A Trip to the Pampers Factory

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Last month I made the short trip down to Trafford Park to visit the Proctor and Gamble factory there. I as visiting to meet the UK Pampers team, a host of other bloggers and press, and find out just how their nappies are made and the exciting new developments that the nappies have recently undergone.

Pampers Logo

Our first presentation of the day came from one of the managers in the factory who told us that Pampers have been produced in Manchester since 1991, and that there had been a P&G factory on the site since the 1920s. Over 40% of the Manchester management team is female and the average length of service is over 17 years, Pampers clearly know how to keep their staff happy! The factory employs around 300 people and is committed to staff development, and also offers apprenticeships to young people. They have won a lot of awards for their staff and very proudly showed these off.

Pampers take their #PampersInnovation seriously, with a development team in Schwalbach, Germany who are completely committed to the continuous improvement of their nappies. They have a play lab there where local parents take their children in to be observed playing while wearing Pampers. There is also a team of local families who continuously test out the nappies, feeding back the results of nappy changes to the scientists each week. Dr Frank Wiesemann, the principal scientist was over from Germany to explain to us the new developments in Pamper. He showed us the 'super absorber' material which helps to make Pampers some of the driest nappies around. Just a small amount added to a cup of water and passed around saw al of the moisture turn to jelly before our eyes. It was really clear how the super absorber works to take urine away from your child's skin. Every Pampers range is specifically designed for specific stages of a child's life. Frank explained that runny newborn poo needs to me taken away from the skin so a mesh layer is added to aid this. When your child becomes mobile,and the volume of deposits increases, extra focus is paid to the leg holes of the nappy, the fastenings and the distribution of the super absorber layer.

Pampers Innovation presentations

Dr Wiesemann also treated us to a history of the Pampers nappy, showing it's development from, essentially a disposable terry square, through fastening with pins, separate nappies for girls and boys, velcro fastenings, to the thin, super absorbent Pampers we have today. Our final presentation came from Dr Ellie Cross who makes up one third of the Pampers 'Love, Sleep, Play' panel. Ellie is a firm believer in the values of all three and talked passionately about the importance of play and their parent's attention for children. Let's face it, love, sleep and play really offers the foundations for a happy baby, if you include a good meal in there!

Pampers Innovation Group Photos

After an amazing lunch we were invited to tour the nappy production line. The Manchester factory takes just four seconds to go from raw materials to finished nappy and it was amazing to watch the more than twenty raw components whizz along the line to emerge packed at the other end. The factory produces more than five million nappies per day, with over 3200 rigorous quality checks being carried out on them. Line operators are continuously trained and developed in all areas of the manufacturing process. I was quite surprised by how few people were actually on the factory floor but the process is so streamlined, with an average of less than ten unscheduled outages per day that it continuously runs smoothly. 

It really was a fab day and I learned a great deal. Thanks to Pampers for the invitation!