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RFID reduces warehouse clothing sorting time and improves efficiency

RFID reduces warehouse clothing sorting time and improves efficiency

Issue Time:2021/12/13

The Hard Rock Casino in northern Indiana opened this spring and adopted an RFID system to manage uniforms and related products used by employees. The solution is provided by InvoTech Systems, which uses UHF RFID to identify the items assigned to people, and then sends them back to the laundry center for cleaning and then returns to the employees.

This deployment is the tenth time that InvoTech’s Uniform System has been installed at Hard Rock Casino.

Since its deployment in May of this year, the system has helped Hard Rock Casino ensure that uniforms are received, washed and provided in a timely manner, and any problems that may arise throughout the process have been identified. In addition, it also solves the need to remove damaged clothing, add new clothing, solve the problem of washing or delay the return of employees.

InvoTech Systems sales manager Morgan Umali (Morgan Umali) said that RFID technology can manage 100% of the company's unified inventory, without the need for manual inventory or separate scanning of items.

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The Hard Rock Casino in Gary, in northern Indiana, is a $300 million facility in Seminole County, Florida. It includes 1,800 table games and slot machines, as well as limited edition rooms, multiple bars, rock and live music retail stores. After opening in the spring, another hotel with 200 rooms and a parking lot will be built, which is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

This is the first casino to serve the Chicago, northern Indiana and Lower Michigan areas. "This is our first casino in the area, so it has the opportunity to attract a new customer base." A spokesperson said.

Hard Rock Casino has always used automated systems such as barcodes, RFID and supporting software for unified tracking and reporting. Justin Armstrong, vice president of procurement and management for Seminole Hard Rock Support Services, said that in most cases, such solutions "are indeed the only acceptable asset management method. Without it, it will increase operating costs." ".

Hard Rock Casino has multiple options for uniform tracking. Armstrong said, "Usually, the configuration we use is most suitable for the specified hotel size, number of employees, space allocation, and budgeting." The solution uses a hybrid method to sew or heat seal UHF RFID tags into all garments owned. On the other hand, clothing rented out to chefs, housekeepers and other cooking staff are tracked using internally heat-sealed barcodes.

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InvoTech uniform system

When a new uniform arrives at the location of the Hard Rock Casino, the staff will affix an RFID tag or barcode, and then use a barcode scanner to read the item information and enter the inventory. When each uniform is assigned to an employee, the unique ID number encoded on the uniform label will be read again, and the employee’s information will be entered into the software to be associated with that particular uniform. Then the status of this uniform is updated to "allocated", and the other items in the inventory are classified as "unallocated".

As Armstrong explained, “Each RFID tag or barcode is like a fingerprint on a garment. It is unique to that garment, and once assigned to a team member, it is unique to that person.”

For uniforms that have been assigned to employees, there will be three locations where the tag data needs to be read during use. First, when an employee picks up a uniform in the cloakroom, the tagged uniform will be read via the RFID antenna at the door, and the software will be updated to the "received" status, so the employee can be authorized to use it.

Since each piece of clothing is assigned to a designated employee, the software knows who is wearing which uniform. When employees finish their duty and take off their uniforms, they will put their uniforms in a chute as shown in the picture above, and the chute will pour dirty clothes into the dirty clothes receiving area. The RFID antenna at this location will capture the tag ID and update the software again.

Umali said that this feature eliminates the need for high-intensity labor and also ensures the safety of employees in the workplace. The clothes will then be sent to the washing center of Hard Rock Casino. Once the cleaned and folded uniforms are returned to the casino, they will be placed on the conveyor belt, and the RFID reader antenna will read each tag ID for the third time, indicating that the garment has been returned.

As part of the complete inventory check process, all unallocated inventory is scanned at least twice a year, allowing the casino to identify any missing items. If the garment is damaged or the former staff has not returned it, remove it from inventory.

The value of this solution lies in its ability to know which garments are in use, which have not been returned, and which need to be replaced, and the software can also alert management to any errors. For example, if employees do not return clothing, or the washing center delays the return of uniforms, management can view this information and solve existing problems in a timely manner.

The software also provides monthly reports to help logistics managers analyze, such as the frequency of clothing rental, the number of purchases, and the way and time of inventory damage. "This can be greatly expanded to meet personal asset needs or preferences." Armstrong said.

However, the spokesperson pointed out that if employees use this technology incorrectly, even the deployment of the technology will not solve the problem. "Like any technology, its quality depends on user feedback. Accuracy is critical. This means ensuring that solutions are used correctly, label reading is performed, and software is correctly verified. Generally speaking, if management Or employees follow established standards and conduct data analysis effectively, and the system will do most of the work."

To date, Hard Rock Casino has affixed RFID tags to 1,200 pieces of clothing. Umali reports that since the deployment of the system, the InvoTech uniform system has eliminated many labor-intensive manual tasks, such as manual sorting of uniforms to the laundry center, thereby providing a safe, non-contact work process. The system also automatically saves records to avoid manual errors.

These automations reduce labor costs and provide real-time data for continuous cost-saving benefits. In the future, with the development of technology, Hard Rock Casino hopes to continue to seek ways to improve software functions. This means working closely with InvoTech first to upgrade the reporting functions in the current software.

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