Has Any Company Made an Off-the-Shelf Laundry-Tracking System?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsHas Any Company Made an Off-the-Shelf Laundry-Tracking System?
RFID Journal Staff asked 5 years ago

I am looking for an RFID solution which can track laundry bags that are turned in and picked from a facility. The system should include an electronic signature when laundry is dropped off. Do you have any suggestions?

—Michael

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Michael,

There is no off-the-shelf solution designed specifically for the application you describe, as far as I know. Creating a custom solution would not be difficult, but it would depend on how you wanted the system to work. You could put Near Field Communication (NFC) tags—a form of high-frequency (HF) RFID—on the laundry bags and then have workers read them via an NFC-enabled Android smartphone. When a worker picked up or dropped off a bag, and then read the NFC tag on that bag, that would call up an app that would show the current location and require someone to sign digitally on the phone. The benefit of this type of system is that it would be inexpensive. The downside is that it would not be automated. Workers would need to remember to read the tags and have someone sign.

Another option would be to use a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) system, which would offer a longer read range. You could put readers by the doors where trucks are loaded. Readers could identify each bag being loaded onto a truck and issue an alert if a bag were to end up missing, or if the wrong bag were loaded. Workers could interrogate the tag on a bag being delivered using a reader attached to a smartphone via a sled, and then have the customer sign the phone. This system would be a bit more automated.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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