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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology allows you to track individual items and take greater control of stock and costs, supporting optimisation of laundry processes and customer service.

In conjunction with TAGSYS, Vision is making production and distribution cycles smoother, improving stock control and providing linens that are simple to track and trace.

We’re also using our expertise and insight to support the automation of linen process, reduce labour costs and deliver total transparency, an essential ingredient in changing customer perceptions.

What is RFID?

Despite what many people think, RFID is not new. Radio frequency identification has been used for many years in order to transfer data. Information is stored on a tag which can be placed inside an object. Using radio waves, this information can be read several feet away and doesn’t even need to be within plain sight of the reader in order for the information to be collected.

RFID chips, tags and transponders can be:

  • Active – which uses an on-board battery to transmit periodically
  • Assisted Passive – which uses an on-board battery but only transmits information when in the presence of an RFID reader
  • Passive – which uses an electromagnetic field and the radio energy transmitted by the reader as its energy source (TAGSYS)

Popular uses for RFID include protecting products in retail from theft by triggering an alarm at the front door, tracking pharmaceuticals through a warehouse, allowing employees into restricted areas of a building, timing marathons or races, tagging livestock for identification or herd management, library books and passports.

With recent developments in ultra high frequency (UHF), RFID is a system that can be incorporated into high-volume product industries, such as laundries where as many as one million items can be processed per week.

UHF enables multi-scanning and reading in seconds through various positions in the laundry and chips can be password protected or reprogrammed to enable relocation.

Hilden Products Now Include TAGSYS chips

TAGSYS, the world leader in item-level RFID infrastructure design, manufacture and integrate HF and UHF RFID tags, readers and software for a variety of industries and applications.

With over 15 years of experience, TAGSYS have helped over 500 customers in 40 different countries realise the benefits of RFID technology.

All of our Hilden products currently supplied to the laundry market include the TAGSYS chip sewn in which has a unique number ensuring each item can be individually identified.

The TAGSYS chips come with a guarantee to ensure each chip can withstand:

  • 200°C on an ironer
  • 90°C in washing
  • 60 bar pressure in a membrane press
  • 160°C in a tumble dryer

The Benefits of RFID

By knowing exactly what comes in and out, where stock is located (in the laundry, in transit, with the customer etc), RFID prevents stock holding, promotes stock rotation and, in turn, helps to prolong and monitor the lifespan of the linen. RFID works to help the accuracy of the goods being sent to the right location and provides accurate wash count records which should reduce the amount of new stock needed.

It also provides invaluable information for costing purposes; enabling analyses of customer profitability and further actions. The ability to identify poor profit customers means that it’s possible to work with them to improve profitability whilst identifying high profit customers who may be subsidising those with decreased profit.

Costing analyses assist considerably in the extraction of information for what to charge for things such as lost, stolen or misused linen as some customers may question the lost linen charges.

Other benefits of RFID include:

RFID enables different pool stocks to be implemented within a laundry or linen rental centre.

RFID is invaluable in identifying stolen or lost linen, internal stock leakage and linen misuse by clients or staff. RFID technology can go so far as to determine which customers have abused the linen and the day on which this occurred.

RFID ensures real-time inventories or location information.

The technology eliminates the need for other forms of identification, such as heat seal labelling for dedicated linen and heat transfer stock for laundry identification.

All of these points help to reduce costs and establish mutual customer confidence and is currently 99.8% accurate.

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