Softrol: Elevating Plant Performance from Soil Sort to Shipping

Chad Keith, CEO
With a singular mission of providing software and process controls for advanced automation of the textile rental and manufacturing industries, Softrol has evolved notably since opening its doors in 1987. “Often, the customers have a slower technological acceptance for some of our solutions,” comments Chad Keith, CEO, Softrol. To empower customers with the new technologies, the company extensively automates its solutions and makes it easier to deploy, ensuring that customers see tangible performance benefits. Right from the receiving dock at textile rental or manufacturing facilities, to the shipping dock, Softrol deploys innovative solutions that automate processes and improve operational efficiency.

Softrol’s Total Plant Management is the focal point of Softrol’s innovative systems. It is a line of advanced solutions that include chemical, rail, management, sortation, and control systems. Inherently,the company’s products are focused on increasing productivity across all facets of laundry operation, and providing bottom line results. `An integral component of Total Plant Management is Softrol’s PulseNet Productivity System (PPS) which measures, monitors, and manages people to reduce labor cost. Utilizing the company’s touchscreen SmartStations, PPS provides real-time feedback and reports, making it easy for management staff to ascertain the labor or perform equipment adjustments to ensure efficient production. This allows management to identify problems sooner and determine the production rate versus capacity in real-time. Furthermore, “SmartStations offer user-friendly, customizable touchpad screen controls,” states Keith. Bottom line, Softrol is all about ensuring that every aspect of a plant is improved—increasing productivity and lowering the operating costs.

Softrol is uniquely positioned in the market today. They are completely vertical in both their electronic hardware and software. “We develop hardware and create software at the chip level and incorporate those components together into a control system,” explains Keith. To make it user-friendly for the end-users who might be intimidated by the idea of using a microprocessor-level software, Softrol deploys a Windows-based software so that the combination of the control systems is more intelligible to users. This level of vertical nature is not very common, and is a key competitive strength of Softrol.
“We do not have to go outside for any new feature we want in order to replicate the automation process; we create it in-house,” emphasizes Keith.

Over the course of their 25 years in business, Softrol has brought significant improvements to client bottom lines in the textile industry. A particular success story that needs to be highlighted involves the uniform rental segment of the textile industry and the company’s SoftSort— an automation system for the garment sortation. Even today, the garment sorting processes require time consuming manual processes, which by today’s standards, is unacceptable.

For one particular client, Aramark Uniform Services, Softrol deployed a Softsort system that automatically sorts a staggering 40,000 garments per day, at a rate of 3,800 garments per hour and reduces the workforce by 70 percent. Softsort effectively reduced the client’s sorting labor from ten employees to two, while utilizing standard hangers without the need for mother hooks and taking advantage of pre and post-sort buffering conveyors for labor-free garment transportation. On numerous occasions, Softrol has leveraged technologies like RFID and barcodes to automate and streamline sorting—increasing accuracy and considerably reducing the workforce.


Softrol is all about ensuring that every aspect of a plant is improved—increasing productivity and lowering the operating costs


Looking to the future, Keith reveals that a long-term plan is in place for Softrol to enter other industries such as food manufacturing. In addition, the company will also be expanding internationally in 2015 by establishing itself not only in Europe, but also in South America.

Company
Softrol

Headquarters
Acworth, GA

Management
Chad Keith, CEO

Description
Provides process controls and management information solutions for automation of the textile rental and manufacturing industries