Archive for August, 2009

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How Does The Fellowes TB-450 Thermal Binder Work?

Posted by: Morgan on August 31st, 2009

Question:

Our office is looking for a new binding machine, and we were wondering if you have more information about the Fellowes TB-450 Thermal Binder. Basically how does it work exactly, what would we need to buy extra (e.g. glue) and what constitutes “high volume binding” as its not suitable for that?

Answer:

The Fellowes TB-450 is a thermal binding machine. What this means is the machine uses heat and a special report cover with glue in the spine to bind your documents together. All you need to do is turn on the machine, wait a few minutes while it heats up and you’re ready to bind. You then insert your documents into the special report cover (a clear PVC front and solid colored back).

Next, you place the cover with the inserted sheets into the TB-450 Thermal Binder with the spine down. This is basically a hot plate that warms the glue. The machine will then let you know with an audible beep that the glue is sufficiently melted and stuck to the document pages. You then place your bound document in the cooling rack for a few minutes and you’re ready to bind again.

This is a fairly simple process, but please be aware that most thermal binding systems in this price range perform best with smaller documents. The machine is indeed rated to bind up to 700 sheets at a time, but from our experience it’s not recommended. There simply isn’t enough binding glue in the spine of the report cover to hold that many sheets together (a ream of paper alone has 500 sheets!).

However, if you plan to do some low-volume binding and you want to create a nice, professional presentation, then thermal binding with the Fellowes TB-450 Thermal Binder is definitely the way to go.

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How To Easily And Affordably Insert Folded Letters, Brochures And Reply Envelopes

Posted by: Morgan on August 28th, 2009

Question:

We are looking at possibly purchasing an envelope stuffer/folding machine. We would ideally be looking for a machine that can do the following: Fold 8.5 x 11 and 8.5 x 14 inch letters, insert into envelopes. We are looking for something that could also insert brochures or reply envelopes as well — up to 3 inserts per envelope.

So basically, a machine that would take our brochure, our letter (and fold it) and a reply envelope and insert it all into another envelope. Please let me know if your company provides such a machine and what the least expensive one would be. Given that we are a non-profit company, our budgets are very minimal for these sorts of projects.

Answer:

We highly recommend the Formax FD 6202 Advanced 2 paper folder/inserter. It features an impressive folding system that folds up to five sheets of 20 lb. bond paper at a time. It has the power and features of some of the larger, more expensive models in its class, but is still easy to use. The FD 6202-Advanced model 2 will handle the requirements of your job. It has two automatic sheet feeders and a single insert/business reply envelope feeder. Take a closer look at the Formax FD 6202 Advanced 2 paper folder/inserter today!

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What Is The Best Spiral Coil Binding Machine?

Posted by: Morgan on August 27th, 2009

When customers contact us looking for a new binding machine, we’re often asked: “What’s the best spiral coil binding machine out there?” I hate to play favorites here, especially since we feature several reputable brands, but the one machine I typically recommend without hesitation is the Akiles CoilMac-ECI.

This is one of our select Customer Choice products. That means this binding machine earned that coveted label due to its excellent performance track record and reliability. This may sound like marketing puffery, but it’s indeed true. Akiles binding machines a heavier, and overall more rugged than most binding machines in their class. That’s because the outer casing, and most of the moving parts, are made of sturdy metal.

We have lab tested the CoilMac-ECI and it actually can punch up to 17 sheets of 20-lb. bond paper at a time. Some binding machines perform at a lower level than advertised, but Akiles products live up to their specifications. This is a 4:1 pitch machine, meaning it punches four holes per inch in your document. This is the most common pitch on the market.

For a relatively low investment of $577, the CoilMac-ECI is a bargain. It also features a handy built-in coil inserter. Most models in this price range require a separate inserting unit, or you simply have to insert coils by hand. The CoilMac-ECI also features disengaging dies that enable more precise binding. That means no more half-hole punches at the ends of your documents.

Be sure to take a closer look at the Akiles CoilMac-ECI spiral coil binding machine today.

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New Product Test: Coin Counter/Sorter Model ABC110

Posted by: Morgan on August 26th, 2009

Yesterday I had the opportunity to test-drive the new ABC110 Coin Counter/Sorter. It’s an affordable machine ($192) equipped with a lot of useful features. My daughter had a large jar of assorted coins that she had planned to wrap and deposit at the bank. I told her not to bother with counting all those coins by hand, I had a machine at work that would do the job in just a few minutes.

This gave me the perfect opportunity to put the ABC110 to the test. After dumping $66.50 (according to the machine) worth of change in the machine’s hopper, I pressed the start button. I quickly realized that you need to be sure to align the coin tubes in the right slots, or you end up with loose change all over the table.

After placing the coin tubes in their respective positions, everything was finally ready to go. I then discovered that the ABC110 requires that you specifically tell it how many coins to drop into each tube. What I mean by this is you need to let the machine know that it must stop after dropping 40 nickels in the nickel tube, for example. This is how many nickels there are in a $2 paper coin wrapper. You simply do this by pressing the batch button, and continuing to press it until the desired coin denomination is found. You then press the plus or minus buttons until the desired number is found.

After a plastic coin tube is filled, the machine pauses until you empty it and press the start button. To fill a coin wrapper, you simply open up the paper wrapping, stick it into the opened end of the plastic tube full of coins and tip the coins into the wrapper. It’s as easy as that.

Be sure to find out more about the ABC110 Coin Counter/Sorter today.

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How Do You Make Business Cards Into Luggage Tags?

Posted by: Morgan on August 21st, 2009

Question:

We are going to a convention and are thinking of laminating business cards for luggage tags. The laminator needs to be durable and fast. I would like to know if you think the Akiles APL-100 Pouch Laminator would work for this purpose. I also need luggage tags with a slot pouch and the flexible plastic loop straps. Also, what mil would you recommend for this type of application?

Answer:

The Akiles APL-100, or Pro-Lam 100 pouch laminator will do just fine. This model has a four-inch wide opening and is ideal for laminating luggage tags, business cards, ID cards and more. Over the years, we have found Akiles products to be durable, reliable and made of high-quality materials. Their laminators are no exception. The APL-100 will handle your luggage tag job. It features a four-roller system that ensures a consistent, flat laminated surface. It also comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

We carry luggage tag lamination pouches with a slot and the flexible plastic luggage straps. The mil thickness I recommend for your application would be either a seven or 10 mil. This thickness of film creates a sturdy, long-lasting luggage tag.

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Most U.S. Paper Money Tainted With Cocaine: How You Can Reduce Contaminated Bills

Posted by: Morgan on August 19th, 2009

At the most recent National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, scientists reported that cocaine traces are found on up to 90 percent of paper money in the United States. Scientists tested banknotes from more than 30 cities in five countries, and found that  85-90 percent of the bills from U.S. and Canada were tainted with cocaine.

Fortunately, none of the drug traces were enough to generate health concerns, nor enough to make a person high. Money may become contaminated with cocaine during drug deals and through drug use. A lot of drug users snort coke through rolled dollar bills.

Cocaine contamination can then spread via the banknotes themselves when “clean” bills, those not involved in coke use or sales, are processed in currency counting machines. So what can a legitimate business do, especially one that handles cash on a frequent basis, to cut down on the exposure to all of this contaminated money?

Fortunately, Office Zone offers the Semacon 1450 bill counter. This impressive machine is equipped with a dust reduction system with fans and filters that reduce contaminants and particles, including cocaine residue. You can find further details about the Semacon 1450 bill counter here.

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Bookletmakers & Stack Cutters: How To Trim A Folded Booklet

Posted by: Morgan on August 17th, 2009

Question:

I work at an architecture firm and we are looking to produce our own booklets, and are looking into ways to trim the pages to get a clean professional edge. I was wondering if any of the booklet makers have ways to trim the pages once they have been folded. If you could get back to me with information on that, or if there are any other machines that you could recommend for achieving a clean, straight edge I would greatly appreciate it.

Answer:

If you’re producing a respectable amount of booklets, then I highly recommend the MBM Triumph 4205 guillotine stack paper cutter. The Triumph 4205 is easy to adjust and can easily cut through a thick stack of paper and is highly recommended for booklet trimming. This is one of the highest quality guillotine paper cutters that we offer. The Triumph 4205 paper cutter cuts paper to almost any size needed. It is one of our customer’s favorite paper cutters/trimmers.

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Protect Your Business With PVC Employee Photo ID Badges

Posted by: Morgan on August 14th, 2009

More businesses today are migrating their employee photo ID badges from older, traditional materials to newer easier-to-use substances such as PVC. A PVC ID card or badge is simply a slab of thin plastic that is roughly the same size as a credit card. Most come with rounded edges.

PVC photo ID badge cards are made of a 40 percent polyester core with aPVC Employee Photo ID Badges

PVC laminate, top to bottom. PVC cards feature a polished, scratch and debris-reduced, high-quality surface made to last for years.

Blank PVC cards can then be loaded into digital photo ID printers that can print, on four-color, a employee’s photograph and key information such as a clearance number.

Some cards are available with a magnetic stripe or mag stripe, on the back. This is similar to the dark magnetic stripe on the back of your debit or credit card. This area can be encoded with an employee’s information, or other key data. Be sure to take a look at Office Zone’s wide selection of PVC photo ID card badge materials today.

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Product Review: The Cardmate Business Card Cutter

Posted by: Morgan on August 12th, 2009

The maker of the CardMate business card cutter claims you can cut to size 60 business cards in 60 seconds, but is this really the case? The Cardmate is a low-cost, lightweight unit that can be easily moved and small enough to sit on your desk.

To use the CardMate, you simply print out your business cards on 8-1/2 x 11-inch sheets of paper, preferably business card stock. Then use the manual hand crank to pull the paper through. As the paper moves through the machine, it is initially cut in long strips. After only two passes through the machine, you can quickly create standard sized business cards.

So, can you really create 60 business cards in 60 second? We tested our demo model and yes, you most certainly can attain that number, given everything is in place and you have some experience with the machine. If you hand out business cards on a frequent basis, we’ve found that the CardMate business card cutter pays for itself in very little time.

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How To Fix An Automatic Paper Folding Machine

Posted by: Morgan on August 7th, 2009

Here’s a quick paper folding machine tip that will save you time and a lot of frustration. One thing to keep in mind when first unpacking your new paper folding machine is the importance of correctly installing the folding plates.

The folding plates are the two critical components of the machine that fold the paper to the desired specifications. Most manufacturers design their machines in a way that you must install both the upper and lower folding plates. There are a few execeptions, of course, but most machines come without the folding plates installed.

When installing the folding plates, make sure they are inserted and mounted properly. The best way to do this is to take a look at the underside of the plate to ensure that the plate’s mounting notches are resting entirely on the mounting knobs. If not, then your machine will not perform correctly. This little troubleshooting tip will save you a lot of frustration and worry. We have found over the years that 90% of paper folding machine issues are related to improper installation of the folding plates.

For more information on automatic paper folders, be sure to visit our paper folding guide or contact one of our customer service reps today.