SATO established by Yo Sato in 1940 in Japan originally developed, manufactured and distributed machines for processing bamboo and other types of palm-trees, later packaging machines. In 1962 Yo Sato developed a manual labeling device and mass-production was launched in 1964. Over the following years the company became a pioneer entering new markets, due to the manual labeling device the company designed itself.

In the period from the 1980s to today SATO was active in the development, production and distribution of different labelers and thermo-transfer printers. Furthermore, in 2003 they developed the first RFID printer ever manufactured in Japan. Nowadays, in cooperation with other multinational companies SATO is also a committed campaigner of other devices based on RFID technology, e.g. automatic product recognition systems.