A few weeks ago I was lucky to have the opportunity to visit the Pampers plant in Manchester for a blogging event. Well considering the plant was on my doorstep why not!
I have lived in Manchester all bar 5 years when I lived in London and had never even known that P&G had their Pampers site at Trafford Park. In fact I used to work with a client about half a mile away and had still never even noticed the huge imposing warehouse.
I easily navigated myself to the huge car park and as soon as I stepped out of the car was taken aback by how vast the site actually was. At this point my nerves set in, it was my first ever blogging event and I did not even know if I had parked in the right place or if I was walking in the right direction!
The wonderful Hayley (@simplyhayley), Wendy (@wendymcd83) and Maria (@VeryBusyMama) who I had all spoken with on Twitter were there and I was put at ease quickly – am looking forward to seeing them all again at CyberMummy! Two further bloggers from Ireland were also in attendance (@foodiemummy) and Barbara (@parenthood_ie) who were also fabulous and certainly had an early start to make it to the event!
It was an opportunity to find out more about Pampers, how they are actually made, have a tour of the factory and meet members of the Pampers Village Parenting Panel.
The day started with a meet and greet where we all introduced ourselves which was a lovely icebreaker – the experts were interested in why we blog and hopefully we managed to clear that up and hope that they may take a look at our blogs in the future!
We moved onto watching a video about the factory and all the different products that had been manufactured there since the plant was built, just over 75 years ago – All the Pampers made in the UK and in some parts of Europe have been produced at the Manchester plant since 1990.
We all quickly picked up on the fact that everyone who worked at the plant called Pampers, “diapers” instead of nappies. Considering P&G is an American brand this is no surprise, however it was amusing! From listening to Gillian Marsh the Pampers Technical Director and Chris the Plant Manager it was clear to see they were both very dedicated to their work and loyal to P&G having worked for the company for well over 10 years.
On our tour we were introduced to other workers who had been at the plant for 20 years and had family members working at the plant who had also been there over 20 years. Absolutely amazing, just goes to show what a fantastic company P&G are to work for!
It was great to sit down and tear open a few nappies ( I would never do that in my own house!) to find out how they are made. The technology that goes into producing the nappies to make sure they keep your baby dry for up to 12 hours is astounding. I even learnt that the plastic strip on the backs of “Easy Up Nappies” does actually have a use and that is to wrap them up! The first thing I did when I returned home was to actually change Liv’s nappy and put this to use!
We learnt some amazing facts about Pampers around the world and the fact that in North American Pampers actually go up to a size 7 and 8! In the UK size 6+ is the largest size.
Next came lunch… a fantastic healthy spread ( I won’t mention the cake!!) was available for us and we were given the opportunity to chat with the experts and each other over lunch. It was lovely to chat with Lucinda from Fleishman Hillard as well as Hayley, Wendy and Maria. I realised that I had no need to be nervous about attending events such as this and Hayley gave me some valuable advice for CyberMummy this year. She is a veteran after attending last year, if one thing is for sure it’s that it will be overwhelming!
After lunch we were kitted out in hi-vis jackets, steel toe-capped boots and very cool earphones for our tour around the factory. It was definitely noisy and fast paced, there were boxes of different sized nappies moving on conveyor belts. The most breathtaking thing about the visit was the warehouse, I cannot even describe how huge it was an how many pallets it contained. It really is one of those that you have to see it to believe it.
The tour gave us the opportunity to see the complete process of how nappies are made fromthe different layers, to being packed, then boxed, palletized, shrink wrapped and then finally housed in the warehouse. Along this process different quality control procedures were set in place and we were able to see how the side attachments were tested for their strength and the absorption of the nappies.
Considering how many nappies we have used over the past 2 and a half years, I have to admit that I do take them for granted. Being given the chance to view how they are made and learn how much work goes into making sure that your baby remains dry for up to 12 hours was an amazing opportunity. I would like to thank Pampers and P&G for their hospitality on the day, Fleishman Hillard for arranging the event and the member of the Pampers Village Parenting Team and of course all the other wonderful Mummy Bloggers in attendance.