METHOD OF MAKING PREFASTENED
DISPOSABLE ABSORBENT ARTICLES
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to disposable absorbent 5 articles which are adapted to contain body exudates. More particularly, the present invention relates to methods of making prefastened disposable absorbent articles which have side bonds and adjustable fastening systems to maintain the articles about the waist of the wearer. 10
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
It is desired that absorbent articles such as diapers, training pants or incontinence garments provide a close, comfortable fit about the wearer and contain body exudates. Moreover, it is desirable that such absorbent articles, after being soiled, can be removed from the wearer in a convenient and clean manner without undesirably soiling the care giver or surrounding area such as the clothes of the wearer. In certain circumstances, it is also desirable that such absorbent articles are capable of being pulled up or down over the hips of the wearer to allow the wearer or caregiver to easily pull the article on and easily remove the article if it has not been soiled. For example, such absorbent articles ^ can assist in the toilet training of children.
Conventional diapers are provided in an unfastened configuration and have typically included a front waist portion and a back waist portion which are releasably connected about the hips of the wearer during use by conventional 30 fasteners such as adhesive tape fasteners or hook and loop type fasteners. For example, the conventional fasteners have typically included a pair of fasteners, such as adhesive tape tabs, located on the outermost corners of the diaper in the back waist region of the diaper and a complimentary 35 fastener, such as a taping panel, located on the outer surface of the outer cover of the diaper in the front waist portion of the diaper. In such a configuration, the diaper has been positioned between the legs of the wearer and the adhesive tape tabs have been releasably attached to the taping panel 40 to secure the back waist portion to the front waist portion of the diaper to secure the diaper about the waist of the wearer. Such conventional diapers are easy to fasten about and remove from the wearer after use without undesirably soiling the care giver. However, conventional diapers are not 45 provided in a prefastened condition and thus are not configured to be pulled up or down over the hips of the wearer when the fasteners are attached.
Several attempts have been made to provide absorbent articles which effectively contain body exudates, are capable 50 of being pulled up or down over the hips of the wearer and provide ease of cleaning and removal after being soiled. For example, some conventional absorbent articles, such as conventional training pants, have included integral side panels which connect the front waist portion to the back 55 waist portion of the absorbent article. The side panels have been made stretchable such that the waist opening of the absorbent article can expand to allow the absorbent article to be pulled up or down over the hips of the wearer if desired. Such side panels have also been designed such that they may go be torn to remove the training pant from the wearer after it has been soiled.
However, many of such attempts have not been completely satisfactory. For example, absorbent articles such as training pants have not always been able to achieve a close 65 conforming fit to the wearer while still being able to expand enough to be pulled up and down over the hips of the wearer.
Often such training pants fit the waist of the wearer loosely which can undesirably result in leaks. As a result, many of such articles have not contained bodily exudates as effectively as conventional diaper-type articles which can be adjusted to achieve a more conforming fit to the wearer. Moreover, the removal of soiled absorbent articles which have integral side panels, such as conventional training pants, has not always been completely satisfactory. For example, the side panels have been difficult to tear when attempting to remove the article from the waist of the wearer instead of pulling the article down over the hips of the wearer.
Moreover, the methods of making conventional absorbent articles such as conventional training pants have not always been completely satisfactory. For example, at times it has been difficult to control the side panels when attaching them to the side edges of the training pants and such panels have often become skewed or wrinkled during processing. As a result, the seams along which such panels are connected have often been skewed or discontinuous which can reduce the performance and aesthetics of the article.
Accordingly, despite the attempts to develop improved absorbent articles, there remains a need for absorbent articles which can provide the benefits of conventional training pants and conventional diapers. That is, there remains a need for absorbent articles which conform to the wearer to effectively contain bodily exudates, which are capable of being pulled up and down over the hips and buttocks of the wearer without opening, and which are readily secured about and removed from the wearer in a convenient and clean manner. Moreover, there is a need for improved methods of reliably and consistently making such absorbent articles.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In response to the difficulties and problems discussed above, a new method of making a prefastened disposable absorbent article which has releasable side bonds and an adjustable fastening system has been discovered. In one aspect, the present invention concerns a method of making a prefastened disposable absorbent article which defines an absorbent, a front waist region, a back waist region, a crotch region which extends between and connects the waist regions, a pair of opposed side edges and a pair of opposed waist edges. The method includes forming a continuous web of interconnected absorbent articles each of which includes a pair of primary fasteners which are located on the side edges of the article in one of the waist regions of the article. The continuous web is selectively cut into discrete absorbent articles. Each of the discrete absorbent articles is folded about a fold line extending in a lateral direction through the crotch region thereby positioning the waist regions in a facing relationship. The waist regions are releasably bonded together and the primary fasteners are folded over and onto the opposite waist region to releasably engage the opposite waist region to provide the prefastened absorbent article.
In another aspect, the present invention concerns a method of making a prefastened disposable absorbent article which comprises the steps of:
a) providing a continuously moving web of outer cover material;
b) intermittently connecting an absorbent chassis to the outer cover to provide a continuously moving web of interconnected absorbent articles each of which includes one absorbent chassis;
c) intermittently attaching a pair of primary fasteners to the laterally opposed side edges of the back waist region of each of the interconnected absorbent articles;