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Linen Loss Drops By 90% at Los Angeles Luxury Hotel
Mr. C Hotel Beverly Hills is using the RFID-based Linentracker system to track when its linens are sent to, and then returned from, an off-site laundry facility, and thereby determine if any items are not returned.
Aug 27, 2013—
Los Angeles luxury hotel Mr. C Hotel Beverly Hills ensures that its linens are onsite and available for use by guests, thanks to a radio frequency identification solution known as Linentracker, provided by Linen Technology Tracking. The technology helps the hotel monitor when its linens are soiled and shipped to an offsite laundry facility, as well as when they return, thereby identifying when any inventory ends up missing, according to Sam Jagger, Mr. C Hotel's general manager. By using the technology, he says, the hotel has reduced the rate of missing items from 20 to 30 percent of all stock to only about 3 percent. In so doing, he adds, the system has paid for itself since its installation in December 2011.
The solution consists of a Linen Technology Tracking EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag sewn into every sheet, pillow case, towel, tablecloth and other linen, as well as Fluensee software to manage the collected read data and Jaspersoft's hosted server reporting engine. The Jaspersoft software enables Mr. C to set up and receive reports based on specific actions (such as when linens fail to return from the laundry as expected), and to conduct analysis of the culled read data, in order to better manage its linen inventory.Cipriani family, is the first of what the family expects to be a chain of luxury hotels under the same name, in such cities as Miami and New York. All linens are produced in Italy and are then shipped to the hotel, with a combined value of approximately $100,000.
Linen Technology's proprietary EPC UHF tags—designed specifically to be durable enough to function in the high-temperature and -pressure environment of commercial tunnel washers (see Linentracker Automates Management of Towels, Sheets)—are each encoded with a unique ID number. Each tag's ID is paired with data regarding the linen to which it is attached, including the type of linen and when it was manufactured. That information is then stored on the Linentracker server, hosted by Jaspersoft and using Fluensee software.
The specialized tags are designed for use in laundry applications. They can sustain up to 550 wash cycles with tunnel washers, the company reports, including the most challenging part of that cycle—the extractor, which creates the most pressure on tags by pressing the linens and their tags against the bottom of the washer as water is forced out of the machine.
The hotel installed three Alien Technology ALR-9900+ fixed RFID readers, with two installed above the laundry chute through which all soiled linens pass, and the third mounted at the housekeeping station where the linens are received from a third-party laundry service.
When the hotel first opened, Jagger says, workers tracked the linens manually. Every item was sent to an off-site laundry facility, and the washed and folded versions were counted upon being returned. Manually counting each item, however, was an exhaustive chore, and errors could be made. In addition, he notes, there were large discrepancies between the quantity of items that the hotel management thought was still at the laundry site, and what the laundry service provider itself reported.
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