SATO, a global pioneer in auto-ID and labeling solutions, marks the 60th consecutive year of sale of its longest-running product—the hand labeler.
The hand labeler—also referred to as a price gun—was developed by SATO founder Yo Sato, in 1962. The idea was inspired by his observation of price tagging on the retail floor. At the time, pieces of paper with prices written on them were cut and glued to individual products. He wondered if there was a way to make the process easier. At the time, Japan was in a period of economic growth, and an increasing number of products came to be available on retail shelves.
Seeking to mechanize the pricing process, Yo’s inspiration came when he saw a sticker in a worker’s breast pocket. He realized that if the backing paper were folded, the sticker would come off cleanly. This idea was applied to the prototype.
Since the original product launch in 1962, businesses around the world have been using SATO hand labelers, and the lineup has expanded to 6 product brands and 41 models. SATO has made a number of improvements to the design over the years, including the adoption of a lightweight, drop-resistant chassis and a body that makes it easier to set the label reels.
We have also expanded our lineup of genuine SATO labels, including label substrates, glues, and ink rollers, to allow customers to choose the product best suited to their application and usage environment.
The number of situations in which hand labelers are used has also expanded. Beyond price tagging in stores, they are used in food service for food expiry management, in hospitals for displaying administrative codes and expiration dates and in transport & logistics for lot numbers.
Tagging is the fundamental mechanics of attaching information to things to solve on-site problems. The invention of the hand labeler, used to attach prices to products in stores, was the starting point for SATO’s tagging business, our core expertise that lives on to this day.
SATO (TOKYO:6287) is a global auto-ID solutions provider for leading companies in manufacturing, logistics, retail, food & beverage and health care. SATO tags every ‘thing’, making it knowable in real time for a connected world of productivity, safety, reassurance and sustainability. An industry pioneer with a focus that is grounded on site, SATO engineers hardware and integrates solutions to streamline the entire supply chain and capture and visualize data from the factory to the consumer. SATO has 82 years of expertise and a presence in 26 countries with its 5,600+ workforce. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, it reported revenues of 124,783 million yen ($1.11 billion*).
*Based on an average exchange rate of 1 USD = 112.39 JPY