TOMRA, a provider of collection and sorting solutions, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Each of the Group’s four divisions - Collection, Food, Recycling and Mining – marked the milestone by declaring a collective mission for the future to “transform how we all obtain, use and reuse the planet’s resources to enable a world without waste.”
Tove Andersen, TOMRA’s president and chief executive officer, explained: “We live in a world that needs a big transformation. We urgently need to improve sustainability, develop the circular economy, and make more efficient use of resources - challenges which TOMRA’s solutions can help address.”
TOMRA was founded in Norway on April 1, 1972 by brothers Petter and Tore Planke. After seeing a local grocer struggle with the manual collection of empty bottles in their store, the brothers developed the first fully-automated reverse vending machine (RVM) in their family’s garage.
Today, TOMRA employs more than 4,600 people worldwide and has annual sales of €1bn. 20 percent of the Group’s workforce and eight percent of its revenues are dedicated to research and development.
Michel Picandet, executive vice president and head of TOMRA Food, said: “We are proud to be participating in celebrating 50 years of TOMRA. TOMRA Food is a fairly new division compared to others but has a strong sense of belonging to ‘One TOMRA’, with a shared company culture and purpose.
“Looking to the future, TOMRA is committed to leading the resource revolution in a world where Every Resource Counts. We are on a mission to transform and help our customers feed the world, improve yield, minimize waste, and create sustainable value.
“Focusing on sorting and grading, TOMRA is working with its customers to maximize value across the food chain, end to end. Our solutions improve the value of food from harvesting to processing and packing, and even to distribution and consumption, considering the great value of the digital tools and data we provide. This can also help the world’s sustainability agenda.”
The TOMRA Food brand name will now be accompanied for the first time by a tagline: 'Every Resource Counts'.
To align TOMRA Food's operations, which have grown over the years with mergers and acquisitions, two businesses acquired by TOMRA in 2018, Compac and BBC Technologies, now adopt the TOMRA Food brand name. These will form a newly-created business area, TOMRA Fresh Food, while TOMRA Food's other operations become part of the TOMRA Processed Food business area.
Mrs. Andersen commented: "The revised branding is also part of a strategy to attract new talent to the TOMRA group and TOMRA Food, to significantly increase our workforce by 2026."
Making Every Resource Count
The company strengthens its position not only by designing and manufacturing sorting and grading solutions, but also by transforming advanced technology and complex information into valuable intelligence.
Mr. Picandet said: "TOMRA has already expanded its collaborative approach from customers to partners and other industry experts to help the food supply chain in solving the challenges caused by loss of nature, the impact of climate, and mounting inequalities. Focusing on customer needs and using the most advanced digital solutions, we can greatly reduce food loss.
"By combining TOMRA's deep knowledge of food categories and product-valued features, as well as digital analysis, there is a clear path forward for TOMRA Food in providing intelligent sorting solutions and insights for our customers through trusted, long-term partnerships. This is good for our customers, helping to protect and empower their businesses, and good for reducing global food loss, which the world urgently needs."
Robotic case packing technology
At Fruit Logistica in Berlin TOMRA launched its new robotic case packing technology. The KETE16 automates the process of placing punnets and clamshells into cases, trays, boxes, and crates, integrating seamlessly to match the speed and capacity of the fastest filling machine, the CURO16.
Paul Slupecki, Head of Global Sales TOMRA Fresh Food commented: “The KETE16 is a versatile, high-capacity, end-of-line system with abilities the industry hasn’t seen before. No other robotic packing solution can accommodate a wide variety of pack designs at high speeds. This machine is flexible to punnet size, case size, and pack orientation, and makes it easy to change between different packs. This will reduce downtime, increase productivity, and deliver certainty in every pack.”
The KETE16 is capable of matching the capacity of the CURO16-head Fill by Weight, and has been designed to be easily and quickly set-up and change between package sizes and formats. The unique design serves to pick up and place clamshells into the tray while avoiding the risks inherent to suction methods that can open lids and compromise the product.
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