SATO, a pioneer in the Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) industry and a leader in barcode printing, labeling, GS1, and EPC/RFID solutions, and BindTech, Inc., located in Nashville, TN and one of the largest, privately owned trade bindery/book manufacturers in the U.S., announced today an agreement between Smart Guard LLC and SATO that awards SATO exclusive rights to all of the Smart Guard™ patents. Smart Guard is a U.S. patented manufacturing process incorporating RFID technology into item level tagging for the book publishing/media and entertainment industries.
Smart Guard, developed by BindTech, Inc., worked with its manufacturing group, equipment manufacturers, and board manufacturers to develop an in-line manufacturing process to apply and fully conceal an RFID tag in the cover or spine of hard cover products such as books, DVDs, CDs, game boards, puzzles, diaries, ledgers, and any other type of hard cover product as it is being manufactured.
SATO Integration Solutions Division (SATO ISD), a systems integration group of SATO America, custom designed the software and integration process to exclusively secure Smart Guard and its many benefits. For companies in this multi-billion dollar industry looking for a competitive edge, SATO can deliver solutions worldwide that will improve their supply chain, reduce counterfeited products, reduce overall costs, and streamline reverse logistics processes that further provide value for their customers.
"With SATO's RFID technology and knowledge of the publishing and entertainment industries, they made the perfect partner for Smart Guard," said Dale Nichols, BindTech's President.
The prevalent method used today to implement RFID technology by publishers, bookstores, libraries, and the like is to hand-apply RFID tags on products after the products are received. The problems associated with this method are obvious. It is a labor-intensive method and not every item is tagged and those that are can fall off (or be purposely removed) due to inadequate application or adhesives. Also, the integrity of the data is lost because the product is not scanned and therefore, is not associated to the individual item. Tracking product is ineffective and shrinkage increases. Inventory control is compromised and inaccurate. Also, without the added security of RFID technology, "knockoff" copies are easily produced to flood the market with fraudulent copies and returns, which cost publishers millions of dollars each year in increased expenses and lost profits.
By implementing RFID technology as an automated in-line manufacturing process, labor costs are not increased at the retail or manufacturing level, inventory is accurately tracked, and the ability of professionals to reproduce, sell, and/or return fraudulent copies is substantially eliminated.
Offering book publishers and other hard cover product manufacturers an efficient and accurate supply chain solution by utilizing RFID smart tags, they can now accurately track the life span of their products within their supply chains, which substantially reduces theft and fraud while improving and streamlining their logistics and credit reconciliation processes.
"Book publishers and other manufacturers of like products understand the economics," said Mike Beedles, SATO America's Director, Integration Solutions Division. "The increase in shrinkage as well as fraudulent copies and returns is astounding. Our solution digitally protects the owner's copyrighted materials and prevents malicious attempts to tamper with the produced products because the electronic serial ID is concealed during the manufacturing process and cannot be removed without destroying the book, CD or DVD case. It allows the owner of the intellectual property to securely ID their work/content, track it throughout the supply chain, secure proper payments and credits, and authenticate returns. We have been working on perfecting this process for several years with leading manufacturers and publishers and now with the process patented, we are ready to deliver savings to the many clients worldwide who have been losing revenue and dealing with issues such as price parity, counterfeiting, credit returns errors, and the need to streamline their supply chains."
Thomas Nelson, Inc., a leading provider of Bibles, products, and live events emphasizing Christian, inspirational and family value themes, understands the value of the "concealed" RFID inlay.
After completing a test trial with SATO America for several months, the results were outstanding. As expected, the patented manufacturing process proved to be highly successful.
"The advantages of the RFID technology from SATO will be less waste and improved productivity through the entire publishing value chain; from the publisher's warehouse to the bookstore, and back in the event of a return," said Tod Shuttleworth, Thomas Nelson's Senior Vice President and Group Publisher, Specialty & Global Publishing.
"SATO has received a tremendous number of inquiries about this new technology and process and we will work with our partners in North and South America over the next 6-12 months to roll out this program and assist in developing an ROI for their customers," said John Anderson, SATO Integration Solutions Division's National Sales Manager. "Our goal, which we accomplished, was to give our clients a way to confidently measure and manage their printed and recorded assets without impacting their labor costs."
SATO – Delivering Best-In-Class for performance and value. SATO – leading the way with fully-functional, cost-effective printing and RFID technology solutions.
SATO is a pioneer in the Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) industry and the inventor of the world's first electronic thermal transfer barcode printer. It revolutionized the barcoding industry by introducing the Data Collection System (DCS) & Labeling concept – a total barcode and labeling solution providing high quality barcode printers, scanners/hand-held terminals, label design software and consumables. SATO is one of the first in the industry to introduce a complete, multi-protocol EPC-compliant, UHF RFID solution.
SATO is publicly listed on the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan. It has worldwide offices in the United States, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and China. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, it reported revenues of US $776 million. More information about SATO Corporation can be found at www.sato.co.jp/english.
For more information about SATO America, visit www.satoamerica.com.