ManicMammy's Blog

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Quality not quantity

Posted on | July 6, 2010 | No Comments

A couple or so weeks ago, I was delighted to be invited by Kate in Fleishman-Hillard to visit the Pampers Innovation Centre in Schwalbach, Germany.

The visit piqued the interest of both the mammy and engineer in me. I love seeing innovation and how things are made. As a mammy to 5 darlings I’ve definitely seen my fair share of nappies.

An early start in Dublin saw myself, Kate and the lovely Sian from mummymaps winging our way to Germany where we met with Sue from the Royal College of Midwives and Hayley from A brief hair raising taxi journey and we arrived at the Pampers Research Centre.

What followed was a very interesting day. It is a place that on first entry looks more like a creche or playcentre. Every week 1200 mothers collect test nappies for at-home tests and are invited at intervals for interviews about the nappies. Babies are observed in playground lab to observe fit and leakage of new nappies. Dr Ralf was kind enough to demonstrate the recording of amount of moisture on a baby’s skin. Measurements essential to improve the nappy’s ability to draw wetness away from baby’s bum.

The main reason we were there was so that we could see the new Dry Max nappies and find out more about their development, evolution, production and the technology behind them. I have to say I was impressed with the new nappies. 20% less bulk as the traditionally used airfelt or “paper pulp” has been  replaced with Absorbent Gelling Material (AGM). The photo below shows the amount per nappy of AGM on the left compared to the airfelt it replaces on the right.

Less bulk and removal of moisture away from skin can only mean more comfort for baby and toddler and less likelihood of nappy rash. We’ve all noted the occasional, rather full,  morning nappy where toddler strides around like John Wayne. As the AGM can be applied to stay in a specific areas of the nappy, this can hopefully be avoided in future. There was an obvious improvement in performance when the old version of the nappy was compared with the new Dry Max version.

Other new information that I learned that day:

  1. Size 4 versus 4+ and Size 5 versus  5+:  The “+ ” indicates better/more absorbtion. The circumference, that is, tummy measurement of both sizes of nappies, is the same.
  2. Procter & Gamble  is always interested in feedback on their products. Ring freephone number or email to address shown below  on website.

I had a very enjoyable, interesting and informative day. It was great to meet so many people who were passionate and commited to what they do. Excellent as always to meet and catch up with other parents and bloggers. Thanks again to Kate and Rachel from Fleishman-Hillard and to Aimee and Gillian from Procter and Gamble as well as Dr Frank Wiesemann, Peter Dziezok and Ralf Adams who took the time and had the patience to show us around and answer all of our questions.

Annnd if you still want to see a vid of the new nappy after all that chat, here you go:

One of my highlights was seeing the prototype production line. Can’t get away from those mechanical engineering roots  ;-)

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