Equipment & Technology

Tomra Unveils New Organization and Deep Learning Technology Advances

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Tomra Food has introduced a more agile and focused organizational structure, showcased advanced sorting, grading and packing prowess, and launched three new AI-powered sorting and grading systems. The announcements were made at a February 9 press conference during the Fruit Logistica exhibition in Berlin, Germany, by Harald Henriksen (pictured above at right), executive vice president, and Karel Strubbe, EMEA regional director (seen at left).

The revamped organizational structure is designed to position the Asker, Norway-headquartered multinational company closer to customers and provide greater capacity for innovating and bringing effective solutions to the market. Toward this end, Tomra has embraced a regional approach consisting of EMEA, the Americas and APAC. Within each area, processed food and fresh food businesses are being merged into a single Tomra Food team. The final element of the scheme is the creation of a central hub that brings together R&D, product development and operations to further increase operational efficiency and innovation speed.

“Throughout our history, Tomra Food has shown its ability to adapt and innovate to provide the solutions customers really need.” said Henriksen. “That’s what we are doing with our new organization, which will benefit them in different ways. The regional approach will allow us to operate as a local partner, having a more direct dialogue with our customers and responding swiftly to their very diverse needs. Unifying our two business areas into one team means that we can capitalize on the best practices from each to work more effectively and deliver top-tier solutions and services.”

The executive vice president added: “Finally, by centralizing our R&D and operations into a dedicated unit, we will be able to leverage the collective expertise and efforts of our entire team, boosting our ability to innovate and bring more and better solutions to our customers — and lead the resource revolution with them.”

Leveraging the Power of AI

Three solutions that demonstrate how Artificial Intelligence is changing food processing were launched at the Fruit Logistica trade fair. The first, Tomra Neon, is a blueberry pre-grader that uses AI modeling to detect clusters with unrivaled accuracy. The compact, durable and easy to clean machine is promoted as “valuable addition to blueberry processing and packing operations.” Extensive validation tests have shown the system removes more than 95% of clusters and over 90% of red and green berries to optimize the optical grader’s efficiency.

Also introduced at the Berlin exhibition was the new generation Spectrim X grading platform featuring its LUCAi Deep Learning technology for apples, and an InVision grading platform for cherries. The latter system maximizes pack-out results and minimizes fruit loss. It detects with extreme accuracy edge cracks, half cherries, open sutures, cosmetic blemishes and stem pulls, and ensures improved spur detection as well as cracks and defects around the stem.

3D Holographic Display of Sorting, Grading and Packing Solutions

Tomra’s hologram machine, which debuted at Fruit Logistica 2023, returned for this year’s event to spotlight a wide range of the brand’s solutions. It clearly showed 3D animations and video of the company’s 3A, 5A, 5C and 5SA sorters; the CURO-16 small-fruit packing system; the KATO precision grading system for blueberries; the Spectrim grading platform with UltraView inspection module; the Inspectra internal inspection system; and the Tomra Neon pre-grading technology for machine-harvested blueberries.