Diaper Manufacturing … A Long Story Made Short with Joseph Al- Rassy

For a closer glimpse inside diapers manufacturing at National Paper Company Ltd., Napco in focus has conducted an interview with the Operations Manager at the company, Mr. Joseph Al-Rassy. Let’s listen to what he has to say.

1- What are the different stages of the disposable diaper manufacturing process?

A sheet of pulp is fed into a rotary mill and is converted into fibers. A vacuum generator, also called the “dust collector”, transports the fibers into a forming pocket. Fibers are mixed with a super-absorbent within the drum former. Once the absorbent core is formed, it is wrapped in a layer of light weight non-woven fabric. A debulker roll is then used to compress the pad and cut it into individual pieces. Afterwards, a poly film or cloth-like material is added to the bottom of the pad and a non-woven material is added at the top.


A sheet of pulp is fed into a rotary mill and is converted into fibers. A vacuum generator, also called the “dust collector”, transports the fibers into a forming pocket. Fibers are mixed with a super-absorbent within the drum former. Once the absorbent core is formed, it is wrapped in a layer of light weight non-woven fabric. A debulker roll is then used to compress the pad and cut it into individual pieces. Afterwards, a poly film or cloth-like material is added to the bottom of the pad and a non-woven material is added at the top.

During the manufacturing process, the frontal tape is glued to the poly film or cloth-like back sheet by a cut and place applicator. A hot melt in the form of multi-lines or spray is used to join the materials together. Elastomerics are also added to provide stretch for the waist and leg area.

The non-woven top sheet can be made of one or more pieces, depending on the features to be added to the diaper. For example, diapers can come with or without leg cuffs. Typical nonwovens used in a diaper are Spunbond and Thermobond or a combination of both. In order to provide water resistance and stop leakage, the top sheet should be made of hydrophilic nonwovens. The next step in the manufacturing process entails adding lateral tapes. At this stage, diapers are ready for packing through an automated process..

2- What are the international norms and standards you abide by to ensure quality control?

Several methods can be adopted to control the quality of disposable diapers; and most of these have to do with absorbency. One key is to make sure the polymer/fiber ratio in the absorbent pad is correct. Too much variation will impact the diaper's ability to soak up moisture. Several operation levels are required in order to achieve ultimate quality control.

1) In-Line Visual Inspection System: It covers automatic vision systems and manual in-line visual inspections. Inspections can be performed automatically by a digital imaging equipment; these systems are able to detect the most common diaper defects. In fact, an inkjet printer offers great help in adding a code
to each pack.
2) Internal Quality Laboratory: It covers laboratory facilities for testing raw materials as well as finished products. All raw materials must meet the specifications defined by the certificate of analysis negotiated with the suppliers. All data is tracked for future reference and possible consumer comments.

3- Why consumer feedback is important and how do you collect it?

Listening to our customers is the best way to determine what features in a product solve their problems or fulfill their needs. We continuously conduct focus groups, in-person researches and customer phone surveys to yield customer feedback. Our Consumer Panel Tests give us the chance to test the diaper before it is released into the market. We also use a code tracking system to identify process and raw material problems and reduce complaints. Moreover, statistical analysis allows us to define priorities for the factory in order to promote quality.

4- How do you integrate housekeeping and hygiene in your diaper manufacturing process?

At our company, effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation. It allows us to eliminate some workplace hazards and helps get a job done safely and properly. Effective housekeeping is also a basic part of accident and fire prevention.





Store Better, Eat Fresher

Storing food properly is a vital way to have a nutritious and balanced diet, keep fruits and vegetables fresh and protect yourself and your family from foodborne illnesses. Thus, before keeping your food or leftovers in the fridge, it is important to follow a set of measures for healthier storage and fresher meals!

First, make sure the fridge is cold enough. The temperature of your refrigerator should be between 0ºC and 5ºC. If your fridge is full, you can turn the temperature down.


When the temperature is over 32 ºC, leftovers and perishable food should be stored in the adequate storage bags within one to two hours. A perfect choice would be Sanita® Easy Lock since it is the type of storage bags that close in one slide motion and lock tight to block out air and keep food or single portions fresh and well protected against freezer burn.

Other useful tips also include keeping the fridge door closed as much as possible, waiting for food to cool down before storage and using the right storing tools. Nevertheless, it is not enough to focus on the temperature at which you store the food. It is recommended that people check the temperature of refrigerated and frozen food as it arrives. If the temperature is above safe food storage levels do not accept the delivery.


Storing the Right Products in the Appropriate Place

• If raw and uncooked meat can’t be kept in separate refrigerators, it must be stored in clean, sealed containers at the bottom of the fridge to prevent the risk of dripping juices and avoid touching other foods. You can put red meats and sausages in above uncooked poultry, but never the other way around. Cool cooked food as quickly possible and then put it in the fridge or freezer. Leak-resistant and highly thick, Sanita® Food Storage Bags are a convenient solution to preserve the taste and freshness of almost all categories and sizes of food.
• Cold perishable food, such as chicken salad, should be kept at 4˚C or below.

Salads can be stored below cooked meats, but they should always be above raw meats. Always keep salad covered in a lidded container or wrapped in cling film to avoid ingredients dehydration. Sanita® Premium Cling Film is excellent for healthy food covering and wrapping. It clings tight to all sorts of serving items to perfectly seal in the freshness, retain moisture and preserve flavor and aroma.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, leftovers should be covered and wrapped in airtight packaging, or sealed in storage containers. These measures keep bacteria out, retain moisture, and prevent leftovers from picking up odors from other food in the refrigerator.

The Importance of Hygiene

Bacteria can survive on the surfaces of refrigerators. Therefore, one should clean the refrigerator on a regular basis, internally and externally while wiping up spills immediately.

Storing Fruits and Vegetables


Leafy Greens

• Leafy greens, such as lettuce, collards, chard, kale and spinach, should be consumed 1-2 days of purchase. But to extend their life and ensure freshness, it is advisable to wrap the unwashed leaves in a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture, and then put them in plastic bags in the fridge. Keep different varieties in separate bags. Broccoli and cauliflower are best kept in separate refrigerator drawers away from other produce.

• Mushrooms are kept unwashed in the refrigerator since moisture makes them greasy.

Fruits

Berries: Some fruits require “thermotherapy” before being stored in the fridge to stop the onset of fungus. You can give your strawberries, blueberries and raspberries a hot bath, spread them out on a towel and then allow them to breathe before placing them in the fridge.

Bananas: Yes, ripe bananas can be stored by being placed in a sealed bag. This trick will allow them to look more palatable.

Keeping food fresher longer is a challenge in every household; luckily, by using the right tools and following the right storing tips, it is always possible to store better and eat fresher!

Napco Consumer Division offers a series of wrapping and storing items that are a trusted hand in the kitchen.