How RFID Resolves Problems Faced By Industrial Laundries

How RFID Resolves Problems Faced By Industrial Laundries

RFID Tag, UHF RFID Tag

In general, RFID technology helps industries improve overall efficiency by simplifying stock control and cutting costs on monitoring technology. One of the many uses of RFID technology would be RFID asset tracking in supply chain management.

There is reduced possibilities for human error with RFID asset tracking, and less human intervention is needed in supply chain management to mitigate potential mistakes. Now, companies can focus on more human-centric stages in the supply chain process, such as sourcing and reverse logistics.

Beyond supply chain management, RFID asset tracking is increasingly in popularity among industrial laundries. Industrial laundering consists of many stages, and large numbers of labour are required to facilitate each stage in its operations. In most industrial laundries, there are seven procedures to be followed; collection, sorting, pretreatment, loading, washing, drying, and storage.

At any point during these seven procedures, industrial laundries face many challenges on a daily basis. However, RFID technology can be harnessed to reduce the occurrence of the following three issues.

1. Laundry sorting

Industrial laundering has to be both time-efficient and cost-effective. However, there are often many different apparels and materials to sort through, and manual sorting would take up both a lot of time and money. It may be more efficient to bundle all fabrics together and wash them with an extra heavy wash formula to reduce the need for sorting. However, this method is not economical as different materials may need other wash formula with different loads.

Individual RFID tags can hold large amounts of data. The apparel and linen’s relevant information can be recorded on these tags to allow sorters to identify them quickly. Additionally, the RFID reader can also display the necessary directions and instructions so sorters can allocate them to the correct area or destination.

RFID tags are also able to withstand the turbulent conditions of the washing process. By choosing secure and durable materials that can withstand the rigours of washing and temperature, the tags will also have a longer lifespan.

2. Creasing after ironing

Hotels and restaurants would send their linens to industrial laundries for washing and drying – some examples include tablecloths, bedsheets, and curtains. After these linens are laundered, they are passed through a flatwork ironer to speed up the drying process and to remove creases and wrinkles. However, the flatwork ironer may not be working as well as it should, and these creases may not be properly removed.

One common reason behind poor crease removal would be detergent build-up in the linens. Detergent build-up prevents the fabric from sliding through the ironer smoothly. Laundries have to ensure the linen has been through sufficient rinse cycles in order to successfully mitigate this issue.

As such, it can be time-consuming to manually record each linen’s required rinse cycles, and it will also be inefficient to manually backtrack the stages of the wash cycle that each linen has completed. With RFID tags attached to the linen, it is possible to track the completed stages and backtrack any necessary steps.

3. Outsourcing operations due to insufficient labour

Each stage in the 7-step process needs manpower resources, but there may be insufficient labour to follow through with each cycle. Hence, some laundries even outsource some procedures to smaller specialised companies to reduce the need for hiring more labour of their own.

However, it may be difficult to maintain consistency and control over the quality of services by using external companies. Delivery and collection schedules also require additional coordination and may prove to be more inefficient overall.

Instead, RFID asset tracking will allow employees to streamline their job scope by utilising technology to reduce the time spent on menial tasks where RFID can be used. As data is centralised and easily accessible, follow-up and communication with the relevant customers are easier with the proper disseminated of data. Employees can now focus on customer service and more personalised services instead of worrying about minor details.

Conclusion

By reducing the need for manual work and simplifying the 7-step process, industrial laundries can improve their output and reduce stress on their employees.

Industrial laundries are just one out of many industries that benefit from RFID technology. With its simple and intuitive framework, RFID asset tracking will continue to be an essential tool for many industries in optimising their productivity and overall efficiency.