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TOMRA Sorting Opens a New State-of-the-art Research and Development Facility in Dublin
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 R&D capabilities after moving to a new facility in Citywest, Dublin.

The official opening took place on the 25th September 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, optimizing 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 (potatoes, peaches, carrot, 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 critical for success.

Over 70 people attended the official opening of the new 3,500 square meter 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 showcasing the latest in sensor based technologies.

The outside of the new building

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."

(Click to enlarge)

The Research Centre is equipped with a peeling line capable of peeling at high and low steam pressure to match customers site setup.

Eamonn Cullen: "We are delighted with the new peeling lab. The line provides us with the ability to demonstrate the performance that customers should expect from a TOMRA steam peeling line. It will also enable us to evaluate new developments and demonstrate performance on customers raw material. Ultimately, customers will benefit from our investment and that is always our goal."

The investment in 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 and market leader in steam peeling technology worldwide. 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.

TOMRA Eco Steam Peeler (more)

Our investment in leading, innovative technology continues notably with the launch of the Blizzard free-fall sorter for frozen vegetables, the Sentinel II sorter for root crops and the Eco-Steam Peeler in 2014. This follows our rich history developing the first sorter for use on tomato harvesters and then going on to develop the award winning Titan & Halo sorting technology platform. 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”.

TOMRA’s continued success is down to the commitment and passion of our great people and we continue to invest in training and development for all; while providing a supportive environment for continuous personal and professional development. TOMRA Sorting in Dublin provide highly skilled jobs in the high tech sector hiring many specialised individuals with Higher Degrees, Master’s, and Doctorates. They also work closely with universities and sponsor Master’s Programme students as well as providing work experience for a multiple students each year in a dynamic workplace.

The company is clearly focused on its core remit which is being a centre of excellence for R&D and the development of sensor based sorters/machines for use in the Agri Foods / Food Processing Industry. TOMRA Sorting Ltd. today employs 60 people at our site in Citywest. Since the acquisition in 2011, TOMRA has created approximately 28 highly skilled jobs in Ireland.