What Is A Modular Binding Machine?

October 26th, 2009

Although the term modular binding machine isn’t commonly used, you may have seen it come up from time to time while researching binding equipment. These machines, often referred to as binding machine punches, have their place in the binding world and are very convenient to use. I will go into detail on exactly what a modular binding machine is and why you may need one in this article.

The most basic modular binding machine includes a base and a punch. The punching die itself is usually interchangeable. This means you can pull out the punching die and switch it for another. This allows you to punch holes for a variety of binding formats. This includes comb binding, wire binding, coil binding, VeloBinding and much more.

Swappable punching dies are not only convenient for binding in multiple formats, but also allow you to get a replacement punching die if one ever breaks or dulls. As a result, modular-binding machines can last for years, some of which have been known to last 10+ years. The punching mechanism is either manually or electrically operated.

As you may know, punching paper is only half the binding process. A comb opener, wire closer or coil inserter may be needed to finish the job. The finishing components, with regards to modular binding machines, can be attached to the punching base. This means you can comb bind books, swap the die and the attachment, and wire bind books.

Modular binding machines are ideal for people who need multiple binding formats. They are also great for people who need high-volume binding capabilities. Some of the high-end modular binding punches can punch up to 55 sheets of paper at a time. These binding punches are also ideal for high volume paper punching.

You can view our entire selection of modular binding machines here.

Spiral Binding Machines – An Overview

October 12th, 2009

Spiral binding is a very popular binding format and is growing in use year over year. Spiral binding and coil binding are just two different names for the same type of binding. Spiral binding has been around for some time, especially metal coil binding, but PVC plastic coils have since replaced the metal. This is because plastic coils are more durable and come in a variety of colors.

One reason the coil-binding format is so popular is because coil bound pages can turn a full 360 degrees. This means that pages can be turned completely around and that the books can lay flat. Spiral binding is not only popular for reports, but is also commonly used for scrapbooking, cookbooks and sheet music.

Spiral binding machines are very easy to use. Spiral binding machines come in two different hole patterns, these being 4:1 and 5:1. The first number is the amount of holes and the second, following the colon, is the measurement. This means that 4:1 equals a total of four holes per inch of paper.

The wider hole pattern (4:1) can bind a thicker book. The thinner hole patter (5:1) has a tighter look. The pitch you choose will depend entirely on the look you prefer and how many pages you need to bind. Supplies for the different hole patterns are not interchangeable. This means 4:1 supplies cannot be used with a 5:1 machine and visa-versa.

Types of spiral binding machines:

Manual Punch Coil Binders – Manual spiral binders are the least expensive type of coil binding machine. These machines require the paper to be punched manually. This is fine if you are binding up to a few dozen books a day. After the paper is punched, the coils can be manually inserted or be inserted with an electric coil inserter. Manual comb binding machines are available with and without an electric coil inserter.

Electric Punch Coil Binders – Electric spiral binders are ideal when binding 50-100+ books a day. These types of machines use an electric punch to punch the paper. Once the paper is punched, the spirals can be inserted manually or with an electric coil inserter. Electric coil inserters are faster to use. Most electric punch coil binders include an electric coil inserter.

We have huge selection of spiral binding machines. You can view our entire selection of coil binding machines here.

ID Card Printers – Mini Guide On Plastic Identification Cards

October 6th, 2009

Creating photo ID cards isn’t complicated. In fact, it only takes minutes to create a template and seconds to print a card. Modern day ID card printers create photo IDs that look better and last longer than ever before. This certainly beats the old days of printing out a card and laminating it. Learn more about photo ID in 2009 by reading this mini guide.

What are ID cards printed on? Photo ID card printers print on plastic PVC cards, typically CR-80 (credit card size). These cards are typically white, but don’t have to be. Card thicknesses are typically available in 30 mil and 10 mil. Thirty-mil cards are the thickness of a credit card. A mil is one thousandth of an inch. You can find our blank PVC cards here.

What kind of cartridges / ribbons do ID card printers use? Most ID card printers use a printing process called dye sublimation printing in which a thermal print head burns the image onto the card. This usually consists of a ribbon with several colored panels that are combined to create a full-color image. The ribbons consist of YMCK (Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Black) panels. The YMCKO ribbons contain an overlay panel, which prevents scratches and increases the life of the card. Monochrome ribbons are available for single-color printing. Some printers are only capable of monochrome printing. You can find our ribbons here.

Is software required? ID card software is necessary to create a template for printing. This could involve text, logos and photographs. There are many different types of ID software available and vary depending on the volume of cards being printed, if any type of encoding / bar code is required and if database management is needed for keeping track of and re-printing cards. Many ID card printers will now include a basic software package to get you up and going. You can find our ID card software here.

Can I encode magnetic stripes, smart cards and proximity cards? This all depends on the printer you are using and the software you are using. Many printers come with the ability to encode mag stripes, smart cards and proximity cards. This capability often has to be installed in the factory, so be sure to check prior to making a purchase.

Can all printers create double-sided printing? We sell single sided printers and double-sided printers. Single sided printers are primarily designed to only print one side of a card, where double-sided printers print both sides of a card in one pass. Double-sided printing can be done on a single-sided printer, but requires the card to be re-inserted the other way to print the other side. This is slower than a double-sided printer and there is a chance of the card being scratched as it is run through twice.

What are the major ID printer brands? The most common brands available today are Fargo, Eltron, Magicard, Evolis and Polaroid.

Regardless of the ID card route you plan to go with, you should stop by our site and view our entire selection of ID card printers, supplies and accessories here!

Top Seven Best Employee Time Clocks / Time Clock Reviews

October 2nd, 2009

Time clocks are a critical part of properly running any business. Keeping track of time worked on paper just doesn’t cut it anymore. Unfortunately not all employees are honest and cheating the system, if not properly monitored, can happen.

The honor system isn’t an option anymore and writing down hours on paper leaves too much room open for manipulation. Buddy punching can also be an issue for many businesses, where one employee punches in and out for another employee. Which time clocks are the best for cutting down on fraud and saving your business money?

While traditional punch-style time clocks are still an option, they are best used for small businesses. A more automated system is required for medium to large-size businesses. It isn’t a bad idea for small businesses to use automated systems either. Many automated and digital time clock systems can export data to payroll programs, such as Quickbooks, saving your business even more time and money.

We have compiled a list of the most secure, easy-to-use and popular time clocks being purchased by our customers today.

1. Pyramid PTI Time Trax EZ – This time clock system uses personalized encoded PVC cards to log in and out of work. Software keeps track of this time and creates reports. Data can also be exported for use with payroll software.
2. Pyramid PTI Time Trax Bio – This time clock lets the employee sign in and out of work with their finger. It is easy to set up, creates reports with included software and exports data for use with payroll software.
3. AcroPrint ATRx – The Acroprint ATRx runs on a computer, but utilizes a biometric finger scanner (plugged in a USB port) for signing in and out of work. This cuts out buddy punching and is very efficient.
4. Pyramid PTI Time Trax Pro – This time clock uses a magnetic strip PVC card to sign in and out of work. It includes easy-to-use software that makes keeping track of employee time easy. Data can be exported for use with payroll software. It can be used with up to 9,999 employees (upgraded).
5. Widmer Ceres iPC – Great for small to medium-size businesses, this system uses a key fob, which can be attached to a key ring, to punch in and out of work. This system is one of the easiest to set up and includes software for tracking employee time.
6. Acroprint Handpunch 1000 Biometric – This time clock allows employees to sign in and out of work by using their hand. This unique time clock system cuts down on fraud while keeping track of employee time worked.
7. Amano MTX-15 – This time clock allows employees to punch in and out of work with the swipe of a card. It includes software and can be used with payroll software such as ADP, Peachtree, Paychex, Powerpay, and Quickbooks. This all-in-one system is great for use with up to 100 employees.

You can see our entire selection of employee time clocks here. Check them out today!

New Fletcher Terry Substrate Cutters / FSC / Titan / Gemini Pro – Now Available!

October 1st, 2009

We have just added a new line of substrate cutters to our site from Fletcher Terry. These aren’t your standard run-of-the-mill paper cutters. These new cutters are known as substrate cutters. Many can cut a wide range of items such as corrugated plastic, foamboard, PVC, banners, vinyl, fabric and paper. Some models can even cut aluminum, acrylic, glass and more!

We have added in all a total of three new cutters from Fletcher Terry. These are the FSC Substrate Cutter, the Titan and the Gemini Pro. Each of these cutters are designed and optimized for specific tasks.

Learn more about each of these cutters below:

FSC Substrate Cutter – The FSC Substrate Cutter is a beast. It is extremely accurate and capable of cutting a wide range of materials. This includes corrugated plastic, aluminum, PVC, econolite, acrylic, foamboard, glass and more. It includes a laser sight line cutting guide for knife or wheel cutting operations, which projects a cut line on the substrate, eliminating guess work and costly errors in a post printing process. Check it out!

Titan – The Titan is designed to cut rigid materials such as corrugated plastic, foamboard and gatorboard, but can also cut flexible materials such as fabric, vinyl, banners and paper. It can cut rigid materials up to ½-inch thick. This is all thanks to a cutting head that switches from cutter to trimmer. Check it out!

Gemini Pro – The Gemini pro is a compact substrate cutter that can switch from cutter (with a blade) to trimmer (rotary blade). It can cut rigid materials up to ½-inch thick. Much like the Titan, the Gemini Pro can cut corrugated plastic, gatorboard, foamboad and flexible materials like paper, vinyl, fabric and more. The Gemini Pro can be used in conjunction with the Fletcher Terry Atlas Worktable for added stability. Check it out!

We are very excited about this new addition to our site and our new relationship with Fletcher Terry.

Akiles AlphaBind, EcoBind & FlexiPunch Binding Machines Now Online!

September 30th, 2009

Akiles makes some great binding machines and they have just released several new models. These models feature the same great quality and metal construction previous Akiles binding machines are known for. These new models total 5 new machines added to our site. The new models are as follows:

AlphaBind-CE – This is a compact “industrial quality” comb-binding machine. It features an electric punch along with selectable punching dies. Check it out!

AlphaBind-CM – This is the manual punch version of the AlphaBind-CE. It still features “industrial quality” design and capabilities, but requires the operator to pull a handle for punching. Check it out!

FlexiPunch-E – The FelxiPunch combines several machines into one. It has interchangeable dies, which means you can punch for comb, swap out the die and then punch for wire. It is very versatile. The “E” version has an electric punch. Check it out!

FlexiPunch-M – The “M” version of the FexiPunch is just like the “E,” but manually punches paper. The selectable dies, interchangeable dies and more make this a great “all purpose” binding machine. Check it out!

EcoBind-C – The EcoBind-C is the perfect comb-binding machine for the office. It looks good, it’s compact and has all the bells and whistles found in high end machines.

You can view our entire selection of Akiles binding machines here!

Destroyit Paper Shredders Reviewed

September 29th, 2009

Destroyit paper shredders are known as some of the best paper shredders available today. They are known for their durability, quality construction and hassle-free operation. Our Service Department likes the Destroyit shredders as well because they rarely have to deal with repairs on them.

Destroyit shredders are made by parent company MBM and sometimes go under the label Ideal. They are German in origin and feature the latest in shredder technology. Thermally protected motors are designed to be run for hours on end without overheating. Many of our customers, especially those in Government and business organizations, love the Destroyit line.

Here are a few models our customers like to purchase:

Destroyit 2602 SMC Shredder – This paper shredder is ideal for top secret and the shredding of highly sensitive material. It utilizes security level 6 standards, which are the highest used today. The SMC in the model stands for Super Micro Cut. The end result almost resembles dust.

Destroyit 4002 Heavy Duty – This shredder is perfect departmental shredding in an office. It is quiet and able to be used throughout the day. You can purchase this model in a strip cut or cross cut variation.

Destroyit 2501 Office Shredder – This model is great for us in a small office. It features a 10 ¼-inch mouth capable of accepting most sizes of paper. It is compact and can sit next to a desk. The motor can be used for continuous shredding.

These are just a few of our Destroyit paper shredders. You can find our entire selection of Destroyit paper shredders by going here.

Formax Paper Shredders Reviewed

September 28th, 2009

I can still remember a few years ago when Formax, well known for their line of folder inserters, stepped into the paper shredder market. In all honesty I was initially pretty skeptical. They did have a few things going for them. The company itself has been around for some time, since 1987, and their line of folder inserters has stood the test of time.

I’ve seen dozens of makes and models, from other manufacturers, come into existence and land with a big thud. A big part of why a new line of paper shredders fails is the quality factor. Many new models, especially foreign imports, are made out of cheap components and don’t last long. I certainly never expected Formax to compete with the well-known quality brands, such as Destroyit, Intimus and HSM.

Formax was kind enough to send several models to us for testing. My first impression was, “Hey, this thing is made out of a lot of metal,” which is usually a good sign. They were also pretty heavy, which is another good sign for an office shredder. Upon looking over the Model 8600 shredder, I found control panel easy to use and it seemed to feature a lot of information.

Upon further review, I found the Model 8600 had indicators to let you know if the door was open, if the bag was full, if it was on manual or automatic mode and even had a level indicator to tell you if the shredder was under too much of a load (too much paper). We shot a video demo of the Model 8600 that day, which you can find here.

It has been several years now and Formax Paper Shredders are now synonymous with high quality and reliability. They are now purchased, with confidence, by many government entities. One thing we really like, here at ABC Office, is that we don’t have to deal with servicing issues because they seem to hold up so well.

You can view our entire line of Formax Paper Shredders here. I would highly recommend at least considering them prior to purchasing a high-end, high-quality paper shredder. Right now they even have free shipping!

GuilloMax & GuilloMax Plus Paper Cutters Now Available!

September 24th, 2009

We have been busy lately adding several new products to our site. Just this week we added over 10 new products from Tamerica to our site. As part of the new Tamerica addition, we have added the GuilloMax and GuilloMax Plus paper cutters to our sites. These are both guillotine-style stack paper cutters designed to cut hundreds of sheets of paper at once.

These types of paper cutters are great for cutting larger paper down to size, cutting business cards and much more. We are very excited about the GuilloMax paper cutter because it fills in a niche that we previously didn’t cover. It is the least expensive stack cutter we currently offer online.

The GuilloMax Plus is very similar in specifications to the MBM Triumph 4705 at a fraction the price. It can cut up to 800 sheets of paper at a time! Stop by and take a look at the Guillomax and Guillomax Plus paper cutters today!

Business Card Holders & Displays – Get Organized!

September 17th, 2009

Business cards are a great way to get your name and business advertised to potential customers. They have also been known to win a free lunch from time to time. Although business cards play an important part in many companies, these cards don’t like to stay in a neat stack. Just try stacking them and see how long the stay organized. Much like a deck of cards, business cards will eventually end up scattered everywhere.

Business card holders are a great way to harness these cards and keep them organized. Business card holders come in a wide variety of styles and designs. The two most popular types of business card holders are tabletop (countertop) and wall-mounted designs. The type you use will depend on personal preference and available space.

Business card holders and displays are most commonly available in wood and clear plastic (acrylic) materials. Again, the material used depends on personal preference. Business card holders come with different quantities of pockets, depending on how many and different types need to be displayed. Some are capable of holding over a dozen different separate piles of business cards.

ABC Office carries several of these business card holders and they are very affordable to purchase. The usefulness of a business card holder is well worth the minimal cost. Click here to see ABC Office’s entire selection.

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