RFID & Wireless IoT tomorrow 2021 on October 20-21
Clothing Distribution at Klinikum Lüneburg with UHF RFID
  • Clothing Distribution at Klinikum Lüneburg with UHF RFID
  • Clothing Distribution at Klinikum Lüneburg with UHF RFID
  • Clothing Distribution at Klinikum Lüneburg with UHF RFID
  • Clothing Distribution at Klinikum Lüneburg with UHF RFID
Scrubs Dispensing

Clothing Distribution at Klinikum Lüneburg with UHF RFID

Klinikum Lüneburg uses UHF RFID technology in a room solution for distribution, as well as an automatic machine for the return of employee clothing.

The laundry retrieval process with the integrated UHF RFID solution was reduced from several minutes to an average of 25 seconds per employee.

The Klinikum Lüneburg is an acute care hospital and academic educational hospital of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf with 13 clinics and institutes along with 527 beds. The hospital is one of nine companies under the umbrella of the municipal health holding company in Lüneburg.

Process Requirements

A central machine for distributing workwear for around 1,100 employees was installed at the Klinikum Lüneburg. Long queues formed in front of the machine, especially at the beginning of a shift. As a result, nurses arrived late at their wards. In exceptional cases, technical failures of the vending machine resulted in days of waiting for repairs. During this time, it was not possible to dispense laundry in a regulated manner. The new solution had to be fail-safe, time-efficient, and convenient.


  • Sustainably reduce the time required for the laundry retrieval process
  • Collection of clothing items without the active involvement of employees
  • Support employee recruitment through efficient laundry management


Jedes vom Klinikum geleaste Bekleidungsteil wird vom Textildienstleister mit einem UHF-RFID-Laundry-Tag gepatcht. Alle im Transponder gespeicherten Daten sind verschlüsselt und vor Manipulationen geschützt, um den Datenschutz der Mitarbeiter zu gewährleisten.

Each item of clothing leased from the hospital is patched with a UHF RFID laundry tag by the textile service provider. All data stored in the transponder is encrypted and protected against manipulation to ensure data protection for the employees.

Every day 2,000 cleaned parts are delivered from the laundry facility. On average, there are 250 pieces of laundry on each roll container. Hospital staff roll each container through the incoming goods area to the delivery room. A tunnel reader, through which the roll containers are pushed and turned through 90 degrees once, records all UHF RFID transponders of the clothing items. The inventory of the entire room is automatically updated and stored in a central software.

Employees who want to retrieve clothing identify themselves with their individual transponder on a revolving door of the laundry distribution room. The room has around 95 square meters of space and contains about 2,500 items – sorted by functional areas and sizes – folded on shelves. Once the required parts have been selected, the laundry items removed are registered at the exit revolving door as they leave the room. R

e-identification before leaving allows the parts to be assigned to the user account of the respective employee. The entire retrieval process takes around 20 to 30 seconds. At peak times, such as the start of a shift, up to 120 employees use the room per hour.

Worn clothing is returned via an automatic drop-off machine with an integrated UHF RFID reader in the immediate vicinity of the dispensing area. After laundry items have been deposited, they are automatically posted to the respective user account in the system.

A central software manages the automated laundry entrances and exits. The fill levels of the distribution room and the drop-off machine can be viewed at any time.


  • Efficient laundry distribution in 20 to 30 seconds
  • Queuing reduced to 0 at peak times
  • Contactless identification of employees – distribution without additional interaction
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Permanent inventory


  • Implementation of a data interface to the textile service provider
  • Integration of detailed reporting tools for more transparent analyses
  • Installation of a solution for the automatic acknowledgement – optical and/or acoustic – of the laundry drop-off at the automatic machine
  • Integration of decentralized laundry expenses in departments of the hospital which are currently still managed manually to a small extent.

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