UniTech and UniClean: Innovating Side By Side
While UniTech continues to innovate its products and services to keep radioactive material from contaminating nuclear personnel, its fellow UniFirst subsidiary, UniClean, is doing just the opposite. UniClean is innovating to keep contaminants from people out of ultra-clean production environments (cleanrooms).
UniClean launders and services the work clothing of employees who manufacture sensitive medical, electronic and pharmaceutical products. UniClean’s processing facilities are actually cleanrooms, literally thousands of times cleaner than hospital operating rooms. This helps to ensure customer clothing is delivered free of any microscopic contamination. As a one-stop provider, UniClean also offers its customers a complete line of cleanroom disposable items and supplies.
With UniTech and UniClean both providing protective clothing management, laundry and just-in-time inventory for their customers, the two companies learn from each other in terms of new technology adoption and programmatic innovation.
“It’s a real asset for us to be able to work symbiotically with UniClean, even though we serve very different industries,” explained Director of Sales & Marketing Gregg Johnstone. “For clothing management in particular, we’re able to share ideas on how to provide customers new solutions that cut costs and streamline processes. We meet each year to share ideas.”
One area in which UniTech draws inspiration from UniClean is RFID chipping. UniClean currently RFID chips all protective garments it provides to customers.
“RFID Chipping is something we already incorporate into our work, but want to do more of. Nuclear protective clothing, respirators and other accessories can be costly if mismanaged, said Johnstone. “By chipping clothing and other protective apparatuses, we’ll prevent misplacement or accidental disposal of units, and customers will also be able to better manage their resources fleetwide.”
Last year, UniTech piloted a RFID chipping program in conjunction with Datamars and Innovative Management Designs, augmenting inventory control of HEPA vacuum cleaners and 3M™ PAPR systems at LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station.