TOMRA Sorting Solutions US Food division held its official office opening on Wednesday 18 June, in its new state-of-the-art facility in West Sacramento, California.
The company’s 50-plus strong team has relocated to a new purpose-built site that is over 30% larger than its previous building in California.
TOMRA Sorting Food is a leading provider of sensor-based sorting and processing systems for the fresh and processed food industries. The company has been developing cutting-edge technologies, optimizing customer production flows and helping to deliver consistent, high-quality output, for more than 30 years.
The event was attended by city officials, employees and customers as well as senior figures from the company, including TOMRA’s CEO, Stefan Ranstrand; head of TOMRA Sorting, Dr Volker Rehrmann; and senior vice-president and head of TOMRA Sorting Food, Ashley Hunter.
Attendees had the opportunity to tour the new facility and view a selection of TOMRA’s machines in action, including its latest technology for sorting nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios.
The West Sacramento-based team moved four miles from its previous 42,000ft² building on Seaport Boulevard to its new 60,000ft² offices on Embarcadero Drive. The relocated employees include experts in sales, service, application engineering, finance and administration.
TOMRA Sorting’s US team has been based in West Sacramento, which has been labelled "the Silicon Valley of food", for about 15 years and in California for more than 30. TOMRA Sorting’s new West Sacramento facility and its site in Denver, Colorado, provides comprehensive customer support and manufacturing capabilities for the Americas.
Ashley Hunter, senior vice-president and head of TOMRA Sorting Food, said: "With extra space and better facilities, including test, demonstration and development areas, the new West Sacramento site will enable our US team to concentrate on developing solutions for the food industry in the region. The new premises will enable them to better serve their growing customer base in terms of sales and service."
Summarizing the reasons for the upgraded and new premises, Mr Hunter said: "This has been triggered by our current and planned expansion. For example, our total revenue increase has averaged almost 40% per annum in recent years in the US.
"Growth such as this means we’re supporting an ever-increasing number of customers and constantly hiring high-quality new people, so the move has not only relieved previous overcrowding but provided necessary room for future expansion. TOMRA strongly believes in investing in facilities and personnel, to better support our customers locally, and these investments are a reflection of this strategy."
The new site includes state-of-the-art sorting solutions centers, where customers can see live demonstrations of TOMRA’s sorting, peeling and process analytics systems, and trial their own applications.
Explaining the thinking behind the facility, Mr Hunter said: "We encourage food producers and processors to share their needs with us, so we can suggest customized solutions, directly meeting their unique requirements, from our large range of product and technology offerings.
"TOMRA’s sorting solutions centers provide the ultimate experience and peace-of-mind for customers, who can stage trials using their own produce, and reflect the fact that their needs are becoming ever-more complex. The centers will also enable us to capitalize fully on our significant investment in research and development."
Mr Hunter said the incorporation of a cold room in the test and demonstration area in West Sacramento allows for the easy testing of individually quick frozen (IQF) products by TOMRA’s new Blizzard sorter, which was designed specifically for this application. He said the sorting solutions center also contained a laboratory, where tests for aflatoxins, which the company’s technology can identify, could be conducted.
While TOMRA supports a variety of fresh and processed food applications, this new facility is ideally placed to support the nut processing industry and will allow TOMRA to locally demonstrate the biometric signature identification (BSI) technology that offers many advantages to this sector.
Mr Hunter said: "In addition, the new site provides facilities including much improved, modern offices and more meeting and training rooms for employee and customer needs, including spacious breakout areas for teams to collaborate and brainstorm."
The opening of the new West Sacramento site follows the successful relocation of TOMRA’s facility in Dublin, Ireland, to accommodation more than three times the size of its former premises. In addition, a significant expansion has been completed at TOMRA Sorting Food’s global headquarters in Leuven, Belgium, while the company has also invested significantly at sites in India and China.