Archive for January, 2013

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Friction Feed or Air Feed Paper Folding Machine?

Posted by: Office Zone on January 30th, 2013

Paper Folding MachinesPaper folding machines (found here) are used by thousands of businesses to quickly fold letters, invoices, bills and other paperwork. These useful machines come in several different designs, depending on what is being folded. Regardless of the machine you purchase, it will use one of two feeding mechanisms; these being friction feed (found here) and air feed (found here). I would like to cover the two feeding methods and help you determine which is best for you.

I have personally used both feeding systems. They are both very easy to set up and are both easy to use. Friction feed is by far the most common you will find in use, but air feed still play a critical role with printing presses, printers and others who fold a lot of paper. Here is a basic definition of what each feeding system does:

Friction Feed – Friction feed paper folding machines use rubber wheels to pull paper into the machine for folding. The friction of the rubber wheel against the surface of the paper is what actually causes the paper to be pulled in. These wheels are usually centered on the middle of the paper. Friction wheels can range from one to three, depending on the design of the paper folding machine.

Because friction is the primary source of pulling the paper into the machine, these machines are not ideal for use with slick, glossy or coated paper. This is because the friction wheel will slip on the paper, much like a car tire on snow. This can result in a misfeed or a bad paper jam. If you would still like a friction-feed machine, and you are using coated paper, I recommend you send in a sample for testing.

Air Feed – Air feed machines use a pneumatic suction system to pull paper in for folding. As the air suction feeding system grabs the paper, it quickly pulls it in for folding. The air suction system used easily grabs standard, glossy, coated or slick paper. This makes air feed paper folding machines universally compatible with just about any paper surface. These machines are typically used for high-end industrial or commercial folding use or in businesses that need to fold thousands of pieces of mail per day. Most air-feed machines include their own pneumatic system and do not require the use of a separate air compressor.

COMMON QUESTIONS

Can a friction feed machine ever be used with glossy paper? Most friction feed machines do not handle slick or glossy paper well. For this reason, I generally recommend customers use an air-feed machine. Some of our manufacturers do have friction machines that can be used with some types of coated paper, but I recommend testing samples prior to purchasing a machine.

If air-feed machines are compatible with so many different types of paper, why aren’t all folding machines air feed? There are a few reasons for this. To begin with, air-feed machines are larger due to the technology used. This means they are not ideal for desktop use. They also cost more to buy and they typically generate more noise than a standard friction feed machine.

Which technology is better for folding invoices? A lot of it depends on the type of paper being used and how many sheets of paper you are folding per day. Friction feed machines are good for folding hundreds to thousands of sheets per day (depending on the model), where air feed machines are ideal for thousands to tens of thousands a day.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We have years of experience with these machines and would be more than happy to help answer your questions. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here. Thank you for reading.

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David-Link Biometric Time Clocks – A No-Brainer For Businesses

Posted by: Office Zone on January 24th, 2013

David-Link Biometric Time ClocksIf you need a time clock for your new business, need to replace a broken time clock or are simply looking to upgrade, you need to seriously consider using a David-Link biometric time clock (found here). Having used these time clocks myself, and considering the extremely low price point, I recommend these for just about any size business. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider buying one.

Here are just a few reasons why I highly recommend David-Link time clocks:

Price – When I say these time clocks are affordable, I’m not kidding. You simply are not going to find a comparable model with the same features for the same price. Keep in mind that all versions of the W-988 and W-1288 are equipped with biometric and pin technology. They all include software and they all make it possible to run reports and easily view data on hours worked.

Biometrics – Biometric technology, when implemented correctly, is one of the best features to have in a time clock. It stops buddy punching dead in its track. You literally have to be present to sign in and out of work. This also means you don’t have to worry about illegible time sheets, fraud, lost time badges and other quirks that make time clocks such a pain.

Unlike other biometric time clocks that require you to slide your finger and are plagued by temperature issues, the David-Link time clocks require that you simply touch the scanner. I have used PTI biometric time clocks that required me to slide my finger multiple times in order to work. I have thoroughly tested these time clocks and it reads my finger the first time, ever time.

Proximity Capabilities – The “P” versions of the David-Link time clocks also include the ability to read proximity cards. The “P” versions (W-988P / W-1288P) come with 10 proximity cards in the box, but additional cards may be ordered. If you don’t like biometrics, buy a “P” version and use it for its proximity card reading capabilities.

Huge Database Support – All of these time clocks have the ability to store up to 3,000 fingerprints and they can all hold up to 50,000 log records.

David-Link DLTMS Software – The software included with these time clocks allows you to run a variety of different reports and will even allow you to export the data into an Excel spreadsheet that can then be imported into many payroll programs such as Quickbooks.

USB & Network Integration – All versions of the David-Link time clocks come with a USB flash drive that can be used to download data to later be used with the David Link DLTMS software on a computer. All of these can also be directly connected to a computer with a USB cable and all can be wired into the local area network (LAN) via an Ethernet cable.

This diagram illustrates the connectivity capabilities of these time clocks:

David-Link Network & USB Capabilities

Remote Access – The W-1288PB has the ability to be accessed remotely over the Internet via another computer / laptop that is running the David Link DLTMS software. This is a huge plus as there is no monthly fee required to do this.

Included in the Box: These time clocks include the software, the biometric time recorder itself, a USB drive, a USB capable, a power adapter and include free tech support.

So what is the difference between all the versions of the David-Link time clocks? To begin with, the W-988 and W-1288 models are functionally the same. The only difference is the W-988 models have a monochrome white backlit screen, where the W-1288 use a full color TFT LCD with a more user friendly menu for navigation purposes. If the model is followed by a P, it has proximity card reading capabilities. If it is followed by a PB, it has proximity card reading and a battery backup. There you go! Here is a visual representation of the differences that may help better highlight what they can do:

Fingerprint
Identification
Additional RFID
Card Identification
Backup
Battery
LCD
Display Type
Port Forwarding for
Remote Access of
Attendance Reports
W-988 N/A N/A White Backlight N/A
W-988P N/A White Backlight N/A
W-988PB White Backlight N/A
W-1288 N/A N/A TFT LCD with more
user friendly menu
navigation
N/A
W-1288P N/A TFT LCD with more
user friendly menu
navigation
N/A
W-1288PB TFT LCD with more
user friendly menu
navigation

In conclusion, I just have to say that I highly recommend these time clocks. They really are a great value and the quality is very nice. If you have additional questions about these time clocks and the software they use, please give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. One of our Time Clock Specialists should be able to help you out. Have you used a David-Link time clock? Post your experience here as a comment! You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks here.

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Four of Our Best Foot Sealers for Sealing Bags

Posted by: Office Zone on January 22nd, 2013

Constant Heat Foot SealersIf you’re sealing a lot of bags for packaging purposes, and are in need of a good quality bag sealer (found here), there are several that we offer that may be a good option for your business. If you package a lot of products per day, and would like to have the freedom of a hands-free machine, you may want to consider using a foot-operated heat sealer. Foot operated bag sealers are affordable and help free up an extra hand for precision sealing. I would like to introduce you to a few different models.

Bag sealers, often referred to as heat sealers, come in a few different flavors. The two most common are constant heat and impulse. Constant heat sealers are always hot and generally cost a little less than impulse sealers. They still do a great job, but the operator has to be careful of the hot heating element. Impulse sealers only produce heat and seal the bag when needed. This makes them a little safer and a little more energy efficient. We offer foot sealers in both varieties.

Our two main manufacturers of these units are AIE (American International Electric) and SealerSales. Both are solid brands and their products have received well by our customers. Here are the four different foot sealer lines I would like you to consider for your business operations:

  1. KF-150CSTP 6" Foot SealerSealerSales KF-150CSTP (found here) – These guys came up with a very clever kit that combines their KF-150 hand sealer with a clamp and a weighted foot pedal connected with a chain. It allows you to mount the KF-150 to the side of a desk, table or bench. This foot sealer is pretty slick and very intuitive. This is a constant heat foot sealer, which means you will need to wait 5 to 15 minutes for it to fully warm up. The price isn’t bad either for a 6″ heat sealer.
  2. AIE FI Series Impulse Foot Sealer (found here) – This is a full blown foot sealer that includes a stand and the works. The FI sealers come in different sealing lengths ranging from 12″ up to 24″. They also come in different sealing widths, ranging from 2mm up to 5mm. These sealers are excellent for daily continuous use and are made from metal components for added durability.
  3. AIE CH Series Constant Heat Foot Sealers (found here) – These foot sealers uses constant heat to seal bags such as polycello, cellophane, aluminum foil, polyethylene and gusset bags. Using heated clamping jaws, the CH sealers quickly seal the open ends of bags shut. These sealers create a 5/8″ wide mesh patterned seal that is extremely resilient and long lasting. These sealers, depending on the model, range in sealing length from 8″ up to 24″. Using a hands-free design, the operator can easily insert the open end of a bag, press the foot pedal and quickly seal the bag shut.
  4. AIE FD Double Impulse ColdAIE FD Series Double Impulse Bag Sealers (found here) – If you like the convenience of an impulse sealer, but need something durable that can handle film up to 20 mils thick, you may want to consider the AIE FD impulse sealers. These sealers use two (top & bottom) impulse sealers to quickly seal gusset bags and other plastic materials shut. You can buy the FD foot sealers in 12″, 18″ and 24″ sealing lengths. These sealers include the stand, the sealer and the foot pedal. Each of these machines produce a thick 5mm seal, which holds up well for packaging purposes.

Regardless of the type of bags you are sealing, one of these convenient foot sealers should get the job done quickly and professionally. If you aren’t seeing what you need, or if you have additional questions about one of these foot sealers, please call us at 1-800-543-5454. We would love to help you out. If you already own one of these, please share your experience with us as a comment.

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Coil Binding Machines With Coil Crimping Pliers

Posted by: Office Zone on January 21st, 2013

Coil Binding Machines w/ Coil Crimping PliersCoil binding, in my opinion, is one of the best looking book binding formats around. Supplies are affordable, colors are diverse and the format is extremely durable. One critical part of the coil binding process is the coil-crimping pliers (found here). The only problem is that many models don’t include these pliers, meaning you have to purchase the pliers separately. So which coil binding machines include the coil-crimping pliers? I would like to provide you with a list.

So what are coil-crimping pliers? These are used to cut off excess coil and crimp the ends off to prevent the coil from spinning back out of the holes. These pliers look a lot like needle nose pliers. The benefit of coil crimping pliers, versus needle nose pliers, is that they cut and crimp the coil in a single pass. Once you figure out how they work, the pliers are actually very fast and effective.

So which brands and models include the pliers? I have found that pretty much all Akiles and all Intelli-Bind coil binding machines include the pliers. Here is a list of the models that do:

Manual Coil Binding Machines

  • Intelli-Bind IC210A (found here) – This is one of the least expensive coil binding machines on the market. It is basically a coil binding paper punch. Coils are manually inserted.
  • Intelli-Bind IC110 (found here) – This is one of the least expensive coil binding machines that includes an electric coil inserter. It is excellent for a home or small office.
  • Akiles Rubicoil Spiral Binder (found here) – This is a coil binding punch, which means it will punch the holes for your coil bound book but the supplies need to be manually spun through by hand.
  • Intelli-Bind IC210 (found here) – This is essentially the same machine as the IC210A, but includes an electric coil inserter. This helps speed up the binding process by quickly spinning coils through the punched holes. This is one of our most popular models.
  • Akiles iCoil 41 (found here) – This compact coil binding station is one of the newest models released by Akiles. It folds up and is very easy to store in a cabinet. It includes the punch, pliers, a small inserter and a foot pedal.
  • Akiles CoilMac-M (found here) – This coil binding punch features the quality Akiles is known for along with 5 disengageable punching pins. This model does not include an electric inserter.
  • Akiles iCoil 41+ (found here) – This machine is the same as the regular Akiles iCoil, but includes the Plus hole pattern. This is essentially an oval-size hole versus a circular hole. According to Akiles this makes the coils easier to insert and pages easier to turn.
  • Akiles Coilmac-M Plus (found here) – This is a coil punch that features the Plus oval-shaped hole pattern as well as 54 disengagable punching pins. It is a solid machine, but does not include an electric inserter.
  • Intelli-Bind IC310 (found here) – This is one of our best selling coil binding machines. It is popular because it includes a full width inserter, selectable punching pins, includes pliers and features a metal body design.
  • Intelli-Bind IC410 (found here) – This tough machine includes a nice leveraged punching handle, six selectable punching pins and a nice wide electric inserter. This machine features a durable metal body and is extremely sturdy.
  • Akiles CoilMac ER (found here) – This is the first of several Akiles machines that feature the metal body and an electric inserter. It features 5 disengaging dies as well as a compact coil inserter found on the top left of the machine.
  • Akiles CoilMac-ER Plus (found here) – This is the same machine as the standard ER, but includes the Plus oval punching dies and includes 54 selectable punching pins.
  • Akiles CoilMac-ECI (found here) – This is one of the most robust Akiles machines we offer that features a manual punch. It is made out of durable metal components and features a full width electric inserter.
  • Akiles CoilMac-ECI Plus (found here) – As is the case with the other “Plus” machines, this is an upgraded version of the standard ECI, which includes the oval-shaped punching pins and features 54 selectable punching pins.

Electric Coil Binding Machines

  • Intelli-Bind IC21E (found here) – This is by far the most cost effective coil binding machine that features an electric punch. On top of that, it also includes coil crimping pliers, an electric inserter and  46 disengageable punching pins.
  • Akiles CoilMac-EPI (found here) – Having used this machine myself, I can say that this is a beast of a binding machine. It is tough, easy to use and the electric motor really packs a punch. It also includes five selectable punching pins and a full width electric inserter. This is made to last for years.
  • Akiles CoilMac-EPI Plus (found here) – This is the Cadilac of coil binding machines. It is well built, looks nice and is excellent for high-volume coil binding. It features the oval-shaped Plus hole pattern and includes 54 fully disengageable punching pins.

When you take into account that coil crimping pliers can cost anywhere between $30 and $70, having them included with the machine is actually a huge value. If you have questions about any of these machines, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. Do you own one of these machines? Please post your feedback and experiences here as a comment. Thank you for reading!

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Featuers To Look For In A Pouch Laminator

Posted by: Office Zone on January 18th, 2013

Pouch LaminatorsAt Office Zone, we sell several different models of pouch laminators (found here). Some are designed for entry level use where others are ideal for commercial-level applications. So how do you know what kind of laminator you need and what features should you look for in a good laminator? I have over a decade of experience using laminators and would like to share a few features I would look for if I were shopping for a pouch laminator.

Keep in mind, these aren’t all going to be features you need in a laminator. If you need a laminator simply for home crafts and projects, many of these features won’t be necessary. If you are a business, however, and need to laminate a lot of stuff, many of these features will be critical.

  • Ample Width – One of the most important things to consider when buying a laminator is the maximum laminating width. I will just say you don’t want to get close to the maximum capacity on your laminator. I have spoken with many people who purchased an 11″ laminator to be used with an 11″ pouch. While technically (and on paper) it is possible, you are going to have so little clearance on the sides that you will have to feed the pouch in perfectly to avoid jamming issues. Be sure you have at least ¼” clearance on each side of the pouch.
  • Mil Capabilities – I like having the ability to laminate film up to 10 mils thick. If you are a business, you probably will too. If you’re a home user, something up to 5 mils will probably be sufficient. Just be sure you are aware of the mil thickness capabilities of the laminator before you purchase it. A laminator with a 5 mil capacity won’t be able to properly heat up and seal a 10 mil pouch.
  • Reverse Capabilities – I love having a reverse switch on my laminator. If you see the pouch is beginning to veer off course, it is very nice to be able to throw that laminator into reverse and back the pouch out before a catastrophic jam occurs. Without that reverse switch, you will end up having to shut the laminator off and open it up to remove the poorly fed pouch.
  • Independent Motor & Heat – If you use your laminator a lot, and want to prevent premature motor wear, you really need to have separate switches for the motor and the heat. This way you can keep the laminator warmed up and ready to go, but without the motor running. Many laminators hook up the heat and motor to the same switch.
  • Adjustable Temperature – Having the ability to adjust the temperature gives you the ability to use a wide variety of pouches and glue types. This flexibility is especially nice for people laminating temperature sensitive items or using low-melt film. It also helps you to dial in the best settings for the mil thickness you are using. Remember, not all brands of film are made equal.
  • Temperature Shielding – Laminators get hot, very hot. They literally house heating elements that reach temperatures you might find on an oven range. For that reason, be sure you get a laminator that properly shields you from the heat. Most manufacturers do a good job of this, but you don’t want a laminator that is hot to the touch at peak temperature.
  • Carrier Capabilities – I will be honest, I don’t care if the laminator says it does not need carriers. I use a carrier anyway unless the manufacturer specifically states you should not. Carriers prolong the life of your laminator, period. For that reason, I don’t personally care if the laminator does or does not require a carrier. I would almost prefer that it does require it.

I hope these comments and suggestions help you in your pursuit of a high-quality laminator. If you are in search of a good brand, I can say that I am very impressed with Laminators Specialties (formerly Banner American) and Akiles. Tamerica and Intelli-Lam also make some nice higher-end laminators. Please give us a call at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions. We would love to help you out. If you have some additional feedback or advice regarding shopping for a pouch laminator, please leave it here in a comment. I would love to hear from you.

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How Does A Paper Folding Machine Work?

Posted by: Office Zone on January 15th, 2013

Folding paper by hand takes hours and the end results usually leaves a lot to be desired. This is where a paper folding machine (found here) finds its stride. These machines have literally been designed from the ground up to take paper and fold it quickly and professionally without any flaws. So how exactly does a paper folding machine work? I would like to discus this in this article.

If you were to tear open a standard paper folding machine, you would actually be very surprised just how simple they are on the inside. Manual setup friction-feed paper folding machines essentially consist of two folding plates, a couple of rubber rollers, a motor and some friction feeding wheels. Here is a picture of the inside of a paper folding machine:

Inside Paper Folding Machine

 

Before I go into the technical details on how a paper folding machine works, I would like to describe how to set it up prior to use.

  1. First you will want to adjust the two folding plates to accommodate the fold you wan to create. Most paper folding machines are capable of folding the paper in to different points. The fold you select will depend on the sheet size and type of fold you want to create.
  2. Second you will want to put the paper in the feed tray and ensure the side guides are properly aligned. You generally want the friction rollers centered on the middle of the paper as closely as you can.
  3. If your machine is equipped with a stacker wheel and a powered exit conveyor, ensure the stacker wheel is adjusted to accommodate the paper size you are folding.
  4. Finally you will want to turn the machine on and begin folding. If the folds don’t look right or are crooked, turn off the machine and make adjustments.

I would now like to describe the step-by-step process involved in folding a sheet of paper.

  1. The machine first pulls in a sheet of paper using friction wheels on the feed tray.
  2. As the paper is pulled into the machine, it is pulled and pushed into the first folding plate. The paper bounces off that plate and makes its way to the second folding plate.
  3. As it bounces off the plates, it is forced between rubber rollers that fold the paper. The location where the rubber rollers grasp and fold the paper depends on the clearance in the folding plates.
  4. Once the paper has bounced off the plates and made its way through the rubber rollers, it will come out the exit tray.

Here is a video of a paper folding machine in use:

Now that we have discussed how a paper folding machine is set up and how it is used, I would like to cover some common paper folding issues. The most common issues are usually very easy to resolve. Here are some of the most common I hear from customers:

Paper not Feeding Properly:

  • A lot of this depends on the type of feeding system your paper folder uses. If you have to pre-fan the paper, you may simply need to adjust the retarder wheel. This is basically the amount of clearance the machine uses to pull in a sheet of paper.
  • If the machine uses a simple drop-in feed system, you may need to clean the rubber friction rollers that pull in the paper. If they get coated in paper dust, they can begin to slip on the paper.
  • If you are using glossy or coated paper, you may have to upgrade to an air-feed paper folding machine. Friction rollers don’t handle slick, glossy or coated paper well.

Folds Crooked:

  • This is often the result of the paper guides not being properly aligned. Look at the paper guides on the feed tray and make sure they are straight. Make necessary adjustments.
  • You may have the fold plates adjusted and locked down crooked. Make sure the bar on the fold plate is straight and aligned correctly.
  • If your machine is equipped with a skew wheel, try adjusting it and test a few folds to see if this corrects the problem.

Machine Keeps Jamming:

  • This can be a result of a lot of things. I have found the most common issue resulting in paper jams is either dirty rubber rollers or static electricity. If the rollers are dirty, try opening up the folding machine and clean the rollers using roller cleaner (found here). If it is static electricity, the static charge may be causing sheets of paper to stick together. Use static eliminator spray (found here) or a paper jogger (found here) to get rid of the static electricity.

Hopefully these tips and the above information has helped educate you and has helped you make an educated decision on purchasing a paper folding machine. There are a lot of paper folding machines and several different styles available, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions. We are also more than happy to pre-test your paper samples on our machines prior to you making a purchase to ensure the machine works properly. Thank you for reading and please post comments regarding your own paper folding machine experiences. Have a great day!

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Semacon S-1000 Mini Currency Counter Review

Posted by: Office Zone on January 10th, 2013

Semacon S-1000 Mini Currency CounterAs technology advances and electronics get smaller, so do many products. Currency counters are a great example of this. A decade ago, a currency counter required its own space in the office and they were often the size of a small printer. Currency counters today are much smaller and the Semacon S-1000 mini (found here) is an excellent example of this. Compact bill counters have many benefits, but are they for you?

The Semacon S-1000 Mini and is just slightly shorter in height than the Cassida Tiger. The S-1000 Mini stands at just 5.5″ high, which is impressive considering most are around 7″ to 9″ high. It is 9″ wide and 11.5″ deep. It is just 10 pounds in weight and is extremely easy to pick up and move around. The compact nature of this counter also makes it ideal in offices where space is in short supply.

While it is compact, it is still very fast. It counts bills at a speed of 900 per minute, which equals out to 15 a second. The hopper holds up to 120 new banknotes. The bills are pulled in and counted so quickly it will probably operate faster than you can keep up. Simply place your stack of bills in the hopper and pull them out of the stacker once counting is completed.

The S-1000 Mini can be used for various counting purposes. It can simply count a stack of bills or it can be used to add multiple stacks of bills together. If you are sorting the bills for storage or organization, the S-1000 mini is also capable of batch counting. Simply tell the machine how many bills you want batched together. If you put in 25, it will count 25 bills and stop until you remove the bills. It is very accurate. Put in 113 bills and it will tell you that there are 113 bills. You should be aware, however, that the S-1000 mini is a currency counter, not a currency discriminator (aka mixed bill counter). It will not provide you with the total dollar value, just the total bill amount.

As is the case with most modern currency counters, the S-1000 is equipped with double, chain and half not detection. The control panel has been simplified and is very easy to navigate. The display is located on the top of the machine and it is very easy to view and read during the entire counting process.

Semacon currency counters typically cost a little more than the competition. There is a reason for this. I’m not saying other brands are bad, or that they’re not of good quality, but Semacon goes out and beyond what’s needed for quality in a machine. Their machines are some of the best constructed we offer. Semacon even goes as far as to test and burn in their machines prior to shipment, ensuring optimal quality and operation. I would say Semacon machines are probably the best built that we offer.

The S-1000 doesn’t come with any counterfeit detection capabilities, but you can purchase variations that do. The S-1015 Mini (found here) has UV ultraviolet counterfeit detection and the S-1025 Mini (found here) has UV ultraviolet and MG magnetic detection capabilities.

Do you have more questions about the S-1000 Mini from Semacon? Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. You can find our entire selection of currency counters here. Do you own or have you used the Semacon S-1000 Mini? Please post your thoughts and feedback here in a comment. Thanks for reading!

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What Makes a Silent Paper Shredder Quiet?

Posted by: Office Zone on January 9th, 2013

Quiet Paper ShreddersIf you use a paper shredder in the office, you probably want it to be quiet. A loud shredder can be annoying and distracting. While most paper shredders generate some sort of noise, some are quieter than others. So what features should you look for in order to get a quieter shredder (found here) and is there anything you can do to quiet your existing shredder? I will cover the various technologies shredder manufacturers use to quiet their shredders and will offer a few tips to help out existing shredder owners in this article.

Having worked in the office equipment industry for well over a decade, I have had a chance to use a variety of paper shredders. Some are remarkably quiet (almost as if they were off) and others sound like a wood chipper caught on something. Louder shredders are like nails on a chalkboard and they really can cut into work productivity.

Before I go too far into what makes a shredder quiet, I would like to offer a small bit of advice. While I recommend cross cut shredders for office use, strip cut shredders are by nature more quiet than cross cut shredders. There are fewer moving parts and less cutting involved, which results in a quieter machine. If you need a cross cut shredder, which most of us do, here are some things that help keep them quiet:

  • Vibration Absorbing Motor Mounts – Many manufacturers, especially those that offer German-made shredders, use special mounts for the motors. Like a car’s motor mounts, these rubber mounts absorb vibration and cut down on noise.
  • Wood or Sound Absorbing Cabinets – Many manufacturers use a wooden cabinet, versus a metal or plastic cabinet, purely because wood naturally absorbs vibrations. Metal cabinets can sometimes reverberate the sound and cheap plastic cabinets can cause more vibration.
  • Insulated Shredding Head – Many shredder manufacturers line their shredder heads with special insulation, which helps cut down on sound.
  • Modern Shredding Blades With Less Friction – Thanks to modern engineering, many shredder blades have been engineered from the ground up to produce less noise by minimizing friction as much as possible. This isn’t something you’ll find in a cheap department store shredder, but is something you will find in a higher-end German-made shredder.
  • Automatic Oilers – Oil helps cut down on friction, which cuts down on noise. If you are shopping around for a shredder, consider buying one with an automatic oiler. This will keep your shredder well lubed and should extend the life of the shredder. If you already own a shredder, consider buying shredder oil (found here http://www.officezone.com/shredder_oil.htm) and oil the shredder yourself. This will help cut down on noise.
  • Level Floor – Believe it or not, if your shredder is not flat and level on the floor, it can wobble and vibrate just enough to generate additional noise. If your shredder is abnormally loud, consider moving it to a different location. It might help.

A few brands I highly recommend you look at, that are almost always quieter, include Dahle (found here), Intimus (found here), Destroyit (found here) and Formax (found here).

If you would like more information on paper shredders, please feel free to give us a call and speak with one of our Paper Shredder Experts at 1-800-543-5454. Hopefully this article has helped you out. Do you have tips or ideas that have helped you quiet your own shredder? Post them here as a comment!

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Cassida Tiger Currency Counter Review

Posted by: Office Zone on January 8th, 2013

Cassida Tiger Currency CounterIf compact, portable and small footprint are features you need in a currency counter, the Cassida Tiger may be a good option. We have been selling this machine for a few years now and have had remarkable luck in how it has held up with continuous use. So if you are a casino, bank, credit union or other business, is the Cassida Tiger a good fit for you? I would like to cover a few of this machine’s features and benefits in this article.

The Cassida Tiger is available in three flavors. You can buy it as the basic model (found here), the UV model (found here) and the UV/MG model (found here). Which  of these three you end up using will depend on the degree of counterfeit detection your business needs. The basic model has no counterfeit detection capabilities. The UV only uses ultraviolet lights to scan bills and the UV/MG model uses ultraviolet light and a magnetic ink scanner. As you might expect, the more equipped the counter, the more it will cost. Other than the counterfeit detection differences, all three are pretty much the same.

One of the biggest perks of the Cassida Tiger is the compact design. It measures in at 10″ x 10.4″ x 5.4″ and weighs in at just 8.3 pounds. Few currency-counting machines have a height that is just 5.4″ tall. While this is one of Cassida’s newer machines, it really holds up well with rigorous use. The Cassida Tiger is one of our top 2 selling Cassida counters. Thanks to a compact design, this counter can be used on most tables, work desks and other surfaces.

Another huge advantage of this counter is it’s easy-access cover. The entire top of the machine flips up, allowing easy access to the internals of the counter. This makes it easy to clean out dust and gunk often left over by dirty bills and money.

So here are some of the specifications you will find in this machine, which I must say are very impressive considering how compact it is.

Capacity – This counter can hold up to 250 new bills in the hopper (where you feed in the bills) and 250 in the stacker (where the bills come out). You can usually divide that number in half when dealing with used bills, which would be 125. This is a decent capacity for a currency counter.

Speed – This counter has a counting speed of up to 1300 bills per minute. I have seen machines range from 900 up to 1500, so this is a good counting speed. In fact, it will probably count the bills faster than you can feed them in.

Other Features – This counter can count stacks of bills, add up multiple stacks and will batch count bills. The control panel is very straightforward and the display is easy to read. It will also alert the operator audibly and visually when there is an issue. It can detect double notes, half notes, chain notes and for foreign currencies it includes size note detection. If equipped with counterfeit detection, it will notify the operator when a suspicious bill is detected.

For the price, and considering its compact size, this is a very well rounded currency counter. This will fit in nicely with casinos, banks, credit unions and other businesses that need a compact bill counter. For more information, please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454. Have you used this machine? Post your experience and feedback as a comment. You can find our entire selection of currency counters here.

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Top Recommended Chart Holders for the Office

Posted by: Office Zone on January 7th, 2013

Wooden Mallet Chart HoldersIf you are a business or organization, such as a doctor’s office or hospital, you probably use chart holders on a regular basis. If you are in need of something, or are looking to upgrade, you should consider one of our Wooden Mallet chart holders (found here). These are extremely popular with our customers. They are durable, made from high-quality wood and are all available in light oak, medium oak and dark red mahogany. So which chart holders do our customers like and which one should you consider using?

To begin with, our single pocket chart holders are by far the most popular models we offer. They can easily be placed in a waiting room or medical office. They can also be easily lined up side-by-side or in a vertical alignment. We also offer several multi-pocket vertically designed model. All of the mounting hardware is included with these chart holders. Some models show a little of the top of the chart and other HIPAA approved models cover almost the entire chart. All of the models we currently offer are wall mounted except one. The CH10-FS (found here) is a 10-pocket freestanding model.

I would like a few of our more popular models:

  • Wooden Mallet CH14-1 Single-Pocket Chart HolderWooden Mallet CH14-1 (found here) – This is our most popular model. This is due to the fact that it is extremely affordable and it has a nice single-pocket design. This chart holder is excellent for use in individual offices, waiting rooms and more. It features pockets that are 12 1/2″ wide and 2″ deep. The sides are made from solid oak.
  • Wooden Mallet CH15-1 (found here) – The CH15-1 is very similar to the CH14-1, but features a square design rather than an angled front. This chart holder is also very affordable and has a 12 ½” wide pocket that can hold up to 2″ of charts, files and other material.
  • Wooden Mallet CH15-1 HIPAA Chart HolderWooden Mallet PCH15-1 HIPAA (found here) – If you need a chart holder that is HIPAA compliant, the PCH15-1 is a great option. This rack features a higher front panel (9″ tall) than other chart holders for added privacy. It also features a nice 2″ pocket depth. All mounting hardware is included.
  • Wooden Mallet OCHO20-1 (found here) – This chart holder has a more contemporary design and includes open sides for easier access. This rack is mounted to the wall via an oval mounting plate. The OCHO20-1 looks great, has a nice wood grain finish and is an attractive chart holder for any office or medical facility.
  • Wooden Mallet CH14-3 Three-Pocket Chart HolderWooden Mallet CH14-3 (found here) – If you need multiple pockets, the CH14-3 is a great option. This chart holder looks like the CH14-1 single pocket holder, but with a three pocket vertical design. This is great for offices that need a little more capacity. Each of the three pockets are 12 ½” wide and 1 ¼” deep. Considering it has three pockets, this is a great deal.
  • Wooden Mallet CH14-2 (found here) – This chart holder has a total of four vertically aligned pockets. Each pocket features an angled-front design and each pocket is 12 ½” wide by ¾” deep. This is great for offices that need multi-pocket organization for charts and files. The design looks great, the build quality is excellent and the design is intended for daily use.

None of the above-mentioned models are any better than the other. I am just listing models that are popular. All of the chart holders we offer are of equal quality. Many of our higher-pocket models are unique and highly useful, but are not in as much demand as the models with fewer pockets.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 for answers to any questions you may have about our chart holders.