Archive for January, 2009
Posted by: Morgan on January 29th, 2009
I had a customer call the other day looking for a paper folding machine. She insisted on purchasing one that did a good job of folding her documents and, most importantly, exiting the documents in order. The Formax FD 380 Automatic Paper Folder immediately came to mind.
We have a model FD 380 paper folder on our showroom floor. We use it for live video demonstrations. The one feature of the 380 that has impressed me over its other features is the conveyor-style exit tray that keeps folded documents in order. This picture pretty much tells the whole story.
As you can see, hundreds of letters may be folded and exited from the machine in order. The Formax FD 380 has a convenient exit tray and rather long conveyor located on the right side of the machine. This makes it easy to gather up folded documents in exactly the order they came out of the machine.
If folding and keeping documents in a specific order is important to your next paper folding job, then be sure to keep the FD 380 paper folder in mind. Be sure to contact Office Zone for more information today.
Posted by: Morgan on January 22nd, 2009
Are comb binding machines becoming a thing of the past? We’ve noticed over the years that demand for comb binders has slightly decreased. Spiral or coil binding is certainly a popular binding method today, along with wire binding. However, there’s still a healthy demand for these easy-to-use and affordable binding machines.
Who still uses a comb binding machine? Well, school teachers for one like the advantages of using a comb binder. They tell us they like comb binding machines because they can easily punch an bind documents. And it’s a snap to pull off the plastic binding comb and insert or take away pages. Comb binding machines will also save you a lot of money. The CB-110 Comb Binding machine from Sircle Corp., for example, is inexpensive and offers a professional document binding solution. It’s lightweight and can be easily transported to just about any location.
There are some drawbacks to comb binding. The most obvious is the quality or appearance of the bind. Binding combs just don’t look as professional or durable as a wire or coil bound document. Comb bond documents can also easily become unbound if the comb accidentally becomes snagged on something.
But dollar for dollar, comb binding is still a popular binding method used today from school environments to businesses.
Be sure to read more about comb binding at our Comb Binding Machine FAQ page.
Posted by: Morgan on January 20th, 2009
You can easily count large stacks of bills, whether worn or new, in seconds with the ABC 1150 Ultra bill counting machine. This unique currency counter offers the latest in bill counting technology, including advanced counterfeit detection features. The 1150 Ultra’s built-in ultraviolet (UV) and magnetic (MG) detectors immediately tell you if a counterfeit bill is present. This saves you time, effort, and most importantly money.
Ultra Violet Light Detection
Counterfeiting today is easily accomplished with the aid of a color photocopier. Fake money created by a color copier or color printer results in an image that rests on the surface of paper, easily be seen when UV light is flashed over it. Tiny particles of toner printed outside the image are also easily detected with a UV light. The ABC 1150 Ultra bill counter and counterfeit detector has a built-in UV detection light. If a counterfeit bill is inserted into a stack of legitimate currency, the 1150 Ultra will stop and tell you that the note is counterfeit.
Paper money issued in the U.S. is printed with magnetic components. Some foreign currencies and travelers checks are also printed with magnetic ink. The Magnetic or MG detector built into the ABC 1150 Ultra is capable of detecting the magnetic components in money. When a detector does not sense the magnetic component, an alarm will sound and the machine will stop, letting you know the money is most likely counterfeit.
Counterfeit detection is designed to work with U.S. currency, but will work with many currencies from other countries. The ABC1150 Ultra is may also be used to count retail coupons, movie theater tickets and other similar items as well. Be sure to contact Office Zone for more information on the ABC 1150 Ultra and other money counting machines.
Posted by: admin on January 13th, 2009
With a downturn in the economy, now officially labeled as a recession, some people are being driven to do things they otherwise wouldn’t have. What is this? Many people are turning to an increasing trend known as shoplifting. Not making it right, many people who are scraping around to get by in life are now “taking” what isn’t theirs to begin with. This spells out big trouble for retailers. Some businesses have even gone out of business as a result. What can they do to curb this?
What many retailers and businesses are doing is utilizing the technology at hand, such as security cameras and shoplifting prevention gates, to battle this crime. Using a carefully planned cocktail of security equipment, shoplifting can be stopped in its tracks. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
The first piece of equipment you will need is a security camera. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a high-resolution camera. An inexpensive black and white model can be very effective. You can purchase a bullet camera or a dome camera to start with. Keep the cameras in plain site. Often times seeing a camera is enough to stop the crime before it begins.
Dome cameras use a tinted dome to prevent people from seeing exactly where the camera is pointed. This is advantageous by making an area seem better surveyed than it really is. Pick the most “hot” area of your store. This could be electronics, food, or wherever your highest ticket items are stored. This is a good place to start. Money permitting, try to put a camera in every corner possible, thus increasing the view and your ability to monitor the store.
Many people are intimidated by the idea of installing a camera. It is not as complicated as one may think. If you are able to hook up a DVD player, a gaming console or a stereo, you can probably hook up a camera. It is simply a matter of attaching a video and power cord and mounting the camera. Audio is an option for some cameras as well. If you are unable to run line through the ceiling of your business, many wireless options are available.
If you are only installing a single camera, a TV/monitor and recording device is all you’ll need. If you are installing more than one camera, which most people will, you will need to use a multiplexer. A multiplexer is an input device that you attach all your cameras to. The multiplexer then displays all cameras on one single monitor, allowing you to view all cameras at once or cycle between cameras. Similar devices are also available, known as switchers and quads.
Recording the video depends on your budget. On the low end, some businesses will hire someone to view the monitors, but none of the data is recorded. The next level up would be using a VCR. This allows businesses to record data, but you are limited to 8 hours maximum time. Next are the time-lapse video recorders. These are similar to VCRs, but use special tapes and technology that allow them to record video for dozens of hours.
At the top of the line are the digital video recorders (DVRs) that record the video onto a hard drive. Data on a DVR is easy to access and can record dozens and sometimes hundreds of hours of video, depending on the model. Many DVRs now have multiplexers built right into them, allowing businesses to attach cameras right to the DVR.
Security cameras are important parts of any business’s successful operation, especially in an environment such as we find ourselves in now. Contact Office Zone for more information on security cameras.
Posted by: admin on January 9th, 2009
When you think about a letter opener, what comes to mind? A knife? A pair of scissors? Your hand? All the above would be correct for many people, but times have changed …. a lot. In the digital age, it is hard to believe that many of us are still opening letters the same way our grandparents used to. Modern machines are now available to make letter opening fast and efficient.
The 21st century was supposed to be a paperless age. With the invention of the computer, the Internet and e-mail, paper shouldn’t even exist, right? At least that is the way it was supposed to be. In case you haven’t noticed, you are probably receiving more letters, credit card applications and mail than ever before. Paper usage isn’t decreasing, but rather increasing.
Letter openers are now more automated and require little manual use. They have even put motors on these things. Motorized, electric-powered letter openers will make a short order of any envelope. They are capable of taking a stack of letters and cutting them open, making the contents inside easily accessible.
Just because a letter opener is powered doesn’t mean it has to be huge or exclusive to a mailroom. Martin Yale makes a model called the 1624 that retails for under $25 that fits in the palm of your hand. As soon as the letter opener detects paper, its slitter kicks into action and opens the envelope.
If you are in a mailroom, some letter openers are capable of opening up to 20,000 envelopes per hour. Imagine — how many people you would have to hire to open the same amount of envelopes by hand? Although powerful, these envelope openers do not take up a warehouse of space. Many can easily sit on a desk or counter for convenient use.
If you’re a small to mid-size business, you can probably benefit from an automated electric letter opener. Although you may not need a large mailroom-style letter opener, there are many letter openers that are designed to handle an average volume of mail with room to grow.
Remember the U.S. elections of 2000 and the famous references to hanging chad? The term “chad” was not a made-up fictional term. It is real and has made its way into the letter-opening world. Many letter openers now feature “chadless” operation. This means that when the letter is opened, no waste paper is left behind. A precision blade slices just deep enough into the envelope to open it, leaving the contents unscathed.
Regardless of whether you need a letter opener for home or business use, these amazing devices will save you time and money. Contact Office Zone for more information on letter openers.
Posted by: Morgan on January 8th, 2009
When it comes to paper shredder reviews, most look about the same. You typically read a report from somebody who hasn’t really tried any of the models.
They often base their report on the most popular models sold. While this information may be helpful, most people looking for a dependable paper shredder want to know more. For example: How long will a specific paper shredder model last me? How much paper can I shred at once? How noisy is it? How often will I have to empty the shredder bag?
We took a different approach with the following paper shredder review. We examined paper shredders that we’ve actually been using in our offices here at Office Zone. We obviously use several paper shredders, but the following three models seem to be the favorites of our office staff (and several of our customers).
Kobra 260 Strip Cut (S4)
Office Zone price: $1,317
Our Kobra 260 sits right next to the printer in our sales department. This machine is about six years old and still runs as well as the first day we go it. It’s built with hardened steel gears and a strong metal chain drive for durable, reliable paper shredding. There are actually four Kobra 260 model versions, two strip cut (S2, S4) and two cross cut (C2, C4). We use the strip cut. Both the S4 and C4 models will shred credit cards and CD’s with ease. This has been a very dependable shredder over the years. The only complaint is the fact that this is a strip-cut model and the shred bag has to be emptied at least once a week.
HSM 411.2 Cross Cut Departmental Paper Shredder
Office Zone price: $3,828
The HSM 411.2 Cross Cut shredder is simply a shredding monster! We’ve enjoyed the use of this shredder for a few years now and it’s amazingly quiet for such a high-capacity, durable shredder. It will quickly shred invoices, receipts and other sensitive information. You can stick 35 sheets of paper in this shredder and it won’t even bog down. This one’s the favorite of our accounting department too. They use the model 411.2 for shredding literally hundreds of invoices a month.
The 411.2 is available in both a cross cut and strip cut design. Ours is cross cut. The steel cutting blades shred through paper clips and staples. Its 41-gallon waste container means changing out the shred bag is a rare occurance.
Formax FD 8400 CC
Office Zone price: $1,614
The Formax 8400 CC paper shredder is also an office favorite. We’ve used and abused ours for about four years. This is a level three security shredder. That means it takes quite a while for these small particles to fill up the shredder’s bin. The Formax models have a cool LED control panel that makes their shredders easy to operate. You can easily shred up to 20 pages at once with the FD 8400 cross cut model.
We can honestly say that all three of these models run smooth and are anything but noisy. Some cross cut shredders are rather loud, but the two models reviewed here operate on the quiet side.
Be sure to contact Office Zone for all of your paper shredder needs.
Posted by: admin on January 7th, 2009
Using paper shredders is a good practice and a good habit to get into. It is no secret that paper shredders are great for destroying sensitive information and protecting one’s identity. That being said, some paper shredders do a better job of shredding paper than others. The biggest difference is the size of the shredded paper after the process is done.
While answering a few questions in Yahoo! Answers the other day, I came across someone asking the question, “Is it OK if I use scissors to cut up credit card applications?” I almost let out a gasp of disbelief. I then went on to post my own answer to the question. It went something like this.
Cutting up a credit card application, or other paper material, with scissors is certainly better than nothing, but will not give you adequate protection from identity theft. Paper cut with scissors is relatively easy to put back together if one has the time. Most criminals won’t bother, but some will.
There are actual documented cases of credit card applications being taped back together, filled out, sent in and accepted! To put it in simple terms, tearing or cutting up sensitive information does not work.
I then went on to explain proper document destruction. Documents that contain any information you don’t want others to see should be shredded, using an electric-powered paper shredder. Not only should you use a paper shredder, but it should also be a cross cut shredder (also known as confetti cut or particle cut shredders).
Strip cut paper shredders just don’t cut it (excuse the pun). Strip cut shredders cut paper into ¼ and sometimes 1/8-inch strips of paper. These strips, although much more difficult than scissor-cut paper, can be re-assembled. Iranian basket weavers proved this after the U.S. embassy was overrun in the 1970s. Secure government documents were re-assembled and ended up being very legible. You can actually read some of these re-assembled documents on Wikipedia.
In a nutshell, cross cut shredders are the only way to go. The blades in the shredder head cut the paper in two different directions, both horizontal and vertical. There is still a wide variety of different cross cut shredders based on the size of the particle. This is usually referred to as the security level of a paper shredder.
I recommend going with a security level of three or higher. Levels five and six are for high security shredding and are usually unnecessary for home or office use. Be aware that the smaller the particle, the fewer sheets that can be shred at any given time due to stress put on the blades and motor.
Paper shredders should be used on a regular basis, whether at home or in the office. Contact Office Zone for more information on paper shredders.
Posted by: admin on January 6th, 2009
Time clocks are a necessity for any business with employees. They are used to keep track of time worked, overtime, payroll and more. There are a wide variety of time clocks available, ranging from manual punch clocks to electronic card-swipe time clocks. Some can be integrated into a computer network and export data to payroll software such as ADP, Paychex, QuickBooks, Excel, and more. The latest industry trend is biometric time clocks.
What are biometric time clocks? They are time clocks that use a biological piece of an employee to sign in and out of work. This usually involves a fingerprint or a hand. There are currently no retinal scanning time clocks on the market at this time. Biometric time clocks can be used for small or large businesses.
As mentioned earlier, biometric time clocks are growing in popularity. This isn’t simply because they use the latest in technology or because they are “cool,” although there is some wow factor involved. This is because they use a unique identifier to log an employee in and out of work. There is no need to print a special card or use a traditional punch card.
Employees have their finger or hand scanned into a computer, using the biometric time clock, where employee information is associated with that unique scan. From that point forward the employee can log in and out of work using their finger or hand. This is not only convenient for the employee, but also for the employer.
Another big benefit of using biometric technology for a time clock is the complete elimination of buddy punching. What is buddy punching? It occurs when a friend or fellow employee punches in and out of work on behalf of another employee. The biometric time clock ensures that an employee is only being paid for work “they” are doing and cuts down, if not completely eliminates, buddy punching fraud.
There are currently a couple of well-known manufacturers who make biometric time clocks. The first is Pyramid Technologies (PTI). They make a model called the Time Trax Bio that uses a finger swipe to log in and out of work. Another manufacturer is AcroPrint who makes a model called the HandPunch 1000, that uses an employee’s hand to log in and out of work.
Data accrued by the biometric time clock can usually be exported for use by other programs such as ADP, Paychex, QuickBooks, Excel, and more. This is very convenient and cuts down on errors and saves a lot of time. Time clocks are a necessary tool for any businesses or organization with employees. Biometric time clocks may be an option for you. Contact Office Zone for more information on time clocks.
Posted by: admin on January 5th, 2009
Shrink wrap machines and vacuum sealers have a lot in common. They both use plastic-based films to package and preserve products. They are also both widely used in the commercial food industry. Not surprisingly, they are also both made by the well-known manufacturer Minipack. While the name may not be as well known as Sony or Microsoft, Minipack is one of the best-known manufacturers in the packing industry.
Minipack is headquartered in Italy, where they are known as Minipack-Torre. Minipack became a big player in 1976 with the release of several chamber shrink wrap machines. Minipack’s U.S. headquarters is based out of California and is known as Minipack America. Minipack has made a name for themselves over the past 30+ years because their machines have proven to be durable and get the job done right the first time.
Minipack’s all-star shrink wrap team features the Minipack Digit series, Diva series and Sealmatic series of shrink wrap machines, which are designed for high-volume packaging of CDs, DVDs, boxes and more. Minipack is also very popular in the low to mid-volume shrink wrap market with the release of their Galaxy and Galileo machines, which are compact and easy to use.
Most of Minipack’s shrink wrap machines use an integrated “chamber” heat tunnel. This increases the speed of shrink wrapping by cutting the film around the product and shrinking the film in one single pass. Some of the higher-end machines feature custom programming, magnetic locks, waste film winder and more.
Minipack also manufactures a wide variety of vacuum sealers, ranging from more traditional external models to chamber vacuum sealers. The Minipack Fast Vac is designed for home and low-volume vacuum sealing where their MVS series are designed for high-volume vacuum sealing.
Vacuum sealers are used to package fish, beef, vegetables and more. Food is placed in a special bag after which the air is removed and the bag is sealed. Due to the lack of air, the shelf life of food is dramatically increased. Vacuum sealing is also used to prevent freezer burn by protecting the food inside.
Unlike many department store vacuum sealers, Minpack vacuum sealers are serviceable. This means if for any reason a part wears out, it can be replaced. There is no need to replace the entire machine. This is also the case with Minipack’s line of shrink wrap machines.
Shrink wrap and vacuum sealing machines from Minipack are a great choice for any business that packages products on a regular basis. Contact Office Zone for more information on Minipack shrink wrap machines and vacuum sealers.