James (Jim) Robinson

Lifetime Technical Achievement Award


Absorbent Hygiene Insights, LLC

Jim Robinson (middle), Principal, Absorbent Hygiene Insights, LLC, received the 2023 INDA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award from Matt O’Sickey (left), INDA’s Director of Educaton & Technical Affairs, and Tony Fragnito (right), INDA’s President.

Jim Robinson has thirty-three years in the absorbent hygiene industry leading technical teams that focus on the application of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) into hygiene products and consulting in the SAP applications and development space (hygiene, medical, agricultural, firefighting, waste remediation and other applications). This has given him a breadth of experience with numerous hygiene converters and extensive knowledge of SAP applications, absorbent core formation, and hygiene article design, performance and testing. Interactions with many major converters also have provided him with strong understanding of how converting equipment performance impacts finished product performance.

As an individual with many years in this evolving market, Robinson also has a broad market understanding including consumer preferences and product trends. He has extensive experience in the development of new test methodologies to better understand SAP behavior. Robinson has also worked on projects that provide SAP in alternative forms, including foams, films and fibers, as well as the different particulate manufacturing technologies (belt, kneader, extruder).

Organizational Skills:

  • Twenty years managing a diverse team of lab analysts and field service personnel in a fast-paced, customer focused environment
  • Strong triage and prioritization skills to assure that the most urgent projects are tackled quickly but without sacrificing long-term projects
  • Established history of training, coaching and promoting technical personnel and of establishing grass roots
    Technical Service teams

    • Upon moving the business to Charlotte (2001), I hired and built the North American Hygiene Technical Service team.
    • Built the South American Hygiene Technical Service team in Jacareí, SP, Brazil
    • Developed and modernized Technical Service in China using both adaptive and well-known processes and approaches to customers.
  • Developed innovative approaches to capturing and sharing critical technical information and globally sharing best practices
  • Continual evolution of management techniques based on evaluating new management concepts including safe zones, personal time allotment, delegation of project responsibilities to the lowest level
  • Institutionalized an attitude of ‘learning something new every day’ and continually trying new, innovative approaches to business practices and problem solving

Technical Skills:

  • Application of six sigma and Design of Experiments to short and long term lab projects including the development of training materials for DOE and 6-sigma for a technical team
  • New tests and methodology development: SAP content including methods for testing used products, acquisition speed of hygiene products, mannequin testing protocols, lab core formation, core integrity, nonwoven treatments evaluations
  • Project management of both new hygiene materials and critical customer projects
  • Evaluation of hygiene articles, cores, and SAP using both proven and self-developed lab techniques
  • Developed custom solutions to address customer problems and opportunities
  • Managed innumerable customer partnership projects to develop new hygiene products and improve customers’ offerings to the market
  • Expertise in all facets of absorbent hygiene technology: SAP, fluff pulp, adhesives, core design, core performance

Communication Skills:

  • Strong written and verbal abilities around the communication of technical information and problems
  • High-impact Powerpoint presentations with strong personal presence of delivery
  • Excellent listener
  • Ability to reduce complex issues to key components that are communicated in simple, understandable terms
  • Strong history of building successful justification documentation for management proposals around projects, products, and personnel greatly increasing the rate of approval
  • Represented our customers as the ‘voice of the customer’ for internal meetings and projects
  • Developed deep, trusting and lasting relationships with key customer personnel and key industry thinkers that benefited both the customer/partner and BASF


Principal – Absorbent Hygiene Insights, LLC (2018 to Present)

Recent and Current Activities:

  • Test Method Development, Editing, and Review for NAFC in support of the National Association For Continence (Contract work to support bringing key NAFC/INDA test methods up to date and to correct deficiencies in older tests)
  • Advisor to a retail absorbent hygiene converter with responsibilities for SAP-related issues (selection and evaluation of performance; converting losses) and core performance and design optimization
  • Advisor to two sustainable commercial SAP manufacturers with responsibilities to help them develop applications and sales support expertise and polymer performance evaluation and optimization.
  • Instructor for hygiene training courses around the topics of SAP, core design and performance and product testing (INDA Absorbent Hygiene Course, Know Diaper (Carlos Richer), Advanced Absorbent Hygiene Training Course (Osprey – Europe), Hygienix Short Course, INDA Extended Short Course

Technical Service Manager – BASF Hygiene Products, Charlotte NC (1990 to 2017)

Key Achievements:

  • Managed a customer-focused team of lab personnel with the primary function of supporting customers in the application and evaluation of SAP in absorbent hygiene products while supporting 100 million dollars in sales per annum
  • Implemented product upgrades at North American hygiene converters helping customers to achieve reduced leakage goals and improved dryness goals
  • Worked directly with customers to implement fluffless core designs and evaluate the appropriate SAP systems to work in these demanding environments
  • Worked with customers and key retailers (HEB, Target, Walmart) to understand and develop support solutions for consumer needs and product development trends
  • Headed up co-supplier relationship efforts with International Paper, HB Fuller, Osprey in an effort to develop joint business models
  • Lead projects at Curt Joa (machine manufacturer) to evaluate polymer performance in different diaper structures while obtaining key experience on diaper machines
  • Led consumer use test efforts on infant and adult hygiene product evaluation including analysis of the use test results
  • Led efforts to introduce odor control technology for SAP in absorbent hygiene products including developing testing protocols and supporting customer field evaluations.

Technical Presentations of original work at Industry Conferences/Trade Shows:

  • Hygienix/Insight – 2016, 2015, 2012, 2009, 2008
  • RISE – 2016, 2015, 2018, 2020, 2021
  • Advanced Hygienic Training Instructor [Osprey, France] – 2016, 2015
  • Absorbent Products Design Symposium Instructoer – 2016, 2014
  • INDA Absorbent Hygiene Training Course Instructor – 2018, 2019, 2022
  • INDA Short Course in Absorbent Core Concepts Instructor – 2022
  • INDA Hygienix Short Course in Absorbent Core Concepts Instructor – 2021

Professional Affiliations:

  • TAB Committee – INDA
  • Hygienix Conference Committee – INDA
  • National Association for Continence


  • MS Chemistry (with Thesis) – Duke University, Durham, NC (1980)
    Thesis: Photoacoustic Detection of Natural Circular Dichroism in Transition Metal Complexes
  • BS Chemistry (ACS Accredited) – Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, VA (1977)
    Research Project: Electron Spin Resonance Behavior of Organosilicon Radical Anions