So, how do you customize? Let’s take a look at some of the closure variables available to diaper manufacturers, such as cost, material, closure type, peel value, feel and noise. Some market segments are obvious targets for certain variables, while others will require a close look at your demographics.
As the term implies, high tier closures will have a higher cost component than value closures. Accordingly, they are most often specified for premium diapers, both adult and baby. Nonwoven closures are high tier. Preferred for their softness, they come in a variety of grades and with options such as an elastic feature. The closures can be customized to suit a manufacturer’s specific degree of desired softness and flexibility for its premium diaper lines.
Value tier closures are often constructed of plastic and might employ a traditional type of closure adhesive or a hook and loop configuration. The plastic closures can be produced with a shiny tape or embossed for a textured effect; or for those users who are concerned that a visual or tactile component might attract the baby’s attention and cause it to play with the closure, more discrete tape surfaces are available.
Preference for peel value, the force required to open or close the diaper, varies from one geography to another. In some regions, users may favor a closure that calls for more force to open than that preferred by users in other regions. Whereas higher peel value gives some users a sense of security, others may prize lower peel because they can more gently open the diaper.
Noise is a related characteristic to peel value. In some markets, users associate noise with sticking value. Other markets might prefer a lower noise level so as not to risk waking the baby. Closure manufacturers with deep technical resources can customize both the peel value and noise of their products by producing an appropriate adhesive chemistry for the inner part of the closure. Moreover, manufacturers can design closures that adhere to diapers for different periods of time with considerable accuracy. By conducting closure adhesive tests at body temperature in laboratory conditions, manufacturers can customize closures that last 20-40 minutes for value diapers, and longer for premium diapers.
Marketing and Manufacturing Considerations
Closures printed with brand imagery or text are viable custom options for diaper manufacturers targeting adults in hospital and nursing home settings. Here, a printed closure can create brand awareness among the nurses and health aides who handle the diapers and who often have buying influence over the brand that is purchased.
Looking ahead, closures that adhere directly to a backsheet will one day be available for brands seeking product differentiation. Because the closures will not need a landing zone, they will be more flexible and require less closure material.
On the manufacturing side, customized closure options exist that offer diaper brands significant production benefits. Closure products that meet the needs of specific diaper machines can increase equipment running efficiency and, combined with longer closure material roll lengths now available, longer uninterrupted uptime.
Bottom line: diaper manufacturers wanting to establish brand preference by catering to the needs of diverse markets or looking to streamline their production process can turn to closure customization for a variety of options.
Birgitta Van den Driessche is Global Product Manager, Personal Care, at Avery Dennison Performance Tapes. She can be reached at Birgitta.Van.den.Driessche@eu.averydennison.com.
The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect views held by Nonwovens Industry.