Fishers, the commercial laundry and textile rental business, has launched a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Strathclyde to help the company better capitalize on its innovative RFID enabled bed linen and towels.
Fishers embeds all of its high end “ZHEN” bed linen and towels with RFID tags that allow Fishers and its customers to keep track of all textiles – helping hotels to know precisely how much stock they are holding. In addition, RFID helps Fishers to keep tabs on where all of its RFID tagged laundry is in the washing, delivery and collection cycle. Fishers washes, dries and irons two million pieces of linen every week.
“We’re committed to innovation, both to keep our customers ahead of the game and to ensure that Fishers can continue to provide the best service possible for those customers,” said Michael Jones, Managing Director of Fishers, in a press release. “It’s important that Fishers is seen to be leading the industry in the important area of RFID.”
The two-year project is being co-funded by a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Funding Council. The UK’s KTP program is run by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. Specifically, it will investigate what other use cases RFID may have in the future, such as analysis of “big data” collected by the tagged bed linens and towels.
In addition, the research initiative will improve Fishers’ strategic planning skills around textile purchasing, improve its specification of bed linen and towel characteristics from suppliers, and help the company to develop the intellectual property (IP) related to its ZHEN range of textiles.