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Afbeelding: Baby_bottle

Rompa Group develops smart baby bottle for Philips Avent

29 May 2019

“Can you develop a smart ‘sleeve’ for our baby bottle, so parents can monitor their new-born baby’s food intake?” That is the request that Philips Avent brought to Rompa Group two years ago. The design did not exist yet, just the idea itself and a few general product and user requirements. A challenge? Certainly, but one we were happy to take on. The smart bottle sleeve was born.

For this project, Rompa Group served as Philips’ ODM supplier. Although we collaborated extremely closely, the final responsibility for certain aspects of the project lay in Rompa’s hands. Think of e.g. the product’s functionality, as well as safeguarding the available budget.

The key requirements

  • Monitoring: the sleeve has to measure and register the date and time, the duration of the feeding, the amount of milk and the angle of the bottle, among other things.
  • Bluetooth connectivity: the sleeve must connect to a special app, which can give parents personalised nutritional advice.
  • Temperature: the device has to function well in environmental temperatures ranging from 1 to 40° Celsius.
  • Safety: the product has to be safe for babies and children and it must be possible to clean it with water.
  • Visual: the product must have the look and feel of a premium device that meets the Philips standard.

Challenges during the engineering process

“This is a unique product,” says Tim Franssen, who is involved in the project as an international account manager and specialist in personal care. “Our engineers faced some interesting challenges during the project. Take the environmental temperature, for example. When it is very hot or extremely cold, some plastic materials can start to ‘move.’ They will shrink or expand. You cannot see it happen, but the effect is significant enough to affect the reliability of the weighing function. To compensate for this effect, we developed a special algorithm that ensures the sleeve always gives a reliable readout.”

Testing the product

According to Tim, another remarkable aspect of this project is that Rompa Group was also responsible for all compliance and verification tests. “Before you can launch a product like this on the European market, you need a CE certification. In order to acquire this certification, the product has to pass several tests, e.g. pertaining to its safety and functionality. The Bluetooth connection, for example, has to perform well under different circumstances. We also ran hundreds of test hours in our own test centre to prove the product’s reliability and repeatability.”

Afbeelding: 20181213_Rompa_Group_Personeel_120-min

Pilot in the Netherlands

In addition to developing and producing the product, Rompa Group was also responsible for the retail packaging of the bottle (produced by Philips Avent) and the smart bottle sleeve. At the moment, this product is exclusively available in the Netherlands as a pilot. Once this pilot ends, Rompa Group and Philips Avent will evaluate the product and optimise it if possible. Tim: “The next step is to introduce the product on the international market. That would mean a serious upscaling of the project scope.”

Would you like to know more?
The baby bottle with the smart bottle sleeve is available at Philips’ Dutch webshop. Would you like to know more about how Rompa Group can help your organisation develop a smart or connected device? Contact Tim by calling +316 10 87 97 62.