Tomra unveils latest Spanish operations hub for equipment demonstrations

Norwegian-headquartered business Tomra has officially inaugurated its latest special project facility in Valencia, Spain, which will offer a showcase for its optical sorting equipment, reports Neill Barston.

The newly-introduced site will be dedicated to both processed foods and fresh fruit, and is located close to a major horticultural and nut growing region.

As the company explained to Confectionery Production, its latest facilities will also serve as a hub for Southern Europe and North Africa, and serve as a training, service and spare parts centre. This extends its presence in the region, and forms part of restructuring operations by the business.

Operating as a global enterprise, it added that it required a more focused approach which the company’s new EVP and Head of TOMRA Food Harald Henriksen, addressed with the creation of a regional structure for the organisation.

Karel Strubbe, the new SVP and Head of TOMRA Food for Europe (pictured main image), Africa and the Middle East commented: “We want to work directly with the customer in as few time zones as possible. This enables us to be more agile, to establish an even closer relationship with our customers and ultimately to work better locally. It is vital to improve the speed and quality of communications to always offer the best service.”

Tomra Food sees its relationship with its customers as a collaborative process where both look for the best solution for each project and work together on the design of new solutions.

The Spanish fruit and vegetable and nut sector – which is key for the company – is highly concentrated in the eastern Levante region and surrounding area. That’s why the new centre in Valencia, which is now fully operational, is an important step in strengthening this personal approach and fostering a close relationship and communication with the producers.

Furthermore, the company’s expert team is set to manage its European projects from their base in the Valencia center. The site will be the hub for demonstrations of large and small fruit applications. It will also conduct occasional demonstrations for processed food, although Belgium will continue to be the center of reference for these products. It will also deliver training for company staff and TOMRA Food customer operators.

The center also serves as an after-sales service hub in the EMEA region and stores spare parts to reduce delivery times. A local technical team of 15 people, headed by Team Leader Jorge García Cascales, provides excellent support to the almost 400 machines in fresh and processed food installations in Spain and Portugal, and also serves other countries in the region.

Alejandro Palacios, Tomra Food’s regional sales manager for Southern Europe, says: “For us, demonstration centres are very important. They enable us to show our customers what our sorting machines can achieve for them. The majority of demonstrations at the Valencia centre are for citrus, blueberries, and whole potatoes. Customers can also bring their product and receive support tailored to their needs. The whole team is very excited about the new facility.”

Notably, the facilities have capability for demonstrating a wide range of equipment – including the Demo SLS (Single Lane Sorter) featuring Spectrim C2IR and Inspectra 2 for citrus and large fruit applications, as well as other optical sorting lines.


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