The year 1969 was quite eventful. Some of the many things that happened include:
- The Beatles performed publicly for the last time — on the roof of Apple Records.
- Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.
- The first Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio.
- The Boeing 747 jumbo jet made its first flight, from Seattle to New York, with 191 people aboard.
- PBS was established, and Sesame Street and the Muppets made their debut.
- The first automatic teller machine (ATM) was installed in New York.
- 500,000 music fans converged on Woodstock for “Three Days of Peace and Music.”
- You could buy a postage stamp for $0.06, a gallon of gas for $0.35, a new car for $3,270 and a new house for $27,900.
But one of the most important events of 1969, at least as far as we’re concerned: on April 1, 1969, Acroprint Time Recorder Company was founded. And that’s no April Fool’s Day joke!
Starting With the Basics
The company was founded in Raleigh, NC by Wilbur Robbins. He had been a top salesman at both IBM and Simplex, and saw a need in the market for a high-quality, lower-cost clock for time and attendance dealers to offer their customers.
According to Glenn Robbins, current company president and a 45-year employee of Acroprint, his dad Wilbur was right! In fact, in the early years of the company it was hard for production to keep up with demand. Dealers sometimes found themselves waiting months to get their orders — but they did wait, because our clocks were just that good.
Today, we offer same-day or next-day shipping on most orders.
Acroprint began by offering the now-iconic Model 125 punch clock. Available with a variety of print wheel configurations to meet various requirements, this versatile and rugged workhorse remains a popular choice for organizations that need rock-solid reliability that can stand up to harsh conditions.
The Model 150 was added in 1971, and the E-Series time stamps joined the line-up in 1984. All these clocks are widely recognized today by their trademark green color, and are still assembled at the company’s headquarters in Raleigh.
Our green clocks have appeared on TV, in movies and in print. We even have a page on our website where we collect examples: Seen the Green? If you’ve “seen the green” we invite you to submit your sighting. You could get a shout-out on our site!
Growth and Change
When the company first started, we were located in rented space. Glenn likes to tell stories about those days — for instance, the conveyer belt that carried boxes of time cards from the loading dock out back down to the basement storage area, that would suddenly overload and send boxes of time cards flying across the room. Says Robbins, “It was a real struggle to unstack all those boxes, because they were jammed up against the far wall… and they were heavy!”
In 1973, the company had outgrown its original rented space and bought their first building, a 17,000 square foot space nearby in Raleigh. When Wilbur brought his wife Tula to see the new building for the first time, she reportedly remarked that the company would have to start sponsoring barn dances to be able to pay for all the extra room!
In 1984, the company moved into the current location on Departure Drive in Raleigh. With ample office, manufacturing and warehouse space, this new facility positioned the company well for growth.
And it was a good thing, too! Shortly thereafter, our products were first listed in the United Stationers catalog, and sales doubled in the space of one year.
In 1986, Glenn became company president, a position he still holds today.
As early as the 1980s, Acroprint had seen the potential of computerized time and attendance, and introduced the CAT9000, an early computerized time clock.
In 2001, we recognized the security offered by biometric technology, and introduced HandPunch options for our existing enterprise software.
In 2004, we introduced our first fingerprint biometric solution, ATRx Secure PunchIn.
But we weren’t resting on our laurels when it came to traditional clocks! Through the years, we introduced and enhanced our electronic clocks, such as the ATR120, ES700, ES900, and the totalizing ES1000. Improvements included things like adding atomic synchronization to ensure accurate time, simplifying clock programming, and adding features like LED lights to the ES700 and ES900 to make document alignment easier.
As times continued to change, more people saw the benefit in automating their time and attendance calculations. So in 2005 we launched our enterprise solution, Pendulum. In 2009, we launched a new version of our timeQplus software, with options to clock in and out using PC punch, a fingerprint biometric clock, or a proximity badge clock. Over the years, we added software and hardware enhancements to both solutions. Today our software lineup includes the timeQplus software suite, which allows a wide variety of input options including the innovative FaceVerify hands-free facial recognition clock, and Pendulum, which gives enterprise organizations the option to combine modules to customize the software features to meet their needs.
In 2010, Acroprint introduced AcroTime Workforce Management. Through several expansions and enhancements, this solution now includes Time and Labor Management (with optional Scheduling), Human Resources tools, and Payroll Processing, making AcroTime truly a complete labor management solution “from hiring to retiring.”
In 2014, we introduced the popular Acroprint BioTouch clock. Offering a simple and straightforward option for organizations that want to save time and improve accuracy for basic time tracking, BioTouch incorporates the security of fingerprint biometrics with the ease of familiar Excel spreadsheets for processing time records.
In 2017, we launched the ATR480, a new totalizing clock option. Featuring easy programming, simple operation and a value price point, the ATR480 proved to be an ideal option for organizations that want to use traditional time cards with the convenience of automatic totaling of time — all without breaking the bank.
Today and Beyond
Times continue to change, and Acroprint is ready! Recently, we introduced our latest product suite, ProPunch. ProPunch combines the best of both worlds: the control of on-site software installation with the convenience of anytime, anywhere web access for employees to clock in and out.
Today, Acroprint is uniquely positioned to offer our customers one of the widest variety of time tracking solutions on the market today. No matter what your organization’s needs — rugged traditional punch clocks, versatile electronic clocks, reliable guard tour clocks, sophisticated time tracking software installed on your premises, a totally cloud-based workforce management solution, or something in between — chances are Acroprint has a solution that will fill the bill.
We are proud to have served the time recording needs of organizations worldwide for the past 50 years, and look forward to continuing to assist our customers with effective workforce management for another 50 years — and beyond!
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