| Rentex

Rentex saves on labour costs by using smart electric tugs

No more pushing and pulling with containers at care laundry Rentex. This is because the organisation uses All-on Automatic tugs (or Automatic Guided Vehicles, AGVs). Rentex is one of the largest independent laundries in the Netherlands and specialises in processing healthcare textiles. Its motto is: working together to do everything smarter, faster and better. Smart electric tugs make an important contribution to this. Rentex recently reinforced its team with a number of AGVs, which now make their way through the Bolsward laundry fully automatically. In this article, we tell you more about them.

40% time saved by automatic container movement

In the context of working smarter and faster, Rentex commissioned a time analysis. This analysis showed that employees spend as much as 40% of their time moving containers. “The AGVs now move containers through the laundry, allowing our employees to stay in place. Automating this process is a huge win,” said Titus Mulder, general manager of Rentex.

A ‘smart’ route has been mapped out on the floor of the packing department. A long sticker with sophisticated chips guides the smart AGVs flawlessly through the hall. The tug knows exactly where and when to stop. An employee attaches the containers or loads the products and, with the push of a green button, the tug continues on its way to the next stop. At the end of the route, the containers are disconnected and taken to dispatch. A simple but highly efficient process.

3 major benefits: saving costs, reducing absenteeism and more structure

Using AGVs has three major advantages for Rentex. First, it leads to significant savings on labour costs, as the same tasks can now be performed with fewer staff. This means more efficiency and substantial cost savings. Moreover, automation ensures that absenteeism is prevented in the long term. “Employees experience less strain on their arms and physical complaints decrease,” confirms Mulder. This promotes the vitality and sustainable employability of Rentex’s employees.

In addition, the AGVs also provide structure to the laundry. “There are now eight tugs with three containers each so a maximum of 24 containers driving through the laundry. Previously, there were sometimes as many as 100,” Mulder said. The AGVs only stop at designated spots, ensuring smooth traffic in the laundry. With better flow of work without unwanted congestion and delays. So the AGVs not only have a positive impact on costs, but also on process efficiency.

Employees are happy with the arrival of the AGVs

“As with any change, employees had to ‘see it first, then believe it’. It took a while for everyone to get on board,” Mulder says. suits. After a week, everyone was won over. It saves a lot of time and people are happy that they have to do less physically demanding work,” says Mulder.

Easy-to-install system

No major modifications were needed to install the system in the laundry. According to Mulder, it is very easy to get started with such a system: “You don’t have to break open the floor, just put some stickers. And if you want to change the system, you remove the stickers from the floor and lay out the route differently.” The tug travels at about 4 kilometres per hour and stops for obstacles. When the battery is low, the tug automatically makes a stop at the battery rack and waits there until it is replaced. With a simple push of a button, the AGV takes off again. A child can do the laundry.

Want to know more?

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