What is Textile logistics and what benefits does it have?
15 April, 2019
Does your company have a challenge managing your work garments in an economical, safe and efficient way? Do you have trouble keeping track of which sizes are in stock? Do you know with certainty how many garments your employees take every day, where the garments are, and how clean they are?
We notice that several companies have a challenge in managing their textile logistics and that clothing is missing, disappearing or that employees accidentally bring their work clothes home. Ultimately, a shortage of work clothes can lead to major hygiene deficiencies and high replacement costs.
We believe that your employees should not have to worry about hygiene factors, inventory management or clothing shortages. Their valuable time is better spent on more important tasks. There are currently several different textile logistics solutions, which with the help of RFID technology, help hospitals and food manufacturers, among others, to gain control of their work clothes and textiles. So how does this work exactly? Well, everything starts with the RFID chip.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a form of wireless communication that uses radio waves to track and identify objects. “HF” stands for High Frequency and “UHF” stands for “Ultra High Frequency”. These are the two most common RFID solutions. *
By implementing an RFID chip in each garment in your textile stock, this solution can help you keep track of who picked up the garments, when and if the garments were returned and which sizes were taken out. That way, you can know exactly which garments you lack and where to find them. This will help you avoid stock deficiencies, minimize waste and maintain accurate stock status.
In textile logistics, passive RFID chips are used, which means that they do not have their own internal power source, but are waiting for a signal from an RFID reader. Passive RFID chips are small, flexible, thin and can work forever without a battery. They also work for different frequencies. ** Passive RFID chips can be of different shape and size and are designed for precisely the material or function they are most suitable for. For example, a passive chip can withstand extreme heat, cold or wetness.
An RFID chip is attached to each garment or textile. Most commonly, it is covered in the garment, and often placed in a pocket or in a hem. The garment’s unique properties are then linked to the chip’s serial number and the information associated with the garment or textile is stored in a database. For example:
E004035009A46204 = Polo shirt, Medium, In stock
When all clothing or textiles are marked with a chip, a number of chip readers (antennas) are then installed in your premises. These antennas then scan the chip and send all chip information to textile management software. This will help you keep track of all clothing, returns and the inventory of textiles. The software is also linked to your laundry service partner, which provides regular updates on orders and inventory management. If the chip is scanned at each transaction, you can follow the garment throughout the cycle from being picked up, to being returned, sent to laundry, transported back to you and brought back to the shelf.
When a garment is retrieved and the chip is scanned against an RFID reader, the software can display important information to the user. For example, they can see how many garments they have, how many have come out and how many have been returned. Software developers can set up the software to include the name of the person who picked up the garment, their e-mail address and the exact date on which the garment is to be returned. An extra feature can be added to automatically send an email to the employee that informs him or her that it is time to return the garment.
In other words, choosing a textile logistics solution with RFID technology is a good step on the way to getting full control of your textiles, which, among other things, leads to financial savings and increased hygiene.
/ Sofia Stark