Browse Prior Art Database

Self-Billing Feature for Microprocessor-Controlled Machine

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000046193D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hubbard, JH: AUTHOR

Abstract

An improved billing procedure is described that is suitable for implementation in microprocessor-controlled machines.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 53% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

Self-Billing Feature for Microprocessor-Controlled Machine

An improved billing procedure is described that is suitable for implementation in microprocessor-controlled machines.

The present billing procedure for copiers that are rented or leased by customers is performed in three steps. First, the customer reads the billing meter monthly and mails the information to a billing center. The billing meter holds the cumulative sum of all copies processed by the machine. Second, the billing center uses the information to prepare a bill that is mailed to the customer. Third, the customer, on receipt of the bill, mails a check for the billed amount to the billing center.

Among the disadvantages of this procedure are the requirement for three mailings and the delay in receiving payment. The customer must pay for two mailings, and he does not have timely knowledge of his cost of operation.

The solution is to reduce the procedure to one mailing by providing the customer with the billed amount calculated by the controlling microprocessor in the copier. The new procedure is simply implemented by providing a pair of accumulating registers, a calendar program, and a rate structure program.

One of the accumulating registers is incremented by each copy that is produced during the present month. The calendar program, which can be included on an EPROM with the rate structure program, is well known and needs to supply only a signal marking the end of the present month. At the end of the month, the other register is cleared to zero and begins accumulating the machine usage information for the next month while the first register is frozen.

The rate structure pro...