SATO History

SATO was founded in 1940 to develop, manufacture, and sell machinery for processing bamboo, rattan and palm. Throughout its history, the company has been obsessed with meeting demands for labor efficiency. In 1962, our founder Yo Sato invented a hand labeler. The company subsequently became a pioneer in price marking, and was able to open up new markets when the hand labeler became a smash hit around the world. In 1964, we began independently manufacturing hand labelers, moving beyond the machine manufacturer paradigm to build the foundations of our supply business.

With the emergence of point-of-sale (POS) systems in the 1970s, SATO developed new hand labeler models that were compatible with optical character recognition (OCR) and barcodes. In 1981, the Company emerged as the leading manufacturer of in-store marking solutions when it invented the world's first thermal transfer printer for JAN/UPC/EAN POS systems.
Since then, applications for barcodes have spread dramatically for the management of goods across a number of industries, including retail, manufacturing, logistics, food processing and medical care. Meanwhile, the use of 2D codes, which enable users to input information into a small space, has also been increasing and has come to stay as a means for consumers to obtain information using mobile phones.

In recent years, RFID, which communicates and reads information using radio waves, has been attracting attention and achieving rapid progress as an advanced authentication method. SATO leveraged the auto-identification expertise it has developed over many years in barcodes and 2D codes to develop and market the first-ever RFID printer in Japan in 2003. SATO is currently working to introduce RFID in cooperation with leading Japanese and overseas companies, contributing to the development of auto-identification systems.

1940  Incorporated as a manufacturer of bamboo-processing machinery. 

1958  Began production and sales of packaging machinery.

1960  Began development of hand labelers.

1962  Began production and sales of hand labelers.

1964  Began production of labels.

1981  Developed M-2311 thermal-transfer printer.

1984  Developed a real-time label printer-applicator.

1986  Established factory in Malaysia for the production of printers and hand labelers.

1987  Established group companies in Singapore and the U.S.

1989  Established group company in Germany.

1990  Registered for over-the-counter trading at Japan Securities Dealers Association.

1994  Listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

1996  Acquired the UK company, Nor Systems Ltd. (now SATO UK Ltd.)

1997  Listed on the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange.

2001  Company for overseas group company management, SATO INTERNATIONAL is established in Singapore.
Established group company in Thailand.

2002  Established group companies in China, Belgium and Poland.

2003  Began production of RFID printers.
Further strengthening and expansion of overseas label production system.
Began label production in Thailand.

2004  Began label production in Poland and Malaysia.

2005  Acquired French company L'Etiquetage Rationnel (now SATO FRANCE S.A.S.).
Established a factory in Vietnam for production of printers and hand labelers.

2006  Acquired the barcode systems businesses of Checkpoint Systems, Inc. and established five new companies in the U.S., Spain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
Established four group companies in Japan.
SATO NEW ZEALAND acquired Walker Datavision's businesses.

2007  Established group company in Japan.
SATO AMERICA acquired TrakIT Systems' businesses.

2009  Integrated management functions of SATO INTERNATIONAL's overseas operations into Japanese headquarters.
Established shared service center, SATO GLOBAL BUSINESS SERVICES in Singapore.
Software development company, INOUT acquired as a group company.
Began label production in China.

2010  Headquarters moved to Meguro-ward, Tokyo.
Acquired NODOS S.A. of Argentina (now SATO ARGENTINA S.A.).
Acquired label production and sales company SANKYO PRINTING.

2011  Transition to holding company structure through corporate spin-off with seven group companies established and one absorbed.
Name changed to SATO HOLDINGS Co., Ltd.

2012  Acquired Taiwan printer manufacturer Argox Information Co., Ltd.
Acquired Argentina labeling business Achernar S.A.
Established SATO AUTO-ID INDIA PVT. LTD. group company in India.
Established PT. SATO Nagatomi as a joint venture between SATO Group and PT. Indonagatomi in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Established new group company SATO VIETNAM SOLUTIONS CO., LTD. in Vietnam.

2013  Established three group companies in Japan (Primary Label International Co., Ltd, SATO Green Engineering Co., Ltd., SATO RFID Solutions Co., Ltd.).
Acquired minority stake in U.S. based global apparel brand identification and packaging products and materials (apparel ID) provider Nexgen Packaging LLC.
Acquired the proprietary RFID business from Magellan Technology to establish new group company SATO Vicinity Pty. Ltd. in Australia.
Established new group company in Australia.

2014  Established group company in Japan (SATO Healthcare Co., Ltd.)
Established Auto-ID system integration business SATO Global Solutions, Inc. in the U.S.
Acquired Russian primary labels company Okil-Holding, JSC.

2015  Established three group companies in Japan (SpeciaLase Ltd., Design Promotion Co., Ltd., SATO Solution Architects Co., Ltd.)
SATO New Zealand Ltd. acquired the labeling business of Jenkins Labels Limited.
Acquired Brazilian labels company Prakolar Rótulos Autoadesivos S.A.

2017  Established two group companies in the Philippines (SATO Philippines AIDC Solutions Inc. , SATO Philippines Auto-ID SP Inc.)
Acquired UK-based inline digital printing (IDP) leader, DataLase Ltd.
Established SATO TAIWAN Co., Ltd. in Taiwan
Established an RFID tags/labels production plant at Kitakami Operations, Iwate Prefecture, Japan

2018  Integrated three Japan-based Group companies (SATO Advance Co., Ltd., SATO Printing Co., Ltd., SATO Technology Co., Ltd.) into SATO Corporation