RFID reduces clothing sorting time and improves efficiency

RFID reduces clothing sorting time and improves efficiency



The Hard Rock Casino in northern Indiana opened this spring and uses RFID system to manage uniforms and related products used by employees. The solution is provided by invotech systems, which uses UHF RFID to identify items assigned to people, then send them back to the laundry center for cleaning, and finally return them to employees.

This deployment is the tenth time that invokech's uniform system has been installed in Hard Rock Casino.

Since its deployment in May this year, the system has helped Hard Rock Casino ensure the timely receipt, washing and provision of uniforms, and identify any problems that may arise in the whole process. In addition, it also solves the need to remove damaged clothes, add new clothes, and solve the problem of washing or delayed return of employees.

Morgan umali, sales manager of invotech systems, said that RFID technology can 100% manage the company's unified inventory without manual counting or scanning items separately.


The Hard Rock Casino in Gary, Indiana, is a $300 million facility in Seminole County, Florida. It includes 1800 desktop games and slot machines, as well as limited edition rooms, multiple bars, rock and live music retail stores. After opening in spring, another 200 room hotel and a parking lot will be built, which is planned to be completed in 2023.

This is the first casino serving Chicago, northern Indiana and lower Michigan. "This is our first casino in the region, so it has the opportunity to attract new customers." A spokesman said.

Hard Rock Casino has been using automated systems such as bar code and RFID and support software for unified tracking and reporting. Justin Armstrong, vice president of procurement and management of Seminole hard rock support services, said that in most cases, such a solution "is indeed the only acceptable asset management method, and without it, it will increase operating costs".

Hard Rock Casino has a variety of options in 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 owned clothing. On the other hand, clothes rented to chefs, housekeepers and other cooking staff are tracked using bar codes sealed internally.


Uniform system

When a new uniform arrives at the Hard Rock Casino, the staff will affix an RFID tag or bar code, and then use the bar code 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 the specific uniform. The status of the uniform is then updated to "allocated", while other items in inventory are classified as "unassigned".

As Armstrong explained, "each RFID tag or barcode is like a fingerprint of a garment. It is unique to that garment. Once assigned to a team member, it is unique to that person."

For uniforms assigned to employees, there will be three locations to read their label data during use. First, when employees receive uniforms in the cloakroom, the tagged uniforms will be read through the RFID antenna at the door, and the software will be updated to the "received" status, so employees can be authorized to use them.

Since each dress is assigned to a designated employee, the software knows who is wearing which uniform. When employees finish duty and take off their uniforms, they will put their uniforms in a chute as shown in the above figure, which 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 function eliminates the need for high-intensity labor and ensures the safety of employees in the workplace. Then the clothes will 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 clothes have been returned.

As part of the complete inventory reconciliation process, all unallocated inventory is scanned at least twice a year to enable the casino to identify any missing items. Remove clothing from inventory if it is damaged or not returned by former staff.

The value of this solution is that it can know which clothes are in use, which have not been returned and which need to be replaced, and the software can remind management of any errors. For example, if employees do not return clothes, or the washing center delays the return of uniforms, the management can view this information and solve the existing problems in time.

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

However, the spokesman pointed out that if employees do not use the technology correctly, even if the technology is deployed, it will not solve the problem. "Like any technology, its quality depends on the feedback from users. Accuracy is crucial. This means ensuring that the solution is used correctly, label reading is performed, and the software is checked correctly. In general, if management or employees follow established standards and effectively analyze data, the system will do most of the work."

So far, the Hard Rock Casino has attached RFID tags to 1200 clothes. Umari reported that since the deployment of the system, invotech uniform system has banned many labor-intensive manual work, such as manual sorting of uniforms sent to the laundry center, thus providing a safe and non-contact workflow. The system also automatically saves records, which can avoid manual errors.

These automations reduce labor costs and provide real-time data for continued cost savings. 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 function in the current software.