SATO Tag System Improves Distribution

End user: Japanese Clothing Manufacturer
System: SATO label software and the XL400e label and tag printer
Benefits: More efficient labelling and shipping of garments. Increased productivity
Precise and fast distribution to multiple destinations is a major concern for those in the garment industry. A famous clothing manufacturer in Japan was asked by its customers (department stores and wholesalers) to examine its own logistics management, to try and improve accuracy and speed of deliveries.

Issues: Label Overload
Handling more than 400 different tag/label designs, which are attached to garments, as well as printing shipping labels for thousands of destinations, the manufacturer was printing more than 200,000 labels/tags in a day. They needed a system, which is fast, reliable and able to manage these tight requirements, transferring information direct from their ACOS/Unisys System into the label formats.

Solution: Automated Tag Printing
The manufacturer installed SATO Data Collection and Labelling Systems to meet its customers' requirements. Firstly, data transfer was addressed. Ordering information is consolidated in 2 locations, Tokyo and Osaka, where it is then transferred to the factory/warehouse into their ACOS/Unisys system. By installing SATO software on to the manufacturer's server and setting up database links, information is now automatically transferred into the label format too, ready to print. Furthermore, data can be updated from the label software programme, ensuring real-time information is always ready to print.

To print the labels, 33 XL400e printers have been installed in the manufacturing area, connected to the server. The SATO XL 400e was selected because it is a specialist printer, producing a crisp image on both labels and tags, and handling a variety of texts, graphics and barcodes.

A PC controls 2 printers simultaneously. All printers are electrically monitored by a bi-directional communication interface, allowing a central station to check the printers' status, the amount of consumables, etc. This ensures the printers run to their maximum capacity.

For added convenience, most of the 400 label/tag formats have been added to the SATO Label/Tag Format library on the Japanese website. The manufacturer accesses these designs by entering a password and can download them straight into the SATO software. The user saves time, not needing to create a new programme for new label/tag designs.
With over 400 designs, a printer's label and carbon ribbon supply also has to be changed constantly. To reduce downtime, printers are placed according to their duty cycle or label design. This allows the operators to minimise the frequency of changing consumables.

Most of the label formats include JAN Code, a barcode commonly used in Japan. During the inspection process these barcodes are scanned to create another database to print shipping labels.

An ASN, (advance shipment notice) is also printed and sent to the garments' destination. This prepares them for the receipt of goods. It's very effective in eliminating double-counting at shipping and receiving points and results in faster processing and eliminates return costs.

Installing SATO label design software has enabled the manufacturer's warehouse to have real-time information at their fingertips, ready to print. The software is user friendly and easily handles the different designs. To make the operators task easier, label designs are downloaded quickly and efficiently from the SATO format library.

The XL 400e printers are highly reliable printers, which need very little maintenance. They print on a variety of materials, and changing consumables is a quick, easy process. This means the manufacturer can quickly respond to customer demands, effortlessly changing a printer's job.

The new system has increased information accuracy and processing speed. The overall result has been a tremendous increase in productivity.