As part of our multi-year modernization plan that started in 2009, we are replacing the RFID chips in all customer work uniforms and floor mats with ultra-high frequency (UHF) 900 MHz chips. These flexible and water-resistant chips will allow us to scan garments and mats more quickly allowing us to provide counts of merchandise picked up for cleaning on the same day it was picked up from customers.
What This Means for You
With the new UHF chips, we will be able to scan a complete soiled garment sling—up to 1,000 garments—in less then 10 seconds at an accuracy of 99.9%. This process will replace scanning each item individually, by hand.
By scanning items as soon as they are unloaded from our trucks, we will know exactly what is picked up on the same day instead of the previous 24-hour delay. UHF chips will also make it possible for us to scan uniforms and mats at customer locations.
Once laundered, we will take a clean scan of all work uniforms and mats to ensure the count matches the incoming soiled scan. Any discrepancies will be immediately addressed by locating the misplaced item before the delivery goes out. This virtually eliminates customers discovering that they did not receive all of their garments and floor mats.
More about UHF Chips
As stated by our implementation partner, Positek RFID, UHF chips and their elongated antennas extend the scanning distance up to 10 feet and without requiring a line-of-sight scan. UHF chips also include both read and write capabilities so that garment and mat history can be stored on each chip. All UHF tags supplied by Positek RFID are tested to ensure they are suitable and durable for commercial laundry processes in addition to being EPC and ISO 15693 compliant.
The Role of Barcodes
As previously with RFID chips, we will continue to use barcodes with the UHF chips. Barcodes represent two things:
- A Man-Readable Label: includes what customer it belongs to, the wearer and the locker number for delivery
- A Backup/Redundant System: if a UHF chip is removed or damaged, we still have the barcode that contains the history of that garment or mat
Work Uniform Continuous Improvement
Implementation of UHF chips and our new sorting system, scheduled to be implemented by the end of the year, are the culmination of our modernization plan that started with our plant consolidation eight years ago and our commitment to our customers and team members to deliver on our Core Values. As a result, we are "built to last" with state-of-the-art systems that will take us into the next generation. No competitor in the marketplace uses UHF chips or will have the capabilities we have to deliver perfect loads day in and day out.