UK Laundry Taps RFID Technology

Posted May 27, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Fishers Services has RFID technology in place at its newest laundry in Glasgow, Scotland, according to a recent article in RFID Journal. The laundry reads chips attached to its linen goods, as well as its bags and roll cages used to ship these textiles, so that plant executives can view when goods are received, laundered and shipped to customers.

The company’s latest laundry facility services 300 hotel customers within a 50-mile radius of the plant, according to Michael Jones, managing director, Fishers Services. Seeking to cut down on losses of textile goods at the plant, Fishers tagged the Glasgow laundry's 4,000 roll cages and approximately 7,000 bags. Nearly 200,000 ZHEN linens (a new 200- and 400-thread count line of sheets and towels that come with a built-in RFID tag) have been tagged as well by the linens’ supplier, Pegasus Textiles. The bags and metal cages are fitted with tags supplied by Inotec.

UBI Solutions’ software tracks a variety of details regarding the inventory and its movement, UBI Solutions’ Business Development Director Renaud Munier said. It monitors the return rates (the number of days it takes for an individual customer to return items), the percentage of items that have been returned (based on the number of bags or roll cages received) and the time required to process every item in the laundry. Because the technology tracks individual ZHEN linens, it also can count how many wash cycles those linens can sustain before they need to be replaced.

The software also provides 30-day stock-level alerts indicating when a customer has kept linens on their own premises for an extended period of time. This enables the company to contact that customer and make sure that those items haven’t gone missing. A customer can use a password to log into UBI Solutions’ software and view details about the linens. "Customers, through a standard Web interface, can see, in real time, the flow of linens they receive and then ship back," Munier said.

Fishers estimates that it loses about £1 million ($1.5 million) worth of textiles annually at its seven facilities. Fishers may opt to install the RFID technology in at least four of its laundries during the coming years, Jones says. To read the full article, click here.