You are being redirected to ABC Office. Why? has joined their sister company ABC Office to provide our customers with a greater product selection, while offering the same great prices and service you have come to love and expect!If you have questions or concerns during this transition please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788, or email us at sales@abcoffice.com.

You are being redirected to ABC Office. Why? has joined their sister company ABC Office to provide our customers with a greater product selection, while offering the same great prices and service you have come to love and expect!If you have questions or concerns during this transition please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788, or email us at sales@abcoffice.com.


Archive for the ‘Tips & Advice’ Category

Recommended Martin Yale Paper Folding Machines

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Martin Yale Paper Folding MachinesIf you’re shopping for a folding machine (found here), there are about a half-dozen manufacturers out there that produce some pretty good products. Few paper folder manufacturers have the reputation or the clout of Martin Yale. Martin Yale has been around since 1940 and has manufactured some of the best-selling machines of all time. I would like to go over a few customer favorites you may wan to use in your own office.

Martin Yale currently offers a lineup of about a dozen different machines. Some of these machines have been around for over a decade and use time-tested technology where other machines have a more modern finish and include digital keypads, self-adjusting folding plates and more. The machine you use for your business will ultimately depend on the type of fold you want to create, how many sheets you are folding per day and the type of paper you need to fold.

Recommended Martin Yale Paper Folding Machines

  • Martin Yale P6200 AutoFolder (found here)– This affordable desktop letter-folding machine is designed to help an administrative assistant fold the occasional invoice, bill, receipt or letter. It sits nicely on the side of a desk and doesn’t require any special setup. Simply place your paper in the top of the machine and it will do the rest. It is designed for use with letter size (8 ½” x 11″) paper around 20-24# bond thick.
  • Martin Yale 1501X AutoFolder (found here) – The 1501X, sometimes called the CV7, is a auto-feed folding machine. This means you can place a stack of paper in the feed tray (in this case about 160) and the machine will automatically feed the paper into the machine and fold it. The 1501X features manual-setup folding plates and can be used to fold paper in accordion, letter, single, double parallel and more. This machine has been around for a decade and is very popular with small businesses.
  • Martin Yale 1611 AutoFolder (found here) – This folding machine is relatively new to Martin Yale’s lineup of folding machines. It has been wildly popular with our customers. While the folding plates are manually adjusted, this machine is extremely easy to use. It is affordable and includes high-end features such as a drop-in feed system (no pre-fanning required) and a powered exit conveyor that helps keep paper stacked as it leaves the machine.
  • Martin Yale 1711 AutoFolder (found here) – This is one of the most affordable automatic folding machines available. By automatic, I mean that the setup is completely automated. Simply select the fold you want from the control panel and the machine will automatically adjust the folding plates. The 1711 features a drop-in feed system, a powered exit conveyor and works beautifully on a desk or table.
  • Martin Yale 2051 SmartFold (found here) – If you need a folding machine with a little more folding power, consider the Martin Yale 2051 SmartFold. This machine, formerly called the Intimus 2051, features a variable speed motor capable of running at a speed of 15,000 sheets per minute. It can handle small paper, large paper (up to 12″ x 18″), has a drop-in feed system, automatic folding plates and a nice powered exit conveyor system. This machine is perfect for medium to higher-volume folding.
  • Martin Yale Mark VII Pro (found here) – If you are a printing press or have need of a high-speed commercial folding machine, the Martin Yale Mark VII Pro is a great option. This replaces the popular Model 959. While it does have manually-adjusted folding plates, it runs at blazing fast speeds of up to 35,000 sheets of paper per hour. This is perfect for mailing literature, brochures, invoices and much more.

These six machines are some of our customers’ favorite Martin Yale folding machines. These six machines will provide you with trouble-free operation and all of them feature a great warranty. You can find our entire selection of Martin Yale folding machines here.  Please don’t hesitate to call one of our Paper Folding Machine Specialists at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Best Way to Clear out a Jammed Pouch Laminator

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Clear Pouch Laminator JamsPouch laminators are wonderful machines to have in the office or even at home. They can be used to protect, enhance and preserve a wide variety of documents. Many people like to laminate photographs, their business cards, menus, signs and more. So what do you do when things go south and your pouch laminator jams? Here are a few tips that may help you get your laminator back up and running.

I would like to break this article don into three categories. I would first like to cover why jams occur and what you can do to prevent them, how to fix a jam if one occurs and what not to do.  While these tips aren’t a guarantee, they should at lest help put you on the right track.

Why do laminating jams occur? The most common reason a laminator experiences a jam is a misfeed. This occurs when a pouch is fed into a laminator at an angle. As the laminating film continues its progression through the laminator, the incorrect angle worsens until the film is crashing into the side of a laminator. If the laminator is not stopped, this can result in permanent damage to the laminator’s gears or motor.

The second most common reason for a laminator jamming is the lack of using a carrier. Laminating pouches are floppy and have almost no rigidity until they are laminated. For this reason, carriers are typically used. Carriers look like manila folders. The lack of using a carrier can often result in the film wrapping under a roller, which can result in the pouch lodging itself in the laminator. While many laminators today claim they are carrierless, I still recommend using a carrier.

How can you fix your jammed laminator? If your laminating pouch is feeding in crooked, try flipping the reverse switch and backing it back out. This will allow you to re-position the pouch. Many laminators, especially those made by Fellowes, include a release lever that releases the laminator’s roller pressure. If your laminator isn’t equipped with a reverse button or a clamp release, turn off the motor and try gently tugging on the pouch. If it moves, try pulling it a little more until you have it released. If the pouch doesn’t move, don’t try forcing it. At this point you’re either going to have to remove the cover of the laminator you’re your going to have to call our Service Technician at 1-800-658-8788.

If the film is wrapped around the rollers inside your laminator (as a result of not using a carrier), you are going to have to remove the cover of your laminator. This will give you access to the inside of the laminator, making film wraparounds easy to remove. Be sure the laminator is unplugged and cool before attempting this. If the idea of using a screwdriver to remove your laminator’s cover is a bit intimidating, please don’t hesitate to call our Service Department at 1-800-658-8788.

Things you should never do. Never under any circumstances try forcing a stuck pouch out of the laminator. This can result in stripped gears and other broken parts. Also, never try using a knife or a pair of scissor to try and “fish out” a jammed pouch. This will often only result in damage to the delicate silicon rollers inside the machine.

If you need additional tips, or would simply like some advice, please call our Service Department at 1-800-658-8788. They are more than happy (and equipped) to help you fix your roll or pouch laminator. They can also provide you with replacement parts. If your laminator is at its end, consider one of our new pouch laminators found here.


Save on Quality Pouch Laminators From ABC Office

Akiles ProLam Plus 230 Dual Heat System Pouch Laminator

Akiles ProLam Plus 230 Dual Heat System Pouch Laminator

$256


Akiles Ultra-XL Extra Wide 18.9" Pouch Laminator

Akiles Ultra-XL Extra Wide 18.9" Pouch Laminator

$1,199


Affordable Stack Paper Cutter Alternatives

Friday, April 20th, 2012

If you print, manufacture or handle hundreds to thousands of sheets of paper per day, chances are you’re going to need a pretty nice paper cutter. There are several highly reputable manufacturers out there that make some top-notch cutters. Brands include MBM Triumph by Ideal, Dahle and many others. One you may not be aware of, or perhaps may have considered, is Intelli-Cut (found here).

Intelli-Cut stack paper cutters are designed for cutting hundreds of sheets of paper in a single pass. They use a specially designed handle, tough gears and a razor-sharp guillotine-like blade to slice through paper. Many of these cutters are even capable of cutting an entire ream of paper. Intelli-Cut stack paper cutters range from manually operated to electric powered designs. We have had customers use these cutters to cut chipboard, card stock, standard paper and much more.

While there are currently about 16 different Intelli-Cut cutters out there, I would like to highlight two of our customer favorites.

Intelli-Cut 530D Stack Paper CutterIntelli-Cut 530D (found here) – This paper cutter is extremely popular because of its price and capabilities. Using this cutter is fairly easy. First off you need to adjust the backstop, which is manually adjusted. This is done by turning the hand crank located on the front of the machine. Clockwise brings the backstop closer and counterclockwise takes it back. You can tell where the backstop is located thanks to a digital display located on the front of the machine. If you need your paper to be 5″ long, set the backstop to 5″. It’s that easy.

Once you have made your adjustments, you can place your paper inside the cutter. Bring down the clear Plexiglas safety cover, pull the chrome-plated clamp lever down, flip the cutting safety lever and bring down the cutting arm. While this may seem like a lot of steps, the process is remarkably easy to do and will probably only take you a few minutes. This cutter has a 17″ wide cutting width and can cut up to 1 ½” of paper at a time. It also features an optical cutting line that makes it easy to determine exactly where the blade will make its cut. This cutter is very similar in operation to the Tamerica GuilloMax Plus and the MBM Triumph 4305.

Intelli-Cut 550MS Electric Stack Paper CutterIntelli-Cut 550MS (found here)– This stack cutter is a semi-automatic machine. While the clamping mechanism and the clamp are electric powered, the backstop is still manually adjusted. Simply adjust the backstop to where you want the cut to occur and insert your paper. Once the paper is in place, press a button to bring down the clamp and blade. In just seconds you will cut through 1 ½” of paper. This cutter features durable metal construction, an optical cutting line and a safety blade change tool. This cutter is perfect for print shops, copy centers and other businesses that need to cut paper.

One thing all of our Intelli-Cut paper cutters have in common is safety. These cutters feature clear plastic guards that protect you from harm. Electric cutters feature safety keys and buttons while manual cutters require a safety switch be flipped before the blade can be brought down. Stands are available for each of these cutters and are an optional accessory.

As mentioned earlier, we offer about 16 different Intelli-Cut models (found here). Please stop by and check them out. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call one of our Paper Cutter Specialists at 1-800-658-8788.

Bug Out Bags for the Office? You Bet!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Office Bug Out BagsPerhaps it is just the continuous news feeds that we receive on a daily basis combined with modern technology, but it sure seems like there have been a lot more natural disasters lately. If you work a full time job, chances are pretty good that you spend at least 8 hours a day in the office and perhaps 30 minutes or more commuting. Since we all spend so much time in the office, and in our cars, it is a good idea to have an office bug out bag (found here) on hand.

Whether you are a prepper expecting the apocalypse or a nuclear war, or you are simply planning for a disaster like an earthquake or hurricane, bug out bags (aka emergency kits) are great to have on hand. These bags are designed to provide you with everything you need to get through the next few days until you can either get back home, receive emergency assistance or make it to your bug out location.

The bug out and emergency kits we sell are designed for home, individual, car or office use. Most of these kits include food, sanitation help, shelter and first aide. Unlike many kits, where someone slabs a bunch of cheap stuff into a bag, our kits are well thought out and use the highest quality supplies.

Whether you are simply a conscientious employee and want to be prepared, or you are an employer that wants to make sure your employees are well taken care of, we have a bug out bag or emergency kit that will work for you.

Here are just a few of our most popular bug out kits:

  • 24-Hour Bug Out Kit (found here) – This kit is designed to provide you with enough food and emergency aid to last a day. This style of kit fits nicely into the trunk of a car or inside an office desk drawer.
  • Sanitation Porta Potty (found here) – This kit is designed to provide you with all the toiletries you need for amble sanitation during an emergency. This kit can be used indoors or outdoors and includes 32 items.
  • Children’s Bug Out Bag (found here) – This is perfect for home use, day care use, preschool use, elementary school use, general preparedness or for use in a car. It includes 62 items and everything a kit would need to be taken care of for 72 hours.
  • Adult Bug Out Bag (found here) – As the title indicates, this is a bug out bag (backpack) designed to support an adult for 24 hours in the event of an emergency. Filled with 114 items, this kit will keep you warm, healthy and fed.
  • Office Bug Out Kit (found here) – This bug out kit is perfect for an office, church, school or for the avid prepper and includes 633 items. This type of kit can support from 15 up to 30 people. If you have a larger office, multiple emergency kits are recommended.

As mentioned earlier, these are some of the best kits you can buy. They are filled with top quality items that make emergencies just a little better. Included items have a great shelf life and bags are designed to be comfortable in the event you have to walk for miles. Be prepared, take care and buy your prepper bug out bag today!

Banner American Pouch and Roll Laminator Alternatives

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Banner American PL12a Pouch Laminator AlternativesIn case you haven’t heard, the iconic manufacturer of pouch and roll laminators, Banner American, recently went out of business. While you can still find a few of their laminators here and there (lingering stock), people are now wondering which laminators are good alternatives. Banner laminators were probably some of the best on the market. Luckily there are some great alternatives out there.

Banner American was easily one of my favorite laminator manufacturers. They made laminators like the PL12A, Pl4A, PL100, Easy Lam and many other laminators. Their products were mostly made in America and lasted literally for years. I remember us having a PL12A out on our showroom for 5+ years without issue. We used it to laminate samples, test pouches, shoot video demos, for demonstrations and more. I know of customers who had their PL laminators for over a decade.

I would like to produce a list of some Banner American laminators and their ideal alternatives. These pouch and roll laminators should perform on an equal level to the old Banner American laminators.

  • Banner American MightyLam-2700HC AlternativeBanner American PL4A Alternative – The best replacement for this laminator is the Akiles Pro-Lam 100 (found here). This laminator is still 4″ wide and is still perfect for quickly laminating ID badges.
  • Banner American PL12A Alternative – An ideal replacement for this laminator is the Akiles ProLam 320 (found here). This laminator is just ¼” wider than the PL12A and features a very similar build quality.
  • Banner American PL135 Alternative – A great 13″ wide alternative to this laminator is the Akiles iLam 340 (found here). This laminator accepts most pouches and is just as good.
  • Banner American PL135-4 Alternative – A good replacement to the PL135-4 is the Akiles ProLam Plus 330 (found here). This laminator has a comparable 13″ width and in my opinion is a better laminator.
  • Banner American Easy Lam Alternative – A comparable laminator to the classic Banner American Easy Lam is the Tamerica TCC2700 (found here). This laminator accepts the same film as the Easy Lam while producing similar results.
  • Banner American Easy Lam II Alternative – A great replacement to this iconic roll laminator is the GBC Ultima 65 (found here). It is still a 27″ roll laminator and can still be used in schools to laminate posters, signs, banners and more.
  • Banner American MightyLam 2700HC Alternative – The standard MightyLam 2700 and newer MightyLam 2700 were both classics. A great alternative to this classic is the GBC Pinnacle 27″ roll laminator (found here). It has about the same build quality and duty cycle. Another good alternative is the Ledco Professor 27″ Laminator.
  • Banner American ValueLam 4500HC Alternative – This laminator was one of Banner American’s heaviest-duty models. It could be used for laminating, mounting and more.  There are a couple of laminators that compare, although they are a bit more of an investment. The first is the Pro-Lam PL-244WF and the second is the MRL 42 Roll Laminator.

While it is extremely sad to see a valued manufacturer like Banner American go, it is nice to know that there are some high-quality alternatives out there. I have personally used laminators from Tamerica, GBC, Ledco and Akiles and can vouch for the fact that you will be just as happy with them as you would have been with the Banner American alternative.

We also carry a great selection of other laminating machines that you may want to consider using. You can find our entire selection of pouch laminators here and roll laminators here. If you need additional help finding a Banner American alternative, please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788.

Invoice Folding Machines (Business Automation Tips)

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Invoice Folding MachinesWe’re supposed to live in a paperless society now, right? With computers, laptops, iPads, Android devices and other useful tools to assist us, a lot of paper use is down. Many businesses, however, still deal with inbound and outbound mail on a regular basis. Much of this mail comes in the form of invoices. It should come as no surprise that folding and mailing invoices takes a lot of time. Luckily, there are several machines available designed to make folding and mailing invoices easier.

Most invoices are either folded and inserted into an envelope or the yare put into a package. The most common type of fold used for invoices is what’s known as a C-fold (aka Letter Fold). This type of fold involves 3 panels and 2 folds. The second most common type of fold for invoices is the accordion fold (aka Z Fold). Here is diagram showing both types of folds:

Letter / Accordion Paper Folds

Invoice Folding Options

There are four different tools you can use to fold invoices. The first is by hand, the seconds is by using a paper folding machine, the third is by using a folder inserter and the fourth is by using a pressure sealer. I will explain each of these methods in detail and will cover the pros and cons of both.

  1. Hand Folding Paper – If you’re a small business, and only mail out a few invoices a day, folding paper by hand may be an option. The only problem with this is that hand-folded paper looks hand folded. What I mean by that is the skew is often off, which means the folded paper looks misaligned and unprofessional. Don’t forget about those annoying paper cuts as well.
  2. Paper Folding Machines (found here)Paper Folding MachinePaper folding machines use a couple of folding plates and a series of rollers to fold paper. This is the most common method used for folding paper and is very popular for folding invoices. Simply set your fold, insert a stack of paper and let the machine do the res. The only downside to a traditional paper folding machine is that you still have to manually insert the folded invoice into an envelope. Paper folding machines are accurate and create very professional folds.
  3. Envelope Stuffing Machines (found here)Envelope Stuffing MachinesEnvelope stuffing machines, sometimes called folder inserters, automate the invoice folding process. Much like a stand-alone paper folding machine, envelope stuffing machines will fold the invoice, insert it into an envelope and seal the envelope shut for mailing. These machine, depending on the model, can be used to fold multi-page invoices in a single pass. While automated envelope stuffing machines are more money than a stand-alone folding machine, they make up for that cost in time saved.
  4. Pressure Sealers (found here) Pressure Sealer MachinePressure sealers are excellent machines to have for single-sheet invoice mailing. Pressure sealers use special pressure activated paper. This paper has tiny bubbles of pressure-activated glue around the edges of the paper. As this paper is run through the pressure sealer, the pockets burst open and seal the invoice shut. The invoice can later be opened by tearing off the perforated edges. The nice thing about pressure sealers is there is no envelope involved, yet the folded invoice can still be mailed. The special pressure-seal paper (found here) can be used in an inkjet or laser printer and then be fed into the pressure sealer. The results look great, are professional and are secure.

The invoice-folding machine you use will depend entirely on the size of your business, how many invoices you fold per day and what your budget allows. I recommend a standard folding machine for entry level to mid-level folding and an envelope stuffing machine or pressure sealing machine for medium to higher-volume invoice folding.

We have been selling invoice-folding machines for over 30 years now and are able to provide you with a lot of advice and expertise. Please feel free to contact one of our specialists at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Top 8 Best Manual Coil Binding Machines

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Intelli-Bind IC410 Manual Coil Binding MachineThe hottest type of binding for 2012 is coil binding (found here). This versatile and easy-to-use binding format can be used to bind presentations, cookbooks, reports, manuals and more. While this all sounds great, which machine should you use for your own coil binding operations? There are a lot of machines out there. Some of them are garbage and others are diamonds in the rough. Which machine should you use? I would like to visit 8 machines that have a great reputation with our customers.

Coil binding, often referred to as spiral binding, is a way to bind pages of paper together using spring-like PVC plastic coil binding elements. These coils spin through punched holes in the paper. Once the coils have been spun through the holes, the ends are cut and crimped off using a tool called coil-crimping pliers. The entire process takes just a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the experience level of the operator.

There are many reasons people choose coil over wire or comb. To begin with, pages bound in coil can turn a full 360 degrees. This makes access to bound literature extremely easy. This binding format also allows books to lay flat open on a table or surface. This again makes reading and handling easy.

Akiles iCoil 41+ Coil Binding MachineCoil binding comes in two different hole patterns. The hole pattern is referred to as the pitch. A 4:1 pitch coil binding machine punches 4 holes per inch of paper and a 5:1 pitch coil binding machine punches 5 holes per inch of paper. The 4:1 pitch can bind more paper than the 5:1 pitch as the holes are spaced farther apart. If you don’t plan on binding more than about an inch of paper, either hole pattern will work for you (matter of preference). Once you settle on a hole pattern, you will need to be sure the supplies you buy match up with the hole pattern of your machine.

So which machines should you consider buying? I will list of 8 best sellers, but first I would like to familiarize you with a few reliable brands. If you’re shopping for a machine, consider a brand like Akiles, Tamerica, Intelli-Bind or Renz. These four brands are solid machines.

These 8 machines are what are known as manual coil binding machines. This means the punching is done by manually pulling a handle. The coil insertion process, however, is often still done with an electric motor while still being called a “manual” machine. Without further wait, here is my list.

Top 8 Best Manual Coil Binding Machines (Sorted by lowest to highest price)

I have hands-one experience with each of these machines. They’re solid. You won’t be disappointed. That said, you should still get a machine that is appropriate for the amount of books you are binding per day. If you would like to bind several hundred books a day, you may still want to  consider going with an electric coil binding machine (found here). Electric punches help speed up the process and require less manual effort to bind a book.

At ABC Office we offer a huge selection of coil binding machines (found here) and coil binding supplies (found here). We have been selling coil binding machines for over 30 years and have the experience and the knowledge to help you find a good machine. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Polyolefin Shrink Film and Food Packaging

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Shrink Film for PackagingPackaging food with shrink film (found here) such as pizza, cheese, fruits and chocolate doesn’t just look good, but it is also sanitary and a great way to preserve food. There are a few things that you will need to know before packaging food using shrink wrap. For one, some grades of shrink film are not safe for use with food, where others are FDA approved. This article will cover the most popular food grade film known as polyolefin shrink film (found here).

First off, what is shrink film? Shrink film, sometimes referred to as shrink wrap packaging, is used to protect, bundle and preserve products. The film used is designed to contract and shrink when heat is applied. You may have seen shrink film on your DVDs, Blu-rays, Xbox games and more. It is very popular for retail packaging. Shrink film is affordable, easy to use / manipulate and can be used to package most retail products.

While boxes, DVDs, software and other items are popular to be packaged with shrink film, food is also another popular applicator for shrink film. The most popular film used today, known as PVC shrink film, is not usually safe for use with food. There are some exceptions. If you’re not sure what type of film you have, here are the characteristics of both Polyolefin and PVC film.

Traco I-Bar Shrink Wrap MachineShrink Film Characteristics

  • PVC Shrink Film – PVC film is a clear shrink film that once shrunk has a brittle characteristic to it. It is often used in non-food packaging. It can be very thick and typically ranges from 75 to 100 gauge thick. The higher the gauge, the thicker the film.
  • Polyolefin Shrink Film – Polyolefin film is a clear shrink film that has stretchy characteristics, making it ideal for use where PVC film may crack or break open. The stretchy characteristics of poly film are often compared to saran wrap.

As a general rule, polyolefin is going to be your best bet with direct contact to film. Polyolefin, sometimes called poly film, is available in centerfold rolls for use with both I-bar (found here) and L-bar shrink wrap machines (found here). Polyolefin is typically more durable than PVC film, which means you usually don’t need as thick a gauge of film to accomplish what you could do with PVC. A 60 gauge poly film will be about as durable as 75 gauge PVC film.

Minipack Shrink Wrap MachineOne misconception that people have about polyolefin is that their base model shrink wrap machine, that uses PVC film, can’t use it. I used to think that myself as someone years ago told me a standard shrink wrap tunnel or heat gun didn’t produce enough heat to shrink polyolefin. I later discovered, from our manufacturer Traco, that most shrink wrap machines can use both PVC or polyolefin film and they both take about the same amount of heat to shrink. If you are considering packaging food using your old shrink wrap machine, you should be able to simply swap out your old PVC roll of film for a polyolefin roll. It is that easy.

I have used Polyolefin film on a standard I-bar sealer with a heat gun and it works great! I have also used polyolefin film on a variety of different Minipack, AIE and Traco shrink wrap machines with excellent results.

For those of you who love science, here is a technical explanation on exactly what Polyolefin film is straight from Wikipedia:

A polyolefin is a polymer produced from a simple olefin (also called an alkene with the general formula CnH2n) as amonomer. For example, polyethylene is the polyolefin produced by polymerizing the olefin ethylene. An equivalent term is polyalkene; this is a more modern term, although polyolefin is still used in the petrochemical industry. Polypropyleneis another common polyolefin which is made from the olefin propylene.

So there you have it! Everything you could possibly want to know about polyolefin shrink film. We have been selling centerfold polyolefin shrink film for use with I-bar and L-bar machines for years. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions about shrink wrap or packaging. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here.

David-Link Time Clock Software & PDF Setup Manual

Monday, March 12th, 2012

David-Link Time ClocksDavid-Link time clocks (found here) are now some of the most popular employee time clocks used today. There are many reasons for this. To begin with, David-Link time clocks are extremely affordable and come packed with features. Many of their time clocks include biometric, proximity and keypad time logging features. In order to get the most out of our time clock, you will want to set up the software. Here are a few tips that will help you get your time clock up and going.

To begin with, you will need the David-Link software. If for any reason you do not have your software disc, you can download the basic version of David Link Time Management Software (DLTMS) directly from us:

Once you have your software installed, you will need to begin setting up employees and other features. David-Link has created a nice multi-page PDF manual that goes into great detail on how to set everything up. This is the PDF manual for David Link software:

The manual covers the following categories:

Setting Up and Employee Profile

  • When setting up your software, be sure that the employee enroll number in the software and the employee ID number on the device match up.
  • If necessary, check the days off that apply to each employee.
  • Assign an appropriate shift number for each employee. Shift numbers can be edited under the “Shift” setting option (advance only).

Shift Setting: Standard & Flexible

  • There are two types of shift settings available in the David-Link software. These are standard and flexible. Apply the setting that best suits your needs. The standard shift setting is recommended for employees that have fixed schedules. Flexible shift setting is recommended for most part-time employees.
  • If you are using the flexible shift setting and your employee works after midnight, check the box “Cut-Off” so the system can generate the correct report.

OT Authorization

  • You will first need to create an overtime code. You can do this under the “Employee Posting” tab.
  • Don’t forget to select all the employees that are permitted to work overtime.

Holiday Setting (Advance Only)

  • Legal and special holidays are required fields in order to generate the appropriate employee attendance report.

Leave Application (Advance Only)

  • This option is designed to permit and record employees who take days off on days other than holidays and weekends.
  • There are two steps to set up the leave application.
  • Assign a leave code and description to distinguish different types of leave.
  • When applying the leave option to your employee, don’t forget to choose the correct employee’s name.

Download

  • There are three ways to download and import data from your device to the David-Link Time Management Software.
  • Exporting data can be done via an Ethernet connection, a flash drive or a USB cable.

Virtual Timecard

  • Under the “Time Cards” option, you can view, add, delete and edit transactions for each employee.

Delete Timecard or Add / Edit Time Card

  • This software will allow you to add, delete and edit records under the “Time Cards” option.

Reports

  • Make sure your computer is connected with a printer in order to preview reports available in the software.
  • All reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel format (Advance Only)

There you go! Those are all the categories covered in the manual. Once you have the software figured out, you will discover just how powerful and user-friendly David-Link time clocks can be. We sell these time clocks every day and they have an excellent reputation with our customers. While this software and PDF manual are helpful, we understand that you may still have some questions. Please call us at 1-800-658-8788 with your David-Link time clock questions.

You can find our entire selection of David-Link time clocks by going here.

Minipack Inert Gas Flush Kit for Vacuum Sealers

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Minipack Chamber Vacuum SealersIf you need to provide maximum shelf life for vacuum-sealed food, without removing all of the air, you need to use what’s known as an inert gas kit. Minipack, one of the leading manufactures of commercial and industrial vacuum food sealers (found here), offers inert gas flush kits for all their chamber machines. This article will cover what is involved in an inert gas kit and why you may want one for yourself.

Vacuum sealers, out of the box, can be used to remove air from a bag for preservation purposes. Minipack vacuum sealers can remove 99.9% of the air in a bag. For food preservation purposes, this gets the job done. The only problem is that not everyone wants to remove all of the air. Many fruits, vegetables, chips, bread products and other food will be damaged and crushed if all the air is removed. By using an inert gas flush kit, air can still be left in the bag and thus the food itself is not damaged.

Why swap out the air? One of the most damaging gasses you can have in packaged food is oxygen. This is because most food-damaging life forms and bacteria use oxygen. In practice, the removal of that oxygen will eliminate the very gas needed to sustain life. This is done by re-balancing the gasses.

Re-balancing of gasses is most economically done via an inert gas kit. The inert gas kit is used to flush out oxygen (O2). Oxygen makes up about 20.9% of the air we breath. The gas kit creates a modified atmosphere, which is process of moving the 20.9% oxygen content down to 0%. By removing the oxygen, and replacing it with another gas, food shelf life can be dramatically extended.

While the oxygen is removed, it has to be replaced by another gas. One of the most popular inert gasses used is nitrogen (N2). Another inert gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), which helps cut down on bacterial growth while lowering the PH. Carbon monoxide has even been used as an inert gas as it helps red meet retain a bright red color. These gasses are all considered to be safe for use with food. The gas used will ultimately depend on the product being packaged.

As mentioned earlier, Minipack offers an inert gas flush kit for all their machines. That kit must be factory installed, so you will want to request it when purchasing a new machine. The price of the kit varies from one machine to another.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for more information on an inert gas flush kit for your Minipack chamber vacuum sealer. You can find our entire selection of Minipack vacuum sealers here. You are more than welcome to call us with your questions or you can simply post your question here as a comment.

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