Tracking Steel Tubing and Pipes


Maruichi America Corp., a Santa Fe Springs, CA-based subsidiary of Maruichi Steel Tube Ltd., is a manufacturer of electric resistance welded (ERW) steel tubing and pipes. The company is the largest structural and ornamental tube mill on the West Coast. (

Production and inventory control

SATO Business Partner
Fujitsu Consulting
Business Challenge
Maruichi America Corp. manufactures high-quality structural and mechanical steel tubing. While the company was using bar code labels at its manufacturing facilities, it was unable to accurately track raw materials or finished goods because its previous labels could not withstand the harsh environmental conditions outside the facility. The steel pipes, panels and tubes are stored outside of its Santa Fe Springs factory, so traditional barcode labels would be damaged by sunlight and rain, making them difficult to read using a barcode scanner.

Maruichi selected the CL408e label printer from SATO America to help track its raw materials and finished goods.

The barcode labeling system is integrated with a tracking application originally created by Fujitsu Consulting for use by Maruichi in Japan. Maruichi America originally selected the SATO solution based on the success that the Japanese parent company has had using the labeling system.

The CL408e label printer in the facility is used to generate labels for both raw and slit coils, as well as finished goods. Raw and slit coils are marked with paper thermal-transfer labels, while finished goods are tracked with a Valeron tag. The Valeron tag can withstand exposure to water, heat and sunlight, so goods stored outdoors can be scanned without any difficulty.

Maruichi is now considering using an RFID tag on its steel pipes and tubes to make inventory tracking even more efficient.

* Raw materials and finished goods inventory can be accurately tracked
* Barcode labels can withstand harsh outdoor conditions

Customer Comments
"We are very satisfied with the SATO labeling system, and appreciate the quick response we receive from the company when we have questions or issues."
Masayuki Yano, Maruichi America