Archive for February, 2009


Formax Spotlight: Exclusive Interview With Eric Flinton, Vice President of Sales

Posted by: Morgan on February 25th, 2009

We recently had the opportunity to visit with Eric Flinton, Vice President of Sales with Formax. We asked Eric a few questions about his company and in particular Formax’s shredder line. Formax markets a wide range of products including: paper folder-inserters, paper folding machines, forms bursters, check Formax Logosigners, letter openers, commercial-grade shredders and several other business machines.

Q: How long has Formax been in business?

Founded in 1984 in Dover NH, Formax is celebrating our 25th year in business.

Q: What makes the Formax shredder line stand out from the competition?

A return to dedicated, quality construction. From our metal cabinets, high density plastic bins, heavy duty motors and powerful metal gearing our shredders are built to be your last.

Q: What are some of your more popular models and why?

Our FD8702 multimedia shredder is popular due to its dedicated CD/DVR/Media compartment in combination with a paper capacity of 40+ sheets cross cut. Also our FD8600 shredder is a great Formax FD 8702departmental shredder capable of handling up to 30 sheets at once and offers the optional EvenFlow auto oiler.

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

Formax was the first US office shredder supplier to introduce the use of a Visual Load Indicator to assist operators with jam prevention. We’re proud to say it’s becoming mainstream and have taken imitation as flattery. In the past year we’ve incorporated load indicators, simple LED control panels, and auto cleaning functions to our conveyor–fed high volume shredders. This is our typical process, develop the innovation, introduce it to our office shredders and steadily upgrade the entire line.

Q: Do you have any new products that you plan to unveil in the coming months? If so, what are they?

We’ve been working diligently on a true auto-feeder for our departmental shredders. Simple to use so an office worker can stack their documents onto the feeder and have the option of walking away while it shreds the stack. We hope to see it in ’09 as we continue to refine it.

Q: Anything else you’d care to mention about Formax?

We are proud of the quality and durability of our shredders. We encourage readers to view web videos at Office Zone to see first-hand what separates Formax shredders from other manufacturers.

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Laminator Reviews

Posted by: Morgan on February 19th, 2009

Five Laminators We Recommend

When you read most product reviews, laminator reviews in particular, you’re typically reading promotional material straight from the manufacturer. We tried to take a different approach here with the following laminator review. We chose four laminators, both pouch and roll varieties, we’ve personally tried and tested — some for over five years.

Your results may vary, but we have been quite pleased with the overall performance of the following laminators. If you happen to own any of these models, feel free to let us know if your experience has been the same as ours.

Banner American ValueLam 4500

ValueLam 4500When you walk through the front doors of our Office Zone home office location, the first thing to greet you is an enormous, wide-format ValueLam 4500 laminator. But don’t let its intimidating looks deceive you; this is actually a low-priced, low-maintenance machine. Its high-capacity dimensions let you perform laminating and mounting jobs up to 44-inches wide.

We’ve experienced nothing but clean, professional results with our ValueLam 4500. In fact, we recently laminated a ¼-inch foam-board mounted full-color poster with the ValueLam and the results were impressive. The colors on the poster became significantly more vibrant and made an overall more eye-catching image.

GBC Pinnacle 27 EZ Load

Pinnacle 27 EZ Load LaminatorThe thing we like best about the GBC Pinnacle 27 EZ Load is the simple fact that it’s easy to load! That’s a common complaint or hassle with roll laminators — it’s so darned tricky to load the film. The Pinnacle 27 is capable of laminating things up to 27-inches wide. This easy-to-operate roll laminator features unique roll lamination cartridges that are easy to put on and take off the machine. This laminator quickly warms up in about 10 minutes.

Sircle Corp. SircleLam LA-330

The SircleLam LA-330 is a relatively new pouch laminator on the market. It uses both hot shoe and heating plate technology and a total of four-rollers. What does this mean? It means that this laminator may be used with photographs and other temperature-sensitive documents. This can be used in a school, the office or at home. The LA-330 features a back-to-front feeding style.

SircleLam LA-330This laminator takes hardly any time to warm up, approximately three-minutes. It has an LED indicator that lets you know when it’s fully heated. It also has a feature that most pouch laminators to not have – a reverse button. This does not un-laminate your document, but it will help you back out a mis-fed item or prevent a possible jam.

Banner American PL12A

We decided to leave the best for last. The PL12A is simply a high-quality, high-volume, industrial-strength pouch laminator. Its independent heat and motor control system lets you leave the machine on stand-by (heat ready) for hours at a time without hurting the motor. This means you can instantly re-start laminating at any time.

The PL12A pouch laminator has a 12″ mouth — ideal for most jobs. Over the years, our customers have used the PL12A laminator to laminate: restaurant menus, maps, promotional signs, legal-sized documents,PL12A Pouch Laminator certificates, photo ID’s, luggage tags, photographs, scrapbook items and more.

The PL12A was constructed with long-lasting metal gears and a powerful motor that extends the laminator’s life. Its four-roller lamination system provides a clear, professional finish. The machine also has a temperature-control knob on the bottom of the chassis. This helps you fine-tune your lamination to achieve the best-looking laminated result possible.

Be sure to contact Office Zone for all of your laminator needs.


Your Shrink Wrap Questions Answered

Posted by: Morgan on February 13th, 2009

Here is a list of the most common shrink wrap questions received from our customers. If you want to learn more about shrink wrap film; or perhaps you’re in the initial stages of looking for a shrink wrap machine, Shrink Wrap Machinethe following information may be just what you are looking for.

What exactly is shrink wrap?

Shrink wrapping, or shrink wrap is the process of using plastic shrink wrap film, PVC or Polyolefin, to typically package a product for preservation or retail sale.

What is shrink wrap film made of?

Shrink wrap film is made from either PVC or Polyolefin plastic. Both films are commonly used. The type of film used is typically a matter of preference and job requirements.

Is shrink wrap film safe?

PVC film does emit a somewhat pungent odor that some people find mildly disagreeable, and it is certainly not safe for use with food. We highly recommended you use PVC film in a well-ventilated room. Polyolefin shrink wrap film emits hardly any fumes and is approved for use with food.

How long does it take to shrink wrap an item?

This entirely depends on what you need to package, and the type of shrink wrap machine you are using. For example, shrink wrapping a typical music CD or DVD box will take anywhere from a few seconds to several seconds.

What is an I-Bar sealer?

An I-Bar sealer is simply a shrink wrap machine. It has a single bar that cuts shrink wrap film around a I-Bar Sealerproduct. I-Bar sealers are often referred to as straight bar sealers. They are typically used in conjunction with a heat gun or a heat shrink tunnel. I-Bar sealers are basically used for low- to mid-volume shrink wrapping jobs.

What is an L-Bar sealer?

An L-Bar sealer machine features a square-shaped bar that has an L-shaped wire that cuts shrink wrap film around a package. This machine helps you cut film around a package in a single pass of the L-Bar. L-Bar sealers are typically used with a heat shrink tunnel.

What is a shrink wrap heat gun?

The heat gun shrinks the film around a package or other item. It looks very similar to a hair dryer. A heat shrink gun however creates a significant amount of more heat when compared to a hair dryer.

What is a shrink heat tunnel?

A heat tunnel is considered to be the fastest way to shrink film around a package. It quickly and evenly Shrink Wrap Tunnelapplies heat to the shrink wrap film. This entire process takes merely seconds.

What is the best shrink wrap machine on the market today?

This is a common question, but it would be unwise to label any one brand better than another. Most shrink wrap models have their positive as well as not-so-positive features. We have found that the Minipack and AIE brands are customer favorites, but that does not always mean they are the best shrink wrap machines to handle your specific needs.

What does shrink wrap film gauge mean?

This refers to the thickness of the shrink wrap film. The higher the film gauge number, the thicker it is. Most of our customers prefer a multi-use film such as 75 gauge.

Be sure to contact Office Zone for all of your shrink wrap questions.


Common Bill Counting Machine Questions And Answers

Posted by: Morgan on February 10th, 2009

The following is a listing of some of the more common bill counting questions from our customers. If you want to learn more about money counting machines, or are in the initial stages of looking for a bill counter, then this article may be helpful.

Do bill-counting machines determine the value of the bills counted?

Bill Counting MachineMost bill counters cannot determine the value of the bills counted. Most models count the total number of bills passing through the machine. The only bill counter we offer that will determine the value of the currency counted is the Shinwoo SB1000.

Do all bill counters include counterfeit detection?

Several bill counters include counterfeit detection, but not all. Most models count the currency, and if a fake bill is detected the machine stops. The most common counterfeit detection features built into a bill counting machine are Ultraviolet (UV) and Magnetic (MG) detection.

What is bill size detection?

When counting money, the size detection feature on a bill counting machine will tell you if there are any size anomalies in the counted bills. This is simply another counterfeit detection measure.

What is MG detection?

MG is the acronym for magnetic. Bill counters with magnetic detectors sense the magnetic properties of ink printed on legal U.S. currency. With the MG detection feature enabled, the bill counter will inform you of a note lacking magnetic properties.

What is UV detection?

UV is the acronym for ultraviolet. Bill counters with ultraviolet detectors sense UV properties only found in legal notes. Bill counters with UV capabilities alert you of money lacking critical UV properties and identify it as counterfeit.

Will bill counters only count money?

Most bill counters will count tickets, coupons and other paper-based items. You simply need to determine the specifications of the bill counter and verify the minimum and maximum bill size the machine can handle. You should be OK if the item you need to count falls within those dimensions.

Is there any noticeable machine performance difference between counting new and used bills?

Bill counters will handle both new and used bills. The basic difference is most bill counters only count half as many used bills as new. This is because used, wrinkled, and folded bills take up more space than crisp new bills in the bill counter’s hopper.

Why are some bill counters equipped with a dust extraction system?

Bills, after they are handled and used for some time, collect all sorts of dirt and grime — including particles and dust. A dust extraction system is basically a vacuum that removes dust while bills are being counted. This feature is ideal for workers who suffer from allergies, or simply want to maintain a clean environment. You may be interested to know that many bills include traces of dust from various illegal narcotics that you will definitely want to eliminate.

Why do some counting machines have a dust shield?

The dust shield prevents particles and dust on the bills from filling the air. Once the machine is finished counting a stack of money, the dust shield will open for removal of the bills.

Are bill counting machines safe?

Other than normal electrical hazards, bill counters do not cause any serious physical harm. For obvious reasons, you would not want children using a bill counting machine.

Are there any bill counting models that run on batteries?

There are some small, entry-level models that run on AC or DC power. The ABC V-30 is a good example of such a bill counter. Most low- and all mid- to high-volume bill counters cannot run on batteries due to higher power requirements.

Do you still have billing counting machine questions? Visit our Money Handling Guide, or contact Office Zone for your bill counting concerns and needs.


Lamination Film Questions? Perhaps We Can Help

Posted by: Morgan on February 6th, 2009

Almost every day, we receive questions from our customers, and potential customers, about lamination film. They want to know what thickness is best for their job, or why their laminated document didn’t turn out quite right. Below are a few common questions and answers we’ve found over the years to be the most Laminatorhelpful.

What lamination film thickness should I use?

Laminator film is measured in mils, or thousandths of an inch. The mil thickness you use depends on what you want to laminate, and how firm, or rigid, you want the laminated item to be.

For example, if you are laminating something printed on cardstock, a thicker film is not required. If you are laminating a document printed on 20-pound bond paper, you would use film that is somewhat thicker. The most commonly requested lamination film thickness we’ve seen over the years is 5mil lamination film.

The lamination film on my laminated document looks cloudy. Why?

If the lamination film appears cloudy, you are likely running your laminator at too low a temperature and need to crank things up. The cloudiness is un-melted lamination glue and film.

Why does my lamination film have ripples?

If the film coming out of your laminator has a rippled effect, your laminator is probably running too hot. Turn down the laminator temperature and those unsightly ripples should go away.

There are bubbles in my laminated document. How did this happen?

If you see bubbles in your laminated document, your laminator is definitely running too hot. The film will boil and bubble when the laminator is too hot. Turning down the temperature on your laminator should eliminate this problem.  Be sure to contact Office Zone with all of your lamination film questions.


Paper Counting Machines: Who Needs Them?

Posted by: Morgan on February 4th, 2009

Ever heard of a paper counting machine? There are a few varieties available today on the market. The one we highly recommend to our customers is the Max-Bantam Paper Counter from U.S. Paper Counters. The Max-Bantam may not look at all impressive on the outside, but it’s internal workings would impress even the most skeptical engineer. But I’ll spare you the boring details and simply let you know this machine is a Max-Bantammechanical wonder.

Most paper counters simply weigh a stack of paper and give you an estimate of how many pages there are in the stack. The Max-Bantam actually counts each and every single page. This is done by floating the stack of paper with a cushion of air while a small tab our counter flips through the stack of paper.

The process for counting a ream of 20 lb. bond paper takes merely seconds. The machine can also insert tabs of paper into the stack at selected intervals, if desired.

Who needs a paper counting machine? Most of our clients include print shops, commercial printers, and governments agencies, especially voting districts. We have customers who use paper counters for a wide variety of jobs including counting printed sheets, tickets, and paper voting ballots. You can find out more about paper counting machines here at Office Zone.