Archive for November, 2008

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Put A Little Men’s Room To Your Office: Emergency Porta Potty Saves Time And Stress From Frequent Potty Breaks

Posted by: Morgan on November 25th, 2008

Just a little holiday humor today (and yes, we really do sell these items).

Looking for holiday gift ideas, but bored with the same old drab selection? Well, it’s a safe bet that Office Zone doesn’t come to mind when you think about shopping for friends and family, but we do carry some unusual, yet functional products – certain to be the hot topic of conversation on Christmas day.

Emergency Porta Potty

Sure, the Emergency Porta Potty was designed for disasters when water is in short supply, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the benefits of this bucket ‘o fun. The Emergency Porta Potty is the perfect solution for employees who lose productivity from frequent potty breaks.

The idea here is to Emergency Porta Pottykeep your workers at their desks no matter what may come to pass.

Porta Potty from Office ZoneStep one: Replace all office chairs with a practical, yet comfortable emergency portable potty.

Step two: Strategically position each potty behind desks for privacy reasons. Step three: Permanently seal off all office restroom doors. Step four: Let nature take its course.

For extremely shy employees, the Emergency Porta Potty comes with a blue tarp for added privacy. Air freshening chemicals are included as well. Your staff will thank you for saving them long, tiring walks to the restroom, and providing them with hours of productive working fun.

Cooling Vests

Does your office hover around 90 degrees during the summertime, making you sweat like a pig? And your boss won’t let you touch the thermostat?

Cooling Vest from Office ZoneNot to worry. These cool new cooling vests were mostly designed for construction crew and other workers exposed to constant heat. But why should they have all the fun? Each cooling vest keeps you chillin’ and sweat-free for up to four comfortable hours in just about any environment – especially your office.

You’re certain to be the popular one when sporting this futuristic-looking Aluminized High Temperature Vest at your next department meeting. We predict everyone will be wearing a hot-looking cooling vest in the future, so order yours before all the popular styles and colors are gone.

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What To Look For In A Vacuum Sealer

Posted by: admin on November 25th, 2008

Grocery stores, food manufacturers and many individuals use vacuum sealers to protect and preserve food. In fact, vacuum sealers are the most commonly used piece of equipment for food packaging. The reason they are so commonly used is because vacuum sealers dramatically extend the shelf life of food. This is done by removing life-giving air that many life forms use to flourish. While this doesn’t completely chamber vacuum sealereliminate spoilage, it helps a lot.

One of the most common food products to be vacuum-sealed are meats, especially for use in a freezer. Vacuum sealer bags not only decrease bacterial contamination, but also prevent freezer burn. You will commonly see this with halibut and salmon fish fillets & steaks. Vegetables are also commonly vacuum-sealed and frozen. The cold temperature further extends the shelf life of food.

When a store or manufacturer, whether big or small, is in the market for a vacuum sealer, there are a few things to keep in mind. There are two major types of vacuum sealers on the market. These are external and chamber vacuum sealers.

Although useful for low-volume production, external vacuum sealers are not an ideal choice for high-volume packaging. This is because external sealers do not operate, in most situations, at as high a speed as a chamber vacuum sealer. They also cannot be used to replace natural oxygen-based atmosphere in the bags with inert gas such as nitrogen. This is a key factor in packaging products such as potato chips.

Chamber sealers use an entirely different method of packaging versus external vacuum sealers. An external vacuum sealer removes air from within the bag and seals it. A chamber sealer removes air from the entire chamber, including the bag, seals the bag and then returns the vacuumed chamber to a normal atmosphere. Because the bag is sealed within the vacuum, the product is 99.99 percent air free once the process is completed.

Chamber sealers and some high-end external sealers will allow the amount of removed air to be adjusted. This is ideal when packaging delicate food products. When packaging delicate food, a chamber sealer (fitted with an inert gas kit) will remove 99.99 percent of the air within the chamber and then add a set percentage of inert gas (such as nitrogen) back into the chamber before sealing the bag. This way the bag isn’t tight against the food, but the air will not sustain most forms of bacteria.

Before choosing a chamber sealer, it is highly recommended to determine the maximum size of product to be packaged. This is because chamber vacuum sealers are available in different sizes. It is financially prohibitive to purchase a machine, only to find out a year later than larger products need to be packaged. A larger chamber can also allow the user to package multiple items at once, thus increasing packaging speeds.

Chamber vacuum sealers are an ideal investment for stores and businesses that package food on a regular basis. Contact Office Zone for more information on vacuum sealers.

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Shrink Wrap Film: PVC or Polyolefin?

Posted by: admin on November 24th, 2008

There are many shops, businesses and entrepreneurs in the world who want to package and sell their products. This includes artwork, DVDs, gift baskets and more. One of the best ways to package a product is by using a shrink wrap machine. However, it isn’t always that simple. Often times, when a machine is purchased, the new owner has no idea where to go from there. There are several different types of shrink wrap film, depending on what is being packaged, that can affect the end product.

shrink wrapThere are many questions one asks when researching packaging material for the new machine. Should I buy PVC or Polyolefin film for my shrink wrap machine?  What is the difference between the two? Is one better than the other?

The first thing to consider when looking for packaging material is to analyze what you will be packaging. With regards to the type of shrink wrap film you use, one must determine whether or not the product is edible, if multiple products be packaged together, if there are any sharp corners and whether or not the shrink wrap machine be used indoors.

The two most common types of shrink wrap film used today are PVC and Polyolefin film. PVC film used to be the film of choice. It was inexpensive and widely available. Polyolefin film has been growing in popularity over the past few years and is now almost as common as PVC shrink film.

PVC film is still very popular for use with CD and DVD packaging. You will also find PVC film being used to package boxes, software and other non-edible products.  PVC film is more brittle than Polyolefin film and is not good for use with bundling multiple products. PVC film is also not safe for use with food products. PVC film emits an odor that some may find irritating if being used indoors. It is always recommended to use PVC film in a well-ventilated room.

Polyolefin film is very popular for use with food products, gift baskets, bundling multiple products and more. Poly film is more pliable than PVC film and does not tear easily. Polyolefin emits little odor and is fine for use indoors. As mentioned before, polyolefin is perfectly safe to use with food.

Most shrink wrap machines are capable of using both PVC and Polyolefin film. The heat required to shrink both types of film is about the same. Polyolefin and PVC film can be shrunk using a heat tunnel or a heat gun.

Shrink wrap continues to be the preferred choice for packaging products. Feel free to contact Office Zone for more information on shrink wrap machines.

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Creating Your Own Photo ID Badges: Here Are The Advantages

Posted by: admin on November 20th, 2008

In the world like we live in today, photo ID badges are no longer a novelty but a necessity seen in businesses across the country. Many of these badges feature full color photos and printing on both sides. Many include smart card chips, magnetic stripes, bar codes and other pieces of technology that allow employees to access buildings, sign in and out of work and more. Many businesses pay thousands of photo id badgedollars to have these photo ID badges created.

Could this be done in-house to save money?

As with just about anything done in-house, creating photo IDs on location will save you money. Although a little overwhelming at first, once all the pieces are put together, creating a photo ID is relatively easy and requires little time. All ID card printers are compatible with PC systems running Windows XP and Vista and several are now compatible with Mac computers running Mac OSX or higher. Linux capable ID card printers are hit and miss.

The first thing any business will need to create photo identification badges in-house is a photo ID card printer. There are several models available from manufacturers such as Fargo, Magicard, Polaroid and Evolis. These printers almost all print edge-to-edge ID cards in full high-resolution color. A few options that can be selected in a printer are the ability to print on both sides, encode smart cards and write to magnetic stripes. Printers also vary by printing speed, hopper capacity and other technical variables.

Almost all ID card printers manufactured today use a process called die sublimation, which uses a printer ribbon with four panels. These panels are yellow, magenta, cyan and black (YMCK). Many include a fifth panel called an overlay, which places a clear panel over the printed card to extend the life of the image and prevent scratches.

Die sublimation printers use a thermal print head to burn the image onto a plastic PVC ID card. If full color printing is out of your budget, single color monochrome ribbons are available for most printers and are a fraction the cost of a full-color ribbon. Although not as common, there are a few inkjet ID printers available, which use high-resolution inkjet technology rather than die sublimation.

In order to layout, design and create a photo ID, you need to invest in some card creation software. Most ID card software, from brands such as Asure ID, EPISuite and Card 5, have an easy-to-use template that makes it easy to type text, paste pictures and create a base template for all your ID cards.

Software is available in several different packages depending on the volume of ID cards printed and the size of the business involved.  Additional options found in elite software packages, not found in entry-level packages, include advanced photo importing capabilities, database interfacing and batch printing.

Along with the printer, software and ribbons, you will also need cards. Most ID cards used are known as 30 mil CR-80 — the same size and thickness of a standard credit card. The “80” in CR-80 is the size of the card. Thirty-mil is the thickness of the card. Although less common, some businesses use a thinner 10 mil thickness for cards.

Businesses that use proximity cards will often use a 10 mil CR-80 card with an adhesive back. Once printed, a backing is removed from the pressure-sensitive card where it is then stuck to the proximity card. Many CR-80 PVC cards are also available with smart chips (integrated circuit card) and magnetic stripes.

Once printed, many ID cards are slot punched in order to be used on a lanyard, badge reel or badge strap clip. Many businesses will also use a badge holder, horizontal or vertical, to hold the ID card where it can then be attached to a lanyard or strap clip. Using lanyards, badge reels or strap clips makes it easy to present and access identity cards.

Maintenance on ID card printers is easy. A wide assortment of cleaning cards and ribbons are available, which help keep the thermal print head clean and running at top efficiency. Many printers will let you know when they need to be cleaned. If an older printer is being used, symptoms of a needed cleaning may include blurred text or irregular colors. Regular maintenance will keep the ID card out of the shop and will allow you to print ID cards on a regular and uninterrupted basis.

Whether you need an occasional ID card, replacement cards or need to print 100s of cards for a business, photo ID card printers save money and are convenient to use. Feel free to contact Office Zone for more information on ID card printers.

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Vacuum Sealers: Protect And Preserve Food With Ease

Posted by: admin on November 17th, 2008

Vacuum sealers have been around for some time, but there are many things you may not know about them. First of all, no vacuum cleaners are involved, however, a lot of suction is. Vacuum sealers are used to protect and preserve food. There are a few things you should know about vacuum sealers before making a purchase, starting with the different kinds of sealers available.

Vacuum sealers are ideal for packaging a wide variety of foods. You see food in the grocery store packaged this way all the time, whether you realize it or not. Beef jerky, salmon steaks, potato chips and dried fruit are just a few of the items you may find.

Vacuum SealerVacuum sealers essentially remove or replace natural air. In the case of beef jerky, 99.99 percent of the air is removed, making it near impossible for bacteria to cultivate. With potato chips, natural air (which includes life giving oxygen) is removed and replaced with an inert gas, such as nitrogen. Because potato chips are so fragile, removing 99.9 percent of the air would damage the product.

There are two main types of vacuum sealers used for packaging food. These are external and chamber vacuum sealers. Both sealers are used to remove air, but have different purposes and are used for a range of different products. Before making a vacuum sealer purchase, be sure you are getting the right kind.

External vacuum sealers are similar to the models seen on TV or sold in a department store for home use. This doesn’t mean all external vacuum sealers are for home use. Some external vacuum sealers are designed for industrial packaging use.

With an external vacuum sealer, place your product in a bag and place the open end into the sealer. The sealer will remove the air and seal the open end, preventing air from re-entering the bag. External vacuum sealers cannot be used with delicate products such as potato chips due to the fact they cannot replace the air with an inert gas.

Chamber vacuum sealers are the most common machines used for industrial packaging. Chamber vacuum sealers still use bags, like the external models, but the packaging process is much different.

With a chamber sealer, the product is placed in a bag, after which the entire bag is placed in the chamber. Once ready, the chamber hood is pulled down. The machine then removes 99.9 percent of the air within the chamber and seals the open end of the bag. The atmosphere within the camber is then returned back to normal. The sealed bag is now vacuum packaged and ready for sale or storage. Part of the process, if needed, can involve removing the air and replacing it with an inert gas. The amount of air removed from the chamber can also be adjusted as needed.

Whether preserving food or protecting a product, vacuum sealers benefit a wide variety of businesses and stores.

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Pallet Jacks, Pallet Trucks, And Hand Trucks: Move Heavy Loads With Ease

Posted by: Morgan on November 14th, 2008

You’ve most likely seen or even used a hand truck or pallet jack at some time during your work career. These helpful lifting tools provide a simple, effective, way to transport heavy and cumbersome loads.

Hand trucks, used in several places including grocery stores and delivery trucks, boast the advantage of fitting into smaller spaces versus traditional forked lifts or pallet jacks. Pallet jacks can quickly transport Hand Truckpallets from one location to another with ease. Once the pallet jack is placed under a pallet, the pallet may be lifted off the ground for easy transportation. Pallet jacks are often used in warehouses, grocery stores, and other locations with stacked items.

Container tilters and ergo-tilts are ideal for easily tilting heavy containers for work positioning. These lifters are designed to roll under most containers. Tilters also work well with machine feeding and offloading.

Pallet lifters and transporters are great for use with skids and open-bottom pallets. Pallet lifters are a necessity in any warehouse. They safely lift and lower pallets up to 3,300 pounds. A lifter transporter is very similar to a trans-positioner, but designed for lower weight capacities. Lifter transporters have a small footprint and work well in small to mid-size warehouses. Some lifter transporters have a lifting capacity of up to 3,000 pounds!

Trans-positioners quickly and efficiently move material and pallets from one location to another. They are best suited for lifting and moving pallets from a dock to an isle for storage. These are ideal for feeding and offloading pallets. They also work well at transporting loads from one part of your warehouse to another.

Transporters/stackers are the perfect solution for moving heavy pallets from one shelf to another. Once under a pallet, stackers can quickly lift and lower pallets. These are ideal for use in larger warehouses, where pallets are stacked or placed on shelves. One trans-stacker model has an impressive 3,000 pound weight capacity.

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Paper Shredders: Strip Cut or Confetti?

Posted by: admin on November 13th, 2008

Not all paper shredders are the same. You may have discovered this by personal experience or perhaps you learned this while shopping online. Paper shredders are available in a wide variety of cutting formats. These cutting formats are referred to in the shredder industry as security levels, which were designated by the Deutsche Industrial Norm as DIN 32757.

Many people are aware that there are strip cut and cross cut paper shredders. One cuts the paper into thin Paper Shredderstrips and the other cuts the paper into “confetti-like” particles. Strip cut paper shredders usually cut paper into 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch strips. Cross cut paper shredders are available in literally dozens of different cutting sizes.

The larger the size, the easier it is to piece a document back together. The U.S. Government learned this the hard way in 1979 after the U.S. embassy was overrun in Iran. The U.S. embassy only used strip cut shredders to shred top security and high security documents. Needless to say, the Iranians were able to put the strip cut documents back together with the help of some experienced basket weavers.

The U.S. Government learned a lesson from that experience. The U.S. Government will now only uses cross cut paper shredders with a security level of 5 or 6. The end result is tiny particles and dust that cannot be reassembled. The higher the security level, the more secure the cut.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using a higher security paper shredder. The higher the security level, the smaller the cut. Although this is nice for security, the shredder blades cannot handle as much paper at a time. Most businesses find a happy medium with a security level 3 or 4. This allows businesses to still get a good secure cut while still being able to shred a lot of paper.

Security level 1 paper shredders are the least secure cut on the DIN 32757 security level scale. These shredders cut paper into 3/8-inch strips (10.5mm) or 3/8-inch x 1-1/2 to 3 1/8-inch (10.5mm x 40-80mm) cross cut particles. This is almost the same security level you would get cutting a document up with scissors. Very few shredders are built to this low a security level anymore.

The highest security level is a level 6. These types of paper shredders cut documents into 1/32-inch by 5/32-inch  (1mm x 4-5mm) particles or smaller. Security level 6 is not an officially accepted security level by the Deutsche Industrial Norm DIN 32757 and was created by the U.S. Government.

Using any paper shredder is still better than none, but be sure your paper shredder is a security level 3 or higher to keep your sensitive information safe. For more questions on paper shredders, please contact Office Zone.

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Paper Folding Machines: Just The Basic Facts

Posted by: admin on November 11th, 2008

At some point in your life you have probably sat down to a table for a paper folding party. This usually involves a group of employees, or interns, grabbing stacks of printed paper and folding them for mailing or distribution. This can usually take several hours to a few days, depending on the amount of paper to be folded. Usually you end up with a lot of crooked folds and several paper cuts.

An invention was created several years ago to remedy this problem. It is commonly referred to as a paper folder. It is a machine that uses a combination of a motor and folding plates to fold the paper for you. Paper folders range in size from manual setup to fully automated machines. Desktop paper folders are compact machines, usually smaller than a printer that administrative assistants and other employees can Paper Folderuse to occasionally fold paper. Although not designed for mass paper folding, they are great for sending out occasional letters. These paper folders usually cost no more that a few hundred dollars.

Friction-feed paper folders use rubber rollers to grab paper, pull it into the machine and fold it. These paper folders range in size and capabilities, but are all much faster than manually folding paper. Friction-feed paper folders use two folding plates. These plates can be adjusted to accommodate various folds, from letter and Z folds to single and gate folds.

Friction feed paper folders are broken down into manual, semi-automatic and automatic. The manual paper folders require the folding plates to be adjusted by hand. This usually involves loosening a few thumbscrews and sliding folding plates for the fold being done. The semi-automatic paper folders still require some manual setup, but an indicator light or control panel makes it easier to select the fold. The fully automatic paper folders adjust themselves after you enter the desired fold on the control panel.

Friction-feed paper folders do not work well with glossy paper as the rollers can sometimes slip on the slick surface causing a paper jam. This is where pneumatic (air-feed) paper folders come into play. Pneumatic paper folders us an air compressor to help suck paper through the machine. Pneumatic paper folders are great for high volume paper folding and the folding of slick/glossy paper.

Although paper folders are a great way to fold paper, many businesses have a hard time justifying the cost. Paper folders range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the type. If your business does fold a lot of paper by hand, remember that you are paying employees for time they could otherwise be doing other work. Most find that after a year or two, the paper folder has paid for itself.

Paper folders are a must-have part of almost any business. For answers to more paper folder questions, you may contact Office Zone.

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Shrink Wrap Machines Aren’t Just For CDs

Posted by: admin on November 10th, 2008

Shrink wrapping products used to be something only found in a factory or industrial warehouse. Shrink wrap machines were huge cumbersome machines that required several people to operate. This is no longer the case. Shrink wrap machines are now available for small business and individual use. These machines are inexpensive and shrink film is cheaper than ever.

Shrink Wrap SystemShrink wrap machines used to be traditionally used for packaging CDs and DVDs. It was also used to package software boxes, tapes and other items. While shrink wrap can still be used to package CDs and DVDs, shrink wrap can also be used to package old documents, invoices, gift baskets, soap and much more.

There are now two main types of shrink wrap machines available. These are known as I-bar and L-bar shrink wrap machines. Both machines are relatively easy to set up. I-bar machines are typically designed for low to mid-volume shrink wrapping and L-bar sealers are designed for mid to high-level shrink wrapping.

I-bar sealers utilize a single sealing bar. This single bar is brought down in order to cut the film. It usually takes about three passes to fully seal a product with film. Once the film is cut around the product, a heat gun is used to shrink the film.

L-bar sealers use an L shaped sealer bar that cuts the film around a package in one single pass. This makes packaging extremely fast. Once the package is sealed with film, it can be shrunk using a heat gun or can be shrunk even faster with a heat tunnel. Many L-bar sealers now come with a built-in heat tunnel.

There are two types of shrink film that can be used with shrink wrap machines. These are PVC and Polyolefin film. PVC film has been around a while and is traditionally used to package CDs and DVDs. PVC film is more brittle and emits more odor when shrunk. PVC cannot be used with food.

The newer, and now more popular, Polyolefin film is more stretchy than PVC film. It is safe to use with food and costs about the same as Polyolefin film. Polyolefin film emits little odor and is safe to shrink indoors. PVC film and Polyolefin can both be used with most shrink wrap machines.

If you previously thought shrink wrap machines were not a viable option for you, you should reconsider and look at the wide variety of shrink wrap available today.

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Cassida Corporation: Exclusive Interview With Office Zone

Posted by: Morgan on November 7th, 2008

Cassida LogoWe recently had the opportunity to visit with Sanjar Ataev from Cassida Corporation and ask him a few questions about his company and products. Cassida is a relatively new vendor to Office Zone and offers an impressive variety of bill counting, counterfeit detection, and coin counting machines. Here’s what he had to say …

Q: Where is Cassida Corporation located?

A: We are located in Portland, Oregon.

Q: How long have you been in business?

A: We have been in business for 11 years. Cassida is an international brand with an established market presence in Asia, Europe and North America.

Q: What makes the Cassida product line stand out from the competition?

A: We offer high performance products at low prices and provide outstanding customer and technical support. Our products can also be tailored to meet a customer’s specific requirements, such as those related to foreign currencies, checks, and other controlled documents.

Q: What is your best-selling model and why?

A: Our product offerings are streamlined – several good selling lines that are well-positioned in their respective markets. As a result, these products sell equally well.

Q: Briefly describe the research, development of your product line.

A: Based on the feedback of both our customers and responsiveness to market trends, we continuously improve our products. We also strive to anticipate customers’ demands and provide cost-effective and reliable products.

Q: Do you have any new products that you plan to unveil for 2009? If so, what are they?

A: We are proud to introduce several new products within the next six months: an automatic counterfeit detector, a coin counter and two currency counters. We are especially proud of a new currency counter line we will be introducing during the second half of 2009. This counter will have a revolutionary counting mechanism and make currency counting more efficient and convenient. I am not able to disclose any additional information about this product, but I would be happy to [offer] details about the product as we move closer to the launch date.

Q: Anything else you’d like to mention about Cassida Corporation?

A: We recognize that cash handling can be a difficult and monotonous task. With this in mind, our machines are designed to accommodate the end user. We have achieved this by incorporating all functions and features a customer may need yet keeping our machines simple to operate. We also pay particular
attention to the design of our products so they are not just currency handling machines but eye-pleasing assistants that one enjoys working with.