RFID Tracking Systems
Commercial Launderers and Dry Cleaners present specific challenges when implementing tracking solutions for Garments/Linen. We processes in mass quantity (most flatwork processors measure in Tonnes per day), usually have our own stock (Pool Linen) process Customer’s own linen as well as varying logistical items such as Cage Trolleys and Hamper Bags.
Considerations for best RFID Tracking
Add to this RFID’s technology’s specific requirements, careful consideration needs to be utilised to get the best from RFID tracking.
The two prevalent systems are HF (High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency).
High Frequency Systems
HF has a reading distance, for Laundry Processing of 300-500mm. It is suitable for single item or small bundle (Less than 20 pieces) scanning. HF has a distinct advantage over UHF in that it can be read even if the item is damp or even wet.
Ultra High Frequency
UHF has a reading distance, for Laundry Processing, of up to 3 metres. As it has a faster read rate than HF, around 50 items per second, it is more suitable for bulk scanning. Entire cage trolleys with 250 items can be scanned within 5 Seconds. Manual counting can take up to twenty minutes and is prone to human error in correctly counting and/or identifying the type of items returned.
An area of difficulty for most laundries is to check that their customers are returning all of the soiled linen. With UHF Technology, this is achieved at the entrance to the Laundry, usually through a RFID Gate or Cabinet. Gates/Cabinets are sized so that full cage trolleys can be rolled through/in as part of the Driver’s offload duties. The Transponders (often called Chips) are automatically scanned and the relevant information transferred to a Laundry Management Software solution (LMS).
When using HF technology, antenna are normally placed on conveyors or suitable alternate sorting areas. As items are offloaded onto the conveyor/sorting table, they are automatically scanned in. UHF Technology can also be used in this instance but careful adjustment of the Antenna’s read range and profile is required to avoid inadvertently scanning items nearby.
Benefits for Packing and Delivery of Laundry Items
The second area RFID can assist speed and accuracy wise, is the packing areas. Items can be automatically scanned by table antennas and orders assembled onto Cages and or Hampers.
Lastly, specialist logistic transponders can be attached to Cage Trolley and/or hampers so these items are either tracked independently or in conjunction with deliveries and collections.
For further information about how TEX-ID can help you, please call us now on 020 8749 6610