Sorting data into either numerical or alphabetic order is one of the most basic office automation tasks. The Type 80 sorted by reading the punches in one column of a card, then routing that card to the corresponding output bin. Sorting by multi-digit numbers or names required multiple passes. This sorter was one of IBM's most widely used punched card equipment in the pre-computing era. In 1943, there were over 10,000 units on lease.