New RFID Line Optimized for Textile Rental, Laundry

This article was originally published by RFID Update.

May 29, 2008—TAGSYS hopes to make it easier to do the laundry with a new line of RFID readers and tags optimized for use in commercial laundry and textile rental operations. The French company with US headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced new versions of its ISO 15693-standard high frequency tags and readers that have been optimized for use in textile washing and sorting operations.

“The textile rental process flow is similar to a typical manufacturing line, where there are conveyors and objects that move from one station to another. But it is a challenging environment, because the linens, uniforms, or other items to be identified are often wet from laundering, and there is a lot of moisture in the environment,” TAGSYS product marketing manager Maria Kaganov told RFID Update.

TAGSYS announced new encapsulated versions of its ARIO 370-HL and 370L-DL 13.56 MHz tags, Medio L400 fixed-position reader stations, and TS400 RFID Tunnel that have been optimized for textile operations. The read tunnel can be installed around existing conveyor lines in textile and commercial laundry facilities, and the reader stations are intended for use in sorting and other areas. TAGSYS guarantees its new encapsulated tags for more than 200 wash cycles.

The new hardware and tags are up to twice as fast as TAGSYS’ previous products in textile environments and provide read rates greater than 99.9 percent, according to the company. TAGSYS was able to increase read speed by optimizing antenna design and by using a new digital signal processor (DSP), according to Kaganov.

“We approach specific vertical markets with our base hardware. Where the customization comes in is in the antenna design, the station design, and the packaging of the tag,” said Kaganov. The company previously released specific product configurations for the library and pharmaceutical markets, and an earlier-generation textile line (see TAGSYS Targets Library and Textile Adoption of RFID and TAGSYS Guarantees Six Sigma RFID Performance).

Textile, including linen and uniform rental companies and commercial laundries, is a major market for TAGSYS. The company noted that applications are evolving and cited independent research that forecasts the RFID market for textiles is growing more than 30 percent annually.

“What we’ve seen is textile rental companies being able to offer value-added services because of RFID,” said Kaganov. “For example, one of our customers now offers expedited service as an extra feature. Before, they did everything on a first-in, first-out basis. With RFID they track garments throughout their supply chain and can pinpoint locations, so they’re able to locate and process individual items much faster than they could before. We’re starting to see more end-to-end supply chain tracking, rather than just using RFID at processing facilities.”