Equipment & Technology

TOMRA Sorts Out Social Distancing with Virtual Test and Demo Centers

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The deadly and disruptive novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is having a dramatic impact on daily life, both on a personal level and in the way businesses operate. Food processing companies are under increasing pressure to meet demand for retail customers, while facing the unprecedented task of operating within restrictions on movement and social contact in an effort to mitigate the spread of viral infection and guarding the well being of employees, suppliers and customers.

In facing this challenge, TOMRA Food has leveraged digital technology to bridge the social distancing gap and enable live demonstrations of its industrial sorting systems. The company has developed virtual demonstration capability to take its test and demonstration centers into the home offices of clients and prospective customers. Participants are now able to book interactive sessions with TOMRA centers in Belgium, the USA and the PRC.

Those taking part in demonstrations are able to see first-hand sorting solutions in action. Throughout the session, they connect directly with TOMRA experts via live video linkage to discuss the benefits of these technologies in terms of quality, food safety, profitability and sustainability. Participants are invited to test the sorting solutions they are considering and make an informed purchase decision.

“We are going through a period of unprecedented disruption. In this situation, our foremost priority is to ensure that we support our customers’ ability to maintain a consistent supply of quality food while keeping our employees and, by extension our customers’ and suppliers’ staff, safe and well. These are challenging times for all of us, but it is vital that we keep up our collective efforts to keep the global food supply chain operating effectively,” said Ashley Hunter, the Leuven, Belgium-based senior vice president and head of TOMRA Food.

Vice President Ashley Hunter heads up TOMRA Food.

The creation of virtual demonstration centers is a major step in the company’s plan of actions to provide customers with the support they need to keep their sorting operations running efficiently 24/7 to maintain the food supply throughout the crisis.

An additional step already taken includes preempting the potential disruption to its supply chain with measures such as the increase in stock levels of critical components to meet current and future orders of products and spare parts, and to keep the customers’ equipment running with minimal or no down time.

Another step is the leveraging digital technology to take its expertise and resources to the clients, supporting them with their existing sorting equipment without visiting their sites by using remote service and training tools.

TOMRA Food, a unit of Asker, Norway-headquartered TOMRA Systems ASA, designs and manufactures high performance optical sorting machines, graders, peeling and process analytics systems for the food industry. Over 8,000 of its systems have been installed at food processing plants, packing facilities and growing operations worldwide.