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

Manufacturer Spotlight: Tamerica Binding Machines

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Tamerica Office EquipmentIf you’re shopping around for a binding machine, or even a laminator or paper cutter, one manufacturer you may want to consider using is Tamerica. Established in 1985, Tamerica Products Incorporated (TPI) has been manufacturing and distributing office machines for over 24 years. ABC Office has been selling Tamerica products for decades and they are considered a customer favorite.

Tamerica states that they operate under process-oriented principles of Kaizen, which is Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the better.” In true form, Tamerica is always making improvements and increasing the performance of their machines.

Tamerica is best known to our customers for their line of binding machines. Their 190PB, 210PB, 213PB and TCC 210EPB comb binding machines are particularly popular. These binding machines all utilize durable metal components and are known for their rich features for little cost. You can find our entire selection of Tamerica comb binding machines here.

Tamerica V2000-Pro SecureBind Binding MachineA few years ago Tamerica released one of the first-ever alternatives to the GBC VeloBind bookbinding format known as SecureBind. SecureBind, found in their V2000-Pro, uses the same hole pattern and thermal process as standard GBC VeloBind machines, but at a fraction the cost. The V2000-Pro has an impressive 2″ binding capacity.

While Tamerica is extremely well known for their binding machines, they also manfacture an impressive line of stack paper cutters, roll laminating machines, pouch laminators, business card cutters, paper folding machines, laminating film and workstations.

Here are just a few of Tamericas most popular cutters, laminators and folding machines

Tamerica is continually developing new machines, so be sure to check back often to see what’s available. You can find our entire selection of Tamerica office equipent here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Best Binding Machines for Children’s Books

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Binding Children's BooksIf’ you’re binding children’s books, you probably want to use a format that is durable, tough and resilient. My 3-year-old son was recently given a book that was bound in twin-loop wire. As you might imagine, that book isn’t in such good shape anymore. When it comes to children’s books, a lot more needs to be taken into consideration than just looks. I will cover in this article the best binding machines you will want to use for binding kid’s books.

If you will be binding a child’s book using a binding element (i.e. Wire, Coil or Comb), you need something that is tough, can take an impact and will cut down on page tearing. The two most resilient binding formats are comb and coil. I’ll explain why I would personally use these binding styles for a kid’s book.

The one format I would never use is twin loop wire, unless you’re binding a teenager’s book. Wire, to put it simple, bends and looses its form when stepped on, thrown on the ground, stacked on with other books or is thrown in a backpack.  I have seen some books bound in thick-gauge twin loop wire. The thicker gauge stuff seems to hold up much better than your standard gauge twin loop wire.

As mentioned earlier, I would use comb or coil for a children’s book. Let me explain the benefits and the disadvantages of both.

Comb Binding Children's BooksCOMB BINDING – This is my second choice for binding kid’s books. This format is made from tough plastic and will rarely break or bend. Comb binding supplies are cheap, costing very little for a box of 100 elements. Comb is also available in dozens of colors, making it a colorful choice for binding children’s books. The individual comb fingers are wide, providing added support to pages, making them tougher to accidentally rip out.

The biggest con to comb binding is the fact that combs can be re-opened, even without a machine. It is tough to do, and extremely unlikely to happen, but it is possible. I still don’t think this should count out comb binding.

Because you may be binding books smaller than 8 ½” x 11″, I would recommend that you use comb binder with selectable punching pins.

These are some comb binding machines I recommend for binding kid’s books:

Coil Binding Children's BooksCOIL BINDING – Coil binding is my first choice for binding kid’s books. Binding coils are made out of extremely durable PVC plastic. These coils won’t bend or break and can withstand the unforgiving wrath of a child. Binding coils are colorful, which kids like, and can be used to bind thick or thin books.

I personally recommend using 4:1 pitch coil for children’s books (4 holes per inch) as the wide hole pattern makes the pages harder to tear out. A 5:1 pitch hole pattern (5 holes per inch) have the holes too close together for kids, making the pages much easier to tear out.
As you will probably bind books in a wide range of sizes, I recommend using a coil-binding machine with disengagable punching pins and an electric coil inserter.

These are some coil binding machines I recommend for binding children’s books:

Hopefully these recommendations help you in your book binding endeavors. We have decades of experience with book binding machines, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. You can find our entire selection of binding machines here.

Q&A: Lassco Corner Rounder Cutting Dies

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Lassco CR-20 Corner RounderI recently had a customer ask me a really good question regarding Lassco corner rounders. They wanted to purchase both a CR-20 and a CR-50B. Their question was this, “Can I use the CR-20 die on the CR-50B and vice versa?” This was a great question and one I didn’t have the answer to, so looked into it.

After doing some research I discovered that the CR line of corner rounding dies will work on the CR-20, CR-50B, CR-50, CR-50P and CR-50XP. For the customer asking the question, this meant that the CR-20 1/8″, ¼”, 3/8″ and ½” dies can work on the CR-50B and vice versa.

The customer was happy because they only needed to purchase 2 sets of dies rather than 4 sets of dies. This ended up saving them money in the long run.

Do you have a corner rounder question? Post your question as a comment or feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788.

You can find our entire selection of corner rounders here.

Troubleshooting: MVS Vacuum Sealer Bar Sealing Issues

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Minipack MVS Vacuum SealersA poorly functioning vacuum food sealer can be an extremely frustrating experience. This can lead to lost time, lost production and unprofessional results. What can really be frustrating is when the sealing problem doesn’t always manifest itself or it is inconsistent. Thanks to excellent technical support from Minipack, we have come up with a solution for one of the most commonly seen vacuum sealing problems.

While Minipack vacuum sealers are some of the most reliable on the market, as with any mechanical device, some problems can arise. If the sealing bar on your MVS vacuum sealer is experiencing issues, you may be having problems with the bellows. The bellows are typically located underneath the sealing bin on a chamber vacuum sealer.

Poorly functioning bellows typically manifest themselves when the sealing bar begins to have issues. Many of these issues include:

  • Loss of continuity
  • Loss of bag vacuum
  • Inconsistent sloppy seal
  • Raises unevenly
  • Lacks contact with Red Lid Striker

Why are the bellows going bad? This is usually a result of moisture or liquid working its way into the bellows. While Minipack vacuum food sealers can be used with liquid, you are less likely to have issues if you use a liquid tray. Using a flat bin, without any upright bag support, can lead to spills. Contact us at 1-800-658-8788 for information on getting a liquid tray for your Minipack MVS vacuum sealer.

Minipack MVS Vacuum Sealer Bellows

While you can replace the bellows, Minipack recently released a rebuild kit that will save you a lot of money. The rebuild process is simple enough that most people can handle it on their own without the need of a Service Technician or a Service Department. We will be posting rebuilt kit instructions on our blog soon.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Setting Up Folds on a Paper Folding Machine – Video Demo

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Friction Feed Paper Folding MachineIf you own a paper folding machine, or would like to know how one works, you have come to the right spot. I have 11 years experience using folding machines, both friction and air-suction styles. About a week ago I got an opportunity to use an Intelli-Fold DE-172AF and film it. As part of this video demo, I set up an created each of the 6 most common paper folds. This includes the single fold, letter fold, Z fold, double parallel fold, gate fold and half accordion fold.

Creating folds on a paper folding machine is remarkably easy and saves an amazing amount of time. Folds created on a folding machine are far more accurate, aligned and professional. I also appreciate the lack of paper cuts.

Here is a visual representation of each of these folds:

Types of Paper Folds

In the video demo, I go through how to set up each of the folding plates for these types of folds. I have found that once you know how to use one paper folding machine, they are all very similar in setup and operation.

This is a video demo of 6 common folds being created on a paper folding machine:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

The Intelli-Fold DE-172AF is a manually setup paper folding machine. This means that each of the folding plates have to be set up by hand. This involves loosening the strike plates and sliding them to the appropriate position and re-tightening them. I have found that this only takes about 30-60 seconds. Folds are clearly marked on the folding plates.

Once you know how to use the DE-172AF, you shouldn’t have a problem using other folding machines like the Dahle 10560, MBM 93M, Martin Yale 1217A and any other machine that uses manually adjustable folding plates.

One feature that I really like about the DE-172AF is the powered exit conveyor. This conveyor helps to slow down paper as it leaves the machine and also helps to keep paper neatly organized and stacked. This, in my opinion, is a nice advantage over other machines that simply spit the paper out into a catch tray. This is also nice for keeping paper in alphabetical order.

So who uses a paper folding machine? Many businesses use them for mailing purposes. I have also seen many people use them to fold brochures, booklets, fliers and promotional material.

At ABC Office we currently over 45 different friction-feed machines. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

Because we literally have over 30 years experience (company was created in 1980), we have some of the best-trained and skilled paper folding specialists available. Please feel free to call one of them at 1-800-658-8788 with any folding machine questions.

Troubleshooting: Pages Keep Ripping out of Bound Book

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Wire Binding Machine TroubleshootingWhen you bind a booklet, presentation or report, you typically expect that book to hold up for some time…right? You certainly don’t want paper ripping out as you turn pages. If your comb, coil or wire bound document is experiencing pages tearing out, premature wear, pages binding or overall difficulty in using a book bound in these formats, you’ll want to read this guide.

Comb, wire and coil binding are all three very distinct binding formats, but they all suffer from similar issues when a book is bound incorrectly. While binding a book is extremely easy to do, there are a few minor settings, if left ignored, can result in a complete failure of a binding job. Here are the two most common issues:

Pages Keep Tearing Out:
If you have pages that seem to be tearing out of your book, you are probably experiencing issues with your margin depth, which is how far holes are punched into the paper. As a general rule, you want to punch holes deeper into the paper when binding thicker books. Thinner books can have the holes punched closer to the edge. If you punch holes close to the edge, while binding a thicker book, pages will eventually begin to tear out.

Many modern binding machines have a margin depth selector that will allow you to adjust how far into the paper the holes are punched based on the thickness of the book. Akiles machines are especially easy to use when it comes to adjusting the margin depth.

Unfortunately not all binding machines have a margin depth adjustment. If this is the case, you will either need to deal with the occasional page ripping out, bind thinner books or upgrade to a different machine.

Here are three great binding machines that feature an adjustable margin depth:

Paper Binds When Turning Pages: If you’re experiencing issues turning the pages in your bound document, the guilty culprit is the binding element itself. What you are probably doing is using a binding comb, wire or coil that is too small for the paper you are binding. What you need to do is use a slightly larger diameter binding element.

Many binding machines now include a diameter selection guide. If you’re binding machine doesn’t have this feature, you can get a good idea on the diameter you need by looking at our supplies pages. Our binding supply pages feature the diameter and how many sheets it can bind.

Binding Supplies

Hopefully this guide helps you out and helps cut down on frustrations. If for any reason you need a new machine, you can find our entire selection of binding machines here.

Quickly Staple Header Cards and Clamshell Packaging

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Staplex S-620N Double Header Electric StaplerAre you trying to staple blister packaging to cards, header cards to plastic bags or are you trying to seal clamshell packaging shut? One product our customers finding extremely useful is our line of electric staplers from Staplex. These American-made staplers feature some of the best quality / track records around and can be customized in the factory to meet your needs.

We recently had a customer come to us looking for a way to seal clamshell packaging shut. They needed to place a few staples in strategic locations to keep the packaging shut for shipping and retail purposes. After asking a few questions, and working with Staplex, we were able to find the right electric stapler for them.

The customer’s clamshell packaging comprised of 0.0235″ and 0.0135″ plastic layers. These two layers, once folded and around the product, needed to be stapled shut. This involved placing two staples on each side of the clamshell, requiring a stapler with dual stapling heads. Because such thick plastic was being used, they needed something with a little extra oomph. They ended up buying the Staplex S-620NRDFS with RLD thick wire long length staples. The thick wire staples ended up being able to easily penetrate the plastic and clinch shut.

This is one of the above mentioned clamshell packages that were stapled shut using the S-620N.

Clampshell Packaging Staplex Electric Stapler

The Staplex S-620N double header stapler (found here), available in over 8 different variations, uses 2 simultaneous stapling heads that act in unison. Variations include models with foot switches, machines designed for header cards, thick wire variations and more.

We offer a wide range of Staplex electric staplers (found here) that can be used for a wide variety of stapling purposes. This includes stapling plastic, corrugated cardboard, chipboard, packaging cards, header cards and much more.  Because these staplers are made in the USA, the build quality is excellent and parts / servicing is readily available.

We have decades of experience in electric staplers and would be more than happy to help you find an industrial / commercial electric stapler for your manufacturing needs. Please feel free to call one of our stapling experts at 1-800-658-8788. They will be able to answer your questions, provide you with custom quotes and put you on the right path towards reliable packaging equipment.

Best Way to Package Chocolates

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Chocolate Packaging Shrink Wrap MachineWhether you are making your own chocolates or need a way to package boxes of chocolates, you are probably going to need some sort of retail packaging. While there are several ways you can package chocolates, one of the most popular methods is by using shrink wrap. Which kind of shrink wrap machine is best for packaging chocolates and is there any risk of the chocolates melting? I will answer these questions and more in this article.

Having been in the packaging industry for over a decade know, I have seen people package everything from pizzas and baskets to soap and books. Another popular item is chocolates. This involves chocolates in a box or unboxed. There are a couple of different approaches you can take to shrink wrapping chocolate. These involve I-bar sealers and L-bar sealers. The machine you use depends on the volume you will be packaging. Here area  few benefits of both:

I-Bar Sealers – I-bar sealers (aka straight bar sealers) involve a single cutting bar. This bar is pulled down to cut film around an object, usually requiring 2 passes. These systems can be used with shrink bags, but are typically used with centerfold shrink film. Simply insert your chocolate bar or box, cut the film around the package and sealing the film using a heat gun. These machines are ideal for a few dozen to a few hundred packages a day.

Here is a video demo of an I-bar sealer in use:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

L-Bar Sealers – L-bar sealers use an L shaped sealing bar that completely seals chocolate in film in a single pass. These types of sealers can be used in conjunction with a heat gun or a heat tunnel. Many modern L-bar sealers incorporate a built-in heat tunnel that seals and shrinks the film in a single pass. These machines are ideal for a few hundred to a few thousand packages per day. Some of the higher-end machines can package tens of thousands a day.

Here is a video demo of an L-bar sealer in use:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.


Which type of film should you use?
There are two primary types of shrink wrap film used in packaging. One is PVC and the other is Polyolefin. The only film that is safe for use with food is Polyolefin. This means if you are packaging chocolate, you should use Polyolefin film (aka Poly film). This is especially important if the film will be directly touching the chocolate.

Will the chocolates melt? Many people thing that since heat is used in the shrink wrap process that it will melt the chocolate. This is usually not the case. L-bar sealers, using an integrated or built-in heat tunnel will rarely if ever cause the chocolate to melt. The heat process takes just seconds and is too little time to do any damage.

I-bar sealers, which use a heat gun, do run a higher risk of melting the chocolate. While it rarely ever happens, chocolate can begin to melt if the heat gun is left on any one spot for too long. It is my observation that I-bar sealers (with heat gun) will only melt the chocolate if human error is involved. If the gun is left on any one spot for too long, it will usually damage the shrink wrap as well. Heat guns take just seconds to shrink film, so you really shouldn’t run into any issues, especially if the chocolates are in a box.

At ABC office we have sold hundreds of machines to people packaging chocolates and they always end up happy with the end results. If you do have questions, or have unique chocolate packaging needs, please feel free to speak with one of our packaging specialists at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here and shrink wrap film here.

Casino Money Counting Machines and Equipment

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Cassino Money Handling and Counting MachinesIf you run, operate or work for a casino, you’re probably around a lot of money on a daily basis. As is the case in any business where money is handled continuously, proper tracking and counting are critical. The best way to keep track of money is by using a money counter, a coin counter or bill counter. These machines quickly and accurately count money.

Here are just a few pieces of equipment your casino may need:

Bill Counters / Money Counters – Bill counters take a stack of money and count it right down to the last bill. These counters are extremely accurate and will provide you with an exact number of bills counted. Most bill counters easily handle both new and used bills and can provide you with size detection, which will help catch counterfeit money. These counters generally have batch counting capabilities. Many of our bill counters include counterfeit money detection (UV – Ultraviolet / MG – Magnetic).

Our most popular brands of bill counters include Semacon, ABC, Cassida, Klopp and Magner. These bill counters are portable, can be used on most tables / desks and are available at an extremely affordable price. A few models you may want to consider include:

This is the Cassida Tiger in action:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Cassino Coin Counters / Token SortersCoin Counters / Sorters – Coin counters are designed to take your pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar coins and even tokens a count / sort them. These machines are accurate and are far faster than manually counting. While you may thing a coin counter costs thousands of dollars, most of our coin counting and sorting machines are extremely affordable and cost less than $1,000. More than half of our coin counting machines can bag and tube coins for storage and banking purposes.

Popular brands of coin counters include Cassida, ABC, Klopp, Ribao, Magner and Semacon. Most of our coin counters are portable and most provide you with quantity and value totals. These are a few of our more popular coin counting machines:

This is a video demo of the ABC 110 coin counter in action:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Counterfeit Detectors – Casinos are particularly vulnerable to counterfeit money, especially with the constant exchange of physical bills. For this reason, every casino should have a counterfeit detector. We offer counterfeit detectors that utilize one method of detection and others that incorporate multiple detection features. The most common methods of detecting counterfeit casino bills include:

  • UV (Ultraviolet) – All legitimate U.S. currency has a UV stripe in it that can be lit up and detected by a UV counterfeit detector.
  • MG (Magnetic) – Legitimate U.S. bills incorporate magnetic ink that can be picked up by a magnetic counterfeit detector.
  • WM (Watermark) – Most U.S. bills feature watermark technology that can be brought to light (excuse the pun) by being backlit. WM detectors make these features clear and obvious.
  • Micro Features – Some more manual counterfeit detectors include a magnifying glass that can be used to enhance and display microprint that is present in most U.S. bills.
  • Fiber Detection – This is one of the most basic forms of counterfeit detection. Detector pins use special ink that reacts with starch found in regular paper (not found in real U.S. tender).

These are some of our more popular counterfeit detectors:

This is a video demo of the ABC-75 in action:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Cassino Card Canceling EquipmentCard Canceling Equipment – Most casinos handle face cards. Most reputable casinos will cancel out used decks of cards. Rather than throw these cards away, most casinos will cancel them using a paper punch or drill. Once cancelled, these cards can be re-sold, allowing casinos to make additional money on used cards.

This punch is extremely popular with casinos for canceling cards:

We also offer a great selection of single-spindle paper drills that will quickly cancel decks of cards. These are a few popular models:

Hopefully these money-handling machines will help your casino with its daily operations. These tips, ideas and machines will undoubtedly save your business money and time. You can find our entire selection of money handling equipment here.

Since we are experts with money handling equipment, coin sorters and counterfeit bill detectors, we are able to provide you with expert advice. Please don’t hesitate to call and speak with one of our experts at 1-800-658-8788. We can help you find the right machine for your job.

Book Binding Workstations, Desks and Tables – Organizational Bliss

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Binding machines, whether it be comb, wire or coil, are wonderful to have, but they do pose a problem to many businesses. “What problem is that,” you might ask? Desk space. Many of us are strapped for desk space. Heaven knows my desk is stacked with magazines, papers, monitors and other stuff. The last thing I need on my desk is a binding machine. There is, however, a great piece of furniture that should help you out. It is commonly referred to as a binding workstation.

Binding workstations, often called binding desks or tables, are designed with the sole purpose of making binding more organized and saving space. Two of the most popular binding workstations we offer are the Akiles Utility Station and the Tamerica WS Workstation.

Akiles Binding Machine Utility StationAkiles Utility Station – The Akiles Utility Station is designed from the ground up to be portable, easy to use and is perfect for organization. The bench height is placed at an ideal height for using a comb, wire or coil binding machine. The bench is wide enough for most machines and can even be used to support electric punch machines. It has a combined supportive weight capacity of 550 pounds.

Below the bench are 3 shelves that can be used to hold boxes of supplies, binding covers or even paper. An additional top 2 shelves can be used to hold additional supplies. Everything is easy to access and organize. The four supportive casters make this cart easy to wheel around the office.

Tamerica Model WS Binding WorkstationTamerica WS Workstation – The Tamerica WS Workstation is smaller than the Akiles Utility Station and is perfect for limited office space. This workstation is at about desk height and can be wheeled up to a desk for easy book binding from the convenience of a chair. A total of 7 wire (transparent) drawers can be used to hold binding supplies of every diameter and color. These drawers are easy to pull out, easy to access and keep everything in one easy-to-find place.

The Tamerica WS is also easy to move around the office thanks to 4 locking casters. This binding station, unlike the above-mentioned Akiles model, only has a weight capacity of 50 pounds. That makes this station excellent for most manual binding machines and some electric binding machines.

We offer a great selection of other binding stations including other models from Akiles, Tamerica, Alvin and other manufactures. You can find our entire selection of book binding workstations here.

by Category