An automated rail system addresses three issues: (1) classifying
and storing soiled items, (2) selecting items to be washed, and
(3) delivering those items to the washers.
- Classifying and storing soiled items Soiled
items are manually sorted into chutes. When the weight or piece
count in a sorting chute reaches the preset amount, the chute
control will sound a signal and activate a red light to indicate
that the chute is full. The chute control will then ask for permission
to unload. If the sling loading conveyer is available, the system
will tell the chute control to unload, and tell the lift control
that there is a load coming on the conveyer. The sorting lift
control will run the load up to the end of the conveyer, and,
if a sling is available, automatically load the sling. The rail
system computer will automatically determine if it is ready to
accept the sling, and determines which storage rail the sling
needs to go to based on the item in the sling. If the system
is ready to accept the sling, it will instruct the sorting lift
control to release the sling.
- Selecting items to be washed The rail
system computer automatically selects items to be washed based
on daily production quotas. The list of items to be washed is
shown on the computer display, and can be modified to meet changes
in demand. Sling selection will incorporate the concept of sling
age slings that have been on the rail for a long
time will be given priority over ones that have been up there
a short time.
- Delivering items to the washers The rail
system computer automatically calls off slings from the storage
rails to fill production quotas. The rail computer communicates
with the tunnel or open-pocket washers to pass the item code,
customer code, weight and piece count for the sling about to
- Provides a graphical display showing the
contents of the rails and the sorting system, as well as the
status of any washers the system delivers slings to.
- Each sling is shown on the display, with
a status block showing its contents and weight.
- Sorting system display shows the contents
of each sorting bin and amount of each item sorted.
- Queues slings to be washed based on daily
production quotas. These sling queues can be edited at the computer
to meet special production needs.
- When queuing slings, the system uses sling
age - the amount of time the sling has been on the rail - to
determine which slings to include in the next load.
- Automatically loads open-pocket and continuous
batch washers; can send item, customer, weight and batch information
to the washer or to a washdeck automation system.
- Includes production reporting for soil
sorting and delivery to washdeck.
- Remote display provides a copy of the
rail system screen on a managers desktop.