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Punch Clocks
Old punch clock from  1920

Punch Clocks - where they came form and where they are going.


old punch clock

The name Punch Clock originated from the earliest employee time clocks manufactured by the Bundy Manufacturing Company.

These time clocks used a mechanical system to “punch” holes indicating the employee attendance, hence the name Punch Clock. Later, and because the inventors name was Willard Bundy, the punch clock was often referred to as the Bundy Clock.  With the introduction of electronic devices we now see the Time Clock as the most common term for this family of products.

Early devices were and entirely mechanical device but they eventually evolved into an electromechanical device featuring automatic stamping of times, color coding for out of range clocking times. This was as far as they progressed and eventually they were replaced with the electronic version which still incorporated electromechanical print heads but tended to feature more and and more advanced inclusions such as basic overtime calculation, grace times and rounding to shift start/finish times.

In many countries these modern punch clocks became to be known as electronic time clocks . Electronic time clocks began to evolve further and incorporate keypads, RFID card readers and biometric readers divorcing themselves entirely from the disposable punch cards. In possibly the greatest advancement since the invention of employee time keeping these electronic versions of the punch clock eventually incorporated direct communication with time and attendance software and completed the connection between time clock and computer.

In today’s market there is a confusing array of time clocks available. Aside from simple systems still using cards there are variations which can made simple overtime calculations and still more complex ones which utilize award interpretation software. The method of registering an employee in or out punch can also vary from simple key pad entry , RFID or proximity technology through to various biometric alternatives such as fingerprint, hand geometry and facial recognition.

The Attendance Consultant’s Introductory Guide to Time and Attendance explores all these alternatives and provides a valuable insight into the most appropriate technologies for your business.


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