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Method and Apparatus to Process an Absorbent on a Roll in Conjunction with a Shaped Fluff/SAM Layer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033678D
Publication Date: 2004-Dec-23
Document File: 4 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Mike Venturino: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A process is discussed in which an absorbent on a roll can be introduced into a conventional fluff forming system to yield a multilayer absorbent structure. While absorbents on a roll offer several benefits, they also bring with them significant cost hurdles including raw material cost, transportation and warehouse costs, material splice culls, and pad-shaping design waste. Here we discuss a method and apparatus for cost-effective combination of absorbents on a roll by leveraging the fluff/superabsorbent (SAM) forming system.

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Method and Apparatus to Process an Absorbent on a Roll in Conjunction with a Shaped Fluff/SAM Layer

Mike Venturino, Mark Heath, and Mark Lancaster Kimberly-Clark Corporation,

Neenah, Wisconsin

Summary:

    A process is discussed in which an absorbent on a roll can be introduced into a conventional fluff forming system to yield a multilayer absorbent structure.

    While absorbents on a roll offer several benefits, they also bring with them significant cost hurdles including raw material cost, transportation and warehouse costs, material splice culls, and pad-shaping design waste. Here we discuss a method and apparatus for cost-effective combination of absorbents on a roll by leveraging the fluff / superabsorbent (SAM) forming system.

    In one particular aspect, a rectangular pledget (upper layer absorbent) is cut and placed upon a geometrically shaped fluff / SAM lower layer absorbent.

Detailed Description:

    We describe a method and apparatus to combine an absorbent on a roll (AOR) with a conventional fluff / SAM absorbent system. The three aspects discussed here are
(1) the process of delivering an AOR to a forming system, (2) the configuration of the fluff forming system, and (3) the actual combination of the two absorbent pieces.

    The geometry of the AOR piece of the absorbent is critical from a cost standpoint. While possessing superior absorbent properties, it also has significant cost disadvantages. For this reason the use of AOR must be judicious and efficient. The length of the AOR must be long enough to cover the product target area, yet short enough to be economical. For that reason the AOR must be at a length shorter than the fluff / SAM lower layer. This length differential requires that the AOR be cut and placed onto a pad length substrate. The width of the AOR needs to be wide enough to cover the target area yet should be narrow enough to circumvent the need to cut and shape the AOL in the crotch area. The desire to eliminate edge trim is essential to implementing no design waste, as the trim can not be recycled to the fiberizer in most cases. Further, the elimination of edge trim removes the cost of a cutting module as well as the waste and delay cost associated with a cutting and trim removal system.

    The shortening of the AOR also provides process benefits by reducing the velocity of the AOR web. This reduced pay-out of material increases roll run time, decreases the labor required for AOR material handling, unwind loading, and splice preparation time. Further, the increased time between splices reduces the quantity of splices and waste generated by the splice culls. A significant process dilemma associated with AORs is the generation of dust. By minimizing the velocity of the AOR web the amount of material thrown out of the web due to centrifugal force (mv2/rg) is significantly reduced by reducing the squared velocity component.

    The fluff / SAM lower layer of absorbent is a very cost-effective structure. It has the ability to...