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Designing Diapers and Sizing Schemes with a Fit Mapping Tool

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000029136D
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-16

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Sara Stabelfeldt: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A fit mapping tool is proposed to help developers of absorbent articles optimize the array of product sizes offered for a product category. Using the principles of anthropometry (traditional one-dimensional or three-dimensional) and fit assessment, articles for infants or other absorbent articles can be optimized for fit and number of size ranges.

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Designing Diapers and Sizing Schemes with a Fit Mapping Tool

Sara Stabelfeldt, Chris Pieper, and Eric Ashbrenner Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Neenah, Wisconsin

Abstract

A fit mapping tool is proposed to help developers of absorbent articles optimize the array of product sizes offered for a product category. Using the principles of anthropometry (traditional one-dimensional or three-dimensional) and fit assessment, articles for infants or other absorbent articles can be optimized for fit and number of size ranges.

Introduction

Although infants come in many shapes and sizes, diapers must be offered in a limited number of sizes. A goal for each product platform is to create an array of product sizes that best fits the targeted population of infants with the fewest number of sizes. In the past, developers of absorbent articles might first design a product with fit optimized for one particular size, such as the "Step 3" infant category of HUGGIES® diapers from Kimberly-Clark Corporation (Dallas, Texas). The optimized design could then be scaled up or scaled down to encompass the remaining size ranges. It is not known if that method provided the optimal sizing scheme and number of products to best fit the entire population. For example, there may be portions of the population that fit well into multiple sizes or portions of the population that do not fit any offered sizes well. There is a need for a method for assessing the fit of current or new articles and using the fit results to determine a sizing scheme to achieve optimal fit.

Background: Fit Mapping

Fit mapping is a tool that provides a visual and mathematical representation of fit coverage in anthropometric (body measurement) space for each size of a specific product design. It provides a means of relating body dimensions to product features and thus can help in designing for improved fit. This process involves obtaining consistent anthropometric measurements, accurately surveying the quality of fit, and analyzing the data to display the range and quality of fit in a defined anthropometric space. Based on the results, the sizing scheme or dimensions of the product may be altered to achieve a better fit for the target population.

Fit mapping differs from classic fit testing in that fit testing, in most cases, only determines if subjects achieve fit in one of the sizes available whereas fit mapping requires additional testing in all sizes until good quality of fit is no longer obtained.

Fit mapping concepts were initially developed for military applications. According to a General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (GDAIS) Webpage, "Traditional and 3d Anthropometry Research" at http://www.veridian.com/offerings/suboffering.asp?offeringID=712 as viewed Feb. 18, 2004 (unless otherwise specified, all URLs are as viewed on Feb. 18, 2004):

The Air Force has been studying anthropometry since 1936, when Capt. Harry G. Armstrong first made some of the earliest recommendations about optim...