MyBinding Knowledge Base
How do I maintain my machine's punching die?
Owning a plastic comb, twin-loop wire, or color coil binding machine can be very helpful. If you have such a device, you’ll be able to punch and bind your own documents without leaving your office. Doing so will help you save money as well as enable you to produce work that will impress current and potential clients. Binding machines don’t really require a whole lot of maintenance but it is important to take good care of the punching dies. Here’s some information on how to do it as well as signs to look for so you’ll know if the dies are becoming too worn.
There are a couple of ways to tell if your machine’s punching dies are in bad shape. For one thing, the paper you punch won’t be processed cleanly. The holes will be ragged even if you’re only punch a few sheets at a time. You might need to remove bits of paper from the holes which can be frustrating and time-consuming. If you ever punch plastic covers with your device, you’ll notice that the plastic is stretched after it’s been punched. If you notice these signs, you should think about having the machine serviced to prevent further damage to the dies. If you have a modular punch, now would be the time to pick up a new die set.
Now that you know what to keep an eye out for regarding die wear and tear, here are a few tips to help you keep the dies in the best possible condition:
- Never go over your machine’s stated punching capacity. Doing so is hard on the dies and will cause them to age prematurely. In fact, it’s helpful to process a couple of pages less than the machine can handle. This won’t cause the binding process to take up too much extra time and it will keep the device in better shape.
- When you’re working with plastic covers, don’t punch more than two of them at at time. While the plastic might seem light and flexible, it’s actually very tough and it can really do some damage to the dies if you try to punch too much. Also, never try to punch items such as wood, metal, cardboard, or other thick materials.
- It’s important to empty the machine’s chip tray on a regular basis. If you try to punch a bunch of materials while the tray is full, the dies will become worn pretty quickly. It can also be more difficult to punch, so save yourself the hassle and just empty the tray regularly.
< Over the years, a number of customers have asked me whether they can use twin loop wire with their plastic comb binding machine. These customers often don’t want to have to buy a brand new machine but like the look and feel of twin loop wire binding. However, the answer to their question isn’t as simple as it seems. You see, they actually do make twin loop wire that is designed to work with the plastic comb binding hole pattern. With that said, if you want to use these wires you are going to need a way to close the wires. What is Spiral-O Wire?Let me explain a little bit more…There is a product that we carry called Spiral-O Wire. This wire has 19 loops and is designed to work with the hole pattern from a plastic comb binding machine. Spiral-O Wire is sometimes called Wire Combs or Ibico Wire and was originally designed for use with some of the older Ibico binding machines. A number of the older Ibico plastic comb binding machines also included a twin loop wire closer on the front of them to allow users to use both plastic combs and wire. This 19 loop wire was designed for this purpose.What Equipment is Needed? As the Ibico brand has been phased out by GBC and all of the older Ibico plastic binding machines have been replaced with new models, they no longer have the twin loop wire closer on the front of them. This presents a problem in trying to use these spiral-o wires since you can’t use the wires without a way to close them.One of the only options left is to purchase a Twin Loop wire closer. However, since twin loop wire closers are not incredibly cheap this option usually only appeals to users who have larger electric plastic comb binding machines. Otherwise, it is often advisable to simply buy a low end 3:1 pitch twin loop wire binding machine (the supplies are cheaper). This being said, if you have one of the older Ibico binding machines that has a wire closer included you are in luck. The Spiral-O binding supplies that we carry will work perfectly with your machine and you will be able to use both plastic combs and wire depending on your needs. These Spiral-O binding supplies are available in Black, Silver, White, Blue and Red and in sizes up to 1″ in diameter.If you aren’t sure what type of wire binding supplies that you need to work with your machine simply give us a call. Our trained sales representatives will be glad to help you find the correct supplies for use with your machine.(Read More)