Archive for the ‘Time Clocks’ Category

8 Things To Look For In A Pouch Laminating Machine

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Pouch Laminating MachinesIf you’re going to hand over your hard-earned cash for a pouch laminating machine, you’d better be sure you’re getting the right product. I have years of experience with pouch laminators and would like to offer you 7 simple tips you should consider prior to purchasing a machine. Once you have read through these tips, you should have a much better idea on what to look for in a laminator.

8 Things To Look For In A Pouch Laminating Machine

  1. Adjustable Temperature – I personally like to have an adjustable temperature in my pouch-laminating machine for fine-tuned precision. This isn’t a requirement, but is definitely a nice feature to have.
  2. Mil Thickness – How thick a laminating pouch do you want to use? The thicker the laminating film, the hotter and more robust your laminator has to be. Most people are fine laminating using 3 or 5-mil thick film (mil = thousandth of an inch). More robust laminators can handle 7 or even 10-mil thick film.
  3. Rollers – The number of rollers often determines the quality of the laminating job. Typically the more rollers the better.  Most cheap entry-level laminators only have 2 rollers. Commercial laminators often feature 4 rollers and some high-end photography laminators have 6 to 8 rollers.
  4. Separate Buttons – I personally like to have a separate temperature and motor switch on my laminator. This allows you to keep the laminator warm without running the motor. This is optional, but you will probably get more life out of your laminator with two separate switches.
  5. Reverse Button – A reverse button is a HUGE plus. If you feed laminating film in crooked, or the laminator begins to jam, a reverse switch can mean the difference between clearing out a jam or sending the machine in to be repaired.
  6. Width – Make sure your laminator has enough width to accommodate what you are laminating. Just because you have an 11″ laminator doesn’t mean you should laminate documents 11″ wide. Laminating something the exact same width as the laminator is a formula for trouble, especially since laminators are not very forgiving when pouches are fed in slightly crooked.
  7. Warm-Up Time – Most laminators will specify how long they take to warm up. Most laminators will warm up in under 15 minutes, but some will warm up in just a few minutes.
  8. Footprint – You may want to take into consideration how big the laminator is. Some people order a 13″ laminator not realizing how big it is, when they probably would have been fine with a 9″ laminator. This isn’t a big deal, but if counter space is in short supply, you may want to make yourself aware to the size prior to making a purchase.

At ABC Office we offer one of the largest selections of pouch laminators available online. This includes Fellowes, Tamerica, Akiles, Intelli-Lam, GBC and many others. You can find our entire selection of pouch laminating machines here.

Amano PIX-15 Electronic Time Recorder Review

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Amano PIX-15 Employee Time Recorder & ClockWhen it comes to shopping for time clocks, there are a lot of good choices out there. With several different styles, models and systems to choose from, it may seem a little overwhelming. If you’re looking for an electric punch-style time clock, you may want to consider the Amano PIX-15 electronic time recorder (found here). This is my review.

To begin with, the Amano PIX-15 is a very popular time clock with our customers. This is probably due in part to the fact that it is affordable, but there is definitely more to it than that. These time recorders also have a great track record.

The PIX-15 is more of a traditional punch-style time clock, but with several electronic enhancements. To begin with, the digital display tells you the time, either in standard or military time. There are no analog components involved in the actual time tracking.

Amano PIX-15 Replacement Ribbon CartridgeThere are few things more annoying than a power outage that wipes out all the settings on your electronics. A built in battery backup keeps settings secure during a power outage. I’ve never tested this to see if it is true, but Amano claims the machine retains memory and settings for 3 years.

Printing is done by inserting the side of the time card into the machine. An illuminated print window makes the time card easy to see making alignment simple. The stamping can be set up for automatic or manual modes. Automatic stamping uses a micro switch to activate the stamp when a card is slid in. The manual stamping is activated by pressing a button.

Not only does the Amano PIX-15 stamp the time, but it can also be used to stamp up to 10 different messages. These messages are VOID, SENT, PAID, 0RIGIN, RCV’D, CFM’D, APR’D, FAX’D, CMPL’D. This is especially nice for document control purposes. It can also be used as a time stamp for documents rather than an employee time clock.

Have you ever used a time recorder or clock that required you to feed the ribbon for proper operation? The PIX-15 uses a printing cartridge, making ribbon replacement quick and easy. It only takes a few seconds, and a single cartridge lasts for a while.

The PIX-15 can be used on a table or be mounted on a wall. The alignment of the clock is purely based on preference or available space. The time recorder works equally well either way.

Overall I have to say that the PIX-15 is a great little time recorder. It is ideal for small to medium-size businesses.

You can find the Amano PIX-15 electronic time recorder here. You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks and recorders here.

Acroprint Model 125 Employee Time Clock Review

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Acroprint Model 125 Heavy-Duty Employee Time ClockIt’s time to review everyone’s favorite “classic” time clock. Which time clock is that? I’m talking about the Acroprint Model 125 employee time clock (found here). I have had several opportunities to use this classic and this is my review.

To begin with, both the Acroprint Models 125 and 150 are time-tested classics. Chances are pretty good that you have used one at some point in your life. If you haven’t used one, you may have seen them in the background while watching a movie. Seriously. They are all over the place.

One of the biggest indicators that you are dealing with a Model 125 is the classic green color. It can’t be missed. That and the large analog time face. It almost brings back feelings of nostalgia from back when I used to be a bag boy at the local grocery store.

Upon first handling this time clock, I was surprised how big it was compared to what I imagined (referencing previous pictures). It’s not huge, but it’s definitely a hefty time clock. It only weighs 10 pounds, so don’t get too concerned about it being overly large.

The Model 125 uses the old punch-style time management process, which involves employees inserting a time card and stamping it. While this may not be up to par with modern digital time clocks, it gets the job done.

Acroprint hasn’t forgotten about this model. They have recently unveiled a solar-power version of the Model 125 that allows it to be used on construction sites, all powered by the sun.

One reason people choose the Model 125 is its durability. It is made from solid components and is designed to last for years. While I don’t recommend it, you could probably fling this thing against a wall and it would still work. It is categorized as a heavy-duty time clock.

The Model 125 uses ribbons for stamping text. These ribbons are easy to access and change out and are available in different colors. The printed text is clear and legible.

There are five different print configurations available for the Acroprint Model 125, depending on how you need the time, date and other information arranged. These are available as the Models 125AR3, 125ER3, 125NR4, 125QR4 and 125RR4.

If you don’t need a digital time clock, the Acroprint Model 125 is a great option. It is time tested, has a great track record and is a customer favorite.

You can find the Acroprint Model 125 employee time clock here. You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks and recorders here.

Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter Letter Opener Review

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter Electric Letter OpenerDo you work in a mailroom or a business that has to open hundreds to thousands of letters a day? If so, you are in serious need of a high-quality letter opener. We have several to choose from. One model you may want to consider is the Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter letter opener (order today!). This is my review.

Staplex is well known for making staplers (as if the name didn’t give it away). I’m not talking about a cheap Swingline. I’m talking about heavy-duty electric staplers. Staplex also makes a couple of industrial letter openers. This includes the Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter.

The MA-500 isn’t a small letter opener you use to open a few dozen letters here and there. It is a commercial-quality machine designed to open 250 envelopes a minute up to 3/16″ thick. The electric-powered motor itself runs at a speed of 15,000 letters a minute. While not the fastest machine out there, it will easily keep up with most mailrooms.

This letter opener is designed to slit open envelopes rather than cut them open. This is done in an effort to not only keep things clean, but also to help protect the contents of the envelope. It’s a rather efficient system. The slit is placed in such a way that mail won’t accidentally fall out.

Because there is less cutting involved, the MA-500 Accuslitter is actually pretty quiet. While mailrooms aren’t the quietest places in the office, at lest the MA-500 won’t be contributing to the noise level.

At only 20 pounds, the Staplex MA-500 can be used on just about any workbench, table or desk. This also makes it very portable. There are really only two parts to the MA-500. You have the motorized portion of the machine and the receiving tray where the open mail is held. Many letter openers don’t come with a receiving tray.

Here are a few additional features you’ll find in the Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter:

  • AccuLloy blade
  • Impact resistant housing
  • 8 foot (2.4 m) grounded power supply cord
  • Thermal overload protection
  • Built-in resettable circuit breaker

The build quality on the MA-500 is great, which is the case with Staplex staplers as well. I would personally recommend this machine for use in most medium-volume mailrooms.

You can find the Staplex MA-500 Accuslitter electric letter opener here. You can find our entire selection of letter opening machines here. Do you still have questions? Feel free to call one of our experts at 1-800-658-8788.

How To Choose An Employee Time Clock

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Employee Time ClocksTime clocks are a critical part of most business operations. Let’s face it, employees don’t work for free and businesses can’t hand out money left and right. There needs to be order to the way a business runs or things would fall apart. A great way to keep track of and manage employee time is by using a time clock. So which type of time clock should you use?

Finding the right time clock is important. You don’t want something so cheap it will fall apart in a few months, yet you probably don’t want a time clock that requires a rocket engineer to set up. Here are a few questions you will want to ask yourself prior to purchasing a time clock.

How big is your business? The size of your business will be critical when determining the appropriate time clock. Many time clocks are designed for small businesses with 10 to 30 employees. If your business has more than a few dozen employees, make sure your time clock can support this. Most time clocks will specify how many employees they are designed to handle.

A general rule of thumb is that a “punch-style” time clock is best for small to medium-size businesses. Digital time clocks are best for small to large-size businesses.

How do you keep track of  payroll? Do you keep track of your employee payroll on paper, using a spreadsheet (like Excel) or do you use payroll management software like Quickbooks?

Digital Time ClockPunch-style time clocks will ultimately require some sort of data entry later down the road. Digital and software-based time clocks will typically accumulate and manage employee time automatically and many digital / software time clocks can export data for use in spreadsheets or payroll management programs.

Do you expect your business to grow? Don’t shortchange yourself by getting a time clock that will be insufficient a few years down the road. Invest in something now that will work for the next 5+ years.

Where will the time clock be stationed? Some time clocks are designed to be used on a table, where others are designed to be mounted on a wall. Some can be used on a table or be mounted to the wall.

If you are using a digital time clock that requires a computer, be sure the time clock is close enough to the computer so that the USB or network cables can reach.

Is employee fraud a concern? Unfortunately some businesses have to deal with dishonest employees. The most common type of time clock fraud is known as buddy punching. This happens when someone punches in and out of work on behalf of a different person. If this is an issue, a biometric time clock will stop this dead in its tracks. Biometric time clocks require that the employee be present to punch in or out of work.

These are just a few of the most common questions you will want to ask yourself. Chances are pretty good that you have even more detailed questions about your specific business needs. If this is the case, feel free to speak with one of our time clock specialists at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks here.

David-Link 2Link S-3000 Employee Time Clock Review

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

David-Link 2Link S-3000 Employee Time ClockDo you own or manage a small business and need an affordable way to keep track of employee time? You probably need some sort of time clock system. One model you may want to consider is the David-Link 2Link S-3000 employee time clock (found here). This is my review.

David-Link is fairly new to the time clock industry, but their line of biometric time clocks have already become a hit. Little known, David-Link also has a line of traditional “punch-style” time clocks. The 2Link S-3000 is just one example of these time clocks.

The 2Link S-3000 is currently the cheapest and most affordable time clock we offer. It uses a punch style system. This means that it will print the time and date on a card as it is inserted into the machine. This is one of the most common styles of time clock used today and is especially popular with small businesses.

Setup on this time clock is very easy to do. The large LCD screen makes data easy to view. This includes the perpetual calendar, the time and the date. It can be set up to display time in a 12 or 24-hour format. The print head itself is adjustable and can be used to print up to 13 different preset messages.

Not only is this time clock affordable, it is also extremely compact. It measures in at 7.5″H x 6″W x 6.75″D and weighs in at 6 pounds shipped. This means you can easily place this time clock on just about any table or desk. It is also designed to be wall mounted.

The 2Link S-3000 can be used by an unlimited number of employees, however, it is designed for low to medium-volume use. I would not personally recommend using this system for a large business.

The David-Link S-3000 also features these capabilities:

  • Print in 4 languages (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese)
  • Password protection
  • Build in alarm
  • Automatic, semi-automatic, manual or combination printing mode

Overall I consider the 2Link S-3000 to be a great value for the money. It has a one-year warranty and is a great choice for small businesses and other organizations.

You can find the David-Link 2Link S-3000 employee time clock here. You can find our entire selection of David-Link employee time clocks here. Do you still have questions about the David-Link 2Link S-3000? Call one of our time clock experts at 1-800-658-8788.

Peachtree Compatible Time Clocks

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Amano MTX-15 Time Guardian Time Clock SystemSomeone recently asked me if we sold any time clocks compatible with Peachtree. While Peachtree is less common than other payroll software (like Quickbooks), we do have a time clock that will work with it. That time clock is the Amano MTX-15 Time Guardian.

The Amano MTX-15 Time Guardian is a digital time clock. It uses cards to swipe in and out of work by use of a magnetic stripe reader. The time clock stores this data on a computer that can later be exported for use with Peachtree.

The Amano Time Guardian comes with the MTX-15 terminal, the software package for use on a computer, a 50-foot RS-232 cable, 25 employee badges and a communications adaptor. This is pretty much everything you need to get up and going.

If you have questions about the Amano MTX-15 Time Guardian and Peachtree, feel free to speak with one of our experts at 1-800-658-8788.

You can find the Amano MTX-15 Time Guardian here. You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks here.

Pyramid 3500 Employee Time Clock Review

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Pyramid 3500 Punch-Card Employee Time Clock (PTI)Are you looking for a simple and easy-to-use employee time clock for a small business or office? One model that you may want to consider using is the Pyramid 3500 punch card employee time clock (found here). This is my review.

Pyramid is one of the best-known time clock manufacturers, right up there with Acroprint. The complete name of the company is Pyramid Technologies (PTI). They make biometric, digital keypad and punch-style time clocks. The Pyramid 3500 is one of their cheaper punch-style time clocks.

The Pyramid 3500 can be used to stamp the time on a time card or on a document. It stamps the year, the date, the time and can be used to stamp 14 different messages. This makes it ideal for employee time and for document control purposes.

The 14 selectable messages include:

date/time,                     date/year/time,
date/year/approved,       date/year/faxed,
date/year/filed,              date/year/in,
date/year/out,               date/year/paid,
date/year/received,        date/year/sent,
date/year/original,          date/year/void,
date/year/used,             date/year/completed

Setup on the Pyramid 3500 is very simple and isn’t much more complicated than setting up an alarm clock. The easy-to-use interface only takes about two minutes to set up. The LCD display is large, easy to read and easy to navigate. It can be set up and used in English, Spanish, French or German.

An auto-punch feature stamps cards and documents as they are fed into the machine. The printing is done via a built-in dot matrix print head. This print head is designed to be used daily and should easily hold up for years without issues. The dot matrix print head makes stamped data easy to read. It can be used with standard time cards or with Pyramid brand cards.

The Pyramid 3500 is designed to handle short months, leap years and daylight savings time. It even includes a battery backup that keeps settings stored for up to 30 days. This is pretty nice. Believe it or not, many punch-style time clocks do not have this feature.

Overall I consider the Pyramid 3500 to be a solid little time clock. It is perfect for use in small businesses and small offices.

You can find the Pyramid 3500 punch card employee time clock here. You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks here.

Acroprint C-72 Watchman’s 72-Hour Guard Clock Review

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Acroprint C-72 Watchman's 72-Hour Guard ClockAre you looking for an effective and tamper-proof system for keeping tabs on security guards? One great way to do this is by using a watchman’s guard clock. One of the most popular models we offer is the Acroprint C-72 watchman’s guard clock(found here). This is my review.

To begin with, security is an important and critical part of many businesses’ operations. Many of these security jobs require the guard to make rounds and check in at various stations. The best way to do this is to use a guard clock. These guard clocks assure that security personnel make their appointed rounds.

Acroprint has been making employee time clocks for years. Their C-72 watchman’s clock is one of the most widely used guard clock used today. It is called the C-72 because it is capable of logging up to 72 hours worth of data thanks to the clock’s 72-hour disk.

The C-72 is designed to support up to 30 different stations: 15 numeric and 15 alpha. The guard carries the C-72 and as they reach their station, they insert a key station into the watchman’s clock. The clock then logs that information, including the key station location and time. The key station hole is located on the bottom of the C-72.

The C-72 is extremely easy to carry and includes a convenient shoulder strap. The clock only weighs in at 5 pounds shipped and is even less unboxed. Not only is the C-72 lightweight, but it is also shock resistant. The case is designed for high-impact protection. The sturdy ABS molded key stations are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

There is no need to worry about tampering. The Acroprint C-72 has a secure double casing lock. The clock records every time the case is open, providing additional security against fraud.

The clock itself features quartz movement and electronic timekeeping. This helps assure both accuracy and longevity.

We sell quite a few of the C-72 guard clocks and I’m not aware of any issues. The build quality seems to be solid.

Not only do we offer the C-72 guard clock, but we also sell replacement case keys, replacement disks and key stations. You can find the Acroprint C-72 watchman’s guard clock here. You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks here.

David-Link W-1288PB Biometric Time Clock Review

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

David-Link W-1288PB Biometric Employee Time ClockAre you in need of an accurate biometric employee time clock? If you are, you may want to check out the newest kid on the block. The David-Link W-1288PB is a biometric clock (found here) that is accurate, affordable and easy to use. I have had a chance to use this time clock and this is my review.

To begin with, the David-Link W-1288PB is a great looking clock. It is the top of the line version of the W-1288. The PB means it can read proximity cards and has a battery backup. It is well laid out, aesthetically pleasing and fits right in with existing office décor. The green-lit finger scanner almost looks like something from a sci-fi movie. It even talks to you. Welcome to the year 2010.

The screen is a beautiful full-color LCD screen. You really don’t see that kind of quality in time clocks. You’re usually lucky if you can get a monochrome backlit screen. By using the screen, and the control panel buttons, you can easily guide your way through the navigation to set things up.

The navigation will allow you to add employees, view time worked, set up the time display and determine the time tracking method you would like to use. The W-1288PB isn’t just a biometric time clock.

In the menu you can opt to log time via the control panel (password entry), biometric finger reading, proximity card scanning or a combination thereof. I’m not aware of any other time clocks out there that are biometric, proximity card and pass code capable in one single machine.

The menu and display aren’t the only great things about this time clock. It also has the ability to store data (up to 3,000 users and 50,000 time logs) locally or be attached to a computer. It’s your choice. If a computer isn’t around, you can easily use it as a stand-alone time clock.

Interfacing with a computer can be done any of three different ways. The first is via a USB cable and a computer. The second is via an Ethernet cable (either via RS485 or TCP/IP). The third way is to use the included USB storage device to export data from the time clock and import it to the computer. Time management software is included with the W-1288PB.

Finger reading is very easy. Past biometric time clocks that I have used require you to slide your finger. Not the W-1288PB. All you have to do is place your finger on the scanner, wait a split second, and you’re done. There’s no need to worry about re-scans either. The W-1288PB does a very good job of reading your finger on the first try.

Overall I am very impressed with the features found in the David-Link W-1288PB. It seems to be well-built, well laid out and is feature rich. You can find the David-Link W-1288PB employee biometric time clock here. You can find our entire selection of David-Link time clocks here.

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