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Super-Slim RFID Tags for Linen Tracking

The latest linen tag from Fujitsu Frontech North America can be inserted into a standard seam in linens, uniforms and scrubs, making RFID technology deployments easier for those who manufacture such products.
By Claire Swedberg
May 29, 2018

Fujitsu Frontech North America (FFNA) has released what it calls one of the smallest laundry tags on the market with built-in RFID technology. The size is strategic—at 6 to 7 millimeters (0.23 to 0.28 inch) in width, it is sized to fit into the standard seam sewn in linens by manufacturers of such products as bed sheets, table cloths, uniforms and scrubs. The company announced the 5th General Super Slim Washable RFID Linen Tag at this month's RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla.

The use of RFID by the health-care and hospitality markets has grown fast enough that it is putting pressure on manufacturers to insert RFID tags into their products before shipping them to customers—either the end users of the linens, uniforms, workwear and garments, or companies that service hotels, hospitals and other facilities.

The Super Slim tag
The shrinking of the linen tag results from the company's antenna engineering, says Dan Dalton, Fujitsu's senior director of marketing and new product development. The product is now being tested in sample form by several companies, though Dalton declines to name or describe those companies. He says it will be available in volume by the fourth quarter of this year. According to the company, it is 30 to 40 percent smaller than most existing tags.

Laundries and garment-rental companies that serve hospitals, industrial and the hospitality industries have been behind much of the growth in RFID technology deployment for managing linens and garments. Because the items are typically moved back and forth between several sites for cleaning, storage and use, and in high volumes, the management of those items is traditionally difficult and can lead to inaccuracies and loss of product.

With RFID tags on the linens, the company explains, laundry facilities can know when each item is received for cleaning, and can track them through the washing, drying and folding processes, as well as when they are shipped to specific customers. The hotel or hospital can also use the technology to manage which linens are received and when they are moved to the laundry.

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