Clocking in Machines have been used by industry and business as method for recording employee start and finish times since the late 19th Century.

The earliest clocking in machine were mechanical time recorders which involved employees sliding a card into a slot. When the card hit a contact at the back of the slot the machine pressed down a timestamp onto the card. 

These cards were formatted so that start and finish times could be sequential over a pay period which then meant the payroll department could wait until the end of the period before collecting, and calculating the hours worked.


Through the second half of the 20th century electro-mechanical clocking in machines were developed which allowed a bit more configuration to the devices including in some cases calculations to be automated.

Some of these electro-mechanical devices are still utilised in manufacturing businesses across the UK

Although these devices were renowned for their durability and robustness for sitting in harsh environments they had a number of issues,especially when compared with todays modern systems. See our comparison infographic below

As computers developed the natural progression was for the development of software which would connect with clocking in machines removing the need for cards..

clock card machine vs simle clocking sytem permatek