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  5. Fujitsu UHF RFID Tag Adopted by Shinkansai Linen Supply in Their Linen Supply System: First Case of Implementation in Japan's Textile Rental Industry

Fujitsu UHF RFID Tag Adopted by Shinkansai Linen Supply in Their Linen Supply System: First Case of Implementation in Japan's Textile Rental Industry

The ability to read multiple UHF RFID tags at once realizes accurate and efficient inventory management of uniforms and linens.

February 16, 2011

Tokyo, January 31, 2011 — Fujitsu Frontech Limited (hereinafter, Fujitsu Frontech) today announced that the Fujitsu UHF RFID tag has been adopted by Shinkansai Linen Supply Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, Shinkansai Linen Supply), a textile rental company. This is the first case of implementation of the UHF RFID tag in Japan's textile rental industry.

Shinkansai Linen Supply was using a bar code system to manage uniforms and linen items. The newly installed UHF RFID Linen Supply System is capable of reading multiple items simultaneously in seconds, improving process efficiency to three times than that of the old bar code system in shipping and receiving operations.

The system is composed of the following components: the Fujitsu UHF RFID tag and the reader equipment developed by Fujitsu Frontech; and the operational efficiency software application developed by SAKURA KCS Corporation, which has provided Shinkansai Linen Supply with systems support for an older bar code system.

The system integrates the strengths of the three companies, Shinkansai Linen Supply, SAKURA KCS and Fujitsu Frontech. It enables Shinkansai Linen Supply to offer customers more convenient services, like providing the status of items via a Web system.

Shinkansai Linen Supply has started a trial at the end of January 2011 and will begin full-scale operation in March 2011. They also have a plan to provide the system at their partner facilities.

Linen Supply System

<Implementation Background>

Shinkansai Linen Supply manages about 300,000 uniforms for rental services. The old bar code system reads labels one by one, which was time-consuming for employees and had the following problems:

  1. After about 70 washes, the bar code label needed to be replaced.
  2. The individual bar code labels affixed to each uniform had to be scanned manually.

Increasing operational efficiency was a major issue to be solved. In June 2010, they started to consider installation of the UHF RFID Linen Supply System for textile management with accuracy and efficiency. They finally chose this system, which integrates the Fujitsu UHF RFID tag, since it is the most reliable and efficient of the several systems considered. Trial operation started in January 2011, with an aim for full-scale operation in March 2011.

<System Overview>

By reading the unique ID number of each UHF RFID tag, the system improves transparency in the cleaning process. Users can correctly control and understand the status of each uniform in each collecting, receiving and shipping procedure, to manage the washing history of the uniform. The UHF RFID tag offers the advantage of simultaneous reading of multiple items at a long reading range. It can greatly improve the efficiency of uniform and linen management and can eliminate mis-shipments.

<System Features>

  1. Tunnel gate for reading multiple items at once
    a) By installing a tunnel gate for the receiving process, we realized a capability to simultaneously recognize 50 to 80 uniforms in each laundry bag picked up from a customer. It takes only 10 seconds to read a laundry bag, improving efficiency and streamlining the receiving process significantly compared to the old bar code system, which required one-by-one scanning.
    b) Special automated hangers carry washed and dried uniforms to the tunnel gate for shipping. More than 100 uniforms can be recognized at one time within 10 seconds. It increases operational efficiency by more than 50 times.
    c) The tunnel gates are designed to be able to read textiles even when there are several objects that can easily cause radio interference. 100% of the textiles were read successfully using this approach.
  2. Highly durable and effective washable tag
    The Fujitsu UHF RFID tag can withstand more than 100 cycles of the laundry process, which includes washing, drying and ironing procedures. The tags do not need to be removed and reattached as often as bar code labels.
  3. Uniform traceability
    By using the traceability function of the system, users can find the relevant uniforms easily and respond to end-user inquiries promptly.

<Deployment Plan in Shinkansai Linen Supply>

After installing the new UHF RFID Linen Supply System, Shinkansai Linen Supply is planning to offer customers a total package of services to "increase operational efficiency" and "improve hygienic and sanitary conditions." For example, to increase customer services, they will provide Web services to reduce paperwork and accurately manage uniforms with staff assigned on a daily basis, or stitch antibacterial and deodorant fabric onto uniforms.


About Fujitsu Frontech Limited

As part of the Fujitsu Group, Fujitsu Frontech Limited ties people and IT together through the development, manufacture and sale of front-end technology such as ATMs, operation branch, POS and totalizator terminals, and public display devices. Fujitsu Frontech also delivers related software, system integration and outsourcing as part of its total solutions offerings. The company supports the security sector by offering products incorporating Fujitsu's latest palm vein authentication technology, and is actively involved in the development of key technologies in various fields, with a current focus on color electronic paper and RFID systems.


All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: 16 February, 2011
Company: SHINKANSAI LINEN SUPPLY Co., Ltd., SAKURA KCS Corporation, Fujitsu Frontech Limited

Contacts

SAKURA KCS Corporation
icon-mail Inquiries: market@kcs.co.jp

Fujitsu Frontech Limited
Global Business Development Department
Inquiry : http://www.fujitsu.com/jp/frontech/en/contact/