Bristol Uniforms, a designer and manufacturer of protective clothing for firefighters and other emergency-services personnel, is RFID-tagging its products. The tags will be used to future-proof the garments and prepare for automated tracking of uniforms handled by Bristol’s managed services, according to Harland Simon, the tags’ supplier.
Bristol Uniforms, which purchased 4,000 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags, will sew a tag into the pocket of each newly manufactured uniform item. The waterproof neoprene RFID tags, which are part of Harland Simon’s Vero Solutions product line, use the Alien Technology Higgs3 chipset and are designed to withstand temperatures of up to 150 degrees Celsius (302 degrees Fahrenheit), which means it can survive most fire-fighting conditions, as well as professional cleaning procedures, according to the company. Bristol Uniforms operates a managed-care program designed to allow fire and rescue services to rely on the manufacturer to supply a lifetime garment-care process rather than undertake that function in-house. The implementation also includes Zebra Technologies’ MC3190-Z series of UHF handheld readers, which are drivers can use to record the collection of uniforms from the fire stations and in the service center for recording inspections and repairs.
Bristol is sewing an RFID tag in each uniform it manufactures.
The RFID tags are replacing bar-code labels in the uniforms, which are scanned manually upon collection. This is a time-consuming process, according to Harland Simon, as each item must be handled and the bar code located individually. As a manual process, it can also be prone to human error, the company notes.
“Fitting our garments with RFID tags is the first step to automating the tracking of items through our managed care program from collection at the emergency services through washing, inspection and repair cycles right through to return delivery,” said Edward Shepherd, Bristol Uniforms’ service operations director, in a prepared statement. “Automatic scanning with RFID readers will considerably cut down the time our drivers spent when collecting garments. Multiple items can be scanned simultaneously and without the need to find the bar code. This means they will be able to scan a whole collection bag full of items without even having to take a single one out.”
Ultimately, Harland Simon indicates, tracking information will be made available on an online portal in order to provide full visibility for Bristol Uniform’s customers to track their garments through each stage of the managed-services process. Full deployment is expected to take place by the end of January 2016.
- Post Time: 12-11-15 - By: http://www.rfidang.com