in thermal laminating film and is almost always a result of the laminator being too cold. The cloudiness in the film is un-melted glue. Turning up the heat on your laminator will almost always fix this. In rare cases, this can be a result of using old film.

My lamination film has ripples and waves in it.

Ripples and waves are caused by either too much heat or bad silicon rollers. If you notice waves in your laminating film, turn down the heat and see if that fixes the problem.

My laminating film ends up with bubbles in it.

Bubbles are almost always caused by excessive heat. Bubbles are caused when the glue gets so hot that it actually boils. This can be quickly fixed by turning down the heat on your laminator.

Can laminating film get old?

The effectiveness of laminating film can diminish with age. One sign your film is getting too old is cloudiness in the film after it has been laminated. Laminating film, however, has a shelf life of several years. Need new film? You can find our pouch laminating film here and our roll laminating film here.

My laminator is jammed, what do I do?

First off, don’t use scissors or a screwdriver to try and fish out the paper as this can damage internal components. If your laminator has a reverse button, try using it. This will often safely back out the film. In worst-case scenarios, the cover of the laminator may need to be removed to gain access to the jammed film.

If you are still experiencing issues, even after trying these tips, feel free to contact our Service and Repair Department by filling out this form.

Lamination / Laminating Film for Pouch & Roll Laminators

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Roll Laminating FilmSo you’re in the market for lamination film, but don’t know exactly what to get. Well, you’ve stumbled upon the right place. I can help you out with that. Once you learn the laminating film ropes, it shouldn’t be too hard to isolate exactly what you need. I will be discussing the most common type of lamination film referred to as thermal or hot lamination. Here are a few questions you will want to ask yourself prior to purchasing laminating film.

What type of laminator do you have?

The two main types of laminators are pouch and roll laminators. To see an example of what these look like, you will find pouch laminators here and roll laminators here.

Both types of laminators use different types of film. Pouch laminators use “folder-like” pouches that open up and allow you to place your document inside. Roll laminators use two separate rolls of film to laminate a document, using a top and a bottom roll.

Fellowes Pouch LaminatorBoth of these laminators use heat to activate the glue. Once warm, the glue sticks to the document. The glue is designed to stick to documents without damaging them. After the glue cools down, it is clear and transparent.

What type of film would you like to use?

The most common type of laminating film is clear glossy film. This film has a shiny clear finish and looks great. The second most common type of film is matte lamination film. Matte film has a dull finish and does not reflect light like the glossy film.

Additional types of film include UV film and low melt film. UV film blocks out ultraviolet rays from the sun and prevents fading (for outdoor use). Low melt film uses glue that requires less heat to activate. Low melt film is good for temperature sensitive documents.

What thickness of film does your laminator use?

The thickness of laminating film, in the U.S., is referred to as a mil. A mil is a thousandth of an inch. The higher the number, the thicker the film. Most pouch and roll laminators can handle film up to 5 mils thick. If you would like to use 7 or 10 mil film, you will need to reference your machine’s manual to see if this is an option.

Where can you find laminating film?

You can find our pouch laminating film here and our roll laminating film here.

Still have questions? Call us at 1-800-658-8788 or post a comment here.

What Is The Greatest / Most Influential Office Product Ever Invented?

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Original Paper StaplerI’m a big fan of listening to podcasts, especially those covering history, technology and other topics of interest. I was listening to TechStuff from HowStuffWorks.com today and they were discussing some of the most important inventions ever created over the last 200 years. One of those inventions just happened to be a piece of office equipment.

Any guesses what it was? Drum roll please. It was the stapler. Surprised? I’m not. Staplers are one of the most common pieces of office equipment found today. They are literally in just about every home, desk, school and business. The very concept of binding pieces of paper together using a small piece of metal was pretty revolutionary.

Staplers are now available in dozens of formats. You have your desktop stapler, saddle staplers, heavy-duty staplers, box staplers and much more. Staples are even used in modern-day surgery.

Modern-Day Heavy-Duty StaplersWhile book binding, and binderies, have been around for centuries, staplers truly became the predecessor to the modern-day do-it-yourself binding machine.

Here is a brief history of the stapler:

Samuel Slocum of Poughkeepsie, NY is credited with having invented the stapler in 1841 according to the guys at TechsStuff. Samuel’s machine technically inserted pins into paper.

The first machine that actually inserted a staple into paper and clinched it shut was a machine made by Henry R. Heyl in 1877.  Just two years later, in 1879, George W. McGill won the patent for the first commercially successful stapler.

Anyway, I found this all to be very interesting and hope you do as well.  Staplers sure have come a long way over the last 100+ years. At ABC Office we carry a huge selection of modern-day paper staplers found here.

Have questions or comments about staplers? Post them here!

Dahle 852 Premium Stack Paper Cutter Review

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Dahle 852 Stack Paper CutterI recently had an opportunity to play around with the Dahle 852 stack paper cutter. I did more than just play around with it. I got to pull it out of the box and assemble it. A few of my first thoughts as I put it together were, “safe, easy-to-use and stylish.” It is made from solid metal, not just slabbed together sheet metal.  This is my official review of the Dahle 852 premium stack paper cutter.

First off, Dahle has taken a different approach to this stack cutter versus previous designs. One of the most notable differences is the ambidextrous handle, able to be used by left or right-handed operators. The handle literally comes right out of the center of the table. Other manual stack cutters have the handle coming from the side, which is ideal for right-handed operators.

The Dahle 852 stack paper cutter is one of the most affordable stack cutters in its class. The optional stand has a shelf for storing paper and is especially nice if you don’t have a table or countertop for a cutter. The base is made from solid steel and is very solid. The stand isn’t required. You can save a little money and simply put it on a table or work bench. The cutter comes with rubber pads for use on a table or counter.

The backstop is a little simplistic, which is pretty common for Dahle stack cutters. The backstop is adjusted by loosening a dial, which then allows the operator to manually slide the backstop forward and backward. The backstop points to a measuring ruler on the side of the machine that gives the operator an idea on where the cut will be made.

One really cool feature about the Dahle 852 is the laser guide. A laser is built into the housing of the cutter that paints a line on the paper, letting you know exactly where the blade will cut. Along with this feature is a lighted control panel on the left side of the machine that lets you know at what stage you’re at in the cutting process.

Safety features are nice, including a safety Plexiglas shield that has to be brought down prior to making a cut. There is a shield on the front and the back of the machine.

Cutting sticks are sometimes tough to change on stack paper cutters, but the Dahle 852 makes it really easy. Simply push down on a button and the cutting stick pops out. It’s that easy.

The clamping mechanism on the Dahle 852 is very different from most manual stack cutters. Where most stack cutters have a separate lever and control for the clamp, the Dahle 852 engages the blade and the clamp at the same time.  Although the clamp is different, I never experienced a problem cutting paper with it.

My overall impressions are pretty high. The cutter is clearly made from high quality metal and the machine is well constructed. Using the optional stand is awesome and assembly is pretty simple. You will find this cutter in print shops, copy shops and other organizations where reams of paper are cut daily. You will find the Dahle 852 stack paper cutter here.

Have you used this cutter? Post your comments here!

Dahle 842 Stack Paper Cutter Review

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Dahle 842 Stack / Ream Paper CutterSo you need a stack paper cutter and are considering the Dahle 842 stack and ream paper cutter. So what are some of the advantages and disadvantages and is this a cutter you should consider? Here are a few things you may want to consider prior to purchasing a Dahle 842 stack paper cutter.

This cutter feels and operates much like many other manual stack cutters, such as the Triumph 4205. In fact, the clamping mechanism and the lever arm is extremely similar to the way the Triumph 4205 works. This is a good thing. The angled lever arm gives the user enough leverage to easily slice through paper.

Although this cutter is very similar in look and design to a Triumph stack cutter, I don’t personally feel they are on level ground quite yet. I would rate the Dahle 842 cutter as a small to medium-volume cutter, but not up to the level of high-volume cutting the Triumph machines are capable of.

However, priced under $1,000, I would definitely consider using this cutter over other Chinese-made stack cutters. The Dahle stack cutter is German engineered and built, so the build quality isn’t bad.

Who uses the Dahle 842 stack cutter? This cutter is most ideal for copy shops, schools, churches and other organizations that need to cut down brochures, printouts and more. At less than 100 pounds, this cutter can be used on a table or countertop, however, an optional steel stand is available.

At under $1,000 and with current free shipping, the Dahle 842 stack cutter may just be your most affordable way of getting a stack paper cutter. You will find our Dahle 842 stack paper cutter here.

Questions? Post them here.

Colored Plastic Binding Comb Supplies – Fun Facts

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Colored Comb Binding Supplies / Binding CombsThere are a few things you should know about comb-binding supplies if you own a comb-binding machine. First of all, did you know that binding combs are still one of the most widely used binding supplies? Did you also know that comb-binding supplies are still one of the most economical and affordable binding supplies?

Here are a few additional comb binding supply facts that you may find interesting:

  • Binding combs are available in diameters as small as 3/16-inch and as large as two inches.
  • Binding combs can be re-used multiple times without any outward signs of wear.
  • Binding combs are extremely durable, able to withstand a lot of wear and tear.
  • Binding combs are available in more than 10 different colors.
  • Comb binding supplies allow you to easily add or remove pages.
  • Binding combs are referred to as combs because the fingers loosely resemble those found on a hair comb.

I personally really like the simplicity and affordability of comb binding machines and supplies. You will find our entire selection of comb binding supplies here.

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