Linen Loss Solved by RFID Laundry Tags

Laundry and linen services can disappear at random times when you least expect them. These products are used daily and then you look at them again and they’re gone! This riddle has been solved by RFID technology that can keep an eye on these and other benefits it gives you. RFID laundry tags can now provide a way for industrial laundries to track these textiles.

RFID linen transponder is being used to track a variety of items including, but not limited to, uniforms, scrubs, flat linen, terry cloth, microfiber products, mats, tuxedos, etc. from the customer back to the factory and then from the factory back to the customer.

When looking for visibility into inventory, RFID is the answer. Where is the product? How long does it reside throughout the process? How long is the product used before it needs to be removed? Which products have been lost or destroyed?

RFID is not just for tracking products and counting inventory. However, not every company sees the same benefits of RFID.

Companies are starting to implement additional point reading for production, packaging and distribution/shipping. One example is the manufacture of bundles of items. RFID gives you a way to check these bundles to ensure that each item is tagged, everything in the bundle is the same, and that the bundle has the correct quantity.

The laundry and linen service industry has been using RFID laundry tags for some time. The technology starts with low frequency (LF) at 125kHz, moves to high frequency (HF) at 13.56MHz, and then to ultra high frequency (UHF) at 900MHz range.

As we see the frequency change/enhancement, the application changes with it. In the low and high frequency areas, tags are small, hardened and round. The read ranges were 6 to 18 inches and went from single-read to multi-read applications.

Reading bulk products effectively was very difficult. Then in 2010, UHF entered the market.

This new UHF frequency required a change in the format of the laundry tag to a rectangular shape. UHF laundry tags have a read range of 10+ feet and can be read 10 times faster than the latest HF tags.

This new frequency allows for fast scanning of bulk items and the opportunity to develop solutions for reading bulk items in shopping carts, bags and slings. This has resulted in a much improved solution for apparel.

This allows textile companies to inventory their customers’ sites, scan large quantities of items, and run the scanning process of individual items or packaged items at a much faster rate. Finally, it’s clear that this technology is already available for products such as linen and terry cloth. Some other applications, such as reading soil on carts and conveyors, are now possible. Capturing a read when packages and shopping carts leave is now possible. Customer inventory is possible.

In the early days, adding RFID to products was seen as an alternative, more modern version of bar codes. But this was only the beginning of RFID technology. Productivity improvements were caused by faster counting cycles.

Multi-reader UHF linen tag accountability for product “chain of customer” is readily available. Laundries can track laundry in and out of the factory by route, customer, item and time of use. Efficiency is improved through inventory control, ensuring that laundry and fabric services have the proper fabric inventory, produced and in the field.

In addition, RFID costs have dropped to a point where laundry customers are beginning to tag items and keep very similar track of how laundry is returned and what has been sent.

RFID laundry tags come in all different sizes and shapes for many reasons, but the fundamentals of how the tags are scanned and what information is collected are virtually the same.

Another vertical in healthcare, you may also want to track how many times a barrier gown is used before it is required to be removed from circulation or keep track of where a cubicle curtain has been or washed for MRSA-related issues.

UHF RFID laundry tags are a little different. Some tags are suitable for use on MRI machines and some are not. Some tags can be reused easily and effectively. Some tags are sewn on and some are heat-sealed. Different classes of items may require different attachment methods.

There are three things laundry and linen service needs to get started using RFID: RFID laundry tags, readers, and software that support the technology as well as the businesses that need to be reached.

However, the use of RFID is much more involved: you can’t tag items and then “bang”, RFID linen tag is active. You should have a meeting with a local RFID vendor. They will guide you through the steps of implementing an RFID system and improving your operations. And Shanghai HUAYUAN Electronic can provide you high performance UHF linen tags.

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