Disposables Consultancy Service Copyright © 1999 [DCS]. All rights reserved. Revised: October 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are, or want to be,  involved in any facet of the manufacture or sale of baby diapers, sanitary napkins, adult incontinence or similar absorbent products, please read through our pages and contact our Consultant, Philip Hardy, by phone,  fax or  e-mail. 

Here are some of the more frequent questions that I have been asked about the manufacture of diapers and napkins. I have been as accurate as possible with our responses, but some of the questions depend on so many variables that I have provided guidelines ranges only. 

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How much do Diaper and Napkin machines cost?

How should I source diapers to import to my Market.

What production efficiency should I expect from a Baby Diaper machine?

What size of factory is required for Diaper and Sanitary Napkin manufacturing?

Where do I source the raw materials?

How do we decide the most cost effective product for our market?

Where would I find more general information about Disposable Baby Diapers and their history?

What are the main material components of diapers and napkins?

How much do Diaper and Sanitary Napkin machines cost?

There is a huge range of pricing for both of these types of machines, depending on the product structure, product features, machine speed and machine consistency. 

The common range of prices for European or US diaper machines would be from $2,000,000 to $6,000,000 - you can pay more. Chinese machines cost from $120,000 to $1,800,000.

Second hand European and US machines are often available, and would range from $300,000 to $1,000,000.   

Sanitary napkin machines range from $80,000 to $1,200,000. The lower priced being slow and inflexible machines producing a simple napkin. The lowest priced European machines cost circa $400,000. 

There are also manual diaper machines available at costs below $20,000, but these require high labour input and produce very few diapers that will be at a low quality level. Not recommended

Please ensure that you have checked the potential profitability of such a machine with me before purchasing.

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How should I source diapers or sanitary napkins to import to my market

Diapers and napkins are available from manufacturers all over the world. The specifications and quality of manufacture can vary greatly. It is important to have a clear view of the product that you feel will be successful in your market before going out for quotations. Please contact me if you would like me to assist in market and product analysis, product specification and sourcing.

What production efficiency should I expect from a baby diaper machine?

The industry average would be an efficiency of 70% to 85%, with a waste figure of between 1% and 6%. There will also a percentage of seconds, whose quantity will vary greatly depending on the machine tuning, the pack size and the skill of the operators. Figures between 4% and 10% are common. 

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What factory area is required for a napkin or diaper machine? 

The length of napkin machines varies greatly, some of the more compact models are less than 8 metres long. An average length of machine of 15metres would be a good guideline. The common diaper machine varies from 30 to 40 metres long. 

More critical to the  decision on space is the storage area required for the finished product and raw materials. The finished goods are bulky and normally occupy at least 2/3rds of the final factory area. An overall area of 1500sq metres is a good starting point for a single machine production unit on a single shift.

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Where do I source the raw materials?

This is a truly international industry, with Raw Materials sourced all over the world. A good place to meet the suppliers is at the Nonwoven Exhibitions which are held annually in three different parts of the world.
The last European exhibition, Index, was held in 2011. The Asian exhibition, ANEX, will be held in Seoul in June 2012 and the US version, the IDEA exhibition, will be held in Miami, Florida in 2013.

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How do we decide the most cost effective diapers or napkins for our market?

The best method is for you to send us samples of all of the main diaper brands that are selling on your market. We will carry out an analysis of each brand so that we can evaluate the production cost of each diaper. When this information is combined with the selling prices in your market, it will becomeclear what quality and cost of diaper will be the most successful and competitive.

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Where would I find more general information about Disposable Baby Diapers and their history

There are many branded sites available, such as those for Pampers and Huggies.

Websites and magazines that often report on issues related to disposable products and their raw materials are :
Nonwovens Industry : www.nonwovens-industry.com
Nonwovens.com: www.nonwovens.com

What are the main material components of diapers and napkins

The main components of the absorbent core are:
  Fluff Pulp - cellulose wood fibres
  Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP)- acrylic polymer
  Tissue or nonwoven layer wrap - cellulose or polypropylene fibres

The main components of the envelope are:
  Porous nonwoven cover (hydrophilic)
  Impervious nonwoven leg cuff (hydrophobic)
  Polyethylene or laminated back sheet
  Hot melt adhesives to bond components
  Plastic frontal and side tapes (diaper)
  Synthetic or rubber elastics (diaper)
  Elastic waist band (diaper)
Acquisition/distribution layer(surge layer)

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Disposables Consultancy Service
Copyright © 1999  [DCS]. All rights reserved.
Revised: June 2013
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