By Martha Debets
Peter Westveer and Peter Sanders not only have the same first name, but also share the same passion for developing a new water bottle. I speak to both men at their office in Dronten. The former Peter is commercial director at EBF (Eurobottle Flestic) and celebrated his 25th anniversary last year. In his spare time, this Peter often trains on his spinning bike and regularly hits a good ball on the golf course. In his position, Peter is ultimately responsible for the commercial EBF team and is therefore also at the helm of the OASUS project. He can’t wait for the water bottle to hit the market.
Peter Sanders has been working at EBF since the end of 2019, leading the research & development (R&D) team and in that role is responsible for the technical development of the OASUS water bottle. When not working, Peter likes to do odd jobs in and around his house. Like its namesake, this Peter also likes to tour. Sometimes on the racing bike and sometimes – a little harder – on his Kawasaki. Peter is the proud owner of a 3D printer, which he sometimes also uses for EBF, so that a machine part does not immediately have to be made definitively in aluminum or steel. I’m curious about a little bit of EBF history, but especially about the production process of the OASUS water bottle and give the Peters the floor.
Westveer starts: “Eurobottle has been selling water bottles for over forty years. Our last developed water bottle dates from 2000. Water bottles were mainly used for promotional purposes. Until in 2019 the market suddenly showed a contraction. Important customers increasingly orientated themselves to other marketing means. At the same time, the refillable water bottle was gaining ground.”
“THE OASUS BOTTLE IS COMPLETELY MADE FROM ONE TYPE OF BIOBASED MATERIAL”
In the sports world, the water bottle is still the most used product. And a handy product too, because you pull the spout upwards with your teeth, squeeze the bottle and you can drink immediately, in one movement! But especially at home, in the office and in the car, more and more water is being drunk from a water bottle. “Sustainability is a clear trend,” explains Westveer. “The OASUS bottle is made entirely from one type of biobased material. This contributes to recyclability. Often products are made of different materials. Some sustainable and/or recyclable and some not. Unfortunately, such a product often ends up at the stake. In addition to being extremely durable, the OASUS bottle is also lighter than the competition, ”says Westveer proudly.
“FROM DRAWING TO BOTTLE”
During the process from drawing to bottle, it is mainly Sanders and his team that are in the picture. He explains: “Everything starts with a drawing and after fine-tuning it follows a professional 3D print. We just love being able to hold things in our hands in real life.” In the process after this 3D-printing, the main focus is on the mold or, rather, its development. The mold maker – you guessed it: he designed the mold – then starts a test spray and voila, the first plastic parts are a fact. Then the test phase with the mold starts. In this way any problems – such as ‘leakage’ – during the final production can be prevented. “In the first week of this new year, the bottle was tested for stability and reliability on our own machine. Then we lose parts of the mold again for the last adjustments by the mold maker,” says the R&D manager. This summer there is a beautiful product that we are very proud of.
Four different molds are needed to make the OASUS bottle: one for the bottle, one for the drinking cup, one for the sealing cap and then another for the decorative band. Twelve EBF employees are involved in this process. “During this development process, we really did encounter a few bears on the road,” Sanders reveals, “but the water bottle is estimated to go into production this spring. If that isn’t going to be a fun spring!” Westveer adds: “We already have two concrete customers and a lot of interested eyes.” To be continued…….