How Washable RFID Tags are Transforming Textiles
Traditional laundry management systems tend to have several issues. It is because of such that we have often opted for technology to streamline operations. One such technology is the use of washable RFID tags. The tags are designed to be attached to clothes and other types of textiles and would withstand repeated washing. The idea is that they are built to remain durable even if the clothes go through several wash cycles.
This guide gives you an in-depth look into washable RFID tags to see why they are vital for their multiple applications. We also look at their features, attachment methods, functions, and so much more to see the benefits of such RFID tags.
The Need for Washable RFID Tags
The need for washable RFID tags rose because of the limitations of traditional inventory management and tracking systems. This means that a company can now have enhanced transparency and accuracy when it comes to applications where RFID tags are necessary.
Also, the efficiency and time-saving benefits of data automation and collection mean you no longer have to deal with errors. Still, the laundry owners can improve the facility utilization. You can always closely monitor the facility and keep up with its demands.
The amount of customization that goes into the washable RFID tags makes them quite a good choice for many companies. They would have no problem using them since they can be customized to meet their brand needs.
Types of Washable RFID Tags
When buying the washable RFID tags, you will be asked to choose the type of RFID tags you need. The tags can be categorized in many ways, but today, we focus more on how to choose based on the frequency of operation.
1. HF 13.56 Mhz RFID Laundry Tags
HF laundry tags mean that these tags operate in the high-frequency range. The frequency for this type of tag is 13.56MHz. Such a frequency gives the tags a read range of around 1 meter. This means they would be suitable for close proximity tracking.
The design and build quality make them ideal for laundry and textile management, especially for tracking uniforms, linens, and other types of textiles. You should expect precise tracking depending on where they are used.
How durable are they? These washable RFID tags are generally durable enough to withstand even commercial laundering processes. They will still stand out even if you expose them to detergents, high temperatures, and water.
2. LF Laundry Tags
The LF here means it is low frequency, and the frequency of operation is around 125KHz. Such a low frequency means they would have a shorter read range than UHF tags. This means they would work well for close-range tracking applications.
The LF laundry tags are quite common for tracking linens, uniforms, and textiles in the healthcare and hospitality sectors. They could also be used for access control in some applications.
Just like their HF counterparts, they are also good at durability. They can withstand harsh conditions, especially when taken through the laundry processes. Being able to endure repeated exposure to mechanical stress and high temperatures makes them ideal for such applications.
3. UHF 915 MHz Silicon Laundry RFID Tags
If you need more performance, then the UHF laundry tags can do the job. They have an ultra-high frequency of operation of 915 MHz. A higher frequency means an extended read range of up to several meters. As such, they are suitable for high-volume and high-tracking applications.
You can use them across various industries, such as retail, manufacturing, laundry services, etc. High throughput also means such tags excel at high-speed item tracking and inventory management. JLTcard also ensures that these laundry RFID tags are highly durable and suit multiple uses.
Features of Washable RFID Tags
● Washed more than 200 times
Washing the RFID tags should not scare you if they are labeled washable RFID tags. This is because they are built to withstand the rigors of industrial laundry processes, including repeated washing cycles. These products are mostly made from materials and components that can endure exposure to water and detergents. Most come with a label indicating they can work well even with more than 200 wash cycles.
● Withstands 60 bars of pressure
Of course, the washable RFID tags would also withstand high amounts of pressure, as high as 60 bars. So, even if you expose them to significant mechanical stress, they can still handle the pressure quite well. This is mostly because of the use of high-quality materials vital to prevent water damage and keep working in demanding environments.
● Can be reused
You can also come across washable RFID tags that are easily reused depending on the functionality. The feature supports sustainability vital for reducing waste onto the environment and also saving on costs. You would not have to keep buying more RFID tags when these can be used for various applications and still work great.
● Attachment Methods
If the washable RFID tags need to be attached to clothes or textiles, there are a number of ways you can do it. The first one is sewing. It is the traditional way of adding RFID tags to clothes, linens, and uniforms.
The other choice is to use the heat sealing method. This allows the backing material to bond with the fabric as heat is applied. A heat-sealing machine is necessary to apply the pressure and heat, leaving you with a strong and permanent bond.
The adhesive backing is also an option where you simply apply the backing of the washable RFID tags onto a surface. It is ideal mostly for equipment, non-fabric items, and plastic bins.
Benefits of Washable RFID Tags
There are a couple of reasons that make washable RFID tags quite popular. Below are the reasons you should consider getting washable RFID tags.
Make laundry management more transparent
Real-time monitoring of the washable RFID tags makes it easier for the washable RFID tags to work well for laundry processes. The tag is scanned the moment the laundry gets into the facility, and then the same is done as the customer picks it up.
As you can see, you should get a digital record of each item, including the wash cycles, inspections, and more. The result is that there is more transparency and accountability.
Improve work efficiency
The washable RFID tags are essential for improving overall work efficiency. This means you get automated sorting of the laundry items. There is no need for manual sorting, and the errors are further minimized.
Other than automated sorting, you also get a streamlined workflow. You will notice that handling laundry is smoother since most of the operations are automated. You can also optimize the use of available resources and further reduce labor costs.
Make laundry statistics and handover easier.
Sometimes, you need data to make better decisions on using your data. That is where the washable RFID tags come in. With the data collected from the laundry items, it is easier to develop reports on wear and tear, usage, and possible replacement needs.
You can also experience effortless handovers once the items have already been cleaned. This helps reduce disputes and enhance customer satisfaction.
Track large volumes of individual items more quickly and accurately
You can also track your inventory better with speed and precision. The last thing you need is for the items to get lost or misplaced. Tracking various items reduces the chances of these items being lost during the laundry process.
Used at 200 °C
The washable RFID tags are good for industrial use since they can withstand high temperatures. Such a capability means the product can last well, better than the conventional tags, which would otherwise get destroyed.
Customization and Design
Understandably, the washable RFID tags would have multiple customization options to help tailor them to specific needs and industries. These options include;
Logo and branding. Of course, different companies would have different logos and branding needs. This means that the RFID tags can be printed with a company’s logo, name, and branding elements.
The size and shape of the washable RFID tags can also be customized. We are talking about getting custom shapes to fit specific items, or they are simply aesthetic preferences. The size variability means you can choose the right size for various laundry items.
Another way of customizing the washable RFID tags includes the materials used in making the tags. The materials of choice can include fabric, plastic, and silicone. It comes down to what the user wants. The material choice will always impact the tag’s durability and how well it holds up to the environmental factors.
How the washable RFID tags are attached to the laundry can vary. Your main options include sewing, adhesive backing, and heat sealing. If you need something on a temporary measure, then adhesive backing is better. Heat sealing and sewing are recommended for a secure and long-lasting attachment.
You can also ask the company to work on the data security features of the washable RFID tags. The common options are encryption and authentication. This ensures there is better protection for sensitive information. It also helps prevent counterfeiting or tampering with the RFID tags.
Areas of Application
It is not surprising to see the washable RFID tags working for various applications. We want to look below to see how to use such RFID tags best.
Hospital and laundry services
You should get the washable RFID tags mostly used in hospitality and hotel services. As such, it makes managing the linen, towels, and other related products in a hotel easier. You can expect to always have hotel laundry that is done efficiently.
Retail and fashion industry
The fashion industry is not new to using washable RFID tags. Some clothes manufacturing companies use these RFID tags in their products. Whenever the tag is scanned, it can give them enough data about the clothes. This includes the materials used, design, origin, and more.
These RFID tags are also good for the healthcare sector. That is why you might notice it as part of the patient and staff identification process. The patients having the tags help with proper medication administration. Other applications include asset and inventory management also.
Future Trends in Washable RFID Tags
We have already seen just how good these washable RFID tags can be for various industries. We can definitely see that it is possible for more advancements in this sector. Here are a few ideas of what to expect.
- The tags are expected to get smaller and more flexible. The miniaturization of the RFID antennas and chips makes it easier for them to be applied to various types of clothing and textile items.
- Of course, durability is also likely to get better. The continued research into materials and other manufacturing processes means you can have more durable washable RFID tags on overall.
- We also expect that the tags will be integrated with the IoT systems for real-time monitoring and data collection. This is good, especially for the healthcare, logistics, and retail sectors.
- The tags are expected to be multi-functional. This is where they can have additional features to make them better at their job. This may include sensors for humidity, temperature, and others. Being multi-functional means they can work for various industries and quite well also.
- Washable RFID tags can be widely adopted thanks to improved functionalities in the e-commerce and retail sectors. This reduces the chances of having out-of-stock situations and improves customer experiences.
Washable RFID tags are growing in popularity since they are now in many industries, including the laundry, hospitality, and healthcare sectors. Because of such popularity, it shows that these products generally perform well. Many companies, such as JLTcard, are improving how you can access quality washable RFID tags. They can also be customized to suit your needs better for the best experience.