Carlos Richer has been in the diaper industry for nearly 34 years, the last 12 of which he’s worked as an independent consultant. And during that time, he has witnessed a growing need for more education on diaper manufacturing throughout the entire nonwovens supply chain.
As the principle of Richer Investment and founder of the Disposable Diaper Network (DDN), Richer can often be seen hosting diaper workshops at annual hygiene conferences such as Outlook and Hygienix. Following the success of these workshops, Richer recently announced the launch of the DDN School – a series of highly specialised professional development courses, serving both new market entrants and industry veterans.
But for Richer, it is the younger audience that is particularly important; it will form the future of the industry. “At the various conferences I attend, I mainly see people who are in their 50s and 60s,” he says. “There is real lack of younger people. I believe that part of my responsibility is to teach the younger generation, who will be in charge of the diaper industry. A lot of work must be done to improve diapers and we need the younger generation to take care of it and keep it moving in the right direction.”
The first offering of the DDN School will be the KnowDiaper Seminar, a two-day intensive course taking place in Houston, Texas, in May. Like his workshops, Richer will play a central role in the seminar, explaining everything from the data related to benchmarking, to trends shaping the future of the industry. While Eduardo Leal, managing director of Diaper Testing International, will be responsible for data related to diaper performance as well as reverse engineering and diaper components, and Barna Farkas, professor of economics at Lone Star College, Texas, will offer information on data analysis and statistics.
The first project of the DDN School, KnowDiaper Seminar, will take place in May
“We want to make sure that people who join us are going to leave with a very good understanding of the diaper industry – particularly those who work in related fields, such as raw material suppliers,” says Richer. “Whenever they interact with a diaper factory, they will be able to speak the technical language and be aware of the needs of their clients. For those working in the diaper industry themselves, we want to make it easy for them to get started with their jobs. They have a way of getting quickly up-to-date on what they need to know. And for diaper OEMs, such as diaper machinery manufacturers and hot-melt equipment manufacturers, I believe they can design better machines if they understand the products and their clients.”
After the launch of the DDN School, Richer reveals the aim is to ‘take it on the road’. “We have chosen to launch it in The Woodlands area of Texas – which is 25 minutes away from Houston Airport,” he says. “And hopefully, we want to take it to Europe, South America, and probably Singapore or China.”
Aside from his educational seminars, Richer regularly partners with industry players on innovative technology developments. For instance, he has been involved in the development of Abena Nova, a soon-to-be-launched intelligent diaper by Abena and MediSens Wireless that alerts care staff when a diaper needs changing. Easing the workload of carers, along with improved comfort and sustainability are just some of the main diaper trends that can expect to be covered at the DDN School.
The KnowDiaper Seminar will take place on 31 May to 1 June 2018 in The Woodlands, Texas. A comprehensive brochure will be available soon including registration details. To find out more, email Richer and his team at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.disposablediaper.net.
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