January 13

Improving commercial laundry services with AI and robotics

Blog insights, Laundry Operations


Commercial laundry services are under pressure to meet rigorous quality standards. These standards are placed by hospitals and hotels (the main recipients of large-scale laundries) because they cater to thousands, if not millions of customers, so hygiene standards are strict. Besides, commercial laundries are expected to meet standards in other areas, like ensuring the safety of their employees and reducing operating costs. To help them deal with this pressure, commercial laundries are turning to advanced technologies powered by automation and robotics.

The year 2019 saw the release of several new technologies designed to automate many labour processes like material handling to improve production quality. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at how automation can help commercial laundries maintain high production standards while keeping cost under control.

Changes made possible with technology

The latest developments give commercial laundries the option to automate the linen handling process. Where practices of the past saw employees sifting through unclean linen, making it a manual process, the latest technological solutions allow commercial laundries to automate the process. Robots can sift through laundry using an RFID tag to sort and categorise laundry. Furthermore, laundry is now also scanned by X-ray machines for foreign objects, like pens and coins, If foreign objects are detected, they will be flagged and employees can remove the object before placing the laundry back in the pile.

The new technology can improve commercial laundry services by improving the accuracy and volume of laundry handled. Robots built for this purpose can sift through over 1500 pieces of laundry per hour at a steady rate. Furthermore, it reduces the burden on the human team because they only need to look at laundry rejected by the RFID tag reader, increasing productivity and efficiency at the same time.

Does it improve commercial laundry service quality?

Robotics and automation can improve commercial laundry service quality because they can increase production while controlling costs. Sorting laundry is a monotonous process and people who spend hours sorting through linen can make mistakes. However, commercial laundry technology can improve this process by sorting through thousands of laundry pieces in a few hours without human intervention. This means the team responsible for handling the sorting process can only focus on the pieces rejected by the machines. This improves service quality as laundry is sorted at a faster rate while reducing the chances of mistakes being made. This is because employees only focus on a few troubling cases, instead of the entire batch.

Furthermore, automation also allows commercial laundries to increase production without having to make a significant investment. As a result of this, commercial laundries can improve the rate of production given that linen can now be sorted at a faster rate than before.

Automation and robotics can improve commercial laundry services because commercial laundries can maintain the rigorous standards of their clients, by generating the most value from their staff. With a manual process, employees are responsible for handling soiled clothes which could be dangerous to health. But with automation, employees don’t come into direct contact with large swaths of linen, keeping them safe. Furthermore, this gives commercial laundries the room to make better use of their staff’s skills. With most manual labour handled by robots, staff are free to focus on more value-oriented work.

Embracing technology is the key with commercial laundries

Automation and robotics is the latest technological development when it comes to improving the service quality. However, other technologies help with production quality, as well. For example, tunnel washer technology reduces the amount of water used for laundry while still maintaining high quality. In fact, there are also software solutions to help improve productivity and operational oversight.

Laundry managers can improve commercial laundry services with a smart laundry management system that improves the day to day running of the business, like producing detailed invoicing reports, dispatch, online orders and detailed reports. The software can improve oversight in several areas related to commercial laundries like washroom, dispatch and administration – empowering laundry managers to make more informed decisions. With the right software, commercial laundries can improve operational efficiency and keep clients happy through prompt, accurate updates on linen counts.

Automation, washing and software technology is the key to helping commercial laundries successfully embrace the challenges of their industry.

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