Labelling in Logistic Centres in Finland

End user:
Kesko Food, Finland’s leading company in the groceries trade
System: M84PRO 200 dpi with LAN printer for printing picking labels and pallet labels
Benefits: Flexible labelling operations, better print quality and on-demand printing

Kesko Food, a daughter company of Kesko Oy, is Finland’s leading company in the groceries trade sector with a turnover of 3812 million € (Kesko’s total turnover is 7517 million €). Kesko Food is the market leader with a current market share in Finland of 36%. Kesko Food headquarters are located in Helsinki and it has 2 logistics centres in Vantaa and in Turku. Kesko Food’s logistics centre in Vantaa has two central warehouses with a surface of over 10 hectares filled with thousands of products.

When SATO’s Business Partner in Finland, Meckelborg, was approached by Kesko Food, it was planning to move their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to SAP R/3 and simultaneously it wanted to renew its label printing operations. Previously label printing was done with matrix and laser printer, but it did not anymore provide a customised solution for printing individual, on-demand labels in various different printing locations.

Kesko Food saw the need to move away from printing labels with matrix and laser printers, as it needed to print big quantities at one and the printing locations were located far from each other which made the printing on-demand and on-site very difficult.

One of the challenges to Meckelborg and Kesko Food was to identify a label printing solution that is compatible with the system and allows exporting from SAP.

Solution: Barcodes Reveal Packing Errors
After thorough research into Kesko Food’s needs, Meckelborg proposed to Kesko Food a complete “Merkintäpalvelusopimus” (Marking Service Contract) solution including not only M84PRO 200 dpi thermal printers, but also including all the necessary consumables and maintenance service. An important factor of this contract is that the customer does not invest in the printers, but pays a monthly fee.

The M84PRO printer was chosen, since it is developed for the toughest of industrial environments, the all-metal casing endures harsh knocks and resists dust and dirt. It can also handle the big quantities that Kesko Food needs to print. With the M84PRO from SATO it is possible to print 24h/24h, 7 days a week. With the user changeable print resolution 203/305/609 dpi, it is now possible to print barcodes, text and fine detailed graphics with clarity and precision.

Kesko Food now has 60 units of M84PRO printers in its logistics centres around Finland. The printers are connected via a LAN connection to the main system and the printers look up for information such as delivery address, picking number, routed from SAP R/3. The routing of information from SAP R/3 to the printer was simple by using SATO’s Label Gallery, label creation software. With these 60 printers Kesko Food prints 43 million picking labels (size 75 x 45mm) per year and 22 million pallet labels (size 96 x 148 mm) per year.

When Kesko Food tested the different colleagues’ solutions, SATO’s M84PRO responded perfectly to their needs and was reliable and robust and the Marking Service Contract from Meckelborg allowed a completely new approach to labelling with service included.

The benefits of this complete marking solution at Kesko Food are numerous. 60 printers located in the distribution centres near the labelling location makes the labelling operations more flexible. By using the thermal printers from SATO, the operators can print smaller quantities than with the previous printers and the print quality is higher. With the Marking Service Contract from Meckelborg the maintenance is straightforward and Kesko Food receives immediate service. Tapio Iirola, SAP implementation team leader from Kesko Food, said “The most important advantage for Kesko Food is that everything is centralised, and all the services and supplies are available under one roof. In addition, the SATO M84PRO printers have led to great cost savings and improved efficiency in our logistics centres.”