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Publication numberUS3804226 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 16, 1974
Filing dateOct 25, 1972
Priority dateDec 16, 1969
Publication numberUS 3804226 A, US 3804226A, US-A-3804226, US3804226 A, US3804226A
InventorsEllis J
Original AssigneeEllis J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and apparatus for high speed printing of credit cards
US 3804226 A
Abstract
A method and apparatus for printing customer data such as names, addresses and account numbers on credit or identification cards, such printing being of high quality and accomplished economically and at high speed. The cards are mounted on continuous web paper of the kind used in high speed line printers, and, coincidentally with such mounting, one or more line marks for each card are printed or otherwise recorded on the web paper bearing a predetermined relative position with respect to the printing lines of each card. The web paper with the mounted cards and corresponding line marks is then processed through a computer responsive high speed line printer where the customer data is printed, the line marks serving to control the web paper advancing and stopping means of the line printer to stop the web paper with the printing lines of the cards located precisely in printing position.
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United States Patent 1191 Ellis Apr 16, 1974 [54] METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR HIGH 1,065,432 9/1959 Germany 197 135 R D A 1,149,726 6/1963 Germany 197/135 R SPEED PRINTING 0F CRE IT C RDS 719,181 11/1954 Great Britain 197/135 R [76] Inventor: Jonas Ellis, 4665 W. Maple Rd., I

Birmingham, Mich. 48010 OTHER PUBLICATIONS [22] Filed: Oct. 25, 1972 1 IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 2, Au- PP gust 1959, Page 24-, Continuous Form With Insert Related us. Application Data Pocket, Sharp- [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 885,450, Dec. 16,

1969* abandoned' Primary Examiner-Ernest T. Wright, Jr.

' Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ralzemond B. Parker; Ed- [52] US. Cl. 197/133 R, 197/130, 197/135 R, win Uren; Paul Fish v 282/ l 1.5 A [51] Int. Cl B41] 15/00 [58] Field of Search 197/113, 114, 127, 133,

197/135, 136, 179, 130; 156/277, 384, 388; ABSTRACT 101/35, 327, 333, 368; 271/2; 93/61, 61 AC;

282/1L5 115 A; 229/69 A method and apparatus for printing customer data such as names, addresses and account numbers on [56] References Cited credit or identification cards, such printing being of high quality and accomplished economically and at UNITED STATES PATENTS high speed. The cards are mounted on continuous web 3,461,018 8/1969 Nagashima 156/384 paper of the kind used in high Speed line primers, and g' et g coincidentally with such mounting, one or more line 2027625 1x936 2: 3" 97/133 R x marks for each card are printed or otherwise recorded 2 135 364 11/1938 Templeton II::::....:::::::: 197/133 R x the web Paper bearing a predetermined relative 2:424:073 7/1947 Ayres 197/133 R X sition with respect to the printing lines of each card. 2,695,651 11/1954 Farkas et a1.... 156/384 The web p p with the u e cards and e- 2,936,871 5/1960 Cummins 197/179v sponding line marks is then processed through a com- 2.983,356 61 ompson 133 R puter responsive high speed line printer where the cus- 3,017,980 /1962 DIOnofrio 197/1 1 R tomer data is printed, the line marks serving to control g; L the web paper advancing and stopping means of the 1 6 er line printer to stop the web paper with the printing 3,231,446 l/1966 Satas 156/384 lines of the cards located precisely in priming position FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 797,599 3/1960 France 197/135 R 6 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures CHARGE EXPIRES 01110 ABC 0Q 11-14-10 OQOOO 51011 HERE 0 O O O O O mass EXPIRES A90 00.

1 11 o ,o o 0 SIGN 111111.

PATENTEDAPR 16 1914 3,804,226

sum 3 OF 3 FIGJA.

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STRIPPER- swu ntn: 51 a CARD CHUTE 53 CARD STACKER \Jooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooo) 1. METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR HIGH SPEED PRINTING OF CREDIT CARDS CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS The present application is a continuation-in-part of application, Ser. No. 885,450, filed Dec. 16, 1969, and bearing the same title now abandoned.

A requirement of the present invention is that the data be printed by means of a high speed line printer wherein format control is accomplished through the distinguishable reading of pre-printed line marks on the web paper, such line marks representing printing lines that are variously selectable according to predetermined binary codes transmitted from the computer to the printer. Format control of the type required is disclosed in an application by Albert Sniderman titled Variable Format Control From Pre-Printed Line Marks, the latter application, assigned to the assignee of the present invention and identified as Ser. No. 844,560, having been tiled in the US. Patent Office on July 24, 1969, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,658,l63.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In view of the growing popularity of credit and identification cards, the printing of customer data on such cards has become the subject of increased attention, particularly in light of the limitations and encumbrances that have characterized the printing methods heretofore employed. During the early stages of credit card and identification card usage, when only limited quantities of cards were issued by individual commercial houses, hand printing methods were employed and were found to be effective and reasonably inexpensive. Faster and more economical methods were sought, however, as the quantities of cards issued by these houses multiplied.

In seeking more economical methods, various attempts weremade to make use of conventional high speed line printers in the printing of credit, and identification .cards. Such attempts, involving the mounting of the cards on continuous web paper, have generally proven to be unsatisfactory, at least from the standpoint of the quality of the printing obtained. Slight deviations in the mounting of the cards on the web paper gave rise to lines of printing that were out of registration with the printing lines-on the cards.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION the quality of readability of the printed data.

An important aspect of the method of the invention is the mounting of credit and identification cards on a carrier such as continuous web paper, and concurrently placing one or more machine readable line marks on the carrier in nearby relation to one or more of the printing lines on each card.

Another aspect of the method of the invention is the passing of the carrier, with the mounted cards and line marks thereon, through a printing station wherein the printing lines on each card are successively located precisely in printing position by means of the line marks on the carrier.

Another important object of the invention is to provide an improved method of and apparatus for automatically establishing a positional relationship between the print receiving areas of cards mounted in spaced apart condition on a web-like carrier and certain machine readable markings on the carrier for controlling the operation of a printer into which the carrier and the mounted cards are fed such that the printer is controlled to print accurately in the print receiving areas of each of the cards.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Other objects, aspects and advantages of the invention will be more clearly understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view of a section of continuous web paper with a plurality of creditcards mounted in longitudinally spaced apart arrangement thereon, the cards preferably being arranged an equal distance apart and sub-- stantially centered on the paper, the location of the first printing line on each card being designated in the Figure by a line mark on the web paper rightwardly adjacent to the first printing line;

FIG. 2 is a view of a section of continuous web paper as in FIG. 1, but wherein the locations of all four printing lines on each card are designated by line marks disposed on the web paper, such line marks being arranged in two vertical rows; t

FIG. 3 is a block diagram representing the various steps of the method of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of a hand device for mounting credit cards on web paper and for marking the paper at points corresponding to the location of the printing lines of the card;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the hand device of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of an adhesive and ink applica tor that may be used in conjunction with the hand mounting and marking device of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7A is a schematic diagram designed to represent the mounting of cards on a carrier and the marking of the carrier according to the location of the printing lines on the cards; and

FIG. 7B is a schematic diagram representing the processing of a carrier with mounted cards and line marks through a high speed printer where data is printed in accurate registry on the printing lines of the cards.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, the invention provides a method for printing customer data on credit and identification cards 21, such method essentially comprising the steps of: mounting the cards 21 on an elongated carrier, such as a continuous web paper 23, placing one or more line marks represented at 25, 55 and 57 on the web paper 23 rightwardly in the proximity of the printing lines of each card 21, and feeding the web paper 23 with the cards 21 and line marks25, 55 and 57 thereon through a high speed line printer that is qualified to advanceably select printing lines according to the distinguishable reading of the line marks 25, 55 and 57. The steps of mounting the cards 21 on the web paper 23 and marking the web paper 23 according to the location of the first printing line on each card 21 are represented by the block 27 in FIG. 3, such steps being preceded by the preliminary steps of feedably supplying the web paper 23 and the cards 21 as represented by the blocks 29 and 31, respectively. The step of feeding the web paper 23 through a high speed line printer is represented by the block 33 in FIG. 3, and an additional and anticlimatic step of separating the cards 21 from the web paper 23 is represented by the block 35.

Mounting of the cards 21 on the web paper 23 may be accomplished in any suitable manner that will result in the attachable placement of each card 21 with its upper and lower edges located in parallel relationship with the latitudinal dimension of the web paper 23. A hand mounting device such as that designated as 37 in FIG. may be used in conjunction with a guide plate (not shown) for mounting the cards 21 in such parallel relationship, and any suitable adhesive material may be applied to a portion of the back of each card 21 in order to effectuate a secure mounting. The hand mounting device or implement 37 of FIG. 5 may be provided with a recess 39 formed in the underside surface thereof, as shown in FIG. 4, such recess 39 being so dimensioned as to insertably and removably retain an individual card 21 against laterally shiftable move- 1 ment during the mounting process. The underside surface of the hand mounting device 37 may also be provided with one or more surface discontinuities in the form of depending projections or ridges 40 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, such ridges 40 being correspondingly dimensioned and effective for printing the line marks 25, 55 and 57 on the web paper 23 as illustrated.

A combination ink pad and adhesive applicator 41 shown in FIG. 6 may be used as a means of applying ink to the depending ridges 40 and a measured quantity of adhesive to the area 21 on the reverse side of each card 21 as shown in FIG. 4. A raised surface 43 and an ink pad portion 45 of the applicator 41 are effective for applying adhesive to the area 21 of the cards 21, and ink to the depending ridges 40 of the hand mounting device 37, respectively, a measured amount of liquid adhesive being deposited on the surface 43 prior to bringing the hand mounting device 37 with a card 21 disposed in its recess 39, into contact with the applicator 41.

The step of feeding the web paper 23 through a high speed line printer, as represented by the block '33 of FIG. 3, involves the feedable advancement of the web paper 23 by the web paper advancing and stopping means of the line printer, and also the operation of means disposed within the line printer for reading the line marks 25, 55 and 57 and for stopping the advancement of the paper 23 when a pre-selected line mark 25, 55 or 57 corresponding to a card 21 is read, such stopping of the advancement of the paper 23 serving to locate the printing line corresponding to the pre-selected line mark 25, 55 or 57 in printing position. One embodiment of such line mark reading and web paper stopping means is disclosed and claimed in the above referenced patent of Albert Sniderman, optical scanning means therein provided, in response to predetermined binary codes transmitted from the computer to the line printer, being effective to activate the web paper advancing and stopping means to stop the web paper 23 with the preselected printing line located in printing position. After stopping the web paper 23 according to the Sniderman disclosure, and after the first line of customer information has been printed on a given card 21, the remaining printing lines on the card 21 may then be selectively printed in proper registrational relationship'with the first printing line in response to succeeding predetermined binary codes from a computer.

The invention also provides apparatus for carrying out the above described method, such apparatus being illustrated schematically in FIGS. 7A and 78. Accordingly, the web paper 23 may be unwound from a roll 29' and progressively advanced by suitable tractors or sprockets (not shown) through a card mounting and line marking station 27', thence through a line mark scanner and printing station 33', the cards 21 being thereafter separated from the web paper 23 by a card stripper 35 I Associated with the card mounting and line marking apparatus 27 (FIG, 7A) is a card hopper 31 and an adhesive applicator 47, the hopper 31 being comprised of any suitable means for receiving a supply of unprinted credit cards 21 and for conveying individual cards 21 through the adhesive applicator 47 to the mounting apparatus 27, and the adhesive applicator 47 being comprised of any suitable means for applying a measured quantity of liquid adhesive to the area 21' on the reverse side of each card 21. The card mounting and line marking apparatus 27 may be comprised of any suitable means for contactably mounting the cards 21 on the web paper 23 and for imprinting the line marks 25, 55 and 57 on the web paper 23 at points rightwardly adjacent to the printing lines on the mounted cards 21, such station serving as the mechanized counterpart of the hand mounting device 37 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

The line mark scanner and printing station 33' may correspond to the printing station of the high speed line printer, and the line mark scanner 49 may correspond to the optical scanner 41 and to the pick-up head member 65 of the herein referenced U.S. Pat. No. 3,658,! 63 as shown in the FIG. 3 of the drawing thereof.

The card stripper-35 (FIG, 78) may be comprised of any suitable means for separating the printed cards 21 from the web paper 23 as the latter is advanced into cooperating relationship therewith, and the web paper 23 may thereafter be deposited in adiscard hopper (not shown) and the printed cards 21 conveyed by means of a card chute 51 into a card stacker 53.

The apparatus generally illustrated as a single packaged entity in FIGS. 7A and 78 may be subdivided into two separate entities a first of which comprising the card mounting and line marking station 27' and the ancillary card hopper and feeder 31 and adhesive applicator 47, with the second entity being comprised of a high speed line printer-equipped with the referenced format control device of the Sniderman disclosure.

According to the disclosure of the herein referenced Sniderman patent, a binary code 14" would be transmitted from the computer to the line printer with the data that is to be printed on the first printing line of a card, the receipt of such code serving to advance the paper an indeterminate distance from the last printing line of the preceding card. When, during such paper advancement, the line mark 25 representing the first printing line of the succeeding card is read by the line mark scanner 49, the web paper advancing and stopping means of the line printer is activated to stop the web paper with the first printing line of the card located in printing position. Having once located the first printing line on each card in printing position, the remaining lines may then be printed under the'programmed vertical spacing control of the computer. The effect of the Sniderman invention, in relation to the herein illustrated apparatus of FIGS. 7A and 7B, is that the web paper 23 will be vertically spaced from the last printing line on a preceding card to the first printing line on a succeeding card, such vertical spacing serving to locate the first printing line of each card precisely in printing position. Reference is herein made to the Sniderman patent for a clear understanding of how the reading of the line marks 25 by the scanner 49 serves to activate the web paper advancing and stopping means of the line printer to stop the web paper with the first printing lines of the cards located in printing position.

According to the referenced Sniderman patent, the line marks 25, 55 and 57 shown in FIG. 2 would be printed or otherwise marked on the web paper 23 adjacent to each'card 21, such line marks 25, 55 and 57 being arranged in two vertical rows as illustrated. The first printing line on each card 21, would thereby be represented by a double line mark 55 disposed rightwardly adjacent to the card 21, the second and third printing lines on each card 21 would be represented by a single line mark 57 and the last printing line would be represented by the single line mark 25. By employing these several line marks 55, 57 and 25 to represent the printing lines on the cards 21, the format control device of. Sniderman would be effective to locate such printing line on each card 21, in printing position. Reference may be made to the aforesaid Sniderman patent for a clear understanding of the disclosed circuitry and logic, and of the effect of the binary codes 1" through thereon to stop the web paper advancing means with the selected printing lines 25, 55 and 57 in printing position. In keeping with the Sniderman disclosure, a binary code 1' or 14 would be utilized, after printing the last line of data on thepreceding card 21, to advance theweb paper 23 such that the first printing line of the succeeding card 21 is located in printing position, such line being represented by the double line marks 55. In the event data is then to be printed on the second printing line of the card 21, a binary code 14 would be transmitted from the computer to the line printer with such second line data, thereby causing the web paper 23 to be advanced from the first printing line until the line mark 57 corresponding to the second printing line is read, such reading serving to activate the web paper advancing and stopping means to stop the web paper 23 with the second printing line located in printing position. In the event data is then to be printed on the third printing line on the card 21, a binary code 14 would again be transmitted from the computer to the line printer with such third line data, thereby causing the web paper 23 to be advanced from the second to the third printing line, such third line being represented by the second line mark 57. If after printing a line of data on the first printing line of a card 21, data is then to be printed on the fourth printing line thereof. with the second and third lines left blank, a bi nary code 12" transmitted to the line printer with such fourth line data would be utilized to advance the web paper 23 from the first printing line to the fourth printing line, such latter line being represented by the line mark 25 as shown in FIG. 2. If after printing a line of data on the first printing line, information is then to be printed on the third printing line, with the second line left blank, a binary code 15 would be transmitted to the line printer along with the pertinent data, thereby causing the web paper 23 to be advanced from the first printing line to the third printing line, such latter line being represented by the second line mark 57 of the card 21.

The effect of the line marks 55, 57 and 25, in combination with the above-specified binary codes, is to provide a maximum of flexibility in the printing of credit and identification cards 21, each line of customer data being printable on any desired printing line, and each line being printed inaccurate positional relationship on the printing lines of each card 21.

The carrier stop control line marks 25, and 57 are illustrated in the drawing as being located on the web carrier 23 along side of the card 21 to which they relate and in aligned registration with the print receiving spaces of the card 21. The marks 25, 55 and 57 will activate the sensor of the printer to cause the printer to stop the carrier 23 with the card 21 in position for receiving printed lines thereon which align with the marks 25, 55 and 57. However, as suggested in the herein referenced patent to Snidermann (column 3, lines 50-56), the printer may be constructed as that its scanner for sensing the line marks on the carrier is spaced a particular distance along the carriers path of travel from the print line position of the printer. For such a relation of parts, the line marks 25, 55 and 57 on the carrier 23 will be disposed in offset relationship to the print receiving lines of the card 21 which is represented by them. In such circumstance the implement represented by the card mounting device 37 will be shaped so that a surface discontinuity represented by any one of the ridges 40 will be offset a distance away from its respective print receiving line of the card 21 received in the recess 39 of the device, and this distance will be equivalent to that-separating the scanner from the print line position of theprinter. In other words, for a printer which has its line mark scanner in out-of-line relation to its print line position, the implement 37 will have its inking ridges 40 similarly out-ofline with respect to the print receiving lines of the card 21 received in the implements recess 39. The result is that when the card 21 and an inked impression of the ridges 40 are transferred simultaneously to the carrier 23, this same relative disposition of line marks 25, 55 and 57 and the print receiving lines of the card 21 will prevail on the portion of the carrier 23 to which they are transferred.

While a method of and apparatus for printing lines of customer data and the like on credit cards, identification cards and the like have herein been described in considerable detail, it is to be understood that various alterations and substitutions may be made. in both method and apparatus, and that numerous ways of further implementing the essential steps of the method may be devised without-departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A high speed method for printing lines of information on small-size media such as credit and identification cards, said printing being such that each line of printed information is accurately registered within the printing space on said cards, said method comprisng the steps of:

a. placing each such card on a surface having one or more surface discontinuities which register with one or more print receiving lines of the card,

. simultaneously transferring the card and a marking impression of said one or more discontinuities from said surface to an elongated carrier such that an area of the carrier alongside of such card receives the marking impression of said one or more discontinuities in registering relation with the one or more print receiving lines of the card,

c. successively performing said simultaneous transfer and marking impression step as succeeding cards are mounted on the carrier in a row extending lengthwise of the carrier,

feeding said carrier in the direction of its longitudinal dimension with said mounted cards and said registering marking impressions thereon through a high speed line printer, said printer being effective to detect said marking impressions and to print said lines of information on said cards under the control of said marking impressions on said carrier, and

e. utilizing a selected one or more of said marking impressions alongside each card to control the stoppage of the feed of said carrier with such card in position for the printer to print one or more lines of information on the card in registration with the selected one or more of said impressions on the carrier.

2. The method defined in claim 1 wherein the step of marking said carrier along side of each of said cardsis accomplished concurrently with the step of mounting of said cards on said carrier by placing the card in a recess of corresponding size in said surface to hold said card from laterally shiftable movement and by charac-- terizing said surfacediscontinuities as one or more parallel projecting ridges on said surface aligning with the one'or more print receiving lines of the card placed in said surface recess, inking said ridges, and simultaneously transferring the card from the recess and ink from the ridges onto said carrier thereby to cause the print receiving lines of the card to align with the transferred ink impressions of the ridges.

3. The method defined in claim 2 wherein said printing of said one or more lines of information on said cards'under the control of said marking impressions on said carrier during said step of feeding said carrier through said high speed line printer is accomplished by transmitting a predetermined binary code to said printer concurrently with the transmission of each of said lines of information to be printed, said binary codes logically cooperating with said detection of said marking impressions by said printer during the advancement of said carrier and causing the carrier to stop with the desired printing line space of a card located in printing position.

4. A high speed method for printing lines of information on small-size media such as credit and identification cards, said'printing being such that each line of printed information is accurately registered within the printing space on said cards, said method comprising the steps of:

a. placing each such card on a surface having one or more surface discontinuities which bear a predetermined relative position with respect to one or more print receiving lines of the card,

b. simultaneously transferring the card and a marking impression of said one or more discontinuties from said surface to an elongated carrier such that an area of the carrier in the region of such card receives the marking impression of said one or more discontinuties in said predetermined relative position with respect to the one or more print receiving lines of the card, I

c. successively performing said simultaneous transfer and marking impression step as succeeding cards are mounted on the carrier in a row extending lengthwise of the carrier,

d. feeding said carrier in the direction of its longitudinal dimension with said mounted cards and said relatively positioned marking impressions thereon through a high speed line printer, said printer being effective to detect said marking impressions and to print said lines of information on said cards under the control of said marking impressions on said carrier, and

e. utilizing a selected one or more of said marking impressions regionally associated with each card to control the stoppage of the feed of said carrier with such card in position for the printer to print one or more lines of information on the card in said positioned relationship with the selected one'or. more of said marking impressions on the carrier.

5. The method defined in claim 4 wherein the step of marking said carrier in the region of each of said cards is accomplished concurrently with the step of mounting of said cards on said carrier by placing the card in a recess of corresponding size in said surface to hold said card from laterally shiftable movement and by characterizing said surface discontinuities as one or more parallel projecting ridges on said surface having said predetermined relative position with respect to the one or more print receiving lines of the card placed in said surface recess, inking said ridges, and simultaneously transferring the card from the recess and ink from the ridges onto said carrier thereby to cause the print receiving lines of the card and the transferred ink impressions of the ridges to assume said predetermined positional relationship with respect, to one another.

6. The method defined in claim 5 wherein said printing of said one or more lines of information on said cards under the control of said marking impressions on said carrier during said step of feeding said carrier through said high speed line printer is accomplished by transmitting a predetermined binary code to said printer concurrently with the transmission of each of said lines of information to be printed, said binary codes logically cooperating with said detection of said marking impressions by said printer during the advancement of said carrier and causing the carrier to stop with the desired printing line space of a card located in printing position.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3963110 *Jun 26, 1974Jun 15, 1976Hy Grip Products Co.Storage magazine and sheet feeder for typing apparatus
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US7225990 *May 24, 2004Jun 5, 2007First Data CorporationCard stripper for removing cards from card carriers
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Classifications
U.S. Classification400/531, 400/583.3, 462/2
International ClassificationB41J11/46, B41J13/12
Cooperative ClassificationB41J11/46, B41J13/12
European ClassificationB41J11/46, B41J13/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 22, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: UNISYS CORPORATION, PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:BURROUGHS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005012/0501
Effective date: 19880509
Jul 13, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: BURROUGHS CORPORATION
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:BURROUGHS CORPORATION A CORP OF MI (MERGED INTO);BURROUGHS DELAWARE INCORPORATEDA DE CORP. (CHANGED TO);REEL/FRAME:004312/0324
Effective date: 19840530