The cleaning and maintenance services are integral to many organizations and play a supporting role in many industries. And the sector is growing fast; as of 2020, the sector held a market value of 55.7bn USD and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% to reach around 111.49bn USD by 2030.
With the COVID pandemic, many companies in the cleaning industry have started offering complete sanitization services. Apart from this, many institutions, particularly in the healthcare sector have regular needs for cleaning and sanitation. They also have highly detailed and specific requirements for the same. All of these situations dictate that the organizations in the cleaning and maintenance industry follow specific standards for their work.
But how can clients ensure that the work is performed up to standards? This is where RFID can help.
RFID or Radio Frequency Identification system has two components: a tag and a reader. The tag is attached to the object you want to track and stores information about it. It can be attached to anything from trashcans and automobile parts to pets and even humans.
The reader, as the name suggests, reads the information from the tag. The tag doesn’t necessarily store all the information about an object. For example, if you’re tracking a part of a car, the tag doesn’t have to store all the information about the specific part. Instead, it could be just the serial number or any information which can then later be used with a database to find out all the information about it.
So if an object, say a piece of clothing, with an RFID tag, comes close to or passes within the range of an RFID reader, the reader will get the information in the tag and essentially detect the presence of the object.
The technology is very similar to how a bar code reader works except that in the case of RFID, the reader doesn’t have to ‘see’ the tag. The tag can be affixed anywhere on the object you want to track and if it’s within range, the reader can process it.
Depending on the specific use case, different types of tags are available.
The most common ones are the passive tags which don’t require a battery. These tags get energized with radio waves from the reader and in turn, send a signal with the required information to the reader.
Active tags on the other hand require a battery and send signals at regular intervals. Since they have a dedicated power source, active tags can be read from a longer range. You can also use a battery-assisted passive tag which has a battery but doesn’t send signals until a reader is within range.
RFID technology can be used to track and identify objects. This makes it ideal for cleaning and maintenance activities. Here are some applications of RFID for cleaning and maintenance.
Before the pandemic, an average leisure room took around 38 mins to clean at a cost of 9.42USD. This goes up for luxury suites. And during the pandemic, the increased hygiene standards meant a higher cost of cleaning.
But how would you ensure that your cleaning crew is doing the work well? How can you ensure that materials like bedsheets and curtains are cleaned and replaced as necessary? This is where RFID technology can help.
For starters, hotels can use RFID technology to keep track of their laundry. By affixing RFID tags to them, they can track their usage, from the laundry machines to the inventory, to the rooms, and back to laundry. By integrating this data with the hotel check-in and check-out date, the management can ensure that these materials are cleaned and replaced after every guest and at regular intervals during a guest’s stay.
You can also ensure that cleaning teams are reaching all necessary areas and that no area is left unclean with RFID technology. The hotel management can affix RFID tags at different locations all over the hotel premises. And by affixing an RFID reader on the cleaning trolley or on the cleaning crew’s person, the management can ensure that the team hasn’t missed a spot.
Hospitals and hospital equipment have high standards for cleaning. Without proper sanitation procedures, hospitals can become a source of illness. According to reports, 5% to 10% of all patients acquire hospital infections. Robust cleaning processes can greatly reduce this, and RFID tech can help.
Hospitals often use paper logs for keeping track of cleaning and maintenance. They affix a sticker with the last maintenance date and other details. But these systems have a lot of drawbacks; for example, you have to manually enter the service details and paper records can’t send you reminders for maintenance activities.
But RFID solutions can improve this to a large extent.
As with hotels, hospitals can affix RFID tags to their equipment. The advantage of using RFID here is that you can get robust and durable RFID tags that can withstand washing and other cleaning procedures. With these tags, hospital management can be assured that cleaning crews are covering all areas of the hospital.
Hospitals can also use these tags to ensure that routine maintenance activities are carried out on their equipment as well. With a centralized database and dashboard, they can have a detailed and accurate log of all maintenance activities.
Factories and factory equipment need regular maintenance activities to function well. Without timely maintenance, the quality of work may be affected and energy costs may increase. And in the long-run equipment may break down causing downtime and requiring expensive repairs.
RFID systems can keep track of the maintenance activities in different factories. It can ensure that all of the equipment get routine maintenance.
Equipment OEMs can also use RFID tags to keep track of their hardware. Various automobile manufacturers use RFID tags to keep track of vehicles’ maintenance records after they’re rolled out of the factory. Within the factory, RFID tags are used to coordinate the assembly line, to ensure that the right parts reach the right vehicle.
###Cleaning and maintenance crews can use RFID to prove their work For the cleaning and maintenance crews, the advantage is that they can show records of the work they’ve performed. Instead of manual data entry, an automated log can show the processes every equipment or piece of clothing goes through. It guarantees customers and clients that the work will be done right. They don’t have to rely on the cleaning crew’s words but rather use objective information.
This improves the quality of work and client satisfaction and better business in the future.
TargPatrol is a seamless solution to track cleaning, maintenance, and other activities in and around your organization. The solution uses RFID technology to keep track of maintenance activities and logs them for further analysis. Management and clients can use the app to make sure the crew is doing their job neatly.
If an organization finds RFID technology to be too expensive to implement, the app also supports QR codes, NFC tags, and even GPS to track cleaning crews. QR codes and GPS is easy to implement at almost no cost. Organizations can use them to carry out pilot runs at low or zero cost before investing in RFID or NFC solutions.