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TOMRA Sorting opens a new state-of-the-art Research and Development Centre in Dublin

08 October 2014

TOMRA Sorting has created a new Centre of Excellence for its food optical sorting and peeling business in Dublin/Ireland and is set to improve its R&D capabilities after moving into a new facility in Citywest. 

TOMRA Sorting in Dublin has created a new Centre of Excellence for its food sorting and peeling business, and is set to improve its R&D capabilities after moving to a new facility in Citywest.

The official opening took place on September 25th 2014, with Minister Damien English, the Minister of State for Skills, Research & 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 TOMRA Sorting Food. 

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. TOMRA Sorting Food is now the largest and most technologically advanced company operating in their sector with over 150 applications including potatoes, vegetables, fruit, dried fruit, seafood, nuts and seeds. 

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

Over 70 people attended the official opening of the new 3,500m² facility including Minister Damien English, officials from the IDA, employees and customers as well as senior figures from the organisation. The event included a tour of the new facility 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, showing the latest in sensor based technologies. 

Minister Damien English TD, speaking at the launch of the TOMRA facility, 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 of the new facility stands at approximately 2.1 million euro and includes office, workshop and demonstration space as well as a peeling process development lab, an advanced optics lab and a sorting test facility. “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” said Maurice Moynihan. Dermot Clohessy, Executive Director, IDA Ireland 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.”

Innovation is at the very heart of the business in TOMRA Sorting Ltd. in Dublin and has been since the founding of the international company in Ireland in 1968. Since introducing the concept of steam peeling into the American market in the mid-seventies, they have continuously innovated to now being the technology market leader in steam peeling technology world-wide. Today TOMRA’s equipment steam peels over 75% of the world’s French Fries and they supply sorting and peeling equipment to 6 of the top 10 food companies in the world.

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