Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) has been around for some time, but it’s become more of a standby in the laundry industry. American Laundry News points out that RFID is gaining traction in the industry from both a customer perspective and businesses. For customers, RFID provides the ability to track down lost clothing and damaged linen, which allows the operator to recover the cost from the customer.
The commercial laundry industry is now taking steps to utilize RFID on a bigger scale and with this step comes the ability to see just how to use it. Here are some ways RFID is helping out.
Accurate Wash Count Records
The laundry wash cycle per garment is an important metric. There are wash cycle analytics that help predict the end-of-life date for garments and most linens or uniforms can only withstand a certain number of wash cycles before they fray. With no data to mine, it becomes impossible to estimate a garment’s end-of-life date with no wash cycle count. What happens from this? You can’t plan accurately for reordering replacements.
Wash cycle counts can be updated in software databases, but only if the RFID tags are intact. Software like this can prompt users to reorder certain types of garments or linens.
Quicker Access to Inventory
RFID tags can be sewn into textiles to help companies take inventory faster, more accurately, and more efficiently. RFID readers placed in each storage room take a continuous inventory to help indicate where textiles are lost or stolen. This all helps to count inventory and in turn helps companies that use an offsite laundering service.
The RFID system is also paving the way for easier automation in the coming years. From robotic sorting to auto packing and storage, RFID is really an all-in-one system that streamlines processes. Furthermore, RFID, in the future, will impact errors, losses, and even reduce real estate. With more automation comes a sleeker outfitting including freeing up space for more capacity.
Most companies are using a single inventory that’s more manual in its method when it comes to accounting for lost or stolen linens or textiles. Human error does play a factor unfortunately, but this is expected when people are counting hundreds or even thousands of textiles on a daily basis. When counting is done and not everything adds up, RFID can help emphasize internal theft by identifying where each textile was last interrogated.
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