CopyCat – ACT Group's Blog
5Aug/150

Are You Properly Managing Your Documents?

The hidden costs of managing your information

There is a lot of information flowing through your organization today. As the volume of that data continues to grow exponentially, so too do the costs to manage it. The expenses can add up quickly, including the time you waste looking for information that should be easily retrievable in the first place. You need your critical information to be available at the right time, in the right format, and you need to control your costs while you do it. ACT Group offers a variety of services to help you take control of your data and your budget.

You can’t save what you can’t see

Maybe your company has been operating the same ways for years, and it works well enough for you, and you can’t imagine doing things another way. But even in the best-run organizations, tiny inefficiencies add up and eat away at your budget and your time.

ACT Group has been studying and combating inefficiencies for years, so when it comes to your operation, we know how to find them and stamp them out.

Paper (and the mountains it creates in your office) can be a problem. Ditch the paper and convert that fire hazard into an easily accessible digital format. ACT Document Solutions can take your data, whether hard-copy or digital, and help convert it into information you can use anytime, anywhere.

Control your print operations

Your printer and copier fleet may distribute more of your information than any other area of your business. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most expensive.

Here at ACT we know a thing or two about output devices, and we can help you bring your print operations back in line. With our Manage Print Services we can:

  • Take control of your print fleet.
  • Make sure you have the right number and type of devices for your business needs.
  • Create workflows to route jobs efficiently and effectively.

But why stop there? If you’re worried about security, we can set it all up so your sensitive information is protected, from start to finish.

Document management needs are vital to any organizations success. Having the right document management system in place will allow your organization to become an efficient work place.

 

28Apr/150

ACT 3D Equipment and Services Installs DMS 3D Printer for Local Manufacturer

Once again ACT 3D was featured in the Manufacturers Mart newspaper this time highlighting the installation of a Direct Metal 3D Printer at a local manufacturing company. 
Read the full article here: http://www.manufacturersmart.com/cgi-bin/newsscript.pl?record=657

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20Mar/150

ACT Group Donates Second Copier to Charter Oak Cultural Center

ACT Group is excited to announce its Grant Program recipient... Charter Oak Cultural Center!

Charter Oak Cultural Center has recently received a Kyocera color copier from the grant program sponsored by ACT Group. ACT Group's grant program donates office equipment to local non-profit organizations. This is the second copier ACT has donated to the organization in the past 5 years.

ACT Group is a leading provider of office equipment, 3D Equipment and Services, Document Management, and Managed Print Services that has always strived to be the finest service and support provider in the marketplace. ACT continuously demonstrates its dedication to the community by volunteering their time or donating funds and equipment.

Why Charter Oak? Charter Oak Cultural Center provides outstanding programs for over 1600 children in the Greater Hartford area. The three main goals of Charter Oak are; to provide wide access to the arts for all who wish to engage in them, regardless of income, to do the work of social justice through the arts, and to celebrate the heritage of their historic building and to preserve it in perpetuity. ACT Group admires Charter Oak's non-stop dedication to the Greater Hartford community.

4Nov/140

What’s the right printer for you?

With so many different options choosing the right printer can be an overwhelming task. Printers come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny travel companions to work group workhorses; some are geared toward photographers, others are for multitaskers. And the many specifications for resolution and speed can be misleading. There are several types of printing technologies to choose from, each suited for different needs- which is why purchasing the right printer can be so confusing for some.

When shopping for a new printer here are a few tips to help you find what you need; know what types of printers is out there- laser Jet printer, Inkjet printers, multifunctional, production, etc. Will your printer be used at home, in a small business or in a corporate setting? Lastly make sure you know what the ‘specs’ really mean (read our blog, “Printer Specs- What do they really mean?” for the 411 on specs).

Inkjet printers vs. LaserJet printers. Both useful in their own way Inkjet printers are a must for vibrant colors and long-lasting photos. LaserJet printers are best at producing speedy text documents.

Home users demand a lot from a printer. The device needs to be affordable while tackling everything form book reports, newsletters, and the occasional snapshot. A color inkjet print is the best option for any home user, it’s versatile and affordable.

Small Businesses need a machine that can really do it all- Print, fax, scan, copy. Multifunctional printers are a space saving and the lower end models are very affordable.

For a larger organization a laser jet printer is definitely the way to go. These machines are designed to handle multiple print jobs, faster print speeds, higher memory, and have faster processors.

The prices of personal printers look pretty enticing, especially those sub-$100 models. But keep in mind that the purchase price is just the start; the care and feeding of a printer can quickly exceed the original cost. Before pulling out your credit card, be sure to compare the costs of consumables.

Still overwhelmed with the thought of having to purchase a new printer? Relax and let ACT Group do the work for you. While the competition will sell you anything just to make a sale, ACT Group will assess your needs and then give you the right options to fulfill those needs. Give us a call today! 1-800-548-9929

8Oct/140

Printer Specs- What do they really mean?

When looking at the specs of a printer do you really understand what it all means? Here’s a brief summary of the important specs you would look for when purchasing a printer.

Resolution: the maximum number of dots per inch (dpi) that can be printed. Example; a 300x300dpi printer lays down 1 square inch composed of 300 dots vertically and 300 dots horizontally. Printers with higher DPI produce clearer and more detailed output.

Print speed: Measured in pages per minutes. 35 ppm means you can print 35 pages in one minute. But be careful because sometimes the print speed can be misleading. When manufactures test a machine to find its print speed they print plaintext documents on the lowest setting for print quality. Therefore, if you’re printing documents that include graphics and are on a higher quality paper, the print speed will decrease.

Connectivity: Capacity for the interconnection of platforms, systems, and applications. What connectivity does the printer have? Examples: USB port, networking capabilities, mobility-wireless printing- wi-fi, cloud printing.

Processor and memory: inkjets are line printers and lasers are page printers. For line printers, the computer composes the page in its memory and streams it to the printer in small packets; that means it generally doesn't matter how fast the printer processor is or how much memory it has. Page printers, on the other hand, need to hold an entire page in memory. That means more printer memory allows it to buffer more pages.

Paper handling: The typical paper-handling specs on a printer include everything from the size and thickness of various types of paper to the standard and optional input- and output-tray capacity.

10Sep/140

ACT 3D EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES OFFERS EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS, PRINT FOR PAY SERVICES AND A NEW ONLINE ORDERING PORTAL

Here is an great editorial written by Phil Cannon, Editor for Manufacturers Mart . September 2014 issue

ACT 3D EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES OFFERS EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS, PRINT FOR PAY SERVICES AND A NEW ONLINE ORDERING PORTAL

 At ACT 3-D Services there is a big focus on the educational aspect of 3-D printing. Why? To many potential buyers, 3-D printing is kind of a fad, or a “black art”. They don’t quite understand how it works and how it might greatly benefit their company in both the short and long term. Couple that with “ it’s probably too expensive for me” and “if I buy one today, it will probably be obsolete next year” and you have someone who has already made up their mind, not to check it out.

ACT understands these objections and , through their educational seminars and live product demonstrations, has helped to demonstrate to many companies and individuals the tremendous benefits they can reap by adopting this exciting technology. The seminars and educational sessions have proven to be very popular and effective.( If planning on attending one sign-up early, space is limited and they fill up quickly.) Attendees usually look on in amazement when they see what can be done and how it is done. They also point out the fact that 3-D printing, while gaining in mainstream popularity, has been around for over 30 years. And while in the early days 3-D printers and scanners were a very expensive proposition, they are remarkably affordable today. Most of those machines are still in production today and using the same technology – the only thing that has changed is the software that runs the machine which has been update continuously. So a 3-D printer or scanner purchased today and properly maintained should give you many years of reliable, upgradeable service much like a computer or any piece of office or plant equipment. Still not convinced with the technology or benefits, why don’t you have them (Act Group) make a part, or parts, for you?

The company now offers a print for pay service.  They specialize in SLA, SLS and Direct Metal production technologies. You can now send your file directly to ACT, they will quote your job and upon approval, use their state-of-the art equipment to make your part or parts, giving you firsthand experience of the difference this exciting technology can and will make for your company. For individual users, the company is pleased to announce their new e-commerce portal- www.Act-3d.myshopify.com. Personal users can now shop online for personal printers, parts and supplies.

Customers go all the way from Fortune 500 companies, colleges and universities, down to small machine shops and everything in between. Industries currently served include defense, aerospace, medical, medical device, footwear, education, industrial design, architecture, engineering and more. Serving all of New England, ACT 3D Services is one of the region’s premier suppliers of 3-D printing and scanning equipment, software, parts, supplies and service. They pride themselves on being a full resource center offering engineering services, consultation, education, sales, service and parts. A complete resource for 3-D printing from metal down to 3-D desktop. For more information, to schedule service, a demonstration or a quote please call 800-548-9929 or visit them at www.goACT group.com

 

4Aug/140

Solutions To Help Save Your Company Big Money


 

Did you know the average office spends: $20 on labor to process and file each document, $120 searching for every misfiled document, and $250 recreating each lost document?

 

To help eliminate these extra expenses the proper document management solution needs to be installed. ACT Group has products that are designed to target industry and business function specific needs, but can become inclusive to grow with your business over time. We offer everything from pre-configured solutions for small offices to custom designed systems to address the needs of large enterprises and municipalities.

 

How will our product improve your business? Document Management Solutions will help you streamline communications, enforce accountability, minimize errors, establish a clear approval hierarchy. Searching for documents becomes a button instead of an inconvenience.

 

By digitizing and automating your paper based workflows, you have one streamlined mode of communications. Using dashboards all your requests and actions incoming and outgoing are tracked, along with details about which stage in the business process they are at; eliminating all the guess work.

 

To err is human. We may forget payment due dates, or approval deadlines or make payments for services or goods that were never received. These may result in direct financial loss in many instances. An automated workflow allows you to minimize these errors.

 

An organizations hierarchy is seldom the same as the approval flow of a business process. A well implemented workflow will not only have these approval steps predefined and structured, but will also ensure that each individual process has its own specific hierarchy.

 

How does ACT Group match you with the right solutions for your business needs? We begin by performing a baseline assessment. The steps we take are as followed:

Step 1.   Understand the key business needs, pressures and constraints that your organization must satisfy and manage.

· What are the hard numbers that measure company performance?

· What are the business pressures your company must manage?

· What are the constraints, requirements and expectations that your organization must live with each day?

Step 2.   Examine the specific objectives and strategies that are defined in your company business plan.

· What are your long-term objectives and overall strategy?

· What are your organization’s short-term objectives and operational strategies?

· What are the specific ways your company tracks the achievement of these objectives?

Step 3.   Understand the mission and vision of your organization.

· What are the reasons your company exists?

· How does your company envision success?

· What are the specific initiatives underway to achieve your company’s mission and vision?

 

Once your new document management software is in place you can enjoy; having access to any documents or information, in seconds, without leaving your workstation, sharing documents with colleagues while protecting confidential information, having access to important documents while traveling, or after business hours, the ability to answer information requests from auditors, and customers without hanging up the phone and tracking documents that must be viewed, approved and/or signed from a single application.

2Jun/140

UConn Students Partner With ACT Group To Create Prototypes For An Artificial Kidney

The Following article was published in UConn Today and has gained a lot of attention from other online sites including; Medical News Today, 3D print.com, and Engineering.com.

"Three-dimensional printing has garnered coverage in the popular press for its application in the custom manufacturing of tools and mechanical parts. But six School of Engineering seniors have recently taken the application of the technology into the medical field, using 3-D printing to create body parts.

Under the direction of Anson Ma, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Institute of Materials Science, two three-person teams of chemical engineering students were tasked with creating an artificial kidney for their Senior Design Project using 3-D printing technology. 3-D printing is an additive manufacturing method capable of creating complex parts that are otherwise impossible or extremely difficult to produce.

The students participating were: Derek Chhiv, Meaghan Sullivan, Danny Ung, Benjamin Coscia, Guleid Awale, and Ali Rogers. They are one of the first classes of students to partner with a commercial 3-D printing company, ACT Group, to create a prototype.

The challenge the teams set out to tackle is rooted in a very real problem.

The United States Renal Data System reports that, as recently as 2009, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) resulted in over 90,000 deaths. Options for treatment of renal disease are essentially limited to either an organ transplant or dialysis. However, there is a limited supply of transplantable kidneys, with demand far outstripping the supply; and dialysis is expensive and is only a temporary solution.

According to data from the National Kidney Foundation, there are currently nearly 100,000 people awaiting kidney transplants in the United States, yet only 14,000 kidney transplants took place in the country this year. An additional 2,500 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month.

Faced with these challenges, the two UConn teams set out on a year-long effort to design and develop a prototype of a cost-effective, functional artificial kidney using chemical engineering principles and 3-D printing technology.

“The objective of the design project is to get these students to combine the latest technology and their chemical engineering knowledge, learned over their four years at UConn, to solve a technical problem where we can make a difference,” notes Ma. “Can they push the technology further?”

Guleid Awale, one of the seniors, said the two design teams each took a slightly different approach to the problem. “While the other team utilized techniques such as electrodialysis and forward osmosis in their prototype, our group opted for mainly hollow fiber membrane technology commonly found in traditional hemodialysis treatments.”

Benjamin Coscia ’14 (ENG) explains the hollow fiber membrane technology: “Because 3D printing resolutions are not currently low enough to print a structure which will actually filter blood, the file is of only the shell of the kidney. Hollow fiber membranes will be installed on the inside to do the filtration function. The kidney will then be sealed together using the threads and sealing o-rings. A fluid called dialysate will be circulated on the outside of the membranes, inside of the shell, which will cause flux of components from the blood. A waste stream maintains the person’s ability to urinate. The outside of the shell can be used as a substrate for growth of biological material for ease of integration into the body.”

After undertaking the research and development of the design, the teams designed the prototype using AutoCAD software. Then each team collaborated with UConn technology partner ACT Group of Cromwell, Conn. to select the appropriate polymers, as well as the right printer to use in printing the particular prototype design.

The two teams presented their projects on May 2 at the School of Engineering Senior Design Demonstration Day.

“The biggest challenge in approaching the project was applying the engineering knowledge we’ve gained during our undergraduate years to a more complex biological application,” Awale notes. “This forced us to come out of our comfort zone and rely on our problem-solving skills in order to come up with viable solutions.” "

Source: http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2014/05/students-design-artificial-kidney-with-3-d-printing/#.U20bnGu2OOI.twitter

 

21May/140

Manufacturing the Future with 3DPRINTING 2.0

Manufacturing the Future with 3DPRINTING 2.0

By now, you all have probably heard about 3D printing, but what is 3DPRINTING 2.0?

3D Systems recently revealed 20+ new products, spanning from high-end, industrial-grade 3D printers for the most demanding manufacturing applications to desktop-size home printers for the technology-tinkering enthusiast.

3DPRINTING 2.0 opens up and extends our reach to new key verticals; and the exponential speed, size and capacity gains we deliver together with advanced performance materials defines the very essence of 3DPRINTING 2.0.

This seminar will show you how our 3DPRINTING 2.0 initiative can help you Manufacture the Future and accelerate your design-to-manufacturing needs. Come learn:

  • Latest developments in ColorJet 3D printing – now in full-color plastic
  • Expanded capabilities in MultiJet 3D printing with simultaneous, multi-material composite printing
  • Fab-grade performance of the newest SLA 3D printer enabling high volume manufacturing
  • Production-grade SLS 3D printing delivering injection molding-like part quality
  • Industrial-grade direct metal 3D printing with a large choice of metals and ceramics
  • Low cost jewelry and dental 3D printing options
  • Multi-material prosumer 3D printers – all for less than $5,000
  • How to choose the right 3D printer for any application, from a wide range of technologies
    and price points
  • Reverse Engineering/ 3D Scanning

Don’t miss your chance to get an up close and personal view of the latest groundbreaking advancements in 3D printing. Attend a no-cost 3D Systems seminar near you.

Register Here

2May/140

Proper Paper Loading Is Essential

While loading a stack of paper hardly seems a difficult task, performing it correctly is critical if optimum results are to be achieved.

  • Paper should be loaded in the direction of the ream wrapper so that the image will print on the smoothest side of the paper.
  • Paper should be handled and stored correctly:
    • Protect your paper from adverse environmental conditions, such as heat, cold and humidity by keeping it in its ream wrapper until it is used.
    • Prevent the paper from becoming too hot or cold by storing in the same environment with the copier or printer for at least 24 hours. Paper will become too stiff if stored in a cold environment, or too limp if stored in a hot, humid environment.
    • Assign one person the task of loading the copier or printer with paper each morning. This way, the person can become experienced in correct paper loading.

Don’t expect miracles from the imaging device on a Monday morning, as the paper may have been affected by excessive cold, heat and/or humidity over the weekend.

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