Skip to main content

Development of an automated identification & sorting system for laundries


Activities in the laundry sector cover washing, steaming and repairing of personal, industrial, medical and recreational laundry. Main bottleneck in the current laundry process, is the manual selection of different types of laundry and customer batches. This means a high labour intensity; relatively high fault sensitivity and no optimal use of capacity, equipment and transportation. On top of this, companies are confronted with increasing external pressures: changing customer demands, stricter environmental legislation, increasing need to improve labour conditions and increasing competition from the disposables industry. To be able to cope with these factors, to reduce costs and to be able to operate in a competitive way, there is a need to automate the sorting steps of the laundry process. Recent progress in identification, recognition and sorting technologies, opens up the way for the development of a fully integrated automated laundrv svstem (opposed to partial, non-compatible solutions). In the past much effort has been conducted to reduce the amount of energy used in laundries. This project optimizes the laundry process from another angle and has amongst other advantages also impact on energy savings. The general goals of the project: quality improvement, time and costs saving through reduction of sorting faults optimal use of capacity through reduction of rewash and optirnal logistics achieve high flexibility to meet changing customer demands and changing workforce improvement of labour conditions improvement of insight in and control of the process leading tO reduction of costs The technical objectives: development of a recognition svstem, based on washable tags development of identification algorithm and protocol, linking recognition to sorting sequences and physical action development of an advanced sorting system by development of carousels to overcome current capacity and speed restrictions. development of an information storage standard for the washable tags development of training programmes to effectively apply and operate the new system in laundries actual integration of the 3 major components and testing of the new system on a pilot scale. Major innovations are found in each of the 3 development lines, but moreover in the integration of developments in these technological fields into a fully integrated laundry system. The structure of the project is based on parallel development, enabling optimal interaction. Since the key objective is the integration of technologies to realize a laundry svstem, the work is structured in a number of parallel conducted development lines, in which subtasks are scheduled for maximum interaction and integration of results. The envisaged project is end-user driven, the end-users from five member states (laundries in NL, DE, BE, AT and FI) define the system and steer the RTD performers. The project will have a duration of two years. Exploitation and dissemination of the project results is ensured through the membership of each laundry in a larger group. These groups are aimed at offering recognizable identical services to the customer (marketing-strategy) and at cooperation by exchanging knowledge about technological developments. Furthermore, intensive cooperation between the end-users and RTD performers will facilitate the exploitation and dissemination of the results

Funding Scheme

CRS - Cooperative research contracts


Rentex Zeetex BV
30,Verijn Stuartweg
4462 GE Goes

Participants (8)

Ait BV
5602 JA Eindhoven
Bilger GmbH
78647 Trossingen
Centrum voor Innovatie van Opleidingen_Stichting
1,Pettelaarpark 1
5200 BP 'S Hertogenbosch
Gödde GmbH & Co. KG
58097 Hagen
Technico Machinebouw BV
9,Admiraal Helfrichweg
2315 VC Leiden
Textielreiniging Sneeuwwitje
3665 As
Textilservice Brolli GmbH
324,Wiener Straße
8051 Graz
Uudenmaan Sairaalapesula Oy
4200 Kerava