TOMRA Sorting Inaugurates New R&D Facility in Dublin

TOMRA Sorting in Dublin, Ireland, has created a new center of excellence for its food optical sorting and peeling business, and is set to improve its research and development capabilities after moving to a new facility in Citywest, Dublin. The official opening took place on the September 25 with Minister Damien English, the minister of state for skills, research and Innovation, performing the ribbon cutting ceremony along with Dr. Volker Rehrmann, executive vice president and head of TOMRA Sorting, and Maurice Moynihan, local managing director and market director of TOMRA Sorting Food.

TOMRA Sorting Food was formed following the acquisition of Irish company Odenberg in 2010 and the Leuven, Belgium-based BEST Sorting in June 2012, by TOMRA Systems ASA, a Norwegian publicly listed enterprise. The acquisitions united two cutting edge, high technology providers of sensor-based sorting and processing systems to the processed food industry and other sectors. With over 150 applications, TOMRA Sorting Food systems are found in in frozen potato, vegetable, fruit, meat and seafood plants. More than 7,500 installations have been made worldwide, including many in the nut, seed and dried fruit processing plants.

The company has been developing cutting edge technologies, optimizing production flows and helping to deliver consistent, high quality, safe food products for more than 40 years. The Dublin office is responsible for the development of whole product sorting (potatoes, peaches, carrot, onions, etc.) and peeling equipment that increases yield, productivity and enhances food safety for the global food industry. This is a highly competitive market in which innovation and long term partnerships are critical for success.

Over 70 people attended the official opening of the new 3,500 square meter facility, including officials from the IDA, employees and customers as well as senior figures from the organization. The event included a tour of the premises as well as a demonstration of TOMRA’s new sorting machines. The equipment in action included the FPS field potato sorter for unwashed potatoes and the high capacity bulk size grader for carrots, onions and potatoes showcasing the latest in sensor-based technologies.

Tomra-Official ribbon cuttingParticipating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the grand opening of TOMRA Sorting’s new R&D Center in Dublin are (left to right): Dermot Clohessy of the IDA, Maurice Moynihan of TOMRA, Minster Damien English and Ashley Hunter of TOMRA.

The investment in the new facility stands at approximately EUR 2.1 million and includes office, workshop and demonstration space as well as a peeling process development lab, an advanced optics lab and a sorting test facility.

Innovation is at the heart of TOMRA Sorting Ltd. operations in Dublin, and has been since the founding of the company in Ireland in 1968. Since introducing the concept of steam peeling into the American market in the mid-1970s, the technology has been continuously innovated. It is estimated that TOMRA equipment steam peels over 75% of the world’s french fries today, and the company supplies sorting and peeling systems to six of the top ten food companies in the world.

“Our investment in leading, innovative technology continues notably with the launch of the Blizzard free-fall sorter for frozen vegetables, the Sentinel II sorter for root crops and the Eco-Steam Peeler in 2014. This follows our rich history developing the first sorter for use on tomato harvesters and then going on to develop the award winning Titan and Halo sorting technology platform,” said Dr. Rehrmann. “The investment in our new facility will enable the Dublin team to concentrate on developing innovative solutions for the global food industry.”

TOMRA Sorting Ltd. today employs 60 people on the job in Citywest. Since the acquisition in 2011, TOMRA has created approximately 28 highly skilled positions in Ireland. Its parent company, which rang up EUR 565 million in sales last year, provides employment for 2,400 people worldwide.”