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Rare inside look: What it takes to make the tiniest diapers in the world

Kimberly-Clark preemie diapers
Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-05 17:45:33-04
  • Right in our backyard is Kimberly-Clark, who makes all kinds of paper products, including preemie diapers.
  • In ten years, they’ve made nearly 30 million nano and micro preemie diapers.
  • They take us inside to look at the process for the first time.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Kimberly-Clark has been making nano and micro preemie Huggies diapers in Neenah for ten years. For the first time, KC opened its prototype and experimental facility for us to get a look at the process. I'm reporter Olivia Acree; Let's go inside.

“Hello,” said Emily Schmitz.

That’s KCPX team leader Emily Schmitz.

“What they are doing here is a very unique process,” said Schmitz.

That unique process: hand inspecting preemie diapers.

Schmitz said that every one of the products is important, but…

“This one is extra special because we inspect and package each one here in Neenah, Wisconsin,” said Schmitz.

This is Kimberly-Clark's only facility making these preemie diapers.

“It is unique to Kimberly-Clark. It’s unique to Huggies. We’re really helping to promote that healthy growth and development of low birthweight babies,” said Schmitz.

Every day they take special care of these tiny diapers that their tiniest customers will eventually wear.

It all started ten years ago when Kimberly-Clark partnered with NICU nurses to improve preemie diapers.

“When we have a new product idea, we start very basic and we kinda scale it up here at the facility,” said Andy Grignon.

Facility manager Andy Grignon says it’s not just diapers.

“KCPX facility is a pilot facility for our personal care products,” said Grignon.

They’re making Huggies, Pull-ups, Goodnites, Depends, Poise, Kotex.

All of that innovation happens right here in what Grignon called an engineering playground.

“The work that we’re doing today on new product innovations, new material, or new technology innovations might not be launched on store shelves for two to five years,” said Grignon.

As for the nano and micro preemie diapers, they’ve made a lot of progress and even more diapers.

“We are getting ready to celebrate our 30 millionth diaper ever produced. That’s very exciting 30 million diapers,” said Schmitz.

“I’m a local guy myself. I grew up in this area and since I was a little kid you know you knew that Kimberly-Clark was a great company and they invented innovative products,” said Grignon.

The work they’re doing here daily is something for the Northeast Wisconsin community to be proud of. In Neenah, Olivia Acree NBC 26.