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Even a straightforward piece of office equipment like a manual stapler can present problems for clerical workers. Stapling a few pages of a report together may not sound particularly hazardous, but performing that motion 200 times can lead to a repetitive stress disorder. This is why equipment advances such as an electric stapler can actually save the company money over time. Fewer repetitive motion injuries means more worker productivity, lower absentee rates and fewer visits to occupational health clinics.
An electric stapler uses a solenoid switch to duplicate the motion of a worker's hand bearing down on the top. One advantage of an electric stapler is consistency--the solenoid switch will deliver the same amount of pressure every time. A human clerical worker may have difficulty maintaining consistent pressure after a few hundred hand-numbing hits. With an electric stapler, the last punch is as solid as the first.
Another advantage of an electric stapler is capacity. Stapling a two page report together may not be taxing, but putting together a 20-page company newsletter can require significant effort. An electric stapler can usually power through a thick stack of papers without jamming or mangling the staples. Manual staplers can only be as powerful as the user, and there is definitely an upper limit on how many pages they can successfully staple together.
Sometimes a printing project calls for a different style of stapling. Company safety manuals or promotional catalogs may require two or three staples placed in the middle of folded pages. This is called 'saddle stitching' in publishing circles. Some manual staplers may have a deeper setting which would allow saddle stitching of small booklets, but they might lack the capacity to penetrate all of the pages. An electric stapler with a deep setting can perform saddle stitching without the need for a specialized piece of binding equipment.
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