Founded in 1951, Mitsuboshi Metal Industry Co., Ltd. is a manufacturer of rebar for various industries and enterprises. The company is based in Tsubame City, Niigata Prefecture. Mitsuboshi Metal produces high-quality rebar from steel scrap.
In April 2024, working hours regulations for truck drivers will be tightened by law in Japan, and Mitsuboshi Metal will be forced to respond to several challenges, including questions about the decline in transport volumes due to the worsening labour shortage. The average waiting time for truck drivers is about 18% of the daily working time, which is a problem, especially during peak hours—the working environment for drivers and shippers needs to be improved.
Mitsuboshi Metal decided to tackle the logistical challenges with the solution provided by SATO Ltd., which includes QR codes and a real-time locating system powered by Quuppa. Mitsuboshi Metal’s industrial sites are harsh environments for solutions based on radio transmissions, yet Quuppa’s technology is renowned for effectively tackling the demands of such environments.
Using QR code labels, ID information, scanners and a real-time location system, each truck and driver can be identified and located when entering or leaving a berth (loading and unloading area), for example. The status of the loading dock area is visualised in real time and the user interface provides data on which truck is using which berth. For vehicles that remain in the loading area longer than expected, automatic alerts can be created and displayed, indicating the reason for the extended stay.
Mitsuboshi Metal has tackled their Logistics 2024 Problem and reduced the waiting time for truck drivers by 1,000 hours. Manual labour at vehicle reception operations has been reduced and measures can be taken to improve the efficiency of logistics operations and berth areas. By visualising the timetable of the trucks, Mitsuboshi Metal has shifted to managing reservations based on this information. In addition to the distribution of visiting vehicles, the factories can now prepare for shipment according to the reservations. The system can also be used to improve layout and operations.
The system has been awarded by the Japan Automatic Identification Systems Association (JAISA).
The SATO solution powered by Quuppa has delivered several benefits for Mitsuboshi Metal:
- The labour efficiency in the factories’ reception operations has been enhanced by saving the truck drivers time – by 1,000 hours a year.
- Less manual work in the reception operations.
- Better visibility into logistics processes.
The SATO solution is an essential element on the road to Industry 4.0 at Mitsuboshi Metal. SATO and Mitsuboshi Metal will continue their cooperation and look for new use cases. The management is constantly looking for ways to maximise the value and quality of their products for customers. With a real-time locating system, Mitsuboshi Metal can improve logistics and transparency at its industrial sites.
Read more about the Sato solution powered by Quuppa here: www.sato.co.jp/products/realtime_locationsystem