TOMRA Sorting in Dublin has created a new centre of excellence for its food optical sorting and peeling business, and is set to improve its research and development (R&D) capabilities after moving to a new facility in Citywest, Dublin.
The official opening of the facility took place on the 25 September with Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English performing the ribbon cutting ceremony along with executive vice-president and head of TOMRA Sorting Dr Volker Rehrmann and TOMRA local managing director and market director Maurice Moynihan.
TOMRA Sorting Food was formed following the acquisition of Irish company ODENBERG in 2010 and the Belgian company BEST Sorting in June 2012, by TOMRA Systems ASA, a Norwegian publicly listed company. The acquisitions united two cutting edge, high-technology market leading providers of sensor-based sorting and processing systems for the fresh and processed food industries.
The company has been developing cutting-edge technologies, optimising 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, including potatoes, peaches, carrots and onions, as well as peeling equipment that increases yield, productivity and enhances food safety for the worldwide food industry. This is a highly competitive market space where innovation and long-term partnerships are critical for success.
More than 70 people attended the official opening of the new 3,500m² facility including officials from the IDA, employees and customers, as well as senior figures from the organisation. The event included a tour of the new facility and 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.
Minister Damien English said he was very impressed by the new research centre, as it was confirmation of the government’s commitment to encourage research and development in companies based here. The provision of high-quality jobs for well qualified Irish people in the wider food sector is a key priority and he praised the investment by the company as a vote of confidence in Ireland and its skilled workforce.
The investment in the new facility stands at approximately 2.1 million euros and includes office, workshop and demonstration space, as well as a peeling process development lab, an advanced optics lab and a sorting test facility.
Maurice Moynihan said: "The investment in our new premises allows us to capitalise on the significant investment made by TOMRA in R&D whilst also proving much improved work areas for our people. The new work space promotes the highest levels of collaboration and creativity where the flow of ideas can happen naturally in a bright and comfortable environment supporting greater innovation and efficiency."
IDA Ireland executive director Dermot Clohessy said: "Today’s announcement by TOMRA is a welcome boost to Ireland’s technology and innovation ecosystem. It provides further evidence that Ireland is a highly-attractive location to carry out sophisticated research and development initiatives. IDA Ireland looks forward to continuing to work closely and support TOMRA in the future.”
TOMRA head Dr Volker Rehrmann said: "Our investment in the new facility will enable the Dublin team to concentrate on developing innovative solutions for the global food industry and continue to set TOMRA aside as the market leader in sensor-based sorting solutions. TOMRA is also committed to providing a truly great place to work for all our 2,400 employees worldwide."