Friday 2 May 2014

Progressive Diaper Design. (Part 2)

More from INDA Vision - Dallas 2014:  this is the second part of Carlos Richer's update on diaper design...

Cotton is coming in 2014! 
Hydroentangled 100% cotton topsheets with controlled hydrophilicity were now becoming available in the USA and these would grow in premium diapers.  Cotton had been used in the backsheet of Huggies “Pure and Natural” simply to get the “Cotton” label.  Now it could be used in the topsheet where it mattered, mothers were expected to be even more interested.  MTS testing of the naturally hydrophobic unbleached (greige) spun-laced cotton with an “Ultra-Phil” finish had given satisfactory rewet and acquisition rates, and a new cotton diaper launch could be expected later this year.

Also New For 2014...
·      China would become the world’s largest diaper market and would achieve this at a penetration level of only 29%.  It was expected to double to by 2020 and by the time it reached the western world’s 95% penetration the market for nonwovens would be gigantic.  USA would remain the second largest market but by 2020, Brazil would be No.3. 

  • ·         The “Hottest” markets were listed as China, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and Nigeria.
  • ·         Pakistan was worth noting especially.  Penetration is 6% and they have the same number of babies as the EU.  P&G is the market leader with an imported diaper, but Ontex is starting local production.  Here there is a large demand for single diapers and these are often bought loose in bulk in preference to the formal packs.
  • ·         SAP/Pulp ratios would average 50% in emerging markets by 2015 when western diapers would be at 2:1.  The move to 100% SAP was required before the much heralded fully elastic diaper became a reality.  To Carlos’s surprise the pulpless “Drylock” diaper was doing well in the UK despite its apparently high cost structure.  Maybe costs had been reduced in the last year, or losses were being tolerated to gain share.
  • ·         The first elastic diaper could be expected to appear in 2014.  This would only be elastic in the cross-direction.  MD elasticity caused problems in conversion.
·        ·         A Moroccan diaper producer has developed a tissue paper which outperforms SMS as a core-wrap.

  • ·         A new G-Diaper insert-diaper  featuring  leg-cuffs attached to the disposable part had appeared.
  • ·         Unicharm had patented a diaper claiming to separate urine and faeces.  This used a “cuff” across the diaper.  The advantage would be easier clean up and minimisation of the potential extra skin damage which occurs from the urine-faeces slurry which normally arises.
  • ·         Diaper machinery continued to improve. While an instance of 1300 diapers/min had been observed, 800/min was more typical and efficiencies of 95% were achievable at this speed in the West. 500/min and 80% efficiency was typical in China, Latin America and Eastern Europe.  In India, Pakistan and Africa, 300/min and 65% efficiency could be expected.  Chinese-made diaper machines were getting better and better and would soon provide serious competition for the majors.
  • ·         Adult Incontinence remains the main growth area for diapers in the West and here the preferred design will be a rectangular pad with enormous “ears” which will form the pant.  Costs of this design will be 71% of that of the old “full-chassis” adult diaper.  Apertured film topsheets are making a comeback.
  • ·         Diagnostic diapers are being developed with indicators for infections or diabetes detection in adults or babies.  The indicators could be built into a QR-code design printed on the inside of the backsheet.
  • ·         KC’s “pee-tweet”  idea launched in May 2013 in Brazil maybe best for adults but the humidity sensors have problems which lead to false-alarms and too many changes.
  • ·         Carlos proposed using temperature of the backsheet, which peaks during a pee, detected using an active RFID, as a better system.
  • ·         He has developed a diaper for immobile adults which features a tube allowing urine to be pumped out automatically when the temperature signal indicates urination.  It would nevertheless need changing every 6 hours to avoid bacterial skin damage.

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